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Newcastle's Men of the Match(es), 2011-12

He was Manager of the Year, but how many times was he voted Man of the Match?
He was Manager of the Year, but how many times was he voted Man of the Match?

I've been busy preparing for a position-by-position preview of Newcastle's 2012-13 season, which we will publish once a day starting Tuesday. As part of my preparation, I've been looking back at last season, and part of that involved looking through our archives and revisiting our reactions to each match. I went ahead and recorded who the readers' choice for Man of the Match was for all 38 Premier League contests, and I thought it might be fun to look back at the results before we move forward. There's a tie for the most honored player, and both of these guys ran away from the pack. Can you guess who it is? Find out after the jump.

Newcastle United 2011-12 Man of the Match Honorees

Honored 7 Times

Hatem Ben Arfa (1 shared)
Tim Krul (2 shared)

Honored 5 Times

Demba Ba

Honored 3 Times

Yohan Cabaye
Davide Santon (1 shared)

Honored 2 Times

Steven Taylor
Papiss Cisse
Ryan Taylor (1 shared)
Leon Best (both shared)
Nobody (0-5 vs. Tottenham Hotspur and 0-4 vs. Wigan Athletic)

Honored 1 Time

Fabricio Coloccini
Cheik Tiote
Shola Ameobi
Jonas Gutierrez
James Perch
Alan Pardew
Haris Vuckic's face

Stray Observations

  • Tim Krul was probably Newcastle's most important player. A lot has been made of Ba and Cisse's tendency to score in close games, but those games aren't close if not for the man between the posts. It's no coincidence that the team's dip in form in December coincided with the form of its keeper.
  • I had to triple-check this statistic to make sure it was right: Hatem Ben Arfa only played in 26 Premier League matches last year and started 16 of those. The CHN community named him Man of the Match 7 times. I didn't even count cup matches, and we all know what he did to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. Can you imagine what a full year of HBA would look like? I'm getting excited about the season.
  • That Jonas Gutierrez only shows up once on this list either supports or destroys my argument that he's the most underappreciated player on the team. So which is it?
  • Notable omissions: Danny Simpson (though I thought he got robbed in the voting for the November 26 draw with Manchester United), Danny Guthrie, Gabriel Obertan?
  • Anybody want to hazard a guess who the opponent was when Shola Ameobi took home the honors?