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Ranking Every Newcastle United Player from the 2013/14 Premier League Season

Dan SheridanContributor IMay 12, 2014

Ranking Every Newcastle United Player from the 2013/14 Premier League Season

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    On the face of it, a quick glance at the final Premier League table suggests a comfortable ride for Newcastle United, with their 10th-place finish securing players and staff an end-of-season bonus.

    But their position only tells half the story, and a campaign that saw the Magpies challenging for a European spot before Christmas descended into humiliation for the Geordie supporters.

    The highs of beating the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at the back end of 2013 were replaced by a recent run of six straight defeats.

    It is hoped some substantial investment over the summer from owner Mike Ashley will lift spirits on Tyneside and add some much-needed strength in depth to the squad.

    But for now, Toon fans are left to reflect on a few ups and far too many downs to mention.

    So as the dust settles on another rollercoaster campaign, Bleacher Report ranks every Newcastle player, counting down from the individual who had the least impact to the name that made the biggest contribution.

26: Gabriel Obertan

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    Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 0 (3)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    Since signing for the Magpies from Manchester United in August 2011, Gabriel Obertan has consistently struggled to hold down a first-team place—but never quite like this.

    During 2013-14, the former France Under-21 failed to start a single Premier League game in a black-and-white shirt and was involved just three times from the substitutes' bench.

    Quite what the future holds for the 25-year-old winger is anyone's guess, but it's fair to say his days at Newcastle are well and truly numbered.

25: Jonas Gutierrez

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 1 (1)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    When Jonas Gutierrez was named in Newcastle's starting XI for the opening-day trip to Manchester City in August, most assumed the winger had a part to play in the months that lay ahead.

    It remains, however, his only start of the season for the Magpies, and after just one more appearance from the bench, a loan move to Norwich City in January ended his isolation.

    The Argentinian remains a popular figure at St. James’ Park—both in the dressing room and on the terraces—but whether or not he resurfaces next term is another matter entirely.

24: Sylvain Marveaux

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 2 (7)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    Quite what Sylvain Marveaux did to merit just two Premier League starts during 2013-14 is still a matter of great debate on Tyneside, but his lack of involvement speaks volumes.

    In a side sorely lacking in the creativity, the Frenchman looked an obvious candidate to add some much-needed invention to the Magpies after Christmas, but the call never came.

    Now he is one of a number of Newcastle United players waiting to see what the future holds following a season of bewildering frustration for the former Rennes midfielder.

23: Dan Gosling

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    Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 4 (4)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards: 0

    It wasn't until the beginning of April that Dan Gosling made his first Newcastle start of the 2013-14 campaign, and by then the wheels had well and truly come off their campaign.

    Amazingly, his appearance against Manchester United was only his second start for the Magpies since he joined the club in 2010 and his first for more than two years.

    A loan spell at Championship strugglers Blackpool gave the midfielder the chance to get some game time, but the fact he was allowed to leave to begin with places a question mark over his St. James' Park future.

22: Rob Elliot

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 2 (0)

    Saves: 7

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    For the most part, back-up goalkeeper Rob Elliot has watched events unfold from the dugout over the past nine months, but the two Premier League starts he did manage ended in disaster.

    Back-to-back 4-0 defeats to Southampton and Manchester United left the Londoner—and the rest of the Magpies' defence—shell-shocked, and he quickly returned to the bench once Tim Krul regained fitness.

    Though the result suggests otherwise, the former Charlton Athletic stopper actually had a good game against the Saints and made some top saves to keep the score down to single figures.

     

21: Massadio Haidara

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    Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 3 (8)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 2

    Red Cards: 0

    Like a number of Newcastle United signings over the past few seasons, things just haven't worked out for Massadio Haidara on Tyneside, and his appearances reflect what little impact he's had.

    Few doubt his ability and pace down the left flank, but following his arrival from Nancy in January 2013, the highly-rated Frenchman has struggled to force his way into the side on a regular basis. 

    Over the past few months, the 21-year-old has fallen behind Davide Santon and Paul Dummett in the pecking order, and though age is on his side, next season could be make-or-break for the full-back.

     

20: Adam Armstrong

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    Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 0 (4)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    He may have only made four cameo appearances from the substitutes' bench, but young striker Adam Armstrong did enough to suggest he has a bright future at St. James' Park.

