The key of consistency

Consistency at all levels
Newcastle have always been a club capable of rising to the big occasion, but are we finally seeing a team that can turn up week in, week out and perform at the highest level?

The great teams, like Manchester United’s “Golden Generation” are not built on mercurial talents such as Eric Cantona. Sure, in certain situations they provide that spark to set the team apart from the rest, but it is down to the reliable performances of stalwarts such as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane. Their hard work and production is what allows the flair players to shine and grab the headlines. They are the water carriers and every team has them.

Where last season we saw great results (6-0, 5-1 etc), we struggled to turn up against the teams in and around us. We would be at our very best one week and then at 80% the next (or in some cases 60% in the first half and 100% in the second). I would much rather have a team that performs to 95% of its potential every week, with just the odd deviation. This is what we now have, it would seem.

I’ve always been an optimistic supporter but not a confident one for a long time. Right now, though, I know that win or lose, this team will give everything today and fight until the last
minute. St. James Park is turning into a fortress again; the way we all know it can be; intimidating for the opposition and a source of inspiration for our boys. With only one home defeat all year, if anyone wants to go home from the North-East with anything they’re going to have to earn it.

Gone are the enigmatic talents of Oba Martins and Mark Viduka, to be replaced by men who will work diligently for their fans, their manager and their teammates. There is a winning mentality in the team and characters that won’t lie down. They give their all, and if that isn’t good enough and they go a goal behind like they have done at times this season, their efforts are redoubled.

Part of this comes from the attitude exuded by new signings like Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye, and part of it instilled by our manager and his support team. We’ve all heard about the team spirit and the new leaders that have emerged and help nurture it and allow new members to feel a part of
it. We’ve heard about the team building and social activities that have helped. We know about Pardew’s drills with the defenders to make the right decisions and attitude second nature so that they can consistently perform.

Knowing this, and hearing about the frustration of men like Graham Carr behind the scenes at the state of the club in recent years, allows me to understand and appreciate the work the club has done and the true nature of the improvements. The communication of this will get fans behind a team they know they can trust and believe in, and so helps contribute to creating an atmosphere for our players to grow, and others to crumble.

How far we can go is anyone’s guess. Few expect us to maintain our current position or trajectory, and who can blame them, given our recent past. Fortunately, it appears that this is not the team of the past and is not being managed as such either. The way we are persistently turning up on the pitch why not top eight, or even top six? Remember, we’re still unbeaten in the league.

This is a steady and methodical advance that’s affecting all levels of the club; we have only lost two of 24 competitive matches this season encompassing Under 18 and Reserve Team level. It has been a long time since I could have such confidence in our team and as much pride to call it my own. Sure, tougher times are likely lying in wait but I await them with anticipation, not trepidation, knowing that this club is as likely (if not more so) to rise to the challenge as it is to stumble.

Long may it continue. Howay the lads!

Finally a big thanks to Dubtoon for sending this in. Do you agree with his view? Are we more consistent this year? Is it too early to tell? As ever let us know YOUR thoughts.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

35 thoughts on “The key of consistency

  1. With one proviso. we still appear to be much better in the second half than the first. Is this to poor tactics that need sorting, or players just feeling their way?


  2. Massive game for us on Monday massive a point would be a great result just keep the confidence and consistency up


  3. You sorted yourself out yet, Prem? You seemed to be having a bit of a senior moment yesterday. 😆


  4. I like the idea of building up steadily, but I don’t think there is such a thing in premier league football. Look at Aston Villa. They were building a good team over the past few years and now they’re back to mid-table mediocrity. For how long can we punch above our weight? After a certain level, we’re going to need a serious inflow of funds to break into the top 6.

    As for the current team and results, it’s great to be able to get results on a consistent basis. I just hope it lasts long enough for us to survive a dip in form sometime in the season and still stay in the top 8.


