The Newcastle defense last night was magnificent, especially after we had scored through a Shola Ameobi penalty on 64 minutes, and Metalist Kharkiv threw everything they had at the Newcastle defense, but Tim Krul made four top class saves – and James Perch cleared off the line, and Newcastle showed once again they are a strong and very committed and resolute side these days.
Massadio Haidara - had an excellent debut
We were particularly impressed with new boy Massadio Haidara making his debut – and it was the first time we’d seen him play a full game, but he put in a resolute performance, and he’s a very good left-sided defender.
Mapou Yabga-Mbiwa put in a great display alongside Fabricio Coloccini, and Steven Taylor will see he has a real challenge to hold on to his center-back berth.
This is what Alan Pardew said after the game about these two lads:
“It was a bit of a case of ‘Into the lion’s den’ for Massadio, but he coped very well,” said Pardew. “I thought he was up against a good player, but he showed he’s got great potential for us.”
“Mapou is what he is, a quality center-half and we now find ourselves in the fortunate position of having Steven, Mapou and Colo – who are all producing top-drawer performances at the moment.”
“It was an important period because if we had conceded with ten minutes to go, it might have been difficult for us. But a couple of key minutes and some critical defending saw us home.”
We still expect Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez and Yoan Gouffran to come into the starting line-up on Sunday, after getting a rest last night, and the team against Southampton should be fresh enough.
And Cheick Tiote should be fit, after missing the game last night with illness at the last moment, but Vurnon Anita came in and had a very good game in the holding midfield position, after knowing only an hour before the game he would be starting and this lad is a very good experienced player too.
So Newcastle fans will have seen just how strong our squad has become – but now we simply must win against Southampton and start pulling away from the relegation zone.
It’s as though our season just started last night.
Howay The Lads!!
Marc Gillham is from Durham and is at Hull University studying business and marketing. He is engaged in a project to help non-league clubs make decisions regarding sponsorship. Please help Marc with his research by filling out this questionnaire – thanks.
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