Bobby Moncur has talked well of both Danny Guthrie and James Perch today.
Bobby Moncur – his comments are always sensible
Since we lost Tiote and Ba to the African Cup of Nations after the Manchester United game, the only time we really missed our African players were in the two games in London, when we were hammered 5-2 at Fulham and 5-0 last Saturday at White Hart Lane.
And of course Ba and Cisse played in the game last Saturday.
The only other time we lost a game was in the FA Cup, but there was no way we should have lost at Brighton, and we’ll put that down to bad luck.
And in the other four games we won – against Blackburn in the FA Cup and then against QPR, Blackburn and Aston Villa in the league, although for the Villa game we did have Ba and Cisse playing, and they scored two excellent goals.
And we had the added difficulty of losing Yohan Cabaye for the last three games, and that hasn’t helped much either.
In the games that Cheick Tiote has been away we won four and lost three – and that was since the demolition of Manchester United at St. James’ Park by a score of 3-0 – I get that one in whenever I can – you may have noticed that.
Bobby Moncur has thought the lads who have come in have done well, and we agree with Bobby on that.
This is what the former Newcastle captain said today:
“It’s great that Tiote and Cabaye are back.” “But I think it’s unfair to say that United have missed them badly.”
“Most of the results while they’ve been out have been good, and Danny Guthrie and James Perch were tremendous against Blackburn and Aston Villa.”
“Tiote and Cabaye are probably first-choice when they’re available, they’re key players.” “Against a top, top side like Tottenham, you can probably get away with being without one.”
“Two is a different matter.” “But you can’t blame Guthrie and Perch, that was just one of those days.”
“They’re important parts of the squad and it would be disrespectful to them to suggest that United have struggled without the so-called bigger names.“
Moncur’s comments are always sensible and he makes some good points, but of course he was a hugely experienced player and a great Newcastle captain and center-back in his day.
We do think both Danny Guthrie and James Perch did themselves no harm while playing for Newcastle while the African stars and Cabaye were out.
And James Perch amazed some of us with his excellent performances at Brighton, Blackburn and at home to Aston Villa, and he’s come good this season - and that’s to his great credit.
Newcastle need more players like Guthrie and Perch in the squad, who can come into the side and get the job done while the bigger names are out for whatever reason, and it’s well done to Perch and Guthrie for doing that.
It’s very hard to blame the two of them for the debacle at Spurs last week, because some of our big name players were just hopeless in that game.
If Newcastle can bring in some good players this summer to replace those who will leave – like Peter Lovenkrands, Alan Smith, Tamas Kadar, Xisco (we hope), Fraser Forster, Steve Harper and Nile Ranger – then we could even have a top four side next season.
Maybe the more accurate way of putting that is we’ll try for a top four position next season.
If Newcastle can retain their high position in the league and finish in 6th place or even 7th in mid-May - then the goal in the summer is to improve the squad, so that we can challenge for a top four position next season.
We’re sure that’s exactly what Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley are thinking.
But of course first of all we have to finish high up in the league this season, over the final 13 games, that’s the immediate test – and yes, we still have to keep our feet on the ground.
But if Newcastle keep up the progress they have shown over the last 12 months, a top four finish is not beyond the realm of possibility next season.
Some would say we could be a top four side this season.
Howay The Lads!!