Allez le Toon! – Newcastle F.C. – November

Newcastle United 2-0 Chelsea:

After a devastating defeat to closest rivals Sunderland in their last Premier League outing, it was imperative that Newcastle responded in front of their home fans. The reaction was indeed impressive as the Toon army remained in the game throughout, and then produced a brilliant second-half display to rattle Chelsea.

After around an hour, it became clear that the Blues weren’t up too much and three points were very much up for grabs. The goal then came as Yohan Cabaye dropped a free kick into the box that Gouffran showed the most desire to get his head on and give Newcastle a priceless lead. Hazard nearly levelled for Chelsea but narrowly put his free shot wide. The points though were sealed in the final minutes when a magical jinking run from Anita pulled the defence out of position, giving Loic Remy the inch he needed to find his sixth goal in seven games.

Performance Rating: Grade A-; fantastic result to put the Sunderland game as far out of mind as possible. Matched and thoroughly beat one of the best squads in the division.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United:

Many Newcastle fans last season would probably have been quoted as calling Spurs a “one-man team”. Oh, the irony. An early Loic Remy goal would sentence Tim Krul to a 77 minute massacre, one he would somehow survive.

Remy scored after 13 minutes after some good work from Gouffran, the two offensive players again proving as dangerous as any in the division. What would follow? – Wave after wave of Tottenham attack, particularly in the second-half. Spurs fans have been complaining about their sides woes in front of goal this season, but nobody could criticise their forwards on this occasion. Tim Krul showed some inspired form to keep a clean sheet with a bit of help from Yanga-Mbiwa who made a clearance that crossed the line into ridiculousness.

Performance Rating: Grade B; if this rating was for Tim Krul it would be an A+. Otherwise it was a good team performance and another big result against one of the teams expected to do well this season.

Tim Krul had the game of his life against Spurs at White Hart Lane…

Newcastle United 2-1 Norwich City:

A game of two halves that saw us dominate the first-half, displaying the sort of confidence you would expect from a team coming off the back of wins against two big-hitters. Two first-half goals from that duo again, Remy and Gouffran, would ultimately be enough.

Many Newcastle fans often express frustration at the fact Newcastle struggle to push on from winning positions – This was no different and at half time a game that was comfortable, became very uncomfortable when Leroy Fer scored. This was the first goal that we had conceded in over 250 minutes. Thankfully we had enough to see it out and there would be no happy return to St James’ for Chris Hughton.

Performance Rating: Grade C; a game that you would expect to win, and we did… just! It was a par, nothing spectacular but enough to smile about. Questions would have to be asked about Pardew’s half time team talk as we stepped well off the gas in the second-half.

Newcastle United 2-1 West Bromwich Albion:

Another home game and another home victory; Gouffran and Sissoko scored the goals that meant of the 19 scored by the Toon army this season, a staggering 18 had been scored by Frenchmen – The only exception to this being Geordie-born, Paul Dummett.

Gouffran gave us the lead but the scores were levelled when nobody picked up Brunt at the far post and he slammed home. Step up Moussa Sissoko, Mo Mo Mo he’s magic, you know…you’ll never get past Sissoko. Forget him stopping you, try and stop his swerving effort on the hour mark, you’ll fail. A blistering effort that deserved to win the three points, and did.

We have been treated to some special goal this season from the likes of Cabaye and Ben Arfa but this one had a real good feeling about it. The Frenchman said: It is up there as one of the greatest goals I have ever scored, probably, in my career, and I am really happy to have scored it.

Performance Rating: Grade B-; another par performance, but to be pegged back and then go and win it is something that Newcastle fans rarely see. So that gave this a bit of a better feel, it also confirmed a rarity for Newcastle, a perfect month with four wins in four.

Overall Rating: Grade A; The polar opposite to Fulham’s November. Six points would have been a good month here for Newcastle, so to get 12, is really something! Seven goals, all scored by Frenchmen, un parfait Novembre. The first 11 looks as good as any in the league right now, and all the signs are encouraging, could Newcastle be in the mix for Champions League football come the end of the season? Allez le Toon!

Harry Barker


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