If we think waaaaayyyy waaaaaaayyyy back to the beginning of the season which featured our spectacular undefeated run, we'll remember several matches in which we got outplayed somewhat on the day, but still came away with points. That Newcastle United squad was back yesterday as the Mags often looked desperate in their defending, uninspired in their attack and certain members of the squad again just plain looked disinterested. Somehow, though, the lads pulled through with a 2-0 victory, taking another 3 road points and nearly clearing the first season road post of 40 points... with 15 matches still to play. That in and of itself feels good.... but then you look at the table, and Newcastle sit an honest 4th after 23 matches. Several threads coming out of Old Duder's head just now, so I'm going to hit the dump button and come back to it later... because this post is for links! Jump! Read!
The victory pushed United into fifth place in the Premier League but rather than bask in the glory on a personal note, Obertan said it was all about playing for the badge. When asked if being out of the team had made it a sweet moment, Obertan told the Chronicle: "I have never even thought like that. It’s about the team and the fans. "It was a resolution for me to score my first goal – but a victory was more important for everybody. "I didn’t have much time in the game but I seized the opportunity. "When you have plenty of time like this it can be quite difficult because you have plenty of options. "I just had to relax and stay calm and focus on the finish."
Say what you want about Gaby's overall performance this season, this is exactly what you would want a player in his circumstance to say. In this funny existence in which there are a handful of polarizing players on the squad, Obertan is one, and I fall in on the pro-Obertan side... and this just solidifies it.
Newcastle went into what Pardew called an "incredible" fifth place in the division, but it could not have happened without Krul, whose penalty save from David Dunn highlighted a commanding performance. "His body language and his whole demeanour on th pitch suggested confidence," Pardew said. "It was no surprise to me when he saved the penalty."
If it weren't such an over-used cliche at this point, I would say "HEY LOOK! THEY SAID THE SAME THING AS I DID!" ... but it is, so I won't. By and large Tim was awesome... but there were a couple of times that he made weird decisions and looked lost. Minor nitpick on the day, but it was there.
United’s win gives the black and whites a genuine tag of European contenders, and while safety in the top flight always seemed likely this season, they now have 39 points – just one away from the magic 40, normally enough to guarantee safety. However, Taylor – back in the starting line-up for the first time in two games – was just happy to get back on track. He told the Chronicle: "It’s nice to get back to winning ways. We had two disappointments in the last two games, especially the second half against Fulham.
Perhaps this type of win was the perfect remedy for the previous two matches. Gritting out a 3 point grab that you didn't necessarily deserve on the heels of The Fulham Capitulation and The Brighton Debacle perhaps demonstrates that we're ready to take points we haven't necessarily earned. Can't be a bad thing.
NEWCASTLE UNITED are set to hand youngsters Michael Richardson and Brad Inman new deals as part of their squad restructuring operation. The Chronicle understands that while others were allowed to find new clubs, the attacking midfield duo are part of the immediate future on Tyneside. Richardson and Inman have had injury problems this season but have been given time to fully recover and prove their worth.
On the heels of the announced clear out of the Reserves structure, this becomes big news. Good luck to the lads, and good luck to all the lads that are preparing for their careers away from Newcastle.
There's your links for the day. Check back for the transfer window wrap and perhaps more later on!