Here are some observations on the game yesterday, which turned out to be Newcastle’s best performance of the season.
Supporters have been waiting a long time for a performance like yesterday’s
- For the third game running the players all played up to their best form and not one player let the side down, so first and foremost it was another excellent team performance.
- The Tottenham goal came out of the blue after 25 minutes, and it wasnâ€™t a good goal to concede. But heads did not drop like they have in previous games. The lads seem to have a lot more spirit and confidence in themselves these days and got themselves back level just before the break.
- The defense was solid and Abdoulaye Faye in particular is becoming a dominant center-back but all four â€“ three of which are new recruits this season – looked competent. It was a pity Beye didn’t score after 3 minutes with a great left foot shot that almost broke the cross-bar. Jose Enrique looks better with every game and Steven Taylor was again solid, with no frills at the back.
- The midfield three of Butt, Barton and Geremi were a revelation. Butt had his best game for a long time and gave an exhibition of midfield play. He did everything and Nicky has really blossomed under Kevin Keegan. Joey Barton is starting to look like he did at Manchester City and Geremi had a great game out on the right. His passing is reminiscent of the way David Beckham plays out on the right, and of course he scored a great free kick yesterday for his first goal for the club. All three midfielders seem to play together so well these days.
- Oba Martins looked what he is â€“ an enthusiastic one off unique striker, and you never know what he will do next. His goal was the best of the match and he also made another goal for Owen when he danced past Alan Hutton, urged on by manager Keegan from the sidelines. This boy is magic and itâ€™s great to have him at the club. We love to see his somersaults even though we wince in case he injures himself 😀
- Mark Viduka would have scored but for a wonderful save from Paul Robinson, and Mark more than most, seems to be loving playing for Kevin Keegan. When he was replaced by Alan Smith in the second half, he just couldnâ€™t keep that smile off his face, and he was embraced for another great and all-out performance by manager Keegan.
- Steve Harper was again as safe as houses and made a couple of good saves in the first half. Steve is playing great for this club at such a crucial time and he will no doubt be fighting it out for the first team starting place next season with Shay Given.
But Steve has served the club well again, is this latest stint of games, in a most critical time for Newcastle, and he’s come through for us big time.
- The lads kept their shape all game and played some phenomenal passing football. We think Kevin is right that we need just 3-4 new players in the summer and we also think heâ€™s going to keep most of the squad he has and ensure they are tied up with longer term contracts.
Maybe just Ameobi and Carr will leave and Charles Nâ€™Zogbia, if he still wants to go elsewhere, like to Tottenham.
What do you think about yesterday’s performance?
Comments very welcome.