A big thanks to everybody who submitted their player ratings for Saturday's win over Tottenham Hotspur. In all, we had 101 responses, though 13 of those seemed to be "accidental" votes, where every player got a 1. Once I threw those out, we had a total of 88 votes. Personally, I prefer this system to a simple Man of the Match poll, and I think it will be useful to look back at these threads when we're measuring up players at the end of the season. We are dealing with hard numbers, but it's worth reminding everybody that these are still subjective measurements. Let's take a look at how you rated each player:
Mean: 6.79 (all of these are rounded to the nearest hundredth)
Krul wasn't really to blame for Jermain Defoe's goal, and in fact did well to save the initial shot. He also took charge on several balls into the box and generally kept his defense in line. It's funny how little confidence we had in his ability to do this 12 months ago.
Simpson gets a lot of stick from a certain subset of the fanbase, much of it unfair, so it was no surprise when several took to Twitter and blamed him for not closing down on Aaron Lennon on the play that eventually led to Defoe's goal. He's not to blame (if you really need a scapegoat, you'll find one further down the list), but that doesn't mean that the rest of his game was blameless. Gareth Bale basically did what he wanted on Saturday, and Simpson didn't help himself by constantly fouling him. A 6 seems about right, to be honest.
Perch's mean rating is just slightly higher than Simpson's, but opinion on him was more divided. Folks were either quite satisfied with his performance, giving him a 7 or even an 8, but many also saw fit to give him the worst possible rating. Perhaps the latter camp was unhappy with his decision to play the part of the referee when Jermain Defoe drifted offside. That he quit on the play allowed Defoe to stay with the rebound and bury the second chance. It's a shame, because for the most part he was the solid player that we got used to last year. He completed 100% of his passes and generally held his man in check, but the cruel reality is that defenders are often remembered more for the few bad plays they make, rather than the many good ones.
Saylor's return performance was very reassuring, receiving almost universal praise. Will Newcastle be okay if they don't buy any more center backs? Well, if Taylor and Coloccini both stay fit and the team gets bounced from all 3 cups early, probably. Better just to go ahead and buy one anyway, right? If Pardew does purchase another player, and he manages to shove Taylor out of the Starting XI, at least we'll always have that cheeky back pass.
Santon was mostly invisible, save for the 10 minutes at the end of the first half when he really forced the issue down the left side and provided Newcastle with their only non-Ben Arfa spark. He did fine defensively, though at times it seemed that the entire team had been instructed to hang out in his area and provide support.
Jonas was all over the place on both sides of the ball, though again his game suffered from a lack of end product. Still, his presence on both sides of the pitch was a major reason the Toon were able to climb back into the game in the second half.
The Dreamboat supplied a few highlight reel worth passes, as always, but otherwise he was overrun in midfield. Part of me wants him to get the nod in Greece so he can round back into form, but the other part of me really hopes he gets some rest. Either way, Newcastle will need the real Cabaye back to have a chance against Chelsea on Saturday.
The other half of the equation is that Tiote wasn't himself either. You can tell because he didn't get booked. (Tip your waitresses.) In all seriousness, Tiote made some significant challenges and actually looked pretty solid in his deep-lying position - most of the time. He also made several ill-advised passes and seemed to be the main catalyst behind the hoofball strategy of the first half.
Hatem Ben Arfa
The undisputed Man of the Match, HBA's wizardry forced 2 yellow cards and a penalty. His ball skills are undisputed, so perhaps the most impressive part of his performance is that he apparently had no qualms about helping out in the defensive third.
Maybe the most notable thing that could be said about Cisse's day is that he was almost credited with a goal when Demba Ba's shot deflected off his foot and skittered just wide of the post. It was clear, however, that the Spurs center backs were very concerned about his presence, and he still managed to create a couple of chances on his own.
Scoring a goal will always improve your rating if you're a striker, but Ba was noticeably involved in the midfield as well, taking several touches in Newcastle's own half. His work rate didn't suffer from fasting during Ramadan, and he scored from the left side of the 4-3-3. I believe in Demba Ba.
Vurnon Anita (sub)
Gabriel Obertan (sub)
Both Anita and Obertan's scores suffered because they were substitutes; several people apparently felt they couldn't vote for somebody that played so little and gave them 1s (I'll rectify this on future ballots). Anita used his pace to dribble around and keep possession a couple of times, so in that I suppose you could say he was a success. Obertan didn't see much of the ball at all.