Newcastle recent form has been very good. With three wins from the last four games and that one game they came up against the inspired Gareth Bale and certainly matched the Champions League hopefuls for much of the game. As well as this, the Magpies progressed through the very difficult Europa League tie quite comfortably.
The reason for this upturn in fortune? Simple. The January transfer window was a very active one for Newcastle and the much needed investment in the squad has paid dividends with every game played ever since the January transfer window activities being positively affected by at least one of the new arrivals. Whilst Moussa Sissoko rightly receives plaudits for a string of outstanding performances, it is impossible to ignore the contributions of Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy in premier league games whilst Mapou Yanga Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara impressed in the away leg against Metalist Kharkiv (with the former also impressing in the first leg).
Every single one of these players offers something that the club have been lacking this season. Haidara gives much needed cover to Davide Santon at Left back, MYM brings quality and gives a third quality option as Centre Back which is vital when you consider the injury record of Steven Taylor and if recent displays are anything to go by, he is one of the most attack minded centre halves in the game.
Debuchy is a player who Newcastle should really have bought in the summer with the two clubs squabbling over a few thousand pounds. Nonetheless, that deal didn’t happen then but now Debuchy has arrived on Tyneside he has showcased his talents, most notable in the most recent victory over Southampton. His desire to get forward is something the side has lacked on the right flank in recent times. Another plus is the fact that he is always up for aerial battles putting his body on the line for the cause.
Gouffran is largely a striker but has operated from the left flank since his arrival to great effect. His blistering pace brought goals against Chelsea and Southampton, whilst his immense work rate has earned him many plaudits amongst the Geordie faithful and scored his first goal for the club in the recent defeat at White Hart Lane.
Last but certainly not least is Moussa Sissoko who’s inspired signing has spear-headed Newcastle’s recent revival with at least one goal or assist in all of his league appearances combined with winning the Penalty that eventually sent Newcastle through. The powerful midfielder has shown an eye for goal, whilst his link up play has been exceptional. Perhaps his most eye catching incident in a Black and White shirt was the way he burst past Ashley Cole before leaving him for dead and getting a shot away which was turned away by Petr Cech. Although it didn’t result in a goal, it signaled his arrival in the premier league. He is quite possibly the first person to embarrass Ashley Cole in such a way. His playing style is likened to Yaya Toure and his idol Patrick Vieira, if he continues his career in the way it has begun then we may see him going on to not only equal the achievements of Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira but surpass them.
The future appears bright in Black and White and although it is early days, the Toon’s French legion look capable of thrusting the side towards competing for honours and Champions League football in the coming seasons.
Written By Adam Stoker (85)