Many people will say I’m being far too optimistic after reading this article, but I believe that now is the time to start recruiting for the Premier League.
Once again United eased passed the opposition without breaking into a sweat, something we’ve seen often this season. It tends to happen when you have a capable referee taking charge.
Birmingham City turned up in their numbers, selling out a 3,000 allocation hoping to see the biggest club in the Midlands attempt to halt Newcastle’s reclaim of the top spot in the Championship – but despite their team’s inferior display they stayed loud and humourous throughout, cheering “we’ve got the ball” the few times City managed to string a handful of passes together.
It was another game that showed United’s superiority to the majority of the teams in this league. Just look back at the Nottingham Forest game – even though we were on the end of a defeat we were still dominating the game with just nine players on the pitch after the wrongful dismissals of Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett. That team performance surely has to be admired.
And it makes me believe that now we need to start to look to the future when recruiting in January, and aim to bring in players that will be fighting for a starting XI spot in the Premier League.
We’ve proven that this squad is good enough to win the league (as big headed as that may sound, it’s true). It’s going to take a serious run of bad games with the few teams around us picking up valuable points for us to drop out of the top two places in the league, and most would agree that United are on a direct route to first tier football yet again.
Player performances are exceeding fans’ expectations, no one more so than Yoan Gouffran, the man who went from hero to zero in just two seasons.
No one would have guessed that he would be a fan favourite once again after last season. He was destined for the exit and now we expect to see him start every game – every game in the Championship that is.
Is his surprising run of form due to the gulf in class of opposition, Rafa Benitez’s management or with just six months left on his current contract is he quite simply playing for a new deal at the club?
Do we care or are we just pleased to see him return to his best?
There are a handful of players in the same boat as the Frenchmen, good enough for this league but will struggle when stepping up. Let’s see what January brings.
Kris Wallace runs the South Tyneside-based Newcastle fan blog Gallowgate Shots