web analytics

Who Are Newcastle’s World Class Players?

We were very impressed with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, when he commented on the World Cup over here in the States during the summer, and he came across as a man who really understood the game.

Roberto Martinez – praises Newcastle team ethic and world class players

We saw on a Wigan blog (Vital Football) what Roberto has said about the game tomorrow, and specifically about the Newcastle team, and he’s extremely complimentary.

This is what Roberto said:

“They have got a group of players with great experience in the Premier League enjoying a great period in their careers.” “They are really hard to play against, hard to break down”

“I`ve watched them four times now this season and in every game they were the better side but didn`t always get the result that they deserved”

“They have got a great team ethic, a great togetherness and a few individuals who are world class” “St. James Park is a football environment that we will have to be ready to perform in”

That cannot be true surely – that’s like something I would write about Newcastle, but of course it would be completely and utterly biased. 😀

It’s true that Newcastle play very well as a team, no doubt about that, as we proved last season, and it’s one of the real highlights of the team Chris has built over the last 15 months.

And the lads have shown in most games this season, that they never give up, even when everything and the kitchen sink, not to even mention the referee, seem to be against them – as in our last game at Eastlands.

And it’s true the players don’t know when they are beaten, but who are the world class players?

Ben Arfa was close to world class but he’s not playing tomorrow, and Sol Campbell used to be world class several years ago, but not at 36. Enrique is very good but world class?   And Andy Carroll is coming through nicely, but he still has a lot to learn, so we’re not sure who he’s referring to there.

Maybe Cheick Tiote, who’s looked fantastic since he arrived at Newcastle, so he has to be close to world class.

Who do you think our world class players are – or is it an over-statement by Roberto?  One thing that’s obvious is that we have two gentleman managers on the sidelines tomorrow in Roberto and our own Chris Hughton.

They are both very civil and keep their heads even when they suffer difficult and seemingly unjust defeats, and they are both a credit to the game of football.  That’s unlike quite a few other managers in the Premier League we could mention – but won’t.

Let us know which players you think are really world class at Newcastle – we’d say Ben Arfa and Tiote are the two closest to that.

Comments welcome.

29 comments so far

  • roadhog2k

    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #1


    It all depends on how you define world class.
    If its the best in the world i’d say no we have none.
    But good enough to play for their respective countries then yes,

    Tim Krul,

    As standards obviously difer depending on what country you are from.

  • chuck

    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #2

    Obviously Ben Arfa and Sol fit the description and possibly as we see more of him Tiote, who`s signature was both unexpected and possibly questioned , due to few being aware of him prior to his arrival.
    He (Tiote) may turn out to be one of the best buys the club has made, certainly in the recent era.
    A badly needed ball winner, who in early days has been conservative in his distribution, opting for the safe as opposed to the killer pass, give him time to get comfortable in the side and, we could have another Essien.
    A few more astute buys like this could see the side back to a position where we could be challenging for a european spot !
    Still EPL survival is the name of the game this first season back and if we need strengthening in the winter window, we can`t afford to gamble, cause this is where the big bucks are!

  • Chris F

    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #3

    just the usual throwaway cliches managers trot out in pre game press interviews.

    we don’t have anyone world class on our books, and i think it’s a term overused these days to the point where it’s practically meaningless.

  • Turkish Magpie

    Oct 15, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Comment #4

    World Class Players:

    Ben Arfa

    Sorted 🙂

  • Chris F

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #5

    as i said, overused.

    a world class player is someone like Pele, or Maradona, or Johan Cruyff, Van Basten, Maldini, Baresi, Beckenbauer, Messi, Ronaldo, etc

    we have no one even close to that quality of player in our squad, and probably haven’t had one since Shearer retired.

    We have some good players, and some potentially very good players, but world class? not a chance.

  • dave 1961

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #6
  • Turkish Magpie

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #7

    Yeah i agree with Chris F

    By World class i thought it ment players capable of playing at world level (internationally for good teams)

  • dave 1961

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Dear David

    Thank you for contacting The Football Association.

    We have recently spoken with FIFA to reaffirm our jurisdiction following this matter, and they have advised they are in agreement with our application of their rules.

    Kind regards

    Alex Burkwood | Customer Relations Officer
    Customer Relations
    The FA Group
    Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS
    Postal address: Wembley Stadium, PO Box 1966, London, SW1P 9EQ
    T +44 (0) 844 980 8200 | F+44 (0) 844 980 8201
    http://www.TheFA.com, http://www.wembleystadium.com

  • Robby Bobson

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #9

    Depends what you mean by world class…if you mean someone who could cut it in the worlds best teams then:

    Ben Arfa definately

    And week after week Colocinni is living up to his reputation…the fact that hes hardly been mentioned in years shows how well he plays he game in quietly reading the game and is probably one of the best players on the ball in the team.

