Drink it in..

 Well, this is a weird feeling, isn’t it?

After 3 years of undeservedly stealing points from games in which we looked like we were taking part in by way of invitation, Newcastle United continue to reintroduce themselves as a Premier League team in their own right.

From the first minute onwards yesterday, it was plain to see that Eddie Howe’s reinvented Mags had the attacking threat, the defensive solidity, and the composure, guile and nous required to walk away from the Brentford Community Stadium with three points – and after Josh Da Silva’s assault on Matt Targett in the tenth minute, I think we all knew that the result was a mere formality.

I genuinely cannot recall the last time I felt that relaxed at 0-0 in a game involving Newcastle United Football Club.

To be honest, whilst it was fully deserved, I was a little disappointed that Da Silva got sent off because it gave the naysayers the opportunity to shriek “But, It was against 10 men” – make no mistake, we won that game yesterday irrelevant of the sending off, because this is a team that is growing in capability, fitness, confidence, and also in it’s ability to manage games, before our very eyes.

Every man to take the field yesterday appeared to know their job and carried out what was expected of them perfectly, and also – say it quietly – seemed to understand exactly what it means to play for Newcastle United.

When you have a tactically astute manager, a group of talented, motivated players and a fanbase that is unflinching in its support, you have a unique opportunity to create something that should be feared – and ladies and gentlemen of this parish, I firmly believe we are witnessing the start of a special period in the history of our great club.

I’ve supported and followed Newcastle United for the best part of 40 years man and boy, and as a result have experienced my fair share of ‘high’ points – I was fortunate enough to experience both of Kevin Keegan’s meaningful era’s (player and manager), the rejuvenation of the club under Sir Bobby, and I vividly remember the mood during those wonderful periods; the feeling of the city being alive, the chest bursting pride that we all felt for the club, and the connection that the fanbase collectively had with the players who proudly donned the Black and White stripes to fight for our just and righteous cause.

This, right now, feels the same.

Once again, something big is brewing on Barrack Road, and it feels fucking glorious to be part of.

Lee Forster @LeeForster 

A team born again

This was a huge win. Yes, Brentford had 10 men for 80 minutes. But this was a Newcastle side shorn of three of its best players in the injured Wilson, Trippier and Saint Maximin.

Joelinton’s imperious box to box performance was crowned with the goal it deserved and he was baptised anew as a midfield general by the 1,700 fans with whom he raced to celebrate.

Big Jow is far from the only player in black and white to be reborn. I say it after every game, but the impact of Eddie Howe can be seen throughout this side. Schar once again has the confidence and ability to step out of defence, his strong run and superb pass setting up Willock for a sumptuous second goal that put the game beyond the Bees. Ryan Fraser was given the freedom of the Community Stadium and made the most of it with a seemingly endless barrage of quality crosses. Shelvey’s passing was near-perfect and his work rate off the ball is finally where it always should have been.

While Brentford had little to celebrate, seeing a born-again Christian on the pitch will have warmed the heart of any football fan. It’s great to see Eriksen back – and based on his performance a relief that he didn’t start the game. He might be enough to stop the rot at Brentford.

The only thing that prevented this from being a dream away day was that Chris Wood once again failed to score. However, I firmly believe that the goals are coming. He gets in the right positions and in my book played a big part in Newcastle’s opener – if Wood isn’t tying up those defenders, Joelinton doesn’t get a virtually free header.

Credit to the 1,699 Geordies in the stadium who sang from start to finish. Disappointed in the one who got done for drugs, though. Let’s not tarnish the image of the Toon Army that way.

Dan Jenkins @PlumsGinger 

The Brentford all stars.

A fantastic Reggae group from Jamaica who started a musical revolution.

Also, it describes Newcastle on Saturday who’s football revolution continues apace with a classic away performance which lifted us to fourteenth in the table which is quite frankly unreal compared to where we were a month ago.

OK, the game changed on the sending off. The 11th minute gift via VAR by Josh DaSilva gave us all the ammunition we needed to stamp our authority on the game, and we simply ran out EASY winners.

For a team who have steadfastly refused to do things the easy ways since its formation, this was so good. It isn’t supposed to be this way. We are used to the hard way

Da Silva dumped us out of the league cup Quarter final in possibly one of the lowest nights in our recent history in 2020 and on first glance it looked harsh but a closer look (and that’s what VAR is for) you see it was an ankle breaker on another day. The fact Targett got up was more luck than judgement.

From then on we dominated the first half and a player who so epitomises the rejuvenation of the club, Joelinton, bulleted in a magnificent header that was reminiscent of a certain Match of the day summariser.

