Are Newcastle Improving In The Premier League?

We were hammered in our first game at Old Trafford 3-0, and in that game we were simply outclassed by a much better side, and the result could have been a  lot worse.

Chris Hughton – making Newcastle a more professional side

That’s the truth of it, but it  could be a lot different now, if Newcastle were to visit Old Trafford, and after our away performances at Everton, West Ham and Arsenal, we’re quite sure that Chris Hughton would go there looking for a win.

That might seem like an outrageous statement, but that’s just exactly what Chris did at the Emirates on Sunday, and started two strikers, and came away with a well deserved 3 points, and a superb performance against Arsenal.

Very different from when Sam Allardyce was at the club, as he would have parked two double-decker buses in the penalty area at the Emirates, and come away with a defeat.

But in life, and in football,  you very often get exactly what you expect,  and if you go in for the win, then fortune often favors the brave, which is what happened on Sunday with Newcastle United.

And Chris is surprising a lot of people with his brave team selections, and don’t ever accuse the Newcastle manager of playing a defensive kind of game – he wants to win every single game, and surely that cannot be too bad.

Newcastle are now 5th in the Premier League,  but the last three wins will mean nothing at all, once the game with Blackburn starts tomorrow night, and it could well be that Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn will play a defensive kind of game,  and make if hard for Newcastle to break through.

But Chris will be drumming that into the players, as he makes them into a much more professional side where neither wins nor defeats affects them mentally, but they simply go into the next game, and try mightily to win it – and get all 3 points.

And the lads are also in full swing right now, and no doubt will again play an attacking formation, but we’re not saying this game will be easy, by any means, but we must still try to wrap up all 3 points.

Chris was asked today whether the form and 5th place of Newcastle, may have surprised a few  people this season, and Chris said:

“Yes – and I think that would probably be the same for all three teams who got promotion.” “It is tough when you come into this division having been out of it.”

“And the expectations on all three teams are that you will work your way into the division and learn about the division, and hopefully get stronger as it goes on.”

“That’s very much how the division is. There are some real surprise results – us going to the Emirates would be a surprise result, West Brom going there certainly would be and Blackpool, the results they have got.”

It seems what Chris said is exactly what Newcastle did those first 8 games, when we had just 8 points, and in some games we were inconsistent, and lost points against Blackpool and Stoke at home, when we expected 6 points and got absolutely nothing.

But the manager also said that the lads had to learn quickly as the season progressed, and quite a few of our players seem to be doing exactly that, and lads like Williamson, Simpson  and Barton have all improved this season.

Newcastle’s big strength is the way they play as a team, and the way they all support and fight for each other, and if we can show that great tenacity tomorrow night and will to win against Blackburn Rovers, then  there’s no reason why we can’t extend our winning streak to 4 games – none at all.

Howay The Lads!!

33 comments so far

  • Nojdani

    Nov 9, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #1

    Never change a winning team

  • Captain Beefheart

    Nov 9, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #2

    (1 ctd) …except when it has just beaten Accrington Stanley.

  • Chris F

    Nov 9, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Comment #3

    i wouldn’t say we set out with an especially attacking mentality of Arsenal, we just had a clear gameplan which every player knew their part in.

    that’s how the best coaches work, it’s not necessarily just about going out there with the aim of hammering a team by a few goals, it’s looking at and identifying their weaknesses, and exploiting them, which is exactly what Hughton had us do on sunday.

    we were solid across the back, composed on the ball in midfield, and the front two ran an admittedly shoddy arsenal defence ragged.

  • G

    Nov 9, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #4

    I wouldn’t have said we played particularly well at Arsenal, that’s not to say we were bad, we weren’t, we just weren’t great either. I would stick with the same team and formation as long as its possible against any competition, regardless of who they are. Fat Sam will try to frustrate us, and no doubt Joey Barton can expect some ‘special attention’ from the Blackburn defence (who according to SA are not dirty!). I suspect we will go looking for the win and will get it, and deservedly so.

  • G

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Comment #5

    Off subject a bit, but I thought I would share, found this pic using stumbleupon, and I have to say this looks like the most impressive ground I have ever seen. Anybody know where it is?

  • CT

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #6

    Important we score first against B`burn, otherwise it will be difficult!
    Same side/formation and I think 3–1.
    Shola(Pen), Carrol,Nolan.

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #7

    @G – Im guessing from the flags on the fence and from the looks of it, its somewhere in the alps in Switzerland 🙂

  • Colombus

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #8

    I completely agree with what you’re writing Chris F. We stuck to our plan and I have to say that I am deeply impressed by our new aquisition Tiote. I mean, how good is he really!? He must be worth triple of what we payed by now and I think he just keeps improving. He has added a completely new dimension to our defense because he has the ability to both break down the opponents attacks and to start a break down from our own half. And the best part, he spreads safety alongside our back four as they now play with an accurate and comfortable passing-style far superiour to anything I have seen from a NUFC-defense in a long time. I think he is the main key to our success the last 3 games, alongside the brilliant Houghtons game plan.

    The only thing that I think we are in lack of right now is a hyper-fast forward to play alongside Carroll. Ameobi really doesn’t give enough when it comes to the running-bit against the top 5 teams. I think a Moussa Sow (Lille) for excample would be brilliant up top with Carroll in these games.

  • Thump

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #9

    I remember reading about that G. Iirc it’s a training ground in the Swiss alps (thinner atmosphere and all that jazz). Can’t remember the bleeding name of it though

  • G

    Nov 9, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #10

    If it comes to you, let me know, I have to go there. I just want to see the faces of the players when they inevitably kick a ball over that fence and the argument kicks off about who has to fetch it!

  • Jondab

    Nov 9, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Comment #11

    I think the big plus this season has also been the performance of Shola & how composed he looks on the ball, he has really improved.

  • GeordieGerman

    Nov 9, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #12

    Here’s hoping for a draw at White Hart Lane

  • JSYproject

    Nov 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #13

    not only are we improving IN the premier league, but we are improving the premier league its self.

  • cupiddstunt

    Nov 9, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #14

    Columbus what’s this obsession with a super fast striker??????????????

    We have a scoring record bettered only by chelski, arsenhole and manure,

    We have a forward line that I doubt many defences in the EPL are looking forward to facing.

    When big lad and bigger lad are not scoring they are knocking the defences around so much they are making gaping holes for the likes of Nolan to step in and score, and yet you appear to be obsessed with fixing what is not broken.

    We have a fast mobile striker in loverboy and he is not getting a look in and maybe there is a reason for that.

    So ok lets take what is not broken and change it for something that may or may not work since we have a surplus of points which we can afford to mess around with.

    I think you will find a lot of the “hyperfast” forwards types you are thinking of have a tendency to play with the head down and is that what we need?

  • Charlietoon

    Nov 9, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #15

    Anyone seen that twat Daffy? Geez he was talking a lot of crap before the Arse game

  • G

    Nov 9, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #16

    I suspect he’s been booted from the blog Charlietoon. To be honest he was just another little attention seeker looking for a reaction from us. My guess is he was aged about 14 – 16, a virgin, no friends at school, and speaks out on actions he knows nothing about. He clearly knew nowt about football did he. Bet his names Justin or something too?

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Nov 9, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #17

    If we had changed to 4-4-2 earlier we had we further up the table but I’m glad Hoots finally realized that 🙂

  • rodgeytoon

    Nov 9, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #18

    it will be interesting to see what happens when Chris makes changes to the team and how we will cope. he will have to give smtih, taylor, campbell, lovenkrands and more a decent run. great to see this 11 is playing so well and having strongs subs for a change. we need to keep the subs sharp too for when the 1st 11 is hit with injuries and lets not forget the xmas games.

  • balubas1

    Nov 9, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #19

    North Atlantic Magpie:

    oh… ok.. so you had it all figured out all along.. Idiot…

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Nov 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #20

    Yes, a long time ago, balubas1!

  • Thump

    Nov 9, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #21

    I don’t think he has G, probably crying that his sole defence was “look at the table!” when we had a game in hand – hope he’s looked at it recently.

    @balubas1: but he’s right, we were all screaming for 4-4-2 and it was only when CC left that we really utilised it and just look at the results we’ve had from it.

    What I don’t like is people saying “we should have been at 4-4-2!” when they were praising results we had when we were playing 4-5-1.

  • Brutooon

    Nov 10, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #22

    Put Perch at the Bench
    Put Routledge at the Bench
    Put Alan Smith at the Benh

    Result = third win in a row, and more to come

  • balubas1

    Nov 10, 2010 at 6:33 AM

    Comment #23

    Whats wrong with Routledge???????????? I don’t especially what him to start, but I love having him as an option in the squad… so Brutoon.. what wrong with hi?? you’ve slated him before also.

  • balubas1

    Nov 10, 2010 at 6:36 AM

    Comment #24

    Thump: what I don’t like is morons indirectly saying they are smarter than CH and should manage NUFC. Just gives me another reason to leave this blog.. there are so many idiots on here. so many people that jump to conclusions and dont really have any knowledge about football.

  • Brutooon

    Nov 10, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    Comment #25

    balubas1 : i m saying keep routledge at the bench, not out of the squad.

    Routledge is fast, pacey but he need to improve his game in the premierleague. he need to learn from lennon or walcott.

  • Lew Davies

    Nov 10, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Comment #26

    The answer to the headline question “Are Newcastle Improving In The Premier League?” is obviously yes, but the real answer will come after tonights match. After back to back wins, can Hoots keep the lads going on a cold wednesday evening against dour opposition who will come with a plan to bore us all to death at best? Judging by joey’s comments after the arsenal game, there will be a plan in place, and I think we can destroy them.
    I think Jonas will play more attacking than he did at emirates, and could be the key. However our great defence mustn’t switch off, as B’burn do have some good players who can score goals.
    2-0 to us then.

  • Lew Davies

    Nov 10, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #27

    Balubas – just ignore them man. Dont rise to their bait. They come and they go. Life’s too short.
    Keep the Faith.

  • aoOjee

    Nov 10, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #28

    balubasi, im totally behind you. its redicilous listening to some people on here giving CH “lessons” about how to manage this club. “CH should have played 4-4-2 from the start, then we would have been top of the league”. So easy to be a wise ass after the games have been played aint it?

  • G

    Nov 10, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #29

    I am actually quite amused by some of the ‘so-called’ management experts on here. A quick game of Football Manager 2010 / 2011 and they know the lot apparently? I can’t remember who it was but on a thread recently on F365 forum somebody recommended some obscure East European player to sign for the toon, then somebody else corrected him that the player in question had been killed in a car accident a year earlier… quality (The retort, not the accident… obviously!).

  • Mat

    Nov 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #30

    We were not outclassed by a Man U team in my eyes. We WERE outclassed by a Fresh Paul Scholes who had time and space to influence. in that game Smith played CDM and had little affect on the little wizard.
    If newcastles new Cheik ‘the Cheif’ Tiote was playing i doubt scholes would have had the time to have as big an affect on the game. similar to the job he did on snuffing out Cesc and Wilsh in the arse game.
    this is something Smith simply cant do.

    CH is our savior, not one other manager could have done what he has done for the club so i do think people should get off his back a bit and see where he takes us; noone knows what the heights are yet.

  • North Atlantic Magpie

    Nov 10, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #31

    Spot on Thump. We started playing 4-4-2 after CC left. Now that’s interesting.

  • bobby_ollox

    Nov 10, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #32

    Reading through the comments on here there are a couple of points.

    If 4-4-2 was the answer then everyone would play it all the time.

    If it was as simple as picking the best 11 players and putting shirts on them , then anyone could do it.

    Chris needs to know when to play 4-4-2 and when to adapt. When to capitalise on the opposition weakness by changing formation, when to surprise them with an unexpected lineup.

    He needs 2 or 3 gameplans, and he needs 14 or 15 players in that rotation. Without that this purple patch will evaporate very quickly.

  • balubas1

    Nov 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #33

    we could be playing 4-5-1 applying the same tactics.. wouldnt mean s**t. An attacking midfielder would have 99% the same role as Ameobi…

    stop the 4-4-2 revelation bulls**t.

    The main reason for our latest success is Barton RM role. How he moves both inside and outside for crosses, with Simpson coming up more also.
    It gives us a more total attacking option were we earlier relied solely on Guti/Jose. on the left.

    Barton cutting inside creates powerplay in midfield while Simpson fills the RM role in attack. When Barton plays RM, Simpson does well getting in his support.

    Our 2nd striker also supports in attack either side, but an attacking midfielder would do the same job, only with more defensively responsibilities.

    The only thing I will agree on is that we got more power and precense in the box with Ameobi along with Carroll in 4-4-2


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