    And how Barton is absolutely running games this season id say he is a top quality player, not world class though.

  • Solaidback

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #10

    IMO a world class player would be someone who’s played in the World Cup I would think, so how many of our current squad played in the last world cup???

  • chuck

    Oct 15, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Comment #11

    Though in the twi-light of a long career, few will deny the fact Campbell was as good as any, as a central defender and would`nt look out of place in to-days England side.
    Define world class, hmm ! relative term.

  • chuck

    Oct 15, 2010 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #12

    DAVID 1961

    Frustrating I know, stonewalling cowards.
    How about everyone inundating them with protests, the E-mail address is there.

  • Stardust

    Oct 15, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #13

    The Insolvency Laws in football – ie the deduction of points were introduced to prevent clubs racking up debt and walking away from them without penalty after entering and coming out of administration.

    It seems to me that Liverpool are to be allowed to walk away from a debt by another legal mechanism and thats OK?

    I think there is a strong case for them to be docked 9 points – of course the FA will be onto that wont they – nope youre right they wont – its Liverpool and they will be allowed to walk away free again.

    Lets hope Hicks and Gillet take the club to the cleaners.

  • geordieal

    Oct 15, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #14

    Alan smith!!! Hahahahahahahahahahaha

  • dave 1961

    Oct 15, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #15

    yes the rat eaters get away with most things cant wait for the game it seems ages since the last one

  • baro

    Oct 15, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #16

    Tomorrows team






    With Ranger coming on about 65-70 minute mark! The lad deserves it! Also, in this lineup Carroll gets all the support he needs. Guthrie and Carroll know each others game style very well. Ryan Taylor has a beauty delivery and Routledge and Jonas can damage and terrorize defenders on the wings. Sol Campbell deserves a spot on the starting 11. Mike Williamson has really improved but just gives needless fouls, which can cause to cheap goals. I’m going for a 3-1 win with Sol, Carroll, and Guthrie to score!! HWTL!!

  • roy cropper

    Oct 15, 2010 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #17

    @ 6 that was pa-f@cking-thetic.

    dave this obsession with the – frog – has run it’s course & you’d be better off reverting back to predicting ticket sales @ sjp.

    bonne nuit.

  • punk skunk...

    Oct 16, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #18

    Aye stardust…
    liverpoop never walk (or crawl) alone, they always have the fa supoortin’ their every whim (twist)…
    Rule 18, ‘by any means’ help lfc, manure, spuds, wham, chavski & certain managers…

  • Brutooon

    Oct 16, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #19

    i agreed on Martinez on one area:

    “I`ve watched them four times now this season and in every game they were the better side but didn`t always get the result that they deserved”

    Apart from Man Utd game, the rest of the matches we look like winning – even the man city game

  • Howay The Lads

    Oct 16, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Comment #20

    Agree about Ben Arfa’s injury running its course.
    It’s been 2 weeks now and you might think differently, but I can almost guarantee you they won’t change a thing now.

    Tomorrow I’d go for:


    Perch——–Big Mike————–Colo——Enrique




    But I think Hoots will stick 4-5-1.

    Also the only world class player we have is Hatem Ben Arfa.

    But we have; Campbell, Enrique, Coloccini, Jonas, Tiote and (hopefully) Carroll that are/were all quality players and have/could easily represent their respective countries

  • Toon XI

    Oct 16, 2010 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #21

    @ Brutoon –

    Points are the bottom line. Whether we think we should have won matches or not is irrelevent. We need friggin points. We need goals. Apart from the Villa game, we have been a trainwreck in front of goal. No one can finish and our tactics have been too defensive. Toon must attack tomorrow and play all out to win.

  • Jonas18

    Oct 16, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    Comment #22

    World Class i: One of the very best players on the planet and in with a good chance of being in the Top 10 of FIFA World Player of the Year Award.

    World Class ii: Quality player, more than capable of making the step to International football and doing a good job of representing their country against quality opposition.

    Newcastle United’s World Class players…..

    World Class i: Hatem Ben Arfa….from what I’ve seen, he reminds me of Lionel Messi with his close control, and dribbling past players. Has the potential to win EPL Player of the Year Award, he’s that good.