    The Geordie fulfilled a life-long ambition when he made his debut for his hometown club at Fulham in March, and further appearances in the squad suggested he has admirers behind the scenes.

    A number of fans questioned why boss Alan Pardew didn't hand him more game time once the season began to peter out—especially considering the form of United's lacklustre forwards recently.

     

19: Luuk De Jong

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    Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 8 (4)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    As one of only two signings made by Newcastle United over the past 18 months—and loan signings at that—much was expected of Luuk De Jong when he arrived in January.

    However, the on-loan Borussia Monchengladbach striker has completely failed to find his rhythm with the Magpies and has brought nothing to the table in terms of attacking threat.

    A distinct lack of pace has rendered him ineffective in the Premier League, and in truth the Dutchman has never really looked like scoring in any of his 12 appearances.

18: Sammy Ameobi

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    Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 4 (6)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards: 0

    Another player with obvious talent, Sammy Ameobi has endured a frustrating campaign at Newcastle United despite a severe lack of flair in Alan Pardew's squad. 

    His ability to run at players has never been harnessed by the Toon manager, and as such, just four Premier League starts represents a disappointing season for the 22-year-old.

    When given a chance, the former England Under-21 has looked lively out wide, but he's often guilty of over-running the ball and could be another player whose future lies elsewhere.

17: Steven Taylor

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 9 (1)

    Goals: 1

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 1

    Steven Taylor's season got off to the worst possible start at Manchester City when he was shown a straight red card for a aiming a petulant swipe at Sergio Aguero.

    The consequent three-match ban saw the centre-half out of the picture, and in truth, his campaign never really recovered.

    With Mike Williamson earning rave reviews alongside Fabricio Coloccini early on, Taylor found it increasingly difficult to win back his place.

    And though the 28-year-old has reemerged over the past couple months, it was his opening-day antics that cost him dear.

16: Shola Ameobi

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 14 (12)

    Goals: 2

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards: 1

    Loic Remy aside, 2013-14 has been a season to forget for Newcastle United's forwards, and a quick look at Shola Ameobi's scoring record tells its own, bleak tale. 

    Just two top-flight goals in 26 appearances has seen the Nigerian international come in for some familiar criticism this term, though he may yet have the last laugh with a place at this summer's World Cup.

    Few players have split opinion on the terraces quite like Ameobi over the years, but with his contract up next month, one of the Toon's longest-serving stars looks to be on his way.

    But he kept the debate going to the bitter end after receiving a farcical red card on the final day at Liverpool.

     

15: Papiss Cisse

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 15 (9)

    Goals: 2

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    When Papiss Cisse first arrived at Newcastle United in January 2012, it seemed everything he hit found the back of the net, including a stunner on his debut and the goal of the season at Chelsea. 

    Fast forward to 2013-14 and exactly the opposite scenario was playing out, with the Senegalese striker scoring just twice in 24 first-team appearances.

    Magpies' fans were left scratching their heads as his drought continued, and though he was often used out of position by Alan Pardew, the 28-year-old's contribution was minimal.

     

14: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 17 (6)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 5

    Red Cards: 1

    Before the season began in August, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was being talked up as a certain starter under Alan Pardew. In the end, however, he ended up out of the picture for long spells.

    Used both as a centre-half and an emergency right-back by the Magpies manager, the Frenchman possesses a streak of inconsistency that hampers any real progression, and it's rare that one good performance is followed by another. 

    The ex-Montpellier captain has all the attributes to become a first-team regular at St. James' Park, but as for the campaign just ended, he needs to put it down to experience and move on.

13: Hatem Ben Arfa

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 13 (14)

    Goals: 3

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards:

    He's another player who splits opinion among the club's supporters, but even by Hatem Ben Arfa's erratic standards, his impact during the 2013-14 season was negligible.

    After starting with a bang against the likes of Fulham and Aston Villa early on, many hoped this would be the campaign that saw the 27-year-old playmaker finally realise his potential.

    But a string of below-par performances, followed by some harsh words with Alan Pardew in the dressing room, meant a spell on the sidelines for the Frenchman.

