Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Newcastle started this season strongly, confounding critics and pundits in the process. When Andy Carroll left for better pastures with Liverpool, everyone predicted the end of the road for Newcastle. Alan Pardew had his detractors and now he is actually being considered to be Capello's successor as England manager.
However you look at it, Newcastle, being a historical and colourful English club, they are exactly where they should be this season. The Toon Army are where they are this season due to the superb efforts of three foreign players.
Tim Krul's performance this season has been sensational. Against Manchester United, he was the reason Newcastle salvaged a 1-1 draw. 45 saves this season with six clean sheets marked him out as one of the outstanding keepers in the Premier League this season. Krul's stellar performances again shunts the unlucky Steve Harper into his all-too-familiar no. 2 spot.
The silky Yohan Cabaye looks like a player more suited to playing in a Manchester United or Liverpool team than Newcastle's. This post in NUFC Blog expertly highlights the importance of Cabaye to Newcastle.
Demba Ba started out slowly in a Newcastle shirt and every fan was baying for his head back then! Now every fan wants to kiss his head. The Senegalese striker has scored 14 goals in 15 Premier League appearances this year for Newcastle, that's 56% of all Newcastle goals!
Chieck Tiote's strong performances since his return, has got Newcastle winning again. The much sought-after midfield enforcer has reiterated his intention to stay at Tyneside and that's a boost for Alan Pardew.
The loss of the prolific Ba and combative Tiote to January's African Nations Cup will hurt Newcastle's bid to stay in seventh spot, though they do have a five point lead over Stoke City.
Alan Pardew have said no striker addition in January, so Hatem Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi and Leon Best will have to shoulder goalscoring duties while Demba Ba attempts to win the African Nations Cup with Senegal.
Can Newcastle maintain their excellent season without the goals of Ba?
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