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Newcastle fans enter the twilight zone

6 years ago
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It’s often said that a week is a long time in football, well if that is the case then the last three have been like an eternity for Newcastle United and their under-fire manager Alan Pardew.

The sudden, mesmerising transformation in fortunes has been nothing short of miraculous, extremely enjoyable to watch, and absolutely vital in the context of where this season looked like it was heading. Something appears to have clicked at the training ground, allied with a slightly different formation it’s working a treat.

Just as the season enters that phase where the league table begins to stretch, we have found a glut of points which have fired us up to 8th place, well clear of the relegation fodder. It’s absolutely massive, lifting the supporters and taking pressure off players and, perhaps most importantly, the manager.

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Yet I still remain wary of Pardew. Make no mistake, here was a coach who looked bereft of ideas, lacking in the tactical basics and seemingly unable to motivate a dressing room full of internationals.

We’ve been here before when Pardew has served up good runs of form. Last year we entered December just outside the top four but fell away badly.

It could happen again, but we have to hope that it won’t. I sincerely want Pardew and his staff to retain the momentum. He’s a manager who, for me, still carries many black marks against his name (not least his record in derby games) but fair play to him – for now.

The highlight of the last few weeks has been the way some of the club’s young players have stepped up to the plate. I can’t recall a time when so many of the development squad have suddenly burst onto the first team scene to such effect.

Mehdi Abeid has left me wondering if Tiote can get back in the side. Sammy Ameobi has astounded me with his determination. Paul Dummett has looked rock solid. Perez, the young Spaniard, showing he’s a naturally gifted finisher at such a tender age. All this without mentioning what a talent we have on our hands with Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong also looking like he might make it as well.

We can also be cheered by the fact that Sissoko is in blistering form and there is so much more to come from Remy Cabella, who really should have made it 2-0 against Liverpool.

Newcastle fans now find themselves in that twilight zone where we all know there now exists a chance to really kick on. Let’s hope it happens.

My glass is just about half full but like a lot fans I’ve spoken to in the last day or so, the common thread seems to be one of…‘enjoy it while it lasts’.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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