The first link many football fans make as they think of Newcastle United, is the Premier Leagues top goalscorer, Alan Shearer. The striker instilled the core values of the Newcastle number 9 while also reaching the very summit of the Premier League goal scoring records.
Since Shearer’s final goal against Sunderland and subsequent retirement in 2006, the fortunes of our front men have been, in a nutshell, mixed.
Players such as Luuk De Jong have arrived on Tyneside with a great goal scoring record but never replayed their prowess in black and white.
This trend has repeated during our current campaign with our strikers struggling to find the back of the net. Joelinton has continuously struggled leading the line while Dwight Gayle, although netting against Bournemouth has often missed chances to swing the pendulum for our strikers.
With this in mind, we have also seem some excellent strikers since Shearer departed, posing us with a very challenging task of ordering them in a ranked top 5.
5) Andy Carroll
NUFC Statistics (1st Spell) : Games = 91, Goals = 33, Goals Per Game = 0.36
With the big man rejoining his boyhood club this summer, it was viewed by many (myself included) that his arrival was purely a PR stunt following a summer of upheaval.
Admittedly the goals haven’t exactly flowed for big Andy, in fact he is still awaiting a goal in black and white this side of 2011, but Carroll has still added value to the team in other aspects.
Steve Bruce has repeatedly underlined the importance of having a figure like Andy around the dressing room, while his hold up play, and 4 Premier League assists have been welcomed on the pitch
Of course the reason Andy Carroll makes this list is due to the performances during his first spell at the club.
Establishing his name on the team sheet during our 2009/10 Championship campaign, Carroll was unplayable on his day. The striker earned a reputation as a real physical presence, while he was often touted as one of the best headers of the ball. Kevin Keegan placed Carroll in his top 3 headers in world football.
Integral in our instant promotion, scoring 17 Championship goals, he did not take long to make a name for himself in the Premier League. Netting a hatrick on Matchday 2 against Aston Villa, he was exceptional throughout the season, before Liverpool swooped in with a £35 million offer, making him the most expensive transfer of a British player at the time.
4) Loic Remy
NUFC Statistics: Games = 27, Goals = 14, Goals Per Game = 0.52
In complete contrast to Andy Carroll, the Frenchman Loic Remy had no kind of connection to the club. His time on Tyneside had an almost mechanical feel to it, as his situation was laid out bare during his stay at St James’ Park.
On loan from Championship club QPR, he wanted to gain exposure in the Premier League before inevitably going to a club within the European spots.
This deal suited Newcastle United, a club flirting with relegation was kept afloat from the scarily effective striker. The on-loan striker offered a hugely impressive 0.52 Goals Per Game ratio in the Premier League.
The only negative aspect of the Frenchman’s short stay in the North East was his inevitable departure. Acting as a double edged-sword, the better he played, the possibility of him staying long term decreased further.
If only he submerged himself in the city and the culture of the club, we could be placing Loic Remy higher up on this list.
3) Salomon Rondon
NUFC Statistics: Games = 33, Goals = 12, Goals Per Game = 0.36
Another loan signing, Salomon Rondon comes in at third. The Venezuela did not light up headlines when announced, but he was an absolute joy to have.
The striker possessed all the qualities which Rafa Benitez was crying out for during his tenure. Brute force, experience, and goals, Rondon could do it all as he transformed our frontline.
The 0.36 Goal Per Game ratio is not outstanding, but this was not the South American’s dominating attribute. The ball stuck to him like glue as he constantly provided an outlet that was desperately required in our counter attacking system.
His decision making was impeccable, knowing whether to hold on to the ball, allowing our team to shift up the field, or release a ball to the quicker Ayoze Perez or Miguel Almiron.
The disappointment across Tyneside when his departure was confirmed underlines the positive impact he had on the club.
2) Papiss Cisse
NUFC Statistics: Games = 131, Goals = 44, Goals Per Game = 0.34
The Senegalese striker has the highest tally of goals on the list, but just misses out on top spot.
Cisse was arguably the best striker in world football when first arriving in the North East. Notching a remarkable 11 goals in his first 10 appearances, everything the striker touched turned into goals.
Naturally the goals faded away, but Cisse continued to score the goals when it really mattered.
Firstly, you have the decisive strikes against both Southampton and Stoke City. In a season of struggles Cisse was often the man to dig us out of the hole, and he had a habit of doing this in the dying moments of games.
Then you have that goal against Chelsea, you know what we mean. It did not top the list in terms of importance but truly highlighted the type of striker that Cisse was. If you asked him to shoot, he could find the back of the net from most angles or distances, but ask him to take on a man and you’d be left with your head in your hands.
Placing the Premier League to one side, Cisse also offered us one of the most memorable moments at St James’ Park in recent times. With the second leg of our European tie against Anzhi locked at 0-0, the striker headed in a 94th minute winner to earn us a place in the Quarter Final.
It was certainly a pleasure having Cisse on Tyneside.
1) Demba Ba
NUFC Statistics: Games = 58, Goals = 29, Goals Per Game = 0.50
Topping the list as our best striker since Alan Shearer is Demba Ba. The goal record speaks for itself, with a 0.50 Goal Per Game ratio in the Premier League.
The striker had it all; goals, hold up play and love for the club. It has emerged since the strikers departure that his ambition was to remain at Newcastle United, however the hierarchy at the club forced him out by offering contracts solely based on appearance fees.
I do not find this surprising, but still so so frustrating. Demba Ba is the type of striker that can guarantee you goals and progress the club forward. With a glowing personality he remains a big fan favourite amongst our fanbase, I just hope someone can offer him a lifetime supply of strawberry syrup to keep him smiling!
Do you agree with our list?
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