Shay Given is witnessing Joe Kinnear and Chris Hughton put together an excellent defense in front of the Irishman, and this must be coming as some kind of shock to the brilliant goalkeeper, who has never been so well protected in his time on Tyneside.
Shay Given – this is all so puzzling to Shay
Shay talked about the new look defense today and was even able to talk about clean sheets:
“I can’t remember the last time we kept three clean sheets in three away games,” “It certainly hasn’t happened very often in my time at the club, but it’s a good record to have.”
“It’s a credit to the team. We’re working really hard when we lose the ball, and we’re keeping a really good defensive shape.”
“The defenders will get a lot of the plaudits, and rightly so, but the boys in midfield are giving them a really good hand and even the front two are helping to defend as well.”
“It’s a whole team effort and it’s fantastic. The more clean sheets you keep, the better chance you have of winning games.”
“If you can have a settled team and a settled back four, it does help everyone. You know each other better and you can build up an understanding.”
“I don’t think it’s any coincidence that for the last three clean sheets we’ve kept, we’ve had the same back four.”
Well Shay certainly seems pleased about the whole thing.
But this also has to be a little frightening for Shay, one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier league, that there are signs that Newcastle really are putting a good defense together in front of him, for the first time in his 11 years at the club.
They all looked terrific against Portsmouth, and Shay is right when he says the lads are all working for each other – it’s called team work, and it’s something that Joe has been very successful at, in his short 3 months at the club.
We cannot get too carried away, and our bubble may burst on Sunday, because things are just looking a little too good right now.
And of course what we usually do as a club, when the expectations rise like they have done this week, and things look to be going well, is that we put in a real bad performance, just to bring the fans thumping back to reality.
But if we play well and get all 3 points tomorrow, we may even have to start taking our side seriously, because we may be even better than we thought.
Wouldn’t that be something!