If Newcastle had lost the game on Saturday, even if we had played the way we had in that first half, then Alan Pardew’s job at Newcastle would be the main talking point today, but we showed some resilience for once in that second half, when we came under pressure from Cardiff, and the lads hung on for an excellent 2-1 win.
Alan Pardew and Malky Mackay before the game on Saturday
It really was a good performance, and Loic Remy of course takes the plaudits for two great first half goals, but we can count at least four top chances Newcastle missed before Remy scored that first goal by cutting inside from the left wing and rifling home past goalkeeper David Marshall.
And the Scottish International goalkeeper was in outstanding form all afternoon in the Cardiff City goal, and kept Cardiff in the game.
Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear saw Newcastle give probably their very best performance in that first half for a few years, and we could even have been 4-0 up at half time, and it would not have been a surprise.
It was a good day for Alan Pardew and a good day for both Newcastle fans and the players, because while we know we have some good players, Newcastle have played nowhere near their potential this season.
So Alan Pardew is certainly out of danger at the moment, and he has to be given credit for bringing the side back on Saturday, after the disaster that was Everton.
But since we play Liverpool (h), Sunderland (a), Manchester City (h – Capital One Cup), Chelsea (h) and Tottenham (a), in our next five games, there can be no let-up at all.
And while our defense played quite well on Saturday, we are still not convinced the defenders we have are good enough to give Newcastle an outstanding defense this season, and it’s still our biggest weakness – we concede far too many goals.
We simply cannot fall back onto giving stupid goals away, otherwise we could be hammered in any one of those upcoming games four of the five games are against the best six clubs in England – and Sunderland – who aren’t one of the best six clubs in England – but will still give Newcastle a game at the Stadium of Light.
We know a number of Newcastle fans don’t think Alan Pardew is the manager to take Newcastle forward to bigger and better things, but it would be much better if Alan can again get Newcastle playing good football this season, just like two years ago.
If he can take us up the league table this season, and have as good a season as we had when we finished 5th – that would be the success scenario for this season.
And if we did that, we could probably even keep Loic Remy on Tyneside – permanently.
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