Newcastle now are placed 6th in the Premier League table after an eventful and exiting batch of games today, which saw the Manchester United hammer hapless Arsenal 8-2, and Manchester City hammer Tottenham 5-1, so as the commentators said it’s Manchester 13 – London 3.
Alan Pardew congrartulates Leon Best this afternoon
But I’m not interested in either London or Manchester clubs, and cannot quite believe Newcastle have made such a good start to the season.
Once again today, the lads held on through times of adversity, especially in the first half (again), and came through in style to win against a more than decent Fulham side.
Fulham played some nice football and must have wondered how they could have been 2-0 down after 66 minutes, after Leon Best had scored his second goal, a brilliant effort, and the answer was that Newcastle took their chances in this game and Fulham didn’t.
This lad looks the part and now in his last 15 appearances he has 8 goals, and at least right now he is the number one striker at Newcastle, as he was ealerer this year.
Alan Shearer scored just slightly more than one goal every two goals in his career of over 700 games, but I’m not comparing Leon with the great Alan Shearer – but Leon can do a decent job for Newcastle – if he’s given a chance.
We shouldn’t get carried away too much either, because looking back on all four game so far this season, we’ve been really poor in the first half in each game, and could have lost each game before half time.
But we didn’t and three successive wins and a draw is not too bad a start at all.
And Alan Pardew was rightly a very happy man after the game:
“You have to pay credit to Fulham, in that first 15 minutes, they took the sting right out of us and we struggled in that period,”
“They kept the ball really well, they overloaded the midfield, but it was good that we managed to deal with that. We changed something a little, which worked for us, and I felt we started to dominate towards the end of the first half.”
“And then in the second half, I felt we were in control of the game up until the last ten minutes.” “We have won three games this week and in professional football, whatever level you are at, that’s good going,”
“We have used numerous players and they have all done a great job and as a football manager, that’s what you are after, everybody to contribute, and we have had that.
“We have got seven points out of a really tough programme and we are pleased with that.”
We’ve been concentrating on two things in the last few weeks, good players we don’t have and who we are trying to sign, and good players we don’t have because they have left the club.
But the lads who have played for Newcastle over the last four games have performed very well indeed, and the amazing thing to us is that the team spirit seems excellent, and the new lads coming in have to take a lot of credit for mixing in well.
But that becomes a lot easier when you want to be on Tyneside of course. Being 6th in the league should also assist the club in getting three new players in before the end of the transfer window.
And the two heroes today for Newcastle were Leon Best and Tim Krul – Leon for two excellently taken goals and Tim Krul for three wonderful reaction saves that kept Newcastle in the game in the second half.
We think Leon is still improving and today’s performance was just a follow-on for the way he played earlier this year.
Leon Best after scoring his first goal this afternoon
Alan Pardew was delighted with Best today:
“He’s a player who is trying to establish himself as a Premier League player,” “I never really worry about his confidence. He kind of has that in abundance, which is not a bad thing for a footballer.”
“I have known him for a long, long time and come up against him a couple of times and for me, he has never really had a run where he has said, ‘I’m the man’.
“He will get an opportunity now and he needs to prove it. He was unlucky last year, to be fair, because an injury came at a really bad time for him when he was doing fantastically.”
“He still needs to improve in some areas, but he was great today, especially in the second half.”
Leon can improve and he will improve, and he just needs to be given a good run in the side, and as he showed earlier this year, he’ll put the ball in the back of the net.
His two goals today were two typical opportunist goals, and the second, if it had been Ronaldo or Messi, people would have been raving about how he back-heeled the ball clear of the defenders, before smashing the ball past Schwarzer.
No – I’m not comparing our Leon with those two world-class players.
We now have two weeks to bask in the glory of 6th place, and three days to worry about whether we’ll get any players in before the end of the transfer window.
Howay The Lads!!