Onwards and upwards

Pardew's preparation has been key
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!

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

121 thoughts on “Onwards and upwards

  1. Right lads, I’m off. Won’t be on here for a couple of days as I’m off to visit a Uni 😀


  2. Batty he doesn’t herd his sheep, but I wont say what I heard he does with them incase there is any animal rights people reading 😆
    Oblong IMO Harper could take Kruls place with no probs


  3. I’m not taking my boots, really looking forward to seeing the Uni. The offer for NUWFC is for if I end up going to this uni next year


  4. Good luck Zoe, remember to bath and shower as soon as you leave Sunderland lol, mind you, South Shields just down the road is ok


  5. DAVE we dis-agree on one point harper is a alright keeper but i dont rate him very highly ime afraid,i watched him very closely at sjp when we were in the ccc hes not what he was ime sorry to say,i know he been a good servant for us behind Given,but i can see why pardew is looking at other keepers hes not good enough now mate imo


  6. Btw, trappatoni on best:
    ‘Leon is not here because we have other three four strikers with other qualities. Leon knows why. I don’t forget him but he knows why I need other attitudes.
    ‘But on the there is only one ball. And winning football is about 11 players running for 90 minutes, or 94 minutes, with a winning mentality. I cannot have players who just wait for the ball.
    ‘We need a team, we need work and commitment. That is football. We need this mentality because with our mentality anything is possible. We cannot afford to have players standing there waiting for the ball.
    ‘Leon knows why he is not here.

    Sounds like what Pardew was unsure of over the summer, his overall workrate. They’ve worked on it and are getting results. Trap went on to say he says this to the players faces so calling him up to the squad at least would’ve been a nice way to acknowledge his improvement. Ah well, maybe by the time we’re playing in the Euros he’ll put him in the team


  7. feel horrible saying this but we probably need a raylor skinning off a spuds winger to be dropped and finally bring santon in. can you imagine raylor still there for nani and young


  8. Beardsley if I go to the uni and end up playing for NUWFC next year I will still write for the blog 😀


  9. Good luck wi uni Zoe and tek nae notice of that fecker JJ, the song “I’ve never met a nice South African” was written with him in mind 😉 😆


  10. Ice…..aye 35 for the cheapest ticket like, be wearing me England top in the Spain end 😉 ……Feb 11th in my diary too cos Xisco should be playing there then 😈


  11. did anyone else have a shocker on the Fantasy football thing?
    I dont recognise all those names at the top lol
    ah well, looks like Toonsy has lost interest 😳


  12. BB…..I’m just happy to have clawed me way up from 200 and odd or whatever I was a few weeks back…..not doing too bad on the predictor league though.


  13. BB…hope not, I’m struggling with Spanish but I’ll have some choice abuse words sorted by then 😉 😆


  14. cant find him on there anywhere ❓
    Think he must have withdrawn his team or summit 😕


  15. Toonsy October 3, 2011 at 08:24


    I’m no expert. My predictions are famously shit”

    straight from the horses mouth 😆 😆


  16. Would a line-up of:


    Jonas – Saylor – Colo – Santon

    Obertan – Tiote – Cabaye – Marveaux

    Best – Ba

    Be too “out there” for Spurs? Everyone is worried about pace, and taking that into consideration, putting one of our faster players (Jonas) in the RB slot may assist with that…he has done it for the Argies. Santon would likely have better pace than Raylor…though I’ve not seen it so I won’t say he does.

    With Jonas out of the LW position, Marveaux can get the start. Fergie can come on for Santon if need be (or Raylor), and HBA for Marveaux. (Or swap HBA starting with Marveaux as the possible sub.

    Ba and Best up front are so far proving to be pretty good for each other, and if need be, can go with original line up and bring in HBA for Best or Ba in the late games.

    I think this team would provide pace if nothing else…and perhaps nothing else is what you’d unfortunately get, but I think not.


  17. @ NORCAL i dont think santon is near ready mate u dont want to destroy the lads confidence imo

    and there talking about Ba possibly missing it with a twisted ankle ?


  18. If Ba does miss out then I hope we bring in Gosling to make a midfield 3, which will free up Jonas and Obertoon a bit. I think you could even go as far as putting Gosling on Bale in a man marking role to take him out of the game.

