After two poor defensive performances at Fulham and at home to Wigan last week, who would have thought Newcastle would put in probably their best defensive performance of the season at Stamford Bridge yesterday and come away with a point?
Joe Kinnear – adding steel to Newcastle side
And while Chelsea had complete territorial advantage yesterday, the actual chances Chelsea were able to carve out were few and far between, and probably the best one was early in the game when Frank Lampard’s header was brilliantly saved by Shay Given, when most other goalkeepers would have been well beaten.
The central defensive pair of Coloccini and Bassong were sturdy to say the least, and the performance of 22 year-old Sebastien Bassong, says much for his future career at the club.
The youngster has loads of skill, but the thing that is impressive more than anything about the French youngster is his application and temperament, which was first class yesterday, in the heat of the battle.
And Argentine Fabricio Coloccini will be a much better player, as he gets more and more Premier league games under his belt, but the Argentine International was again colossal for Newcastle yesterday and had another memorable game – when it counted.
Newcastle were not at their strongest with England Under-21 captain Steven Taylor still missing, but the back four had excellent games, with Jose Enrique probably the only weakness. Jose has to stop giving the ball away when he gets possession, and if Joe is still here in January a left-back has to be a top target. Stephen Warnock would be great at Newcastle.
Indeed the organization and grit shown by this Newcastle side yesterday warmed the heart, and Joe and the Newcastle coaches certainly did a sterling job of getting the lads ready for this very tough game, when most Newcastle fans were afraid their team would be taken to the cleaners.
Kinnear has his critics, but if you like to see the Newcastle players giving their all, and fighting for the cause of Newcastle United, Joe’s an excellent manager to have at this difficult time for the club. And after his initial foul mouthed outburst, mainly to Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror for the rubbish Simon had wrote about him, Joe is surprisingly calm, polite and even subdued at his press conferences, but what comes across is he knows this game of football.
There’s not a lot of good news coming out of the negotiations with the American Consortiums, so it’s good that at least Joe is getting on with the job, not complaining, and putting some steel, courage and grit into this Newcastle side.
Well done Joe – and thanks.