Leon Best got the job done for Newcastle on Sunday, when with the one chance he got during the game against QPR, he put the ball into the back of the net.
Leon Best scores the winner on Sunday
It was the kind of skill you hope for from a striker when it matters, as Leon got the ball in the box with a couple of QPR defenders in front of him.
But the 25-year-old Ireland international turned on a sixpence and poked the ball into the net in one slick movement with his right foot, and Newcastle were one up and Leon was ecstatic.
And as it turned out, with out defense again looking very solid, that’s all Newcastle needed to get 3 massive points and go level with Arsenal on 36 points for the season, from our 21 league games.
It was the first time Leon had scored since he got one at Villa Park in the 1-1 draw on 17th September, and you could tell from his reaction that he needed the goal.
This is what Leon said about the goal:
“It was due,” “I did need a goal.” “I didn’t beat myself up and get myself down, I knew it was a matter of time. But it was a nice goal and hopefully it will spur me on to many more.”
“Obviously, a striker likes to score every week, but if you are not scoring, then the main thing is to help the team and do something else and bring something else.”
“But I got the goal and the team got the three points, so it was a massive thing.”
Last year in the second half of the season Best stepped in brilliantly for Andy Carroll, when the big lad left for Liverpool, and Leon scored 6 goals in 12 appearances for the side.
His record is not that good this year but that’s now 4 goals in his 17 appearances this season and he’s second top scorer behind the 15 goals that the great Demba Ba has.
Goals for strikers are a little bit like buses, and they tend to come all together, so maybe Leon can get a goal on Saturday at Craven Cottage, but we hope he can keep scoring while Ba is off in the African Cup of Nations.
Alan Pardew has always had faith in the striker, and this is what Alan said about the Irishman:
“Leon has played a lot of games for us this year and we haven’t lost many when he has started,” “But it was good for him to get a goal. It’s good for his confidence and good for us.”
“It goes to show how good we are as a squad,” “Danny did very well – he got man of the match and he has done it a few times.
“He’s a very good player and sometimes, people don’t give him the respect he is due.” “He showed it today, and Hatem as well. When he came on, he did very, very well.”
“That’s what we are about. We are about the starting XI to do a job and the people who are coming on doing a job just as well.”
It was an excellent performance on many fronts from Newcastle on Sunday, and Leon got the goal and Santon, Guthrie and Ben Arfa all looked very good players in that famous black and white striped shirt.
And after the game this Saturday at Craven Cottage it looks like Newcastle will be getting some sun somewhere, as Alan had this to say:
“After Fulham, we are going to go away and get some sun on our backs.”
“It’s been a long Christmas program for us and we have had a good Christmas, really good, especially the back end of it, so I am really pleased at the minute.”
They did the same thing last year in late January, when they went off to Faro, Portugal for a few days.
But we remember it was wet and rainy when the lads were there last year, so we hope Alan will pick a spot where the weather will be a little better this time around.
The lads deserve a break, especially if they can take something out of the game at Fulham, and the next game will be the FA Cup 4th round tie the following weekend at Brighton or Wrexham.
And we should know who our opponents will be tonight, when Brighton travel to Wrexham for the third round replay.
We also need to win that 4th round tie, and who knows we could do very well in the FA Cup this year, and how long has it been since we won a trophy?