Review – Midfielders

We continue our review with midfielders…
Emre

Hard to remember much from the little Turk this season having started only 8 games (9 as substitute). To our knowledge, the player hasn’t undergone any major surgery to cure the lengthy injury problems he’s had while on Tyneside – which begs the question whether his issues are physical or mental…

One of Keegan’s number one targets this summer must be a creative midfielder which was essentially the player Emre should have been. There’s no doubt that when he’s up for the challenge Emre can turn a game around but sadly that’s about once or twice a season.

To be fair to him, he’s often found around our own penalty box trying to get possession rather than the opposition’s and maybe next season with a better supporting cast he can stick to what he’s good at.

Last seasons rating: 6
This seasons rating: 4

Joey Barton

After playing well below his potential for the majority of the season, Barton’s form picked up towards the end as he started to show glimpses of the player we know he can be.

His whole season has now been eclipsed by his actions on December 27th 2007 when he was charged and arranged for being involved in a street attack in Liverpool City Center. Barton will spend the next six months in jail, putting a huge doubt over his future at the club.

If that wasn’t enough, he’ll be in court again this summer for assaulting a former team mate while at Manchester City.

Last season rating: n/a
This seasons rating: 5

Damien Duff

Last season we said about Duff, “The Irish winger hasn’t had anywhere near the type of impact we were hoping for in his first season, looking like a shadow of the player who terrorized defenders at Blackburn and Chelsea.”

Make that two seasons in a row then…

It’s time for Duff to make his mark or move on, the latter possibly on the cards as the Irish man looks set to sell his Tyneside home.

Last season rating: 3
This seasons rating: 3

Charles N’Zogbia

Although Charlie played most of this season in an unfamiliar left-back role, the little French man is still at his best when running at opposition’s defenders.

Sadly we didn’t see much of that, such was our plight at left-back but his pace and ability to pick out a pass is still a huge asset for the team and he was 1000x times better than last season.

Whether he stays at the club or not is still to be seen. Keegan has gone public saying he needs to be more of a “team player,” although rumors of an end of the day bust up with Faye were denied by the player – which spawned this fantastic quote (insert fantastic quote).

Last season rating: 2
This seasons rating: 7

James Milner

Scored the highest out of all outfield players last season (8), Milner continues to work hard down both flanks but is still lacking that little bit of quality which would equate to more goals and assists.

Still young, still plenty of time to learn new tricks, but his commitment to the cause cannot be questioned as he keeps ploughing away at the opposition when others heads have dropped.

Last seasons rating: 8
This seasons rating: 6

Alan Smith

30 starts, 7 substitute appearances and ZERO goals. Speaks for itself really.

Although many could argue that Smith had played the majority of games in midfield, the player very rarely chipped in with assists and was mainly causing our own defense problems by giving away silly fouls and free-kicks around our own box.

He gave the ball away more times than we can remember and has to go down as the worst signing of the season – a huge disappointment since leaving Man Utd.

Neither effective as an attacking midfielder or striker, his future at the club (if he has any) would be in a Nicky Butt type role as holding midfielder. Even that’s stretching the imagination…

Last seasons rating: n/a
This seasons rating: 2

Geremi

Chipped in with some vital assists towards the end of the season although was largely unimpressive throughout.

Some of his passing (for a midfielder), is absolutely shocking and the guy has no pace whatsoever. His corners and free kicks are also pretty unremarkable although he did score a vital goal at Spurs (his only goal of the season).

He can pick out a cross though and with the likes of Owen and Viduka sniffing around the box, that can only be a good thing – his ball for Owen’s goal against the mackems particularly impressive.

We hope Keegan brings in a little more creativity in the summer so Geremi isn’t needed for more than a squad player.

Last season rating: n/a
This seasons rating: 5

Nicky Butt

Another solid season for Butt who has now won the Newcastle fans over after a shaky start to his career on Tyneside.

He played more games than any other player this season (37 starts, 2 sub appearances) and continues to help out the back four by getting stuck in and breaking up attacks.

Some of his passing still lets him down but overall another decent year for the lad.

Last seasons rating: 7
This seasons rating: 7

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