After a tepid first half at Southend on Tuesday night, Newcastle sprang to life with two very good goals in the second half from Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran.
After the game, Southend boss Phil Brown was full of praise for his League One team and claimed that ‘we more than matched them at times’.
The former Hull Manager reserved special praise for strikers Jason Williams and Ronan Murray, due to their first half workrate ‘frustrating’ the visitors.
You do though get the impression that Phil Brown just makes it up as he goes along, as before the game he said:
“But Newcastle will be a tough test. I would imagine that one or two of their players who have come back from the Euros might be involved.”
Newcastle are of course a bit thin on the ground when it comes to Euros competitors and the only one who was there, is unlikely ever to pull on an NUFC shirt again.
After last night, Phil Brown claimed that the difference was ‘the two goalscorers cost them (Newcastle) a fortune. There are any number of Newcastle players who did indeed cost ‘a fortune’ but Gouffran wasn’t exactly one of them, arriving from Bordeaux for around £1.5m.
Vurnon Anita was a little more pricey at close to £7m, although if you rated him on value per goal then now in his fifth year he has been very costly.
With Anita now in his final year of a five year contract and no sign of a new deal, it remains to be seen exactly what role Rafa has in mind for him, if any. The assumption of course was/is that Newcastle/Rafa were trying their best to get rid of Gouffran, seen as surplus to requirements and also in the final year of his deal.
However, Gouffran has had far more time on the pitch pre-season than most fans would have predicted, so who knows just what Rafa Benitez will do with his two goalscorers who ‘cost them a fortune’.
“There were a lot of good things happening for us out there.
“You never want to lose but the two goalscorers cost them (Newcastle) a fortune and there was a lot of talent on that pitch.
“We had a game plan to frustrate them and we more than matched them at times.
“It was a good work out tactically and physically for us.
“Jason Williams and Ronan Murray made it frustrating for them in the first half and it was a good night’s work”
Southend 0 Newcastle 2
Darlow, Janmaat (Sterry 63), Mbemba (Hanley 63), Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden (Colback 63), Anita (Thauvin 79), Aarons (Gouffran 63), Shelvey (Saivet 73), Gayle (Armstrong 63), Perez (Mitrovic 73),