Newcastle on Saturday in those first 25 minutes or so looked a really (very) good side and we played West Ham off the park and we even scored goals in the first 15 minutes to go 2-0 up at half time.
It could and should have been more.
And West Ham are not just any side these days – and they were unbeaten in their last 9 games so that first half performance was the best we have played all season.
Mike Ashley – shelling out the cash now
Yes – we gifted them a goal after five minutes in the second half, but led by a rejuvenated and inspired captain – Fabricio Coloccini – we held out and got a great win – only our fifth of the season.
Jonjo Shelvey had a great game and simply transformed Newcastle into looking like a good side – and Gini Wijnaldum in the number 10 position is a different player and once again looked terrific.
Did I say he looks like poetry in motion when he runs with the ball?
And Henri Saivet came in to replace the injured Paul Dummett in the second half and quietly and efficiently got into the game to gain valuable experience in a Newcastle shirt and is now likely to start on Saturday at Watford.
Mike Ashley promised fans Newcastle would make their own luck from now on – that was just before our last game of the season on May 24th against West Ham – when we could have been relegated.
But not much seems to have changed this season and we were second bottom before the game on Saturday with our worst points total ever after 21 games in the Premier League – just 18.
Ashley did spend a massive £52M on new players in the summer and until recently it hasn’t looked like a great investment, although Wijnaldum and Mbemba are (very) good buys and Mitrovic is showing signs of coming through.
We spent more than any other PL club last summer – well other than Manchester City of course – the best team money can buy.
This month we have already spent around £17M on Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet who look great acquisitions – and we are supposed to have bid a massive £25M for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette – a long-term target.
The news is that we are trying to sign Andros Townsend and Saido Berahino this week and that will cost us over £30M.
So let’s assume we can get these two players through the door, and that would mean we will have spent close to £50M this month to go with the £52M we spent last summer.
That’s over £100M in the last two transfer windows.
Mike Ashley has made huge mistakes over the last 103 months or so he has owned Newcastle.
But maybe he has seen the error of his ways and is now willing – when necessary – to spend big money on good players.
If we can get Townsend and Berahino in this month then it well could be that Newcastle do have a new sense of ambition.
True – it’s been created by another serious relegation threat – and we all know Ashley’s biggest fear would be another relegation and lose out on all that huge Premier League money.
But on the other hand maybe things are starting to look up at Newcastle after all.
Any neutral looking at Newcastle over these last two transfer windows could even think we were an ambitious club again.