Jermaine Jenas was impressed with a number of aspects of Newcastle’s performance against Swansea.
The former United player thinking his old club were good value for their vital relegation six pointer win.
Jenas was full of praise for the Newcastle defensive organisation and thinks survival could happen, if clean sheets become a habit.
However, in the previous 17 matches, Newcastle had only kept one clean sheet.
This means it is so hard for the team to win football matches and one of the key reasons why Newcastle still remain relegation favourites.
Interestingly, Rafa Benitez does seem to have cured NUFC’s goalscoring problems to an extent, there have been seven goals in the last four matches and only Rafa’s first game at title favourites Leicester saw his team fail to score.
In contrast, six of the 12 matches immediately before Benitez arrived, saw United fail to score.
The good news for Newcastle fans is that Jermaine Jenas believes that Saturday was the first time he had seen the team look so organised and performing at the kind of standard, which Rafa Benitez expects them to play at.
Jermaine Jenas talking on Match of The Day:
“Obviously when you first come into a club it takes a while to put your stamp on what you want your players to do.
“But I thought it was probably the first time I have seen that Newcastle team looking more organised and able to perform at a level that Rafa Benitez wants them to do.
“I was really impressed with the defensive line, this is when you know a team is communicating well. The defensive line all come out as a team – good distance between the back four and the midfield.
“They are all talking, they are all communicating.
“They did come under a lot of pressure towards the end of that second half and they brought on Mitrovic, who doesn’t only lift the crowd – he gives a focal point and allows you to hit him and get up the pitch.
“He soaks up a lot of pressure and not only that, he makes himself an absolute nuisance.
“He wins the corner that gets Newcastle the second goal and then towards the end, a good run into the channel – it is not pretty (bulldozes through one challenge) but he’s strong and powerful and lovely ball into Townsend who finishes it off.
“That was Newcastle’s second clean sheet in 18 games and it shows how hard it is for Newcastle to win games.
“If they can keep getting clean sheets, who knows…?”