Newcastle United gained their first victory over Wolves in the league since 1958 at the weekend, albeit in controversial circumstances.
The team found themselves two goals in front at half time with a very convincing display in the first half. However at times Wolves were knocking on the door and proving a hard team to deal with. In the second half Wolves were on top and we were lucky to have gained all three points but in the nature of football there are times when you need luck on your side.
At this stage, seven games into the Premier League table we are sitting nicely in fourth place with fifteen points. Now if you had said that we would have amassed that amount at this stage I probably would have turned round and said ‘Are you having a laugh’. The difference between our games this year and last year is that Alan Pardew seems to have his warriors prepared for games against teams that are in and around us.
This was certainly the case in both the Blackburn and Wolves games. Last year at Molineux we scored a late equaliser to rescue a point and in the Blackburn game at St James’ Park last year we lost 2-1. Now looking at both of these fixtures this year we have run out as winners, that is a huge difference to the way those matches went last season.
It is fair to say that we have had no really tough tests so far but our first game against Arsenal certainly showed that we were able to keep them at bay for long periods of time. Certainly many in the press wondered how we would fair this season after Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton departed the club but in fact we seem to be playing very effectively without them. I think we have surprised many so far and some of the pundits across the various media outlets have had to praise our efforts so far this season.
As a diehard Newcastle fan it seems surreal to see the press putting a positive spin on the way things are going for the club. I’m used to waking up and reading headlines that highlight the bad aspects of the Toon. It certainly makes a nice change.
I see no reason why we can’t continue this fine run of form as we have showed enough resilience and spirit in our games to keep the opposition at bay. The team certainly seem to be gelling very well now that they have had a run of matches when the team has stayed unchanged for a number of fixtures. Add to that we have Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux and Davide Santon who can all come into the squad although it’s been hard to involve them with the current team doing so well.
Looking ahead to our next four Premier League fixtures we have Tottenham at home, Wigan at home, Stoke away and Everton at home. These fixtures could be potentially tough but the way that Alan Pardew has got the team playing has given me the confidence that he will prepare the players in the right way and the fact that they have the meanest defence in all four English divisions really highlights that this squad are certainly up for continuing this run.
Howay the lads!