Danny Simpson has played very well since he returned to the Newcastle right back spot, and Newcastle have registered two good wins in beating West Ham in London and then hammering Sunderland last Sunday, since he’s returned.
Danny Simpson - about to attack Darren Bent last Sunday
This is a big season for the Salford-born player, who was signed for around £500K from Man United last January, and played very well in his first season on Tyneside last season.
But that was in England’s second division, and now Danny has a great chance to prove that he is indeed a top class player capable of playing consistently well in the English Premier league.
The next chance Danny has to show what he’s made off, is in the tough game at Arsenal tomorrow afternoon, when Newcastle manager Chris Hughton may well decide to keep the same team that beat Sunderland last Sunday, and play in an attacking 4-4-2 formation.
This is what Danny said this morning:
“We go to Arsenal with a positive mentality that we can get something there,” “You are going to have highs and lows in the course of a season. We have spoken about that quite a lot.”
“We are capable of beating a top-four side and then losing to a team in the bottom eight. That is what we have learnt especially after the Aston Villa game. We then lost at home to Blackpool.”
“You have got to accept there is going to be some inconsistency. We might go two or three games without winning, but we have to stay together.”
“When things are going wrong, the response shows how strong we are as a squad. We have always managed to pull out a performance at times like that.”
Chris Hughton’s big task at Newcastle right now is to get the lads to play more consistently and we have to think he has got them back to earth after their terrific display of last Sunday afternoon, when they were just far too good for Sunderland.
But that was then and this is now, and Arsenal of course are a much better team than Sunderland.
But the players will have been told by Chris so many times in the last week, that they have to keep up their good form tomorrow, and not get carried away about what happened last time out.
Whether he will be successful in getting another good performance out of the lads tomorrow we have no idea, but obviously that’s the goal.
“We want to prove that we are back as a Premier League club and anything else is a bonus. At the start of the season, we’d have taken 17th – that would have meant survival. Obviously, we have set ourselves targets like any team does.”
“If we stay in the Premier League next season we will be happy – but we are capable of much more than that now. At the moment we are seventh so I’m not saying we would take 17th right now.”
“The way we think now and the way we have performed, we know we can do much better than that.” “We are not getting carried away with seventh place. You have got to be realistic and it is a tough league. But we got out of the Championship and we are in a much tougher league.”
“The way some of the players are performing we know we can end up a lot higher than 17th. We have talked about the highs and lows of a season. If you lose two games, you are right there at the bottom again as it is so tight.”
“This time last year, we were losing at Scunthrope and Forest. At that point we were flying and I think our fans thought we would never lose a game.”
“Just because we are Newcastle we cannot just turn up and expect to win but that experience last season will only help us at places like Arsenal. Every challenge we have had so far this season we have risen to it. We know the standards we now have to reach.”
Good words from Danny, and we have to hope the lads do their talking on the field tomorrow, just like they did last time out, but this time against one of the top sides in Europe.
For the record, Danny has now played 43 times for Newcastle with a single goal, and if he can maintain his form of the last two games, James Perch will have a difficult job of forcing himself back into the side at right back – that’s for sure.