Yes, it’s early days yet – but the way Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa performed last night, and we’ll include Mathieu Debuchy too – these new French players brough into the club this month are fast becoming extremely popular on Tyneside, and that may be putting it mildly.
Papiss Cisse congratulated – after scoring first goal
For the first 45 minutes last night everybody could see why 23 year-old Moussa Sissoko has been compared and likened to the great Patrick Vieira, the former Arsenal stalwart, and he gave a commanding display in the middle of the park for Newcastle.
And Moussa also managed to brilliantly set up the first goal for Papiss Cisse, when he got the ball from the left, and with a few steps got away from his marker and immediately stroked the ball through to Papiss Cisse who did the rest – and the ball was in the back of the net.
And then another Frenchman – and perhaps Newcastle’s next captain – Yohan Cabaye – scored a simply brilliant second goal and Newcastle were 2-0 up after half an hour and for once we managed to survive a tremendous come back in the second half by Villa, who were applauded off the field by their fans after a magnificent and gutsy display in that second half.
But Newcastle were up to it last night, and after showing great skill in the first half our new French arrivals – Sissoko, Gouffran and Yanga-Mbiwa, who was brought on for his debut in the second half – helped the side gut it out for the win.
There’s no doubting the great team spirit that exists in the squad – even after a terrible run of results since early November – but if our lads can keep fighting like this – and show the flowing football they showed in that first half – we should be able to climb to safety this season. and that’s job number one.
Great performance last night from almost every single Newcastle player – but there’ still an awful lot of work to do.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org