Four Days In January That Have Transformed Newcastle


In four days of last month – Tuesday, January 22nd though Friday, January 25th – could be four days Newcastle fans will want to remember, because that’s when Newcastle amazingly brought in four top Frenchmen – Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko – and already the middle two of those four French players are giving Newcastle a new look – a great new look.

moussa sissoko debut aston villa

Moussa Sissoko – maybe the pick of the bunch in January?

Yoan Gouffran has skill and speed and seems to fit perfectly into the now free-flowing Newcastle side, who pass the ball about nicely, and gone is that high ball lofted into the penalty box.

Indeed Yohan Gouffran plays very well with Papiss Cisse, who is again Newcastle’s main man, and he is getting chances from the creative play of players like Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko, and he scored a nice goal at Aston Vila, and could have had more in the first half against Chelsea on Saturday.

Before these last two league games, Newcastle had gone 13 league games with 10 losses and one draw – and we had to put up with the ignominy of losing to Reading for the first time ever at St,. James’ Park – after seven previous wins.

That r of 13 league games must be one of the worst runs in Newcastle’s Premier League history.

But suddenly things have been turned around, and there’s even some hope that the five players brought in last month – French International right back Mathieu Debuchy was the other player brought in early in January – have transformed Newcastle into a very good side.

Of course it’s only two wins, and we still have 13 cup finals to go and cannot get too carried away, and we must still ensure we are a Premier League side next season.

But when you consider that we now have players like Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux, Dan Gosling, Gabby Obertan and Shola Ameobi who cannot make the starting eleven at Newcastle, then it seems at last we have some strength in depth.

And we also have Cheick Tiote on his way back from South Africa and Ben Arfa a couple of weeks away from returning from his hamstring strain.

And the way Newcastle have played these last two games, we’ve looked a different side from the previous three months, a much better side, and we’ve looked as good as we were last season – at our best.

So there is definitely hope that we have the makings of a very good side – and as long as we can keep our best players on Tyneside over the summer months, we should be able to make a challenge for a top six or even top four place next season

We still need another top class striker, and maybe one or two more players to fill out the squad – like Siem de Jong, the Ajax captain, and perhaps we can clear out some of the fringe players who are not going to make it at Newcastle in the summer.

mathieu debuchy yes

one through the door

mapou yanga-mbiwa with shirt

two through the door

yoan gouffran number 11

three through the door

Massadio Haïdara.

four through the door

moussa sissoko on the quayside

five through the door

And the name (the brand) of Newcastle United has taken a beating in the last three months or so – but now the lads have a chance to climb that table and maybe have a great finish to the Premier League season – and as Alan Pardew says – maybe we can replicate what Everton did last season.

In Everton’s last 15 league games they got 27 points and finished 7th top on 56 points. In our first 23 games we had 21 points, so if we replicate what Everton did last year we’ll end up with 48 points – which would have got us into 10th place last season.

But we’ve already got 6 points from our first two games of the last 15 – so maybe we can even do better than Everton did last season – but in any case it seems the top ten should now be the target (at least) this season

And after all the points we have given up in the first 23 games – win and more wins are what we need – and maybe we can shock some people (including ourselves) through the end of the season.

And I never even mentioned the Europa League – and we must stand a decent chance of advancing further in that competition, although the Premier League is by far the highest priority.

But there’s some optimism in the Newcastle camp these days – and it seems well founded – and thanks to everybody involved in getting the players onto Tyneside last month – Mike Ashley, Derek LLambias, Alan Pardew, Lee Charnley and of course, our number one talent spotter – the incomparable Graham Carr.

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231 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #1

    Oh yeah and there was that debuchy bloke as well ha ha well done ED.

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  • Tsunki

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #2

    I think theres an error in the banner – Simpsons eyes are open.

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  • coatesy17

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Comment #3

    can someone tell me who the person is immediately to pards’ right on the banner? i have been trying to work it out, i can only think it is bigi but it doesnt really look like him? i feel a right tool asking!

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #4

    Repost If we beat the Spuds then we can really begin a surge up the table. Last two games we’ve looked confident but still a little shaky (understandably). Winning away from home will be huge, I don’t think we should move Sissoko further down the pitch, as we may have discovered his best position, besides Cabaye has the defensive prowess. It will certainly be a midfield battle and with our physical presence hopefully we can win it and really get going.

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #5

    Not a fan of Simpson as a footballer, but he didn’t deserve to get his head bashed in. He’d be a good acquisition for someone like Stockport County or Oldham.

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #6

    Kets we turned down a bid from Wigan for Simmo, pretty sure he will find a Pl club next season.

