We're continuing on with our player-by-player review of the 2015-16 season. We had previously looked at the goalkeepers and Jack Colback. We're pressing on with players who appeared in the defense at some point this season. Next under the microscope is a man who many would have had as captain of our club going into Steve McClaren's ill-fated season (well... 75% of one, roughly) - Daryl Janmaat.
To the writers!
Eric: Has a player ever been proclaimed the captain in-waiting at one point and then faced almost universal derision at another, all in the course of one season? 32 starts, 2 goals and 4 assists make for a decent right back stat line, however his altercation with a wall post-Southampton sums up his late-season contributions. Absent from all but the last of Newcastle's 6 game unbeaten run, Daryl, much like his fellow countryman (not Vurn...the other guy), never seemed up for the fight when the going got tough. I appreciate his attacking mindset as he offers quite a bit going forward and he doesn’t shy away from lung-busting runs in either direction. That said, his true colors were there for all to see in the end and I wouldn’t shed a tear if he departs this summer. Overall Grade: C
Logan: He was certainly serviceable at right back, but not without some rather dreadful moments. Lest we forget when he put himself in a sling punching a wall in frustration (which, in fairness, was something anyone affiliated with this squad contemplated doing week in, week out.). But by and large he did simply what was needed, plus some on occasion, but the underwhelming play from the wing does start with the back line, so you have to hold him at some fault for that, no? He’s done well enough to turn heads over in Italy, but in terms of this year, I found him to be just above average. C+
Brian: Janmaat's 2015/16 will probably be most remembered for his punching of the wall and breaking two fingers during the travesty that was the Southampton loss late in the season. Only Mbemba saw more defensive time on the pitch (one game more). Comparing him, statistically, to players with fewer minutes is pointless since opportunities for success and failure were much less. He and Mbemba were relatively close in many categories, but Mbemba appeared to have a better relationship with other defenders. Janmaat was always one to watch on the right side of the pitch, but as the season wore on his frustration became a detriment and at times he was a gross defensive liability. I tend to be glass half full with Daryl, but I don't think he fits in this team's future.
Will: The Dutchman has been a divisive figure since he joined the club in 2014. On the one hand, he's an international defender capable of putting in quality performances that have seem rightly called up to the Netherlands for international duty on multiple occasions. His ability to defend and to provide attacking support on the wings with some fantastic crosses have led to goals for Newcastle--though we didn't see many last season. That's part of the problem--he went missing far too often last season, leading many fans to question whether his heart still lies with Newcastle.
Jim: I think that when the one specific incident that defined your season was an off-pitch physical altercation with a wall, you probably not had a great season. The weird thing with Daryl was that he was so solid last year and has gone the way of Danny Simpson and Mathieu Debuchy - "Great going forward but a liability on the defensive end". I was among those that would have had Daryl as captain this year... who knows how it would have played out had Steve pulled that trigger, but disappointing would be a compliment to Janmaat's season.
As I was selecting the image for this, I found the one above. Jamaal Lascelles... leading. Daryl confronting fans. About says it all, really.
Composite grade: 1.7/4.0 (That's a solid C-)