    Brilliant at times, painfully frustrating at others, the former Marseille man has his backers at St. James' Park, but if he's still at the club in August, he needs to start repaying that loyalty.  

12: Davide Santon

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 26 (1)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards: 0

    It's hard to put your finger on what happened to David Santon's season, but for the first few months, it was easy to see why he was once more on the fringes of the Italian national side. 

    The slick left-back made the position his own, but like so many of Newcastle's squad, his confidence and defensive awareness seemed to drain away as the weeks rolled by.

    Such was his dip in form that his place was taken by Paul Dummett after a string of games that saw the 23-year-old substituted after some spectacular collapses.

    His ability is crystal clear, but the ex-Inter Milan man has some bridges to build if he's to continue his Premier League journey with United.

11: Paul Dummett

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 11 (7)

    Goals: 1

    Yellow Cards: 1

    Red Cards: 1

    Paul Dummett was perhaps as surprised as anyone when his first-team chance came along this season, but few can deny he's grabbed his chance with determination. 

    Having spent the previous campaign north of the border on loan with St Mirren, the Welsh Under-21 international was seemingly lagging behind Davide Santon and Massadio Haidara when his Premier League debut arrived.

    But the 22-year-old has rarely looked out of place, and though his confidence clearly suffered as the defeats began to pile up, he certainly wasn't alone.

    His one and only goal came in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at St. James' Park—and his one and only red card came against the same opposition on the final day.

10: Tim Krul

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 36 (0)

    Saves: 101

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    One performance in particular stands out when appraising Tim Krul's season, and his heroics between the posts at Tottenham Hotspur in November will live long in the memory.

    The Dutchman, who has missed just two games in the top flight, made a Premier League record 14 saves at White Hart Lane to help his side to a 1-0 win.

    His form since Christmas, however, has been erratic at best, and his place in Louis van Gaal's Holland squad for next month's World Cup is under serious threat.

    There's little doubt that Krul has all the attributes to become one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, but there's plenty about the 2013-14 campaign he won't want to remember in a hurry.

9: Fabricio Coloccini

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 27 (0)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 2

    Red Cards: 0

    Another key member of the Magpies' squad who has endured mixed fortunes, Fabricio Coloccini will want to right a few wrongs when the new season gets underway in August. 

    For the most part, the Argentine international was in excellent form during the first half of the campaign, but like so many of his teammates, his performances dipped dramatically.

    Normally a picture of calm, the Toon skipper has lost his temper more than once in the face of damaging defeats such as consecutive 4-0 losses to Southampton and Manchester United.

    And while he remains an influential figure at St. James' Park, Newcastle will need him to rediscover his authority at the back when it all starts again next term.

8: Vurnon Anita

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 28 (6)

    Goals: 1

    Yellow Cards: 2

    Red Cards: 0

    One of Newcastle’s genuine technicians, Vurnon Anita's Ajax roots were on full display during the early part of the season, and whenever the Dutchman got his chance, he delivered.

    Further down the line, however, and shorn of a creative outlet in front of him, the 25-year-old was asked to play a role unfamiliar to him.

    His best work is done when paired with Cheick Tiote in front of United's back four, but time and again he was asked to venture forward to try and fill the gap left by Yohan Cabaye.

    Anita is not and never has been a playmaker in the mould of Cabaye, and as such, any criticism that came his way was wholly unjustified.

7: Moussa Sissoko

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 35 (0)

    Goals: 3

    Yellow Cards: 8

    Red Cards: 0

    While Moussa Sissoko has never quite hit the heights he scaled during his initial few weeks at Newcastle United, the Frenchman has enjoyed a reasonably consistent season.

    Often used out wide on the right in place of Hatem Ben Arfa, his work rate and athleticism allowed ample cover for Mathieu Debuchy to get forward to good effect.

    Not for the first time, Alan Pardew seems acutely unaware of Sissoko's best position, but that has never unnerved the 24-year-old, who netted three times in the top flight.

    And if a permanent, productive position can be found for the former Toulouse star, he could have a big part to play at St. James' Park next term.

6: Cheick Tiote

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 31 (2)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 9

    Red Cards: 0

    After an uncharacteristic dip in form during the 2012-13 season, the pressure was on Cheick Tiote to reproduce the kind of form that made him such a hit at St. James' Park.

