Danny Guthrie has spoken of how the team spirit within the Newcastle camp has allowed him to slot straight back into the team and play a part in our current unbeaten run.
Certainly in the Stoke and Everton games Guthrie has shown to a number of fans that he can fit seamlessly into the team if he has to be called upon when there are injuries to Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye.
His performances have been ones of confidence and that must be partly down to the mentality that Alan Pardew has instilled in his players.
Danny Guthrie spoke to the Northern Echo whilst appearing on behalf of the Newcastle United Foundation in opening a new all-weather hockey pitch. Guthrie had this to say: “There’s a great feeling in the city at the moment, I think, not just the changing room. Long may that continue.”
There certainly has been a great feeling within the city and that obviously seeps into the ranks of the team. With the fans behind them and the confidence that oozes straight of them you can clearly tell that this particular group of players want to do the shirt proud.
Guthrie went on to reveal about the bad luck he faced with injuries last season: “I’ve had a torrid time with injuries in the past year, so it’s been really nice to get back into the side. You can try not to put too much pressure on yourself when you come into the side but you have to step up to the plate. Stoke away is not the easiest place to come in for your first start of the season!”
“I got injured in pre-season so I’ve always been playing catch-up. Once I got fit and played a couple of reserve games I felt I was ready. It’s terrible when you don’t get a proper pre-season. You can do your own pre-season with the physios but you’re forever playing catch-up and it’s really difficult. I was trying to do too much and picking up little niggling injuries but I’ve found a level now.”
Guthrie is clearly happy that he is back at a level where he can fully compete again. He missed the majority of last season due to injury and hardly featured for Alan Pardew. But now that he is fully fit again it seems to have benefited his game.
With the performances that Guthrie has had in his previous two games for the Toon he has demonstrated to Pardew that he is able to step up to the plate whenever he is needed. This gives Alan Pardew an interesting dilemma with who to play in midfield against Manchester City. If all out of Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote are fully fit then he has a nice headache to mull over of who to include.
Guthrie went on to comment on the French dynamo Yohan Cabaye: “Cabaye’s a top player and a top lad so it makes him easy to play with. He’s well liked in the dressing room. Everyone knows we lost some big personalities in the summer, but everyone gets on well with everyone else and that’s one of the reasons we’ve had such a good start.”
There is a lot of praise for the quality that Cabaye has brought to our side and he seems to have settled very well into life at Newcastle United and given that the French international came through 90 minutes for France last night it leaves Alan Pardew with a further dilemma. Now it’s not just about playing Guthrie or Cabaye or Tiote. Instead it’s about deciding whether or not to stick or twist with a philosophy that has served us so well so far this season.
One of the big things this season has been rewarding payers who play well with a run in the team. If they play well they keep the shirt. This had led to competition for places which has boosted the performances of players. Now, with our “first choice” midfield pairing fit, do we abandon that and replace Guthrie after his performances in the last few games?
What would you do?