If Newcastle can get back into the big time, it will be a different type of side that brings Newcastle some success, in contrast to the sides we’ve had since the Kevin Keegan era.
Gary Neville while at Manchester United
Who’s that guy behind him?
When Newcastle were flying high in the first Keegan era, Newcastle were never accused of having a good defense, and their plan was simply to score more goals than the opposition, and that 4-3 defeat at Liverpool is still considered the greatest Premier League game ever played.
But as former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said on Sky Sports last night, Newcastle did everything right at Stoke, and the defense played great, and that’s the big difference from previous great Newcastle sides, they now have a foundation of an excellent defense under manager Alan Pardew.
It’s the best defense in the football league so far with just 7 goals conceded in the 10 league games played so far this season, and that’s just one goal better than Manchester City.
In fact Gary said some good things about Newcastle after the game, and he’s gone up in our estimation now.
Newcastle showed fight, solidity and not a little bit of skill last night, but Alan Pardew has to take some plaudits for the way he set the team up to defend stubbornly, but also kept two men up front in Ba and Best.
Newcastle attacked Stoke quickly on the break, and it worked like a treat in that first half, when two quick breakaways saw two Ba goals and Newcastle were 2-0 up at the half, with assists from Gabriel Obertan and Leon Best.
Then in the second half the question was could Newcastle hold on, as Stoke came much more into the game, and they got one back on 74 minutes with a penalty from Jonathan Walters.
Stoke came at Newcastle with everything they had, but then a huge decision gave Newcastle a penalty on 80 minutes, and Demba Ba, who else, slammed the penalty home to give Newcastle a fantastic 3-1 win and his second hat-trick in five games.
And that’s 8 goals in five games since the Senegal striker opened his account just five games ago against Blackburn Rovers.
Not a bad start to his Newcastle career and it’s really hard to find a player last night in Newcastle colors, who did not have a good game, and every single one of them worked their socks off for the side, in a great display of closing down the opposition, especially in that first half.
It’s got to be upward and onward from now on, but we’ll take it one game at a time and next up is a tough fixture with Everton at home, in a lunchtime kick off game.
A win in that game and we could go second if Manchester United don’t beat Sunderland in their game, but if recent Sunderland form is anything to go by the Black cats could get hammered in that game.
But Newcastle are flying high at the moment, and we just want it to continue.