    And for the first half of the season at least, he delivered in style, snapping into tackles with typical verve and revelling in the captain's role in Fabricio Coloccini's absence.

    Much like Vurnon Anita, however, Newcastle's failure to replace Yohan Cabaye had a grave impact on Tiote, and the shape and dynamics of United's midfield changed drastically.

    His highlight should have been a stunning goal from distance against Manchester City that was wrongly disallowed, but overall this was an improved campaign from the Ivorian.

5: Yoan Gouffran

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 31 (4)

    Goals: 6

    Yellow Cards: 3

    Red Cards: 0

    Yoan Gouffran's early performances made him a bit of a cult hero on the terraces at St. James' Park, and it wasn't difficult to see why.

    A combination of endless running and a useful knack of scoring goals made him a hugely important player during the first half of the season, and by the end of 2013 he'd netted seven times in all competitions.

    The New Year, however, was a very different picture for the 27-year-old, as it was for much of United's squad, and he failed to find the target again from his left-wing berth.

    His popularity remains intact, but it remains to be seen why he wasn't asked to perform more central duties when the Magpies' strikers were struggling in Loic Remy's absence.

4: Mathieu Debuchy

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 28 (1)

    Goals: 1

    Yellow Cards: 8

    Red Cards: 1

    Big questions were asked of Mathieu Debuchy when he first arrived in England from Lille, but he's answered pretty much all of them following a solid campaign.

    The classy right-back does have a tendency to go missing on occasion, but more often than not, his ability and willingness to get forward brings a positive edge to the team.

    The biggest crimes in his position were committed by the club's shameful lack of cover rather than the player himself, and his absence while injured exposed a worrying lack of depth.

    But if the Magpies' hierarchy can persuade the in-demand defender to remain at St. James' Park, they'll have seen off some of the biggest names in Europe according to talkSPORT.

3: Mike Williamson

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Appearances (Sub): 32 (1)

    Goals: 0

    Yellow Cards: 0

    Red Cards: 0

    For a player who started the season as fourth-choice centre-back at Newcastle United, Mike Williamson's season has been one of the more welcome surprises.

    It was back at the end of September, with his side 3-0 down at Everton, that Alan Pardew turned to the big centre-half, and from that moment, he rarely looked back.

    His typical no-nonsense approach was the perfect foil for the more cultured Fabricio Coloccini early on, and the doubters were soon silenced as the Toon moved up the table.

    From February onwards, as results spiralled, Pardew's defence came in for some brutal criticism, but few could question Williamson's commitment to the Magpies' cause.

2: Yohan Cabaye

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 17 (2)

    Goals: 7

    Yellow Cards: 5

    Red Cards: 0

    The fact that Yohan Cabaye—a player who left Newcastle halfway through the season—is No. 2 in this list speaks volumes about their fractured campaign.

    During the first half of the season, he was the driving force behind all that was good about the Magpies' play and controlled the ebb and flow of games from his advanced midfield role.

    The Frenchman's goals helped push his team towards the European places, while his artistry and vision allowed the likes of Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy to flourish.

    But perhaps most important of all, Cabaye was an intrinsic link between United's sizable French contingency and the backroom staff, plus a hugely popular figure in the dressing room.

    When owner Mike Ashley predictably chose to cash in on the former Lille star, he sold much more than just a footballer to Paris Saint-Germain, and United's downward spiral began in earnest.

1: Loic Remy

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Appearances (Sub): 24 (2)

    Goals: 14

    Yellow Cards: 2

    Red Cards: 1

    To put it simply, without the goals of Loic Remy Newcastle United would have been 11 points worse off and found themselves embroiled in a very real, very nervy relegation battle.

    As it turned out, the Frenchman's 14 Premier League strikes steered Alan Pardew's men to mid-table security in an otherwise barren campaign for the club's forwards.

    On a season-long loan from Queens Park Rangers, the 27-year-old was the Toon's only new arrival last summer, but thankfully for Pardew and Co., he played the biggest part of all.

    To say he'll be a big miss at St. James' Park next term is the biggest understatement of all, and his position in this list underlines his importance over the past nine months as well as the club's appalling failings in the transfer market.

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