We’d hazard a guess that some Newcastle fans are having second thoughts about James Perch.
James Perch – in action against Tottenham earlier this season
In the last two games James has been one of Newcastle’s best players, and he literally changed the game in the second half on Wednesday night at Blackburn Rovers, when he allowed Newcastle to get a grip in central midfield.
It’s something that had been sorely missing in the first half, and given how over-run Newcastle were, it’s just a little surprising that manager Pardew didn’t make the change even earlier.
But somehow the lads hung on in that first half, and a big thank-you to goalkeeper Tim Krul, who had another great game in the Newcastle goal and saved a penalty just before the break, but also to Perch who was so solid in that second half.
And indeed James Perch could become a very important player for Newcastle, in the remaining 15 games left in the Premier League, when Newcastle have a chance to even qualify for Europe.
And it seems James has no intentions of leaving Tyneside, as he said today:
“I don’t know why you would want to leave here,” “You’d be me mad to leave a team that looks like it’s really going somewhere with the best fans in the country behind you.”
“Why would you want to go somewhere on loan, whether it was true or not? We saw it with Bestie not wanting to go to Celtic, and I don’t see why he would.”
“He’s playing at Newcastle in a good team. It’s exciting times at the moment here.”
And it’s hard to believe now, but there was even talk in the summer that Newcastle may struggle against relegation, because we had lost Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique in the summer, but Newcastle are in 5th place in the league right now.
Newcastle lost their four best players last year, including big Andy, and became a better team because of it – go work that one out.
Perch talked about those predictions:
“The people who talked about that are people you probably won’t see or hear now,” “We have stuffed that down their throats. We knew that in the dressing room that we had a good team and a good squad.”
“The togetherness of the squad’s unbelievable. This is what happens when you have a good squad and good belief.” “The fans are in on it too, and they came all the way to Blackburn on a cold Wednesday night.”
“It’s superb, you have to look at them and think ‘fair play, you’ve came a long way to support the boys’.” “We haven’t discussed league positions just yet,”
“We go game by game, and check the league table after it and move on to the next game. I’m sure we’ll look at it closer towards the end of the season to see where we are.”
“Even though we were under pressure at times, we still defended well,” said Perch. “It shows the courage of the lads – they were willing to put bodies in the way.”
“The information was to shore things up, and it was good to get on and be part of the win.”
There’s no doubt that Pardew and his coaching staff and the players have forged a terrific team spirit and winning mentality on Tyneside this season.
And it’s helped by the attitude of fringe players like James, Danny Guthrie, Ryan Taylor, Peter Lovenkrands and Gabby Obertan – and others we haven’t mentioned.
The Aston Villa game on Sunday will not be easy, but with 52,000 mad screaming Geordies behind you, anything seems possible at St. James’ Park these days.