The second goal was Newcastle all over. What was Schar doing THERE? He should have been defending but he hassled and won the ball and fed Willock who blasted in like a Match of the day summariser.

Talking of Summarisers, Radio Newcastle had Andy Woodman on, and he was part of Pardew’s staff in 2011, the last time we went 7 games unbeaten. After Willocks goal, that stat was always happening.

We could have scored more but the game was expertly ran out and the only stir from Brentford was for the welcome return of Eriksen.

This was everything I want to see from an away performance. Newcastle are back as the Brentford all-stars sang “We did it in cold blood”.

Scott Robson

1,700 passionate Newcastle United fans made the 604 mile round trip down to the capital as the Magpies looked to extend their six match unbeaten run in the Premier League. The last time they had a longer unbeaten run in the league was between May to November 2011 in a streak that lasted eleven matches.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged side from last weekends draw against West Ham, Allan Saint-Maximin didn’t travel as he recovers from his calf injury. As for the hosts, Ivan Toney and Christian Eriksen took their places on the bench.

Newcastle got the game underway and neither side found their stride in the opening ten minutes and struggled to keep hold of the ball for significant periods of time. The hosts had a man sent off with just thirteen minutes on the clock when Josh Dasilva received his marching orders from Mike Dean after a VAR review, the Brentford player hacking down Matt Targett just outside the penalty area. Jonjo Shelvey fired the resulting free kick straight into the keepers arms. Chris Wood had a chance to score his first goal for the Magpies and fire them into the lead but his strike from a Ryan Fraser cross was well saved by David Raya. 30 minutes into the game, Chris Wood had another chance to fire the visiting side into the lead but once more Raya had to be on hand to keep it level. Joelinton got the breakthrough goal after 33 minutes, the Brazilian sensation with a fine header inside the box after Ryan Fraser whipped a lovely cross in. Newcastle doubled their advantage just before half time when Fabian Schar pressed forward on the counter and released Joe Willock who composed himself and cooly slotted past Raya. The half time whistle blew and Newcastle deserved their lead at the break. It could have easily been three or four.

The home side got the second half underway andFabian Schar had a chance to make it 3-0 just two minutes after the restart when he got his head on the end of a Matt Targett cross but he couldn’t keep it down. The Bees had a free kick in a dangerous area but Norgaard couldn’t keep his header down from Mbeumo’s delivery. Just after the 50th minute mark, all four corners of the stadium took to their feet in applause as Christian Eriksen makes his way onto the pitch for the first time since suffering his Cardiac Arrest at Euro 2020. Norgaard unleaded an effort from 25yards out but it flew over the bar. Ivan Toney was brought on for Brentford and Bruno Guimaraes replaced Jacob Murphy. Brentford Keeper David Raya needed to be on point once more as he made saves from Matt Target and Bruno Guimaraes. The visiting side continued to push for a third goal as the game reached its closing stages, Martin Dubravka was called into action in the 93rd minute as he pushed Vitaly Janelt’s effort over the bar. The resulting corner came to nothing and the final whistle is blown.

Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts:Seven games unbeaten for Eddie Howe’s Magpies. Yes this is happening! An all round solid performance. Joelinton once more showing just how much of an important player he is for the side, his goal to open the scoring was brilliantly taken and his overall performance makes him my Man of the Match. Joe Willock is the player he was last season once more, his performances over the past few weeks continue to rise and Ryan Fraser worked his socks off once more. Eddie Howe has got the players fighting and working for the shirt, something that has been absent for a long time. Onwards and Upwards.

What’s Next? Newcastle host Brighton on Saturday 5th March whilst Brentford travel to Norwich on the same day. Both games KO at 3pm.

Brentford Line Up: D Raya, E Pinnock, K Ajer (71, S Canos),P Jansson, R Henry, M Jensen (51, C Eriksen), C Norgaard, V Janelt, J Dasilva, Y Wissa (61, I Toney), B Mbeumo.

Brentford Bench:J Lossl, Zanka, M Roerslev, F Onyeka, C Eriksen, S Baptiste, S Canos, S Ghoddos, I Toney.

Newcastle United Line Up: M Dubravka, M Targett, D Burn, F Schar, E Krafth, Joelinton, J Willock (82, J Lascelles), J Shelvey, R Fraser (89, M Almiron), C Wood, J Murphy (63, B Guimaraes).

Newcastle United Bench: K Darlow, P Dummett, J Lascelles, F Fernandez, J Manquillo, S Longstaff, B Guimaraes, M Almiron, D Gayle.

Match Officials: Mike Dean (Referee),Eddie Smart & Mark Scholes (Assistant’s), Andy Madley (Fourth Official), Darren England (VAR), Derek Eaton (Assistant VAR).

@jsuttonwrites