  5. Prem, maybe it’s just good managemnt spotting areas to exploit or improve on during the half rather than just plodding through a whole game and making changes in the 80th minute on a hope. Plus we still are a new team that needs to gel. We’ll not come top 6 this year, manchester sisters, tottenham,liverpool, arsenal and chelsea should secure that. Then we are battling with everton,stoke and villa for the 7th spot. Wanted top 10 before the season started and we’ve gave ourselves a good chance of that.


  6. Rorycn
    The top 6 respond to setbacks by spending £50m on players and we should not be able to compete with that, but on the field we are. At the beginning of the season your right Villa etc were the level we were aiming at and being the best of the rest was a good target, and being in the top 4 of the rest a good result. Now I think we are in a psoition to say to Liverpool, Arsenal & Spurs that if you slip up we will take your place. We are keeping them honest and I think we can maintain that pressure.

    still happy with best of the rest.


  7. Prem I agree with that and if we were to add to the squad in jan we can only push on further


  8. Latest piece of fish wrapper talk is that ManU want Tiote, & I would suspect if 40 million was offered Ashley would take it. The FA and football authorities should be really worried about this because unless something is done to stop this poaching of players with absolutely ridiculous transfer fees and wages, by the super wealthy clubs, then I can see only one outcome for football without a proper competition…..just look at the crowd at Blackburn, and they aren’t the only ones, football is finished unless the rot is stopped soon! imo


  9. You must have all played Monopoly when you were younger??……How did the game usually end?…..Someone would own all the blue, green, yellow and red streets and eventually you would chuck the board over and go outside to play……nothing’s changed if this carries on in football!


  10. Nowt new though Joesoap, the big clubs always had the money and bought the best players. The transfer window and sky money just brings it into focus.


  11. As much as we’re all trying to keep our feet on the ground and not come across as deluded Geordie’s again, I think we all secretly harbour the hope that we can hang on to 4th place, that our new players and youngsters will come good and be the surprise package. If I thought [or knew] there was absolutely, definitely no chance whatsoever of this ever happening [this season or any other] then I think I really would chuck it in and go outside to play. When there’s no hope it just becomes a borefest and not worth watching!


  12. JoeSoap says:
    October 28, 2011 at 11:34

    What can the FA do? It’s the survival of the fittest.

    Although if you had asked me before we sold Carrol if I would sell Tiote for £40m I would have said yes. But I wouldn’t sell him now as there would be no point, we don’t reinvest the money enough for it to make sense.

    Keep the players we have whatever bids we recieve and build from there.


  13. If somebody comes in and offers 40 million to the club, and tiote 200 grand a week then he’s going no question. The stupid situation football is now in is that these ridiculous figures are a reality, and it’s wrecking the game. Survival of the fittest you say?…yes but like that stupid mackem who decided to get the bus for the last two miles of a marathon, you can let the goal posts move too far are it just becomes a joke!


  14. The key difference between us building and Villa building is that hopefully we won’t waste as much money as they did.
    The past 5 years has seen them splash money on: Curtis Davies 8M, Reo-Coker 7.5M,Sidwell 5M, Cueller 7.8M!, Luke Young 6M, Dunne 6M, Ireland 8M.

    I know people like Dunne may have been good signings at the time, but he was 30 when they got him, he almost past his peak already.

    I think had some of these transfers been wiser they would have been able to cement top 6 and wouldnt have lost Milner, Barry, Young or Downing. We need to stay on the track we are currently on, I have full faith in Graham Carr and am a huge fan of our transfer policy.

    Santon Saylor ? ?
    ? Tiote Cabaye ?
    Ben Arfa

    That core could see us through the next 6 years, potentially at a very good level. I think Guti and Colo will be able to perform at the highest level for a good few years longer anyway, but we have the real makings of a class future squad. Where Villa fell is not buying good enough players for the gaps, that’s why I think we arent rushing for a striker. Why splash 10M if we aren’t convinced? We know we have the firepower for a midtable finish, no need to waste money if it means we have less to spend in future.


