On the field I have been impressed with our performances. There were plenty of positives to be taken from the City game. A defeat was always expected, but the performance was impressive. All of our new signing's performed with Colback & Cabella standing out. Our obvious lack of a cutting edge up front is worrying as Emmanuel Rivière do does seem to be a natural finisher. For me Pardew's selection of Williamson & Dummett over Haidara & Mbiwa is a concern but to be fair we looked like a solid unit who were undone by two moments of quality from City.
At Villa park we controlled the game and did create chances - unfortunately that cutting edge was lacking again as we ended up scoreless against VIlla. Again for me plenty of positive were there to be seen. WIth De Jong integrating into the team will will improve & this will help Riviere and offer some support in and around the box. Again defensively we looked solid and our midfield was solid & busy at the same time. Colback impressed again and I cannot wait to see him patrolling the engine room with Tiote by his side.
Against Gillingham we simply avoided a Banana skin which is all you can ask. These early round cup games are all about making it to the next round and we did that. Ideally we would have seen a goal for one of new forwards which would have boosted confidence, but that wasn't to be. We move to the next round and that is job done. To hear some fans comment that we could only beat a Gillingham with an own goal is laughable.
In terms of the remaining days of the transfer window we must invest in a new forward. This has been plain to see in our opening games. Riviere is a big strong lad who will work his socks off, but he is not a natural finisher. De Jong will play in the 10 role and will be quality but again he is not a 15+ goals a season man.
Todays news is that Loic Remy has once again turned us down and that must put a end to our interest in him which is a great shame. He was my number 1 target all summer simply because you know exactly what you are getting - Goals. We must move on to our next target which appears to be Lacazette from Lyon - good, go get him. If not him we move onto the the next one until we deliver a goal scorer.
Defensively it appears Mapou Yanga Mbiwa could be moved on which for me is a mistake. I would move on Taylor and look to bring in Micah Richard who I would start alongside Colo at the heart of our defense.
To see Jack Colback win an England call up is great for the lad. He made a big move across the Tyne this summer which takes guts & he has been rewarded. Jack is one of us who can have a big future at the club. I must admit I was not his biggest fan & did not really see him making our first 11, but he has been so impressive already. Thrilled for the Ginger Pirlo!
I have to end this post with a complaint. First let me say I love supporting NUFC, I love the Toon Army but I absolutely cannot stand the negativity which haunts our club right now & the constant negativity towards our manager. Love him or hate him Pardew is our gaffer and we just need to support the club & see how the season goes. Pardew can never win - If we lose its his fault, if we win its the players. Lets give him a fair crack of the whip.
Howay the lads