After back to back dross against Crystal Palace and Leicester, did anyone predict that Newcastle United would pick up maximum points from the last two games, against top opposition?

I didn’t, in fact I had us down for a couple of damaging defeats to really put us in the clarts over the festive period. Instead, what a couple of wins we have seen.

Ok, Liverpool were poor and Tottenham were busy but ineffectual, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you. The last gasp winner at White Hart Lane was a magnificent moment and I’d always take that slice of luck when it comes.

However, the bigger question is, why do these players only seem to turn it on against the big boys and on television too? The simple fact of the matter is, they are in the shop window and when something is in a shop window, it has to look that little bit better than the normal item that’s on the shelf inside the store.

The accusation I’d be throwing at this set of players is a distinct lack of professionalism. However, it’s something the club can’t really punish the players for as it is their (transfer policy) model in place…it is their attitude and ambition so they can’t blame the players for adopting it.

NUFC Art Prints -

If the MD Lee Charnley speaks to a player he wants to sign (if that actually happens and it’s not all handled by Graeme Carr) and sells Newcastle United as the club to move to if you want to get a move to a bigger club (a stepping stone) then the player will potentially sign for the club, but with no desire or motivation to see the club actually do well.

The ‘meaningless’ games don’t matter. The games these players are going to turn up for are the televised ones, the ones beamed to a bigger audience, the ones against the top sides that everybody around the world, including scouts watch.

The games they don’t wish to turn up for or ‘try’ in, are your Watford and Sunderland games, cup ties and the like, and it’s something the club has openly encouraged and a mentality they have allowed to breed.

I for one will be watching players’ performances at the weekend against (certain to be relegated) Aston Villa, for if they revert back to type and turn up with the negative, carefree attitude displayed for much of this season, I won’t be happy.

On the other hand, we are on TV again. Over to you lads, another performance required.

Merry Christmas everyone!

(To feature like Paul, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)