  15. Hey lads what do you make of these rumors of colo to liverpool and man U interested in tiote. Carroll got called a sunday pub player for 35mill on the radio.

    Just hope we can hold onto colo and tiote. The lure of champ leage might attract tiote dunno if same could be said of colo at liverpool tho.


  16. We’ve got to acknowledge the coaching that goes into the team as well. Tiote was a raw diamond at best when we got him, look at how Raylor and Saylor are performing this season too. Credit to AP and JC for the improvements.


  17. So far, the signings and transfer policies have proved the majority of us wrong.

    I don’t think anyone could criticise at the moment however if things prove to be a flash in the pan then we have every right to question it.

    Watch this space I say.


  18. Toonsy you thought to change the 1 but not the 24? 😉 thought you’d ditched this after shamrocks covered some of the same points; it was written a bit hastily, just got in the mood to write something 😆

    I don’t think there’s much doubt that we’ll sell players if club offer over the odds. That said, it took 20m over what Carroll was worth to sell him. Who knows how much of the reluctance to sell was because he was local/ young/ Pardew’s promises. Regardless, I don’t think we’ll let anyone go on the cheap. As sad as I’d be to see either of them go, I know they won’t go without a fight.Hopefully now that the club will be breaking even, the majority of any funds would be reinvested too


  19. I can’t take anyone seriously who puts their own picture as an avatar.

    Only I’m allowed to do that. 😛


  20. Just back from Brisbane Roar game. 7-1. Now 32 games unbeaten. Now that’s consistency. If Newcastle could go that long unbeaten I’d be over the moon.

    I actually thought Hughton’s team was showing signs of having a fantastic team spirit, but Pardew’s side is another notch up.


  21. I understand what Joe Soap is on about; it’s a reflection of everything else at the moment: most of us no better off than 20 years ago, some in deep ****, and FTSE bosses award themselves a 50% pay rise.

    Same with the footie. The media give all the coverage to the clubs with the most supporters (as we saw on Tuesday night on the League Cup Show), which increases their support base because of the publicity, which increases their revenues, and round and round it spirals. It’s not sustainable and will end with a SPL situation plus lots of bankruptcies.

    I think they should introduce the same rules for coverage as for political parties; force it to be levelled out across each league.

    And it’s not the fittest surviving a lot of the time; it’s the ones with the biggest sugar daddies. Citeh, fit? You’re having laugh; they lose more money than the american military.


  22. The Liverpool thing is a worry, but to be honest I can see the wheels coming off there. They seem to be carried by Suarez at the moment, and are lacking the kind of cohesive play they’ll need as the season moves on. As for poaching Toon players – haven’t they learned? They already have the world’s most expensive boot boy, and they can’t keep spending the way they have been.

    I must admit that I want Liverpool to fail to get into Europe almost as much as I want the Toon to succeed. 😆


  23. A year ago you could have written the first half of that Liverpool article about us. Love it.

    I also see the media are starting to float the idea of Carroll returning. Not sure he’d do well here now with the carpet football we’re playing.

    I’ll be honest: for entirely petulent reasons I want Carroll to fail. Badly. Pure, childish schadenfreud.


  24. liverpool to flop this season ,and dalgleish sacked, can see this happening,these americans will want some sort of return for their money,and i cant see them getting it.heres hoping.


  25. sorry toonsy went off subject,good read, agree with what you say,the club is starting to take shape,at all levels and everyone seems to be pulling in same direction,considering pardew and carver have only been here a short while,all bodes well for the future


  26. Well said!! I have grown and matured into a team based supporter instead of star studded individuals approach!! Great team spirit, and a i really love to see our players quickly winning the ball back when they lose it! I know it sounds normal but to me its so cool!!! I love this team, and even if we don’t collect maximum points, i know I’m supporting a winning team!!


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