Sunday, June 26, 2011

NUFC Season 2010/2011 Review: Attack

Finally we reached the last section of Newcastle United review for players. Here is for the strikers.

Andrew Carroll - 11 goals
Appearances: PL 18(1), LC 0(1)
He is big, strong and powerful. For a people with his height, he has good feet. A season in the Championship has giving him much needed playing experience and he started to score regularly. He was handed the sacred jersey no.9 at the start of the season. A hattrick in the game against Aston Villa and good subsequent performances earned him England national team call up, which then he made debut against France. He is always proved to be handful for opposition defence. He managed to score 11 goals up to January.

His off field problems were a regular source of news for the media. This however does not affect his performances on the pitch. He managed to put his troubles aside especially in games against Arsenal away (he scored the winning goal) and West Ham away. However, his time at the club has proven to be short as he joined Liverpool on a £35 million transfer during the last day of January transfer window. This transfer has enraged the fans who questioned his loyalty and there were also claims of him being forced out from the club. His goals played a big role to ensure survival of Newcastle in the Premier League. Because the transfer was done on the last day of transfer window, Newcastle failed to find any replacement and the money received cannot be spent until summer. He however still need to prove himself to the Reds fans if he really worth 35 million.

Shola Ameobi - 9 goals (League 6, League Cup 3)
Appearances: PL 21(7), LC 2
Another big and strong forwards if not powerful. However, his main problem was inconsistency. He did not score enough goals, and also his performances can vary from being a hero to a zero. At his best, he is unbeatable but when he is not playing well, he did not do much. It is quite a wonder he managed to stay in the team for years and probably he will end his career at SJP.

Ameobi is hardly consistent

Peter Lovenkrands - 7 goals (League 6, League Cup 1)
Appearances: PL 18(7), LC 3, FA 1
Danish forward is another player often crictised by fans. Inconsistency was also his problem this season. He often found himself inferior to opposition’s defence which causing him to be beaten easily. Despite increasing chances to play, he also at fault for went missing in games and eventually subbed by other player.

Leon Best - 6 goals
Appearances: PL 9(2), FA 1
After struggling last season, Leon Best started the season injured and he only managed to play after manager Chris Hughton’s departure and when he regained his fitness. As a player wanted to prove his worth to the team, his first start in Premier League against West Ham saw him scoring 3 goals. His later performances answered his critics and at the same time he proved that he can play in Premier League. 6 goals in 12 games is not a bad ratio, considering his injury throughout the season. His movement and ability to be in the right place in the right time should be considered important to the team.

Leon Best against West Ham

Nile Ranger - 1 goal (League Cup)
Appearances: PL 1(23), LC 3, FA 1
19 year old Ranger is the most used substitute in the Premier League. His role as a substitute was actually quite important as he caused trouble to tiring defence thus opening more chances for the team to find goals. However he seemed cannot score goals which may well drain his confidence. He also found to be lazy and uninterested sometimes in games. His attitude and off field personal matters often criticized from both managers Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew. He always reported to be late in training and chose wrong type of people to become his friends outside of football. He certainly has the talent but if he not improving his attitude; he won’t be successful.

The strikers available after Carroll's sale:
Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Best, Ranger

Appearances: PL 0(2)
Spanish forward spent his season on loan again, this time at his old club in La Liga, Deportivo La Coruna. It looks like he will never play for Newcastle again.

Shefki Kuqi

Appearances: PL 0(6)
34 year old free agent signed during February to increase the number of strikers due to sale of Andy Carroll. He was limited to substitute role, and only he managed some playing minutes during 4 months of his contract.

Kuqi fought for the ball

Phil Airey
Appearances: FA 0(1)
The reserve striker Airey made his debut in FA Cup shock defeat at Accrington Stanley. He continued to score goals for reserve team regularly.


Certainly new strikers are needed, especially players who can score goals regularly. The goals scored by Andy Carroll will need to be replaced.

No comments: