It’s clear now, in the calmness after the game yesterday, that Newcastle could even have beaten Arsenal, after being 4-0 down after just 25 minutes.
Leon Best in action yesterday – he had a good second half
And it was interesting in one interview last night when an emotional Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, said we knew we were in trouble when we were 3-0 down after 25 minutes.
Bad news – it was actually 4-0. 😀
And he also said he would look back on this game in the years ahead, and talk about it with such pride – it looks like Alan is becoming indoctrinated on Tyneside – and that’s good to see.
And it’s not often we get a player interview the day after the game, but of course it was a very special game yesterday, and hopefully that second half can re-ignite Newcastle’s season, because it showed us that the tremendous team spirit and passion is till there with our lads – and that’s very important.
Leon Best scored an offside goal a minute before he scored Newcastle’s second – but it wasn’t offside, and Leon should have had two, and we could have won it 5-4, but hey we’ll take the point, and the lads just decimated the gutless Arsenal team.
Arsene Wenger needs a leader in that team, and they’ll lose more points this season, simply because they don’t have any guts and glory players in their side.
When the going gets tough, Arsenal players manage to disappear.
Leon talked about the game and this last week:
“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for me. I’ve scored the hat-trick against West Ham and scored a goal now against Arsenal.””With everything that’s happened in the week, with Andy leaving, Shola being injured, everyone saying we need a striker, we need this, we need that – we showed today that no matter what’s happened in the week, we’re still together as a team.:”
“And we scored four in the second half after being down 4-0 against one of the best teams in the Premiership.” “That first goal wasn’t offside, so it could have been two goals for me against Arsenal. ” “I just need to keep plucking away and scoring the odd goal here and there to help the team. Never mind goals for myself, it’s about helping the team and doing it for the team.”
“Everything’s about the team and I think against Arsenal it was a proper team effort. We weren’t like individual players out there – we were like brothers on the pitch. We were doing everything for each other and working hard for each other. No matter what went on in the first-half, we didn’t turn on each other.”
“There wasn’t anyone who was giving up or sulking. We never stopped working and I’ve got the utmost respect for every member of the team and staff.” “In the first half, it was like nothing at all was going for us. We were 2-0 down after two or three minutes and it was the worst start we could have possibly had. The first half was so hard. We couldn’t get anywhere near them and it was just a matter of chasing.”
“It felt like even when we were chasing, nothing was happening and it was a matter of keeping trying hard. At half-time the manager said ‘keep going and give everything.’ And what happened next shows what we have as a team; commitment, work-rate, desire.” “I just think we respect each other so much. We never give up and we broke a team like Arsenal down to get a draw from 4-0 down.”
“The goals they scored happened so quickly, and obviously things like that happen against teams like Arsenal. It should have never happened, we should never have conceded goals like that. But when you play a second half like that, you can forget about the first.” “The fans here are our 12th man and we need them,” “We did get booed off in the first half and to be fair, we deserved it. But as soon as we got the first goal, they got behind us.”
“They saw that we were trying and they stuck behind us from the off. And when you’re players on the pitch, that gives you the confidence to keep going, even when things are going wrong. It shows how important they are.”
Leon came through nicely in the second half, and could have had a couple more goals even, with just a little bit of luck.
But the way Newcastle dominated Arsenal in the air in those final 25 minutes, we don’t think Alan needs to change the tactics too much.
Young Nile Ranger can take over the battering ram role that Andy used to play, and if anything Nile is even more physical than Andy, and this boy could be some player in a couple of years, if he works hard and does exactly what Alan tells him top do.
But it was an amazing last 45 minutes which is bringing the Newcastle club stacks and stacks of terrific press today.
One question we have, is how bad is Leon’s hamstring injury, and of course he’s been withdrawn from the Ireland squad for Wednesday night’s game.
And an update today, that Birmingham beat West Ham 1-0 at Upton Park, so West Ham are now rock bottom and Birmingham move up the table, and Newcastle are now 5 points above the drop zone.
We need to get 11 points as soon as we can get them.
Howay The Lads!!