Alan Pardew and his merry men escaped from Molineux with a full haul of 3 points on Saturday. In celebration, I have moved the links post to Sunday... we'll see how it goes. Unlike last weekend where I came away feeling like we were far and away the better team and thee was never any other likely result, this week we may have come out the other end with a hint of fortune. You can't say the points were unearned,, but a search of the headlines or a chat with Mick McCarthy will quickly reveal the talking points from the match. The fact remains, however, that as I type this up the lads are sitting in 3rd place in the table, though admittedly it will likely not last long with Chelsea yet to play their seventh match of the season. Without further ado, links!
My position is, and will always be, that football is a human game, adjudicated by humans. As such, I can see how Wolves might feel a little hard done by so far as the penalty non-decision (I didn't see the in/out of bounds decision, so I can't speak to it)... but we all know what we've signed up for when we get there. I will be last on line to belly ache when a ref decision goes squarely against us. That's all I'll say about that.
Here's a synopsis of the game v. Wolves from football365.com. Plenty of good stuff in it.
Included in this link is a comparison of Newcastle's fortunes so far this season versus the fortunes of the Mackems. It was actually a preview to the weekend's action, so in that sense it's a little late, but I'll try to remember to catch it earlier next week.
AP has lead this squad to the best start to a season since 1994-95... yet he is still viewed by some as an Ashley puppet. A running theme in the links that I have collected is the Newcastle spirit. For me, it is tremendously encouraging to hear that the players are identifying that spirit and that it is important to them. I'm not going to say it's a departure from where we've been recently, however...
Whatever the fans think of Pardew, it is clear that whatever buttons he's pushing with the squad are exactly the right ones.
With major pieces still yet to be completely healthy, you have to feel good about the prospects for the season. Likely not "lock for Europe" good... but you'd have to make a stronger case that we'll finish in the bottom half than the top half...
Last one with an AP slant.
The more these guys talk, the more I like them. When I sit back and look at the squad as a collection of individuals, I feel a soft spot growing in my sporting heat that is reserved for truly classic squads (2008 Mizzou basketball, for instance). I believe that the quality of people greatly affects the end product in sports and these guys are proving it so far.
I'm still not sold that we're a lock as a European side this year, but if we are, Cabaye is certainly going to be a huge part of it.
I was skeptical of this move, and Ba's form in the preseason and through Ramadan did little to convince me that I was wrong. His form since has me singing a different tune. Keep them coming, Demba, and you're alright by me!
Congratulations on your new contract with the club. I appreciate your immediate repayment in the form of your goal v. Wolves. While you certainly cannot sign a new extension every week, please feel free to continue scoring. Also, continue being awesome.
I love a humble goalkeeper. Tim is #1 in the EPL statistically, yet still says he has more to prove to ensure that he keeps the starting gloves.
Captain Colo's leadership style is a little more understated than some of his predecessors' may have been, but it is effective. Factor in the fact that he has been ever-present this year, and he's proven AP to have been exactly right in selecting him as the new captain.
So I mulled over including this link, seeing as it is from a Mackem rag, but the more I thought about it, the more amused I became that to them, it is a great honor for one of their players to finish third in an awards vote, after two Magpies. SMB! Congratulations, by the way, to Captain Coloccini, North East Football Writers’ footballer of the year!
Also congratulations to Cheik Tiote, who came second in the voting.
One last link-- this sounds nice in principle, the "coach in waiting" thing rarely woks out for anyone anywhere.