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  • Toon1978

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #7

    Great week, great signings. Cabaye really know’s the supporters and the club. I really think this bloke should be captain sooner rather then later.

    http://www.newcastleunited-mad.co.uk/news/tmnw/sissoko__cabaye_told_me_to_thank_the_fans_782073/index.shtml?

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #8

    Yeah he’l be find, he’s homegrown, thus good to have in your squad and for me a decent choice replacement left back. For a promotion challenging championship side, as he was originally for us, he is a decent player.

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #9

    *fine

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  • croftus5678

    Feb 4, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #10

    @3 bigirimana

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #11

    If he does do, he’ll be very poor for them. We should’ve accepted that. We only paid £1.8m for Sissoko. God knows why Wigan want Simpson, they have Boyce who’s 10 times the player.

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  • santonthenewmaldini

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Comment #12

    I actually have a feeling that we will beat Spurs providing we dont get any injuries from the International break

    Spurs look really vulnerable at the back and they like to play a high line which I think Sissoko, Cisse and Gouffran can get some joy against obviously we will need to keep an eye on Bale and Lennon as they tend to create the majority for Spurs

    I think Anita needs to come back in as he adds pace and quality on the ball it would allow us to man mark Bale as Perch and Tiote will not be able to deal with him in this free role that he has although they would maybe give him a better kicking that Anita

    Plus Anita and Cabaye will run rings around Parker making him look like the overrated has been that he is

    Plus if we do get the win on Sunday we will be above Sunderland!!!ha ha!!!

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  • Spuggy

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #13

    Ah I can post in mobile mode again!!

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #14

    Kets, maybe, but most people were glad to see Routledge go and he did pretty well for Swansea. Debuchy is better but Simmo is not the disaster many people think.

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  • Oldgit1

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #15

    Can someone please tell me what gutis role is or should I say position, he seemed to be playing all over the pitch in a free role. I recall a few years ago in the spl a team had a player and he was to run at a hundred miles an hour just in a nuisance role and harass the opposition players. The experiment was short lived as the player always ran out of steam after 50 or so minutes, so the experiment was short lived. However, gutis seems to last a lot longer and covers a lot of the pitch. Against Chelsea he was a winger, a striker and in midfield, plus a defender. This guy was brilliant, ok I accept his crosses were not perfect but havnt seen too many players with his level of energy. So I for one hail the man. A player that plays for nufc not for himself. Don’t want to hear a bad word from anyone on here i accept his faults but do not doubt his endeavour and passion.

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  • aidantoon

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #16

    This is defo a game we can win, I would start the same 11 who started the last game.
    Bale and Lennon are their threats but we now have players for them to worry about!
    Come on toon keep it going!

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  • Harley

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #17

    Great article.
    I totally believe a top half finish is more than possible. Stoke in 10th are only 3 points ahead of us. That has to be goal number one.
    There’s nothing unrealistic about us getting 7th, 8th, 9th.
    No one will fancy playing us at the minute.

    For next season I think only a couple will come on (we did our bulk buying in jan).
    Maybe out obertan, gosling, ranger, coloccini(if he still wants to), Simpson. Then a few youngsters moved out on loan.
    I think if we get a decent offer tiote will be moved on. But even getting rid of all of the oboe I can only see a striker and a winger to replace oba.

    I don’t think colo will be replaced as I think his replacement is already here. And with Simpson leaving we have plenty cover a right back.

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  • Lu-toon

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Comment #18

    Feel we are on the crest of a wave right now, and have the tools to beat spurs next game, to make things even better they will be missing key players.
    Think Pards will be right to stick with Collo as captain, as he might be a bit sensitive at the moment for not getting his move, but re-focused he is from Saturdays performance, so would be right not risk upsetting him as we need everyone on their game between now and end of season.

    Be interesting if we continue for rest of season where we left of from Chelsea, will Collo still want to go? If not and he wants to be part of what we are building, then was it truly down to personal problems.

    Anyhow come next season totally agree with the views than Cabbye must be made captain. He has everything, and is obviously highly respected, we would not have all the other French lads in without his resounding endorsements of the club

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #19

    Oldgit, Jonas looked much better on the right against Chelsea. I have defended him all season but ironically I was so impressed with Goofy on the left that I think when \HBA is back it will be hard to find a spot for Jonas..

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #20

    He’s worse than a disaster. Complete liability. Cannot believe he made a professional footballer. There’s nothing good about his game. Players like Bernard Mendy and Rod Fanni are miles ahead of Simpson.

