Jack Colback has stated that the players in the Newcastle changing room were always confident that they could win games despite a poor start to the 2014/15 season.
After a disappointing start to a fairly kind run of fixtures at the beginning of the season Alan Pardew faced growing pressure from fans after failing to win any of United’s opening seven games. Losing 3 and 4 draws resulting in just 4 points from a possible 21.
However Newcastle have hit a remarkable run of form which started with a 1-0 home win v premier league new boys Leicester City followed by an away win v Premier league champions Manchester City in the cup. United continued by picking up all three points against Spurs, Liverpool, West Brom, and QPR.
Colback who crossed the North East borders from Sunderland to Newcastle earlier this year told reporters:
“People may doubt this but I think everyone in the dressing room knew we could do something like this.
“We were playing well at the start of the season just not quite winning the games. But confidence was still there among the players & staff. Finally we are now getting the points we should be.
“There have been a lot of players come in because of injury and they have all done fantastically well. This is a big club with high expectations and we should be up there challenging within the top eight.”
Colback arrived on Tyneside with a lot of making up to do with Geordie fans after his “shushing” gesture when celebrating his goal in the Tyne & Wear derby 13/14 angered the majority of the home fans. But since his arrival the Killingworth born midfielder has never failed to impress and has firmly secured his spot as a key player for United. His performances throughout the season have been outstanding especially when the chance to form a regular central midfield partnership due to a run of injuries throughout the Toon Army’s midfield players.
If Colback keeps impressing the Premier League with his ability surely an England call up must be on the cards, well that’s if Roy remembers that the English border doesn’t stop at Manchester.
Mehdi Abeid arrived on Tyneside at the age of 18 back in 2011, leaving french side RC Lens where he spent 8 years learning his footballing abilities via their academy.
After speaking to Cheick Tiote, who Abeid states “encouraged” him to make the switch to the Premier League, he decided to join the Ivorian over at Newcastle United.
The Algerian midfielder made his NUFC debut July 2011 in a pre season friendly against local side Darlington. Which is mainly remembered by the “If Sammy Scores We’re On The Pitch” chant which led to a 10 minute delay when NUFC fans took to the pitch after Sammy Ameobi put Newcastle 0-2 up in the 55th minute.
Abeid made his competitive deput September 2011 against Notts Forest in the league cup, Newcastle came out the game with a victory after a last minute extra time winner from captain Fabricio Coloccini put his side 3-4 up, with the other goals coming from a Lovenkrands brace and right-back Danny Simpson.
The following season Abeid was loaned out St Johnstone where he featured 12 times for the Scottish side.
Abeid was then loaned out yet again the following season (13/14) to Greek side Panathinaikos.
His loan switch to Greece was a successful one for the Algerian youngster as he finished as the clubs second top goalscorer; scoring 7 goals in 28 appearances. He helped his side reach third place in the league just three points away from runners up PAOK. On 26 April 2014, Abeid helped Panathinaikos win the Greek Cup.
But that wasn’t the end of his contribution for the club. He then helped his team win the Greek play-offs; qualifying for the Champions League, scoring 2 goals in four games.
Mehdi returned to Tyneside for 14/15 pre season, where United travelled to both New Zealand and Germany.
10 games into the Premier League season Abeid made his Premier League starting debut against Liverpool, 3 years after signing for the club. His performance against a strong Liverpool midfield which included Steven Gerrard certainly merits more game time. The Algerian was dominant force in the centre of the pitch containing LFC’s playmakers and preventing any form of creativity from the visitors at St James Park.
With Defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote being unavailable for selection Alan Pardew will be overjoyed with the 22 year old Algerian’s performance against last seasons Premier League’s runners up and will surely start when the Toon Army travel to West Brom On Sunday looking for their fifth consecutive win.
Hands up who saw the last four results coming? If you raised your hand I suspect you will be lying. Before the Leicester City game a win looked nearly impossible let alone four wins in a row. Credit to the players, coaches and manager for this run of games; they have managed to get the results despite being under immense and deserved pressure from the stands.
Over the past month, Newcastle United fans have been labelled as “fickle.” Of course fans are going to be disillusioned when their team is performing poorly and be happy when their team wins games. By that nature every football fan is fickle, to some extent. Newcastle United are now winning games and competing on the pitch- something that has been missing particularly since January. Is it so wrong to enjoy your club doing well?
My stance on Alan Pardew as manager has not changed. After months and months of rubbish one excellent month does not erase the bad memories. He is nominated for October’s manager of the month and if he wins the award it will be well deserved- I have no problem with giving him praise when things go well since I am heavily critical when things are not great. I am wary of this run. It is fantastic- don’t get me wrong- but we have been on similar runs before under Pardew which have been more of an abnormality to the rubbish we usually have to sit through. Hopefully this run is something to build on though.
Hopefully Sunday’s game with West Bromwich Albion ends with our fifth successive win which would set us up nicely with the international break on the horizon. It will be interesting to see how Pardew sets the team up with Obertan injured and talk of Tiote being fit. I hope he does not replace Obertan with the out of form Gouffran when Aarons and Cabella should be ahead of him. Putting Tiote straight back in would be unfair on Colback or Abeid who would probably miss out.
Pardew has got it right the last four games so let’s hope he gets it right on Sunday.
Just when Gabriel Obertan finally starts to win the NUFC fans over a “serious” thigh injury picked up in Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Liverpool has sidelined the french winger for a lengthy spell.
Midway through the first half Gabby clenched his thigh whilst sprinting towards the Leazes to reach a pass which led the winger down the right hand side of the final third of the pitch.
Obertan received a hefty amount of medical attention before being lifted over the advertisement boards and onto a stretcher; being led past the Leazes end before being helped down the tunnel by NUFC medical staff.
Pardew stated in his post match comments
“The only sour note of the day was Obertan’s injury. He has been a big part of the success in these last few weeks, and it is a bad one.
“We are all sad for Gabby, and we just hope it is not too bad. But he has done something to his thigh muscle.”
Obertan has failed to excite fans since his £3m arrival from Man United in 2011, but after a surprise individual start to the 2014/2015 season he slowly started to impress, netting his first premier league goal for United against Leicester City on October 18th. Gabby had a great game and topped his performance off with a great individual run from the left flank towards Leicester’s box before driving his match winning shot into the bottom left corner.
At the start of the season you’d be surprised to have found any NUFC fan who would of been deflated not to see Obertan’s name on the NUFC team sheet. But after hard work and determination to impact on games when it seemed that his time on Tyneside was over Gabby had changed the fans way of thinking.
Now who replaces Obertan whilst he recovers from injury ? Aarons, Ameobi, Cabella or Gouffran ?
Let’s just hope he returns quicker than expected with the same “go get them” attitude he started the season with.
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