As Newcastle United’s season continued to unfurl, and the winning streak continued to lengthen, accusations leveled at NUFC was that they hadn’t played ‘anyone’ yet – with ‘anyone’ presumed to be the top four (this despite Newcastle playing both Arsenal and Spurs and coming away undefeated).
Up until last weekend Newcastle maintained one of the last remaining undefeated streaks – and losing to Man City was the first Premier League loss sustained by Newcastle all season. So the fixture list in November / December of Man City, Man Utd, and Chelsea was deemed to be the time when Newcastle’s season unfurled. The loss against City was certainly not a foregone conclusion, and the performance against the billionaires earned some respect from pundits across the country.
A second visit to Manchester in the space of the week was looked on as too much for Alan Pardew’s men, but the players representing Newcastle United did so superbly on Saturday. The Toon frustrated Man Utd and few teams will match the dogged determination shown at Old Trafford by Newcastle. Justifiably, Pardew was proud of his Geordie heros and rightly so – they had something to prove. Demba Ba for cooly slotting away the penalty, Danny Simpson for stopping the ball on the goal-line, and Tim Krul for world class save after save.
The penalty awarded to the Toon by the linesman is a non-issue to me – Newcastle have had more than their fair share of those decisions not given, so what goes around comes around. Rio Ferdinand should have taken his own movement to heart #StayOnYourFeet.
No doubt the same people who made such a deal of Newcastle not playing anyone will say that the Toon were given a penalty which shouldn’t have been, but my answer to that is this – did you see Man United’s goal? The ball barely trickled over the line from Chicharito’s backside!
So, after all the games have been played this weekend Newcastle United remain in fourth with Chelsea to visit St. James’s Park on December 3rd, and Newcastle have every right going into that game in a confident mindset.