While results have been up and down recently, one player who is looking better with every match is Davide Santon.
Talking to The Guardian he has revealed what he will do if he scores against the mackems (must have seen our match preview where we’d tipped him at 40-1 to score the first goal!).
“If I score a goal against Sunderland Alan Pardew will have to substitute me straight away, I will just want to carry on celebrating, to run out of the ground and into the street. It would be the perfect moment for me.
They were beautiful occasions (Milan derbies), special games and some of the best I played in. Of course, it made all the difference that we won all (Santon played in three for Inter) of them. Perhaps that is why I love derbies so much. They’ve made me very happy.
I cannot compare Newcastle v Sunderland until after I’ve played in it but everyone here has been telling me just what it means. There are 90,000 fans at San Siro but they tell me it will be even noisier here.
Don’t worry, I realise how important it is for Newcastle to win. Sunderland is as big a game as Manchester United. Hopefully history can repeat itself, as a team we were really up for Manchester United, our mentality was right and we played our best game of the season.
José Mourinho was the one who discovered me, the one who had faith in me, the one who converted me from a right-winger, the one who pushed me forward and I will always owe him for that.
I’m really grateful the manager allowed me time to settle in, to adjust, to learn how the team worked, I wasn’t impatient, those first few quiet weeks really helped me.
I was very happy when I heard that José had said I was playing well again here, my dream now is to return to San Siro (in the Champions League!).
It will be very difficult to qualify this season but it’s possible. When I first joined, no one thought we could be in such a high position but it did not take me long to realise there are many good players here and, like Mourinho, Alan Pardew is a very thorough manager who prepares you very well for games. I think we can get into the Europa League this season. Then who knows? I can’t wait to play for Newcastle at San Siro and win.
Everywhere you go, everyone’s talking about the derby, they tell me we have to beat Sunderland. I’ve been told it will be an absolutely fantastic experience but I know I’ll have to keep my emotions in control. The most important thing is to stay calm”.
The fact that Mourinho converted him from a winger reveals where he gets those surging runs from.
I would love to think that Alan Pardew will be able to keep our best players together and add more excellent technical players like Santon and Cabaye to the team/squad.
Just for now though I will settle for a Santon cracker against the mackems and Alan Pardew trying to catch him as he sprints off down Strawberry Place!