History will record that Newcastle United lost 0-2 to Manchester City Yesterday at St James’ Park.
What history will not record is that the game was a lot more evenly contested than the scoreline would suggest.
From a Magpies perspective, there were a number of positives to take from the game and particularly in the second half we were easily a match for the moneybags mancunians.
Jack Colback was the man of the match for me. The ex-mackem’s tireless running and ability to get in amongst the City slickers and break up their moves was supplemented by positive, intelligent passing where hardly a ball was wasted.
Remy Cabella is the new Hatem Ben Arfa. A player with a bagful of skill and tricks who will entertain us during the run up to January, but if he continues in this vein, will probably become owner Mike Ashley’s choice for the now traditional January Sales.
Both Ayoze Perez and Rolando Aarons look class, even now.
Daryl Janmaat looks a better bet than Debuchy (who?), and at 25 years old he should still have a couple of years to go at the club before the owner cashes in on him.
We have Tiote (we hope), De Jong, Santon and even Ryan Taylor to add to yesterday’s squad.
On the negative side, the centre of the defence still resembles a marshmallow.
Yesterday’s first City goal was a classic example, with both central defenders attracted to the ball to create the space for Silva to run into.
Emmanuel Riviere showed he is a strong lad – on one occasion out-muscling media darling Kompany – but we’ll have to work on eradicating the rush of blood to the head when he gets chances.
All in all though, I think most United fans will compare yesterday’s performance with the dire ones we saw in the second half of last season and will still have a skip in their step when they go to work this morning.
After all, we won’t be playing moneybags Manchester City every week, and we showed yesterday that we now pack enough punch going forward to trouble lesser teams.
What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.