We paid tribute to Newcastle United in this week’s Quick Six, but two days after the Magpies knocked off visiting Chelsea, their performance is probably worth a few more moments’ reflection. Two months ago, the team fall looked set to be defined by Yohan Cabaye’s desire to move to Arsenal. Now the French international is back in a side that’s capable of making Chelsea look decidedly second best.
That’s not the only obstacle Newcastle’s overcome. Their central defense has been hamstrung by injury. Papiss Cisse, their one established scorer coming into the season, hasn’t been a meaningful contributor, and Hatem Ben Arfa, most talented player on the team, continues to be Hatem Ben Arfa, unreliable and enigmatic attacker. Combined with no meaningful additions this summer, Alan Pardew’s has had his work cut out.
Well, perhaps we shouldn’t say no meaningful additions, because getting Loic Remy from Queens Park Rangers has been a key addition. The former Nice and Marseille man has stepped into Cisse’s void and already found six goals, threatening to become the scorer Newcastle desperately needs. A look back at his