Newcastle’s 2-1 victory at Tottenham on Sunday may have surprised people, but my gut instinct was that the Magpies may get something against the side from north London.
The visitors got back into the game with a 74th minute equaliser from Aleksandar Mitrovic after Eric Dier had opened the scoring for Tottenham.
The Magpies stunned the home side in stoppage-time, as another substitute Ayoze Perez scored the winning goal.
This was the sort of performance from Tottenham that will mean they will not be genuine Premier League title challengers this season.
However Newcastle deserves immense credit for the win and not giving up on the game. It looks like the Magpies season may just be about turnaround.
Confidence growing at Newcastle
Football is a strange game at times. Confidence is one of the biggest factors in a successful team. For too long the Newcastle players seem to have lacked confidence and boss Steve McClaren has not looked capable of turning things around.
To be fair to McClaren he never panicked and even when there were rumours about his job being on the line he was pretty calm. Then again he has lots of experience of being in charge of struggling teams and losing his job.
Successive victories over Liverpool and Tottenham should mean that confidence is high amongst those Magpies players. McClaren’s job looks safe for now.
There is quality in that Newcastle squad
There is no question about it Newcastle has players with talent and potential in their squad. I have talked about their talented young front two Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez before in my articles.
The youngsters started most of the Newcastle’s early games, but in recent games have been relegated to the bench in favour of the more experienced pair Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong. Neither of the Magpies more experienced players could find a breakthrough against Spurs, so the youngsters were brought on.
Much to the delight of the Toon Army the youngsters had a major impact on the game. Mitrovic not only scored, but also played a part in setting-up the winner for Perez.
Perez and Mitrovic have so much potential both individually and as a partnership that if they can find the confidence and consistency necessary then the Magpies will be looking up, rather than over their shoulders at the relegation zone.
The goals against Spurs should give the pair a new-found confidence and hopefully for the Magpies it will lead to an improvement in form.
Two other players that play a vital part in that Newcastle team are midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko. Wijnaldum was the Magpies big summer signing alongside Mitrovic, having helped to inspire PSV to the Eredivisie title last season.
The Dutch international has already scored seven goals in the English top-flight and also produced three assists this season. On his day he can be a major threat to opposition defences and creative force in the Magpies team.
Sissoko has been playing on the opposite wing to Wijnaldum this season. In the past he has threatened to be a Premier League force, but has struggled for consistency in his Newcastle career. The French international produced a vibrant performance against Spurs.
The Magpies talented quartet of attacking players should be very exciting to watch, but only if they find that much-needed consistency.
Moving on up
The win at Spurs moved Newcastle up to 15th position in the Premier League, but the Magpies are still just two points clear of the relegation zone. The north east outfit are currently odds of 6/4 to be relegated to the Championship.
However the next few games will give Steve McLaren’s team a chance to move up the table, as the Magpies have a home game against rock-bottom Aston Villa, before hosting travel-sick Everton who have not won on their travels in the league since September.
A trip to solid, if inconsistent West Brom follows after that double header. Newcastle will now certainly fancy their chances of moving up the table, especially with that trio of games looking very winnable.
The Steve McClaren reign started very poorly, but Newcastle fans may now be set for a more positive run this season and in truth it is about time they had something to cheer about.
Can Newcastle build on successive victories?