After a hectic window with hardly anything to show for it, Newcastle United went into their first match yesterday against Tottenham with a lot of flair, determination, and passion (just ask Matt Ritchie). And I feel like my optimism has been well placed — even if DeAndre Yedlin may be out for the season with an ACL injury.
I’m excited for what could potentially be a big year for the club. One that will showcase ambitions, and determine the future of not just Rafa Benitez but for the club as a whole. And while decisions were made yesterday that I disagree with, and we’ll discuss that later, I certainly think we showed a lot of promise.
Matt Ritchie looks on point. Despite his untimely substitution, if it weren’t for his cross into the box, enabling Joselu (yeah, him) to score a goal, Newcastle may have been looking at a larger deficit, and more unhappy me. To enable Joselu of all people to score takes talent, and Ritchie definitely came to play. And while he was subbed at a bad time, his pissed off attitude at the situation lets me know everything I need to know about him. He gives a ****.
Perez didn’t show up for most of the game which was disappointing. I was hoping for more of a display after his hijinks at the end of last season. But it’s the first game, and I still expect Perez to become the main distributor this season. When Muto came on, though, I think we have fantastic coverage in midfield. I’m not worried about it at all. When Diame starts to get fit fully again, he’ll bring his complete A game. Perez still needs to work on his skill in midfield as he was mainly absent with less than 20 touches to his name yesterday.
Salomon Rondon will be deadly. He had Tottenham worried for a while, and that’s extremely positive. If goalposts weren’t a thing, Newcastle may have walked away with a point, or even more. Needless to say, I think Rondon is going to do well for us, and he’s going to be a good striker for the club. I mean if Joselu can score off of a Ritchie pass, then come on; Rondon will be fine.
There were a lot of good things to take away from yesterday’s match. It’s one loss. And while it’s not the fiery winning start we wanted, we have a feisty side ready to fight and dominate matches. This isn’t going to be a fight for survival. It’s going to be a fight for more than that.