I have written this before and I have a feeling I’ll write it again in the not-too-distant future: life as a Newcastle United fan is never dull.
After being dismantled by Manchester City in the first Premier League game of the season, the mood around Tyneside was seriously low. The lack of investment in the summer had already caused concern and the result at the hands of a rampant City left Geordies feeling less than pessimistic about the remaining 37 games.
However, following two wins from the next three games — including two morale-boosting clean sheets — the outlook greatly improved. All of a sudden Newcastle had started to look like a side that could replicate the fifth-place finish of 2011-12.
Expectations were once again high and with newly promoted Hull City next up for Newcastle at home, the Magpies were widely expected to brush aside Steve Bruce’s men and continue their eye-catching improvement.
Everything changed when goals from Robbie Brady, Ahmed Elmohamady and a superb winner from Sone Aluko sent Newcastle to their first home defeat of the campaign.
Now, with expectations being brought crashing by the Tigers, it’s time to see what Alan Pardew and his side are all about.
We know they are capable of pulling teams apart with their top players in top form. Two of those so far this season have been Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy, who have been involved in every one of Newcastle’s goals this season.
We also know that they can be guilty of complacency, which is what cost them the three points against Hull September 21. After Remy’s opener, the Magpies took their foot off the gas and were left red-faced when Hull kept fighting back and nicked it late on.
Now, with their feet firmly planted back on the ground, it’s up to the side to decide what kind of season they are to have. Senior players need to step up and pick their team mates up, lead by example and ensure a repeat of last season does not happen.
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