Two wins in two have quickly allayed relegation fears on Tyneside and, while Newcastle are obviously not out of the woods yet, they’re now just three points adrift of the top half of the Premier League and should be more focussed on looking forward than over their shoulder.
The Toon are 10/1 to go down this term but there are far better prices to get involved with than this, with a top-half finish now a realistic target for Alan Pardew’s men to aim for.
Following up a win at Aston Villa by getting the better of Chelsea on their own patch will surely have the players on a high and, in Moussa Sissoko, it looks as though Newcastle’s scouts have unearthed yet another gem from the continent.
Yohan Cabaye’s return from injury has played a massive part in their upturn in form and Papiss Cisse looks much more comfortable as the focal point of the team since Demba Ba departed. However, it is the injection of quality Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy have brought to the side that will see them steer comfortably clear of the drop-zone, with fellow January recruit Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa still waiting to be incorporated into the team.
This is another player of Champions League pedigree and will only further improve Newcastle’s chances of finishing the season strongly.
Pardew must be given tremendous credit for these acquisitions as well. He came under fire when the Magpies were getting turned over every week, and the whole Ba release clause debacle also made the club look marginally foolish but, when you consider that QPR were throwing money around like nobody’s business to sign players like Jermaine Jenas, it’s unquestionable as to which manager got the best value for money in January.
He didn’t panic or pay over the odds, nor did he get dragged into a bidding war when the R’s offered to trump the wage packet Newcastle hoped to secure Loic Remy’s services. Instead, he drafted in the right players at the right price and this will ensure that the club aren’t plunged into financial ruin if the worst comes to the worse.
It’s fair to chalk this up as a kneejerk statement but, based on their new signings and two previous performances, Toon fans could well find themselves in the envious position of not wanting the season to end when May rolls around.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date