Back To Business, Ben Arfa Style
Two wonder strikes send the Magpies into the next round of the FA cup and at this moment in time it is hard to imagine that this is not some kind of dream. No bust ups, no extreme controversy, no erratic results, is this really Newcastle United? The team has not only scrapped the image of old but is also playing entertaining football and more importantly winning. First the defending champions and now the team that knocked us out the league cup in Autumn, the focus must still be to cement Premier League status for next season. Demba Ba and Tiote were missed during the first half of the FA cup encounter at St James’ Park but the players who needed to step up to the plate did so, with Mike Williamson having one of his finest games in a black and white shirt, while Leon Best and Hatem Ben Arfa led with energy and confidence.
QPR at home and Fulham away before meeting Blackburn away from home are the next three fixtures for the Toon. A victory in any two of the three will guarantee the team a place at football’s top table come next season. This allows for three main opportunities to present themselves. Firstly the assured Premier League TV rights and income to allow the team to buy and strengthen in the Summer from a position of comfort and calm. Secondly the confirmation of Premier League status allows the team to focus more on the FA Cup and potentially an opportunity for European football along the avenue of Birmingham last season. Finally victories over the teams that lie in wait will bring confidence to the team and management with Tiote and Ba away and will allow for them to return and focus on a top seven finish and the FA Cup rather than relegation concerns which will help keep our top players at the club.
All in all success is coming but a strong showing against QPR in our next ficture, coupled with three points is a must if this team are to show they are not just a two trick pony.
Below: Another look at Hatem’s goal against Blackburn Rovers
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