    World Class ii:

    Fabricio Coloccini:

    He’s been nothing short of World Class so far this season, carrying on his fantastic form of last season. He is so fantastic on the ball, so calm on the ball, doesn’t panic, he can pass the ball so well, fantastic defender in 1 on 1 scenarios, his defensive heading and physical approach to the English game has improve amazingly. HE SHOULD BE ARGENTINA’S STARTING CENTRE BACK!!! That’s how highly I rate him. The situation NUFC were in, in his 1st season was unfair on him as a foreigner new to the league and 5 different managers.

    Jonas Gutierrez:

    Fantastic player, has EVERYTHING needed to fall in the World Class i category. He dribbles past players for fun like they are not there. The criticism has been his final ball and goals tally. Well last season he improved on both GREATLY, all be it in the Championship. This season, especially vs Man City he looked World Class, skinned City players so many times and put in some good balls and scored a great goal. He must maintain that level of performance. I agree with Messi’s assessment of Jonas.

    Jose Enrique: World Class is how I would describe. Best Left Back in the Premier League is how I would describe. Should be 1st choice Left Back for Spain is how I would describe him. Better than Spain’s current LB incumbent is how I would describe him. El Toro NEVER gets beaten in 1 on 1 scenarios, passes the ball well, keeps possession very well, goes forward very well and he does it all with such good consistency!!! Only criticism is that he can get a bit Cocky sometimes when he’s playing a blinder of game, and will try a showboating skill/pass deep in our own half that might not come off due to overconfidence. Also some Erratic crossing occasionally, 1/5 times. But seriously Spain’s No. 1 Left Back. I predict a call up to the national side this Season.

    Sol Campbell: His name and his performances last season for Arsenal and vs Man City say it all really.

    Andy Carroll: Maybe, potential there, needs the consistency.

    Cheick Tiote:

    World Class is right! He hardly ever loses the ball and is the Defensive Midfielder we’ve been crying out for! Makes great tackles, reads the game well making fantastic interceptions and spreads the ball out wide to our Wingers so they can do their thang! Amazing Pass Completion rate in games!

    Joey Barton: Started season very well and showed International class, definitely. If he keeps up the form of the first few game of the season, England will come calling. However, last 2 games performances haven’t been as good as they should. Losing possession trying some Hollywood balls (however he’s very good at those, which is why last 2 games have been a disappointment)

  • Brutooon

    Oct 16, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    Comment #23

    Toon XI : i agreed with you on that point, in the end its the point that matter.

    But the way i see the team now, we are capable of beating any team at the BPL – even on away games.

  • archaeomag

    Oct 16, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    Comment #24

    Well, not James ‘Chopper’ Perch as him team mates have dubbed him, which, in a moment of madness, he has revealed to the media; [ Mirror Sport].

    I am looking forward to the ‘Chopper’ V ‘Insomnia’ bout.

  • worbo

    Oct 16, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #25

    Good Title Ed and my thoughts exactly when I wrote the original article on Vital Wigan, thanks for the plug also, it makes a change 😉

  • dave 1961

    Oct 16, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #26

    Roy cropper I have never predicted ticket sales what I have done is post how many tickets have sold, this was because I counted all the tickets left on the web site, this I did because I had nothing better to do at the time.

  • Nick 69

    Oct 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #27

    Jonas18- im sorry but your way over the top with your praise of enrique, i agree he should be in spain squad, but he is not the best left back in the prem, ashley cole probably the best left back in the world, evra and gareth bale are both better than enrique and possibly clichy is too

  • HOGC

    Oct 16, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #28

    i really think jose enrique is world class, i really like his performance. i feel he has improved by leaps and bounds ever since he first came to Newcastle. he is the most reliable defender/player in the whole team. i always see him winning challenges and protecting the ball so so well, and he is good at attacking the left flank too:):)

    sholud be in the spain squad

  • chuck

    Oct 16, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #29

    It`s guys like Dennis Irwin and former Chelsea central defender Carvalho plus a few others, who`s ability to read the game, gave the appearance they were always in the right spot at the right time and seldom if ever resorted to sliding tackles.
    Irwin was one of the the best defenders plus helped make the attacking wing back role popular and of course a great free kick and penalty taker.
    Carvalho even in his thirties was snapped up by Real Madrid, a tribute to his skills.
    Now these guys were world class, but not everyone recognized the fact, due to their making plays look easy and we could probably add Sol to that list.
    I really fail to understand why a guy who`s distribution of the ball is just as often intercepted by the opposition and who has been given the runaround by more than one attacker, is keeping Sol out of the side ?
    Erm! thats Williamson i`m talking bout !


You must log in to post a comment.