We were delighted with the ladsâ€™ performance yesterday â€“ but we mustnâ€™t get carried away â€“ well not too much anyway.
Kevin Keegan – had the team gelling immediately
Hereâ€™s some of our observations on the game yesterday.
- First of all some praise for Kevin Keegan and his staff â€“ a lot of our players from last season like Milner and Duff as examples, looked a yard faster and much sharper, and this has to go down to the coaching abilities and enthusiasm installed in them by Kevin and his people.
- Shay Given kept us in the game in those first 20 minutes with at least 3 fabulous saves, and it looks like he is back to his very best after two seasons of groin misery.
Itâ€™s a real pity for Steve Harper, who showed just how good he is last year â€“ but at least both of them are still serving the club.
- Probably the player who caught the eye most was Jonas Gutierrez â€“ what a game this lad had. His bursting runs down the left wing and straight at the Man United defense looked really good, and teams will have to watch out since hs comes packed with real skill and ability. And didnâ€™t he help out in defense! Compare his way of playing with Laurent Robert – no comparison.
- Our central defense looked safe and secure. Steven Taylor had a great game and Coloccini did amazingly well for somebody who hadnâ€™t even played this season, and this was his first game in the Premier League too. We need another central defender in (maybe) but Taylor and Coloccini will be great together on this showing.
- Two players who may have gone unheralded were Nicky Butt ands Danny Guthrie, who held their own in central midfield. Danny Guthrie never gave the ball away and heâ€™s such an important cog now in this Newcastle wheel. What a great signing this boy looks like.
- Oba Martins scored a great goal, and could have even had the winner when he had a similar chance in the second half, but he seemed surprised the ball got to him and he headed over the bar. But Oba will be a top man for Kevin Keegan, and he will not be second best this season to anybody – that’s good.
- James Milner and Damien Duff again had good games and look a yard faster (at least) than last season. Duff is buzzing again, and it seems Kevin can play them in different positions on the wing or up front. Duff started as a striker and performed well once again, and he will be available on one of the wings once Owen and Viduka return to the team.
- The team work and team spirit displayed by the lads was first rate â€“ and the biggest surprise was how well the team has gelled. They knew exactly what they had to do and set about it well, right from the start.
This team could surprise a lot of people this season â€“ but oops â€“ getting carried away a little.
But credit where credit is due â€“ the lads were fantastic!
Now we have to give that display week in week out this season â€“ and success will almost be guaranteed.