Before this weekend's match-up with Arsenal, let's take a look back at last week's dramatic win over Chelsea. Overall, players were rated fairly high. Even Alan Pardew is winning favors. 50 people responded, so let's see how you voted.
Goalkeeper and defense
Obviously, the discussion with this group has to begin with Jak Alnwick. Not many knew of him prior to this game, but Newcastle's third string keeper was pressed into service against one of the Premier League's most prolific offenses. No matter. While Alnwick did give up a goal, he was aggressive and seemed to be up to the task. He can be contrasted pretty distinctly from Rob Elliot, who has been criticized for not taking charge in the box. To me, that explains why Elliot has some lower scores (even garnering a one from someone, though this is probably a troll), even though he did not give up a goal, while Alnwick did.
The back line fared pretty well, and you'd expect high marks after holding Chelsea to one goal. Darryl Jannmat and Fabricio Colocinni both scored very highly. Steven Taylor was all over the place because of his red card. Some said that Taylor had a good game until that red card, but Chelsea's goal came right after he was sent off, so he was hard to gauge.
The midfield did a pretty nice job of frustrating Chelsea. While the Blues had the lion's share of the possession, they were rarely in dangerous positions, and rarely countered successfully. Jack Colback continues to have a great season for Newcastle. It seems like the only thing he hasn't done is score. You also liked Moussa Sissoko, how has seemed to find new life. Fans aren't as sold on Cheik Tiote, who has been playing fairly uneven as late.
When you're lowest rating is a seven, you're going to be man of the match. And why not, Papiss Cisse proved to be a super sub again, notching two goals and giving Newcastle all three points. Sammy Ameobi's role shouldn't be overlooked, as he had an assist on the first goal. The forwards are still confused at times, but they're finding the target more.
With Newcastle playing better, Pardew's ratings have gone up. Nearly half of you gave him a nine or higher. When two of your subs turn out to be a goal keeper who stands up to Chelsea, and a man who scores two goals, I guess your subs look like geniuses. Newcastle's game plan frustrated Chelsea as well, and in the end the Mags grabbed a vital three points. More people are giving credit when credit is due.