So another good three points against one of the teams fancied for promotion alongside us.
I could not be there in the flesh for Derby 0 Newcastle 2 as I’m enjoying the sun in Lanzarote, but knowing the game was on sky was a bonus, as I was confident of watching.
I had however overlooked the fact that the pubs over here were favouring the premiership offering from Anfield.
I eventually found a pub that still had the scars from the earlier Manchester derby, and despite the broken glass and overturned tables, the owner assured me he had two telly boxes and would therefore show both teatime offerings from Premier League and Championship.
More black and white than red ensured that the commentary broadcast was that of ours, while the few scousers present had to settle for a soundless production.
There was of course a couple of Derby fans in attendance and the obligatory workie tickets from the Deep South (wearside), more on them later.
Chatting to the bar manager, it would seem that the there was a bit of a kick-off between two factions watching the Manchester derby, be it the sun, the sea or the sangria, it would seem the red half could not take defeat.
The upshot being that as we kicked off, many of them were enjoying tea and crumpets in the company of the Spanish police – good luck with that I thought!
No point in going over the match kick for kick as you all watched it anyway, suffice to say apart from the first 30 seconds we never looked in any danger once again. The only worry being whether the referee would buy some of the cheating tactics utilised by the Rams, one dive being so outrageous even the couple of Derby fans squirmed with embarrassment.
I was looking forward to seeing some new faces on show but Rafa is too cute for that, this horses for courses policy is paying handsome dividends, and once again you have to credit Gouffran, working tirelessly and icing the cake with a finish that drew various expletives of approval, get in son!
I felt that we could have upped our game at any time if needs be, and I firmly believe we are playing within ourselves, it’s early days but it really is promising.
There is clearly an excellent team spirit amongst the squad and now that all the mercenaries such as Sissoko have finally departed, all bodes well
I conversed with them from the Deep South, stating how much I wanted to draw Sunderland in the FA or League Cup, I don’t think they would find things quite as easy now. The conversation had a bit of an edge as they kept pointing out the six in a row cliche, my retort of 28 years unbeaten on wearside fell on deaf ears as the Sangria shandy had blinkered their views.
Interestingly, they were Sunlun through and through but when I asked if they were match attendees or pink seat impersonators, they swerved the question.
Suffice to say I know which set of fans are wearing the smiles today.
I will be back at the said pub on Monday night and while I am too mature (aye right) to celebrate any Everton goals with gusto, I will enjoy watching. As I am sure Everton won’t roll over and have their belly tickled as they did to our annoyance last season, but what annoyance? Relegation could well see the re-birth of Newcastle United.
In Rafa Benitez we have a manager who is everything Sir Bobby Robson was, a knowledgable manager loved by the fans and a true gentleman as well, the more I hear about him the more this becomes apparent.
So on to QPR on Tuesday, another difficult game, but I just feel Rafa will set out his stall to gain another win.
When the season started I did say if we got through to the end of September and were amongst the front runners then we would kick on, nothing I have seen alters that view
Now Mr LeazesEnder (a regular in the comments section below), what negative spin can you bring to the table now?
Cheers to all!