    I think Santoon has to come in at some point, and I have mentioned before about making changes in a position of strength over weakness. I think the defensive unit is doing well but Spuds will provide us with the sort of challenge we havent had yet this season. The other worry is the power and pace of Adebayor is something Saylor and Collo may not cope with.

    I think we can get at their defence and with some craft and guile on the midfield we can unlock them, which is why I would go for 4-3-2-1 with Gosling man marking Bale. HBA isnt the best at tracking back either so not sure I would play him from the start, but we are at home so we should go fot it baby


  19. 🙂 cracking start to the season. for tottenham I hope santon comes in for raylor even thought raylors work rate and blocks have been fantastic he just doesnt have the pace for bale and will get anhilated. Apparently santon is quick and ive seen a couple of vids of him keeping up with c ronaldo so I guess he could probably do the business with bale. Secondly Id like to see HBA and Best up front as opposed to Ba I think Best would compliment HBAs style more than Ba would. I def dont want to see a 4-4-2 against tottenham as there is no way our midfield can keep up with VDV Modric and parker.


  20. RAFFO @ 111 – Gosling? are u off ur nut? on the evidence of the 2 LC games, he’s defo not ready to start in the Prem. Hopefully he’ll play well at Blackburn and get back on track

    If Ba’s not ready…. then it’s got to be Benny time. If not HBA then Marveaux

    Santon for Obertan could be the change to make for the Spurs game – that’d give us decent protection on both flanks and wouldn’t expose our young Italian to a potentially confidence-ruining debut if he’s thrown in at FB. Also, sounds like he’s decent going forward and has plenty of pace so… in theory this change wouldn’t compromise our attacking threat too much


  21. lol M – I was thinking of someone who could do the man marking job. OK, well lets say Santoon comes in to do that job then. I dont think we should be looking to put square pegs in round holes though, so if Santoon comes in it should to look after Bale and can switch full back positions as mentioned elsewhere. I think Raylor should be the other full back with Simmo dropping down. I dont like the idea of dropping our attacking wingers to look after theirs. We are at home so should be attacking and I think perhaps having MArveux in for Obertoon so Jonas can switch to RW to help out with Bale is another possibility


  22. If Ba only has a twisted ankle and not a broken metatarsal then I’ll be happy, he got a proper stamp on his foot the other day 👿

    Agree that it may be too soon to throw Santon in, but not sure about this idea of waiting to lose before making any changes…. as long as everyone picked is working their ass off in training then I think the perceived best team should start, even if it’s ‘not fair’ on someone (who was only there as cover anyway)… Santon in as soon as he’s ready.

    Really wanna see Marv start but not sure who to drop! Obertan, and on as a sub? Don’t think fitness will be a problem for Marv, who played 120 mins in both cup matches 😀


  23. I think Spurs started Defoe, Adebayor, AND VDV against Arsenal. I would guess that they will drop Defoe and play 4-4-1-1. I see Adebayor as the kind of strong and pacy striker that Colo may struggle against.
    If no Ba, I would like to see a 4-3-3:
    — ———– Krul —————–
    Obertan — Ben Arfa — Marveaux

    I think we could actually be able to play the Spurs at their own game, and their CBs are more likely to be outrun than out muscled.


  24. RAFFO – yeah, know what u mean mate – at first glance seems like a negative move, especially at home…. but what if Santon turns out to be a real threat going forward? and maybe his pace can replicate what Obertan gives to the team? and maybe he can actually cross the ball, haha

    btw – Jonas can/will help out our LB but has Obertan shown inclination or ability to do a similar job on the right?

    to be honest, I’m not sure if this the answer to the Bale conundrum myself – just putting it out there 😆


  25. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t for Pards. We lose with the same starting eleven we’ve been playing then the critics will be out saying ‘why are we leaving internationals on the bench!’ but if we throw HBA and Santon in and get done over then it’ll be ‘why change a winning formula.’

    Still, great problem to have really.


  26. M – Its fairly obvious that we need to keep Bale quiet. Santon/Gosling man marking can do that.

    I think we should change the team from a position of strength. I think it will help the players bed in if they are coming into a winning team


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