After a great start to the 2011/12 campaign, the Newcastle United squad can take a well deserved rest during the international break. But the question here is, can they build on the foundations they have built when they return?
Seven points out of nine, a derby win, and progression to round two of the League Cup, things can’t get much better can they? Well yes, they can.
It is evident that the team has started to blend together, and after a solid game from Yohan Cabaye I think we can safely say that Kevin Nolan’s role has been filled. However after watching the first four games I have been left thinking that it could have been even better.
The Arsenal game did nothing but prove lighting doesn’t strike twice in the same place, and Joey Barton is one to talk when it comes to fashion sense, but in the end the lads did well to keep a clean sheet against a strong Arsenal attack.
But then it was Sunderland and, to be honest, they were unlucky with a few efforts. That game helped Tim Krul to claim his place between the posts for Newcastle, but the major positives to come from that game were that; the defence kept a strong line and held their position, and obviously, we won. I also think it’s worth noting that Jonas Gutierrez looks physically stronger this year, and that is probably due to his pre-season training regime.
And after a decent run out and 1-2 victory against Scunthorpe, Fulham were next up challenging the lads. Considering they hadn’t scored so far and we hadn’t conceded it was unlikely to turn into a game like the Man United – Arsenal affair. It was always going to be tight. Newcastle had a solid game, kept their position, and Leon Best took his chance with two poacher like goals. A 2-1 win with a nerve-wracking end, and again a great performance from Tim Krul.
The thing is, we haven’t played great in any of these matches, but have won three and drawn one, and ‘they’ say that the best teams win even when they have a poor game. Not that they were poor games, just not convincing performances.
I believe if Newcastle play to their full potential, we can not just beat teams, but give them a good footballing lesson, but it will take time. This team has potential, it’s just now they have to start realising it.
Any opinion’s welcome.