An excellent away win at Derby and apart from a few minutes of home pressure, I didn’t think we had any great issues.
Here is the point – I saw something that’s been missing since a certain Alan Shearer plied his trade here.
What’s that then big fella? Well one goal up and minutes left, what happens?
Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle head into the corner at the Derby end and tap the ball around, wasting time and frustrating the opposition – in essence we shut up shop and killed the game off.
You all saw Derby’s frustration and then they fell for DeAndre Yedlin’s sucker punch.
The signs are that Rafa Benitez has brought a clarity and pragmatism sadly missing for a generation, in essence, a quality manager finding a lost club and guiding it slowly to salvation on and off the pitch.
Shelvey and Gayle’s corner escapades show promise and the punchline of that move for the second goal was the icing on the cake.
However, one thing still irks me from the Pardew and McClaren days and to a degree it is still happening, at times we drop deeper and deeper – allowing the opposition control of the ball and inviting them onto us.
Maybe we should endeavour to control the ball even more and perhaps as the season progresses, that message gets through and will become the norm.
For now, after our slow start, promising signs and well done lads!
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Derby 0 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Gouffran 20, Yedlin 90+1
Possession was Derby 53% Newcastle 47%
Total shots were Derby 9 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Derby 2 Newcastle 3
Corners were Derby 2 Newcastle 5
Team: Sels, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Colback, Shelvey, Gouffran (Yedlin 73), Ritchie, Diame (Hayden 88), Gayle (Perez 76)
Unused Subs: Darlow, Clark, Lazaar, Mitrovic
Referee: James Linington
Crowd: 30,405 (Newcastle 3,200)
(To watch both Newcastle goals v Derby go HERE)
(To view the collective Newcastle fans player ratings and to add your own go HERE)
(To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the 2-0 win go HERE)