After one of the greatest 21 minutes of Premier League football St James’ Park has ever seen, the highlights of Sunday’s win have, quite literally, been playing non-stop on phones, laptops and TVs across Tyneside since the weekend. Taking a break between repeated viewings of MOTD2, Lee Foster delves into what we learned from Demolition Day.
1. Jacob Murphy IS a bona fide Premier League Footballer…
Whilst he is clearly living his best life right now, it hasn’t always been sunshine on the Tyne for a player who is conceivably the poshest Geordie ever to have played for Newcastle United.
Since being farmed out to West Brom and Sheff Wed for almost two years, his return to Barrack Road has seen him berated by many – notably John “Just put it in the net” Anderson – and if we’re honest, probably every Mag that has since guffawed at the TV footage of an almost maniacal looking Murphy immediately following yesterday’s 25-yard thunderbastard.
What is clear, however, despite the previous shortcomings that have undoubtedly infuriated all of us at one time or another, Jacob Murphy never moans and has clearly worked his b*lls off on the training ground to show his worth.
At 5-0 yesterday, his work rate never dropped – still chasing down and harrying an utterly bewildered Tottenham backline as if he was faced with a 0-1 deficit in the final minute.
Jacob Murphy has finally, and deservedly, forced himself to become an intrinsic part of Eddie Howe’s squad – Newcastle United’s ‘shithouser in chief’ if you like?
2. Joe Willock is a must for Gareth Southgate…
If Southgate thinks Conor Gallagher is more worthy of a place in the ‘jobs for the boys club’ commonly known as the England squad than Willockinho, then he clearly spent far too much time breathing in all manner of chemicals during his stint on Teesside.
Statistically, Willock has literally taken Gallagher to the cleaners this season: xG, Assists, Goal Involvement, Key Passes, Dribbles, Tackles, Ground Duels won; Willock outperforms the Chelsea man in all of these aspects of their game and then some… it’s not even close, man.
And don’t get me started on Kalvin Philips, for fucks sake.
Surely, it’s only a matter of time…isn’t it?
3. NUFC Fans don’t know how to react to being 5-0 up after 21 minutes…
Be honest, as glorious as it was – yesterday was a weird experience for those of us fortunate to be inside SJP, wasn’t it?
In the immediate aftermath of goal number 5, I took a moment to observe the assorted Mags surrounding me. What I saw will stay with me for some time: a mixture of unbridled joy, confusion, bewilderment and normally vocal punters (the ones that will shout at anything, no matter how inconsequential) rendered utterly speechless at what was unfolding in front of us.
Personally, I turned to the fella who sits behind me and asked, “What the fuck are we supposed to do for the next 70-odd minutes?”.
The next 10 minutes were like nothing I have experienced before on Barrack Road – amongst the odd relatively low-key song, I could hear nothing but the constant chatter of 50k + Mags, conversations that were undoubtedly drawing comparisons to Cole and Kelly in 93’, Prince Philippe Albert in 96’, and The Lion of Gosforth in 99’.
Make no doubt about it; yesterday was another of those ‘I was there’ days that will be talked about on Barrack Road for generations to come.
4. Despite the media narrative, this wasn’t a freak result – Villa was.
The glee amongst many members of the press pack was almost palpable following last week’s defeat in the shitty part of Birmingham: “They’ve been found out”, “Liverpool / Villa / Brighton will chase them down”, “They’ve hit a wall” …
Bollocks to the lot you, you vulturous pricks…
If we have learnt one thing about this group, so meticulously drilled by Edward John Frank Howe & Co, it’s that they are mentality monsters with an unnerving ability to bounce back from a poor result or spell of form.
Liverpool (A) was followed by 15 unbeaten, Sheff Wed (A) was followed by seven unbeaten (Inc. reaching a cup final), and consecutive defeats to Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City were followed by five wins on the spin.
This version of United is the real deal, and we aren’t going away anytime soon.
5. Newcastle United are, in fact, class.