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  • Mancgeordie

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #21

    Think we will win 1-2 at spurs on Saturday, reckon we probably have 1 off the best if not the best midfields in the prem now ans if we can get on a roll we could still catch anybody up to Liverpool if they drop off

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Jonas just works and works, and he can barely do that anymore. Great header against Chelsea mind.

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #23

    Bernard Mendy- That made me chuckle.

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  • tequilamag

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Kets Simmo has struggled this season but so have most of the squad. Last season he was part of a defence that kept 15 clean sheets. Now Xisco was a disaster

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  • Mancgeordie

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #25

    I can see Jonas being our man brought on at the end of games like last 10 minutes to see it out abit of experience to see the win through

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  • Pardews Parsnip Bonce

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #26

    @kets you really are as crazy as a box of crazy things wrapped up in a straightjacket. and for that i love you

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  • JackButler

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #27

    The second the last ball is kicked this season Ashley must be strapped to a chair and made to watch the Reading game over and over again then he must be made to watch the Chelsea game just to remind him of what can be done when the pure strings are cut and we enter into the market

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  • hatem786

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Comment #28

    ED

    can you plzzzzzzzzzzzzz change the banner now..i want to see picture of sissoko and goufi and mbiwa…thanks…

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  • cyprus

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #29

    First post since game… boy that goal meant a lot to Guti! Why? I think, like we all do, he’s been sneaking a peak at papers and blogs and realised how easily fans can turn on you. Ask poor Ba! From hero to zero, felt for the lad but such is the game with all its riches. Now, AP will really have to do his best in handling all the players and keeping them happy. Will Mapou accept playing second fiddle? Where’s Tiote and HBA going to fit? Anyway, at least we won’t depend on Obertan and Ameobi to turn a game. And how about Marveaux, Anita? What is out best starting 11? Does anyone know? Congrats to the lads for turning a game around for the first time since AP’s arrival.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #30

    hatem786

    the new banner is up mate

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  • Lucky Les

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #31

    With reference to Santon post 12 after an awful season we finally find a team and formation that wins 2games in a row one against the European Champions do you really believe other than for injury the manager will change the team.

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  • Oldgit1

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #32

    Loving this blog no nastiness everybody ready for a group hug. I have watched the Chelsea match over and over, now watch it before I go to bed, I sleep a lot better. Things look so much better now.

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  • Ketsbaia9

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Comment #33

    Mendy was a beast. Great player with accelerating pace. Simpson and Willo were the reasons why we didn’t get into the top 3 last season. Too many mistakes cost us games. The same has happened this season. If Simmo and Willo weren’t replaced, we’d be heading straight back into the championship.

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  • check the toastie

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #34

    At the weekend would man to man Bale, play Perchy or Anita and tell them when we lost the ball get as close to Bale as possible as quick as possible, forget about anybpdy else, just follow him around the pitch.

    Let Sissoko drop in and help Cabaye, play Marv instead of Jonas to give spurs and Assou Ekkoto something to think about, they are not so great at the back, should be a super game.

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  • JackButler

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #35

    check

    Bale is the only worry for me but can’t see Pardew changing any of saturdays starting 11

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  • Lu-toon

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #36

    Bernard Mendy! Of course, He’s French!

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  • Hatem

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #37

    Kets, Yeah Willo was a real liability, but Simmo wasn’t as bad as everyone says. For me he did the job and only made as many mistakes as Santon has this year, yes he needed replacing, but how many points did he gain for us with is off the line clearances, he certainly deserves more credit than you give him.

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  • Bowzer912

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #38

    I really believe we’ll beat Tottingham because Defoe is out so they have no striker unless Adebayor gets back soon like. I reckon the same formation and team as vs Chelsea but put Anita in to inject some pace in the side.
    HWTL!

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  • santonthenewmaldini

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #39

    @Lucky Les

    Dont want to change the whole team just think Anita would be better against Spurs than Perch would be Perch has been great and he was the right choice against Villa as we needed strength and he done quite well against Chelsea but I think with Anita in the middle we would have beaten them more comfortably

    Bale is one of the biggest dangers and we need someone who has the pace to keep up with him and at the moment the only players we have that are quick enough are Sissoko, Obertan, Gouffran and Anita so out of them who would you have man mark him?!?

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  • check the toastie

    Feb 4, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #40

    Wonder how long it will take before i become totally dismayed with Pardew again. Wont be long i imagine, has done a few good things lately though, so has gone up from Useless to Just About Bearable. 🙂

    He will probably put Shola in at the weekend and turn everybody against him again. He is an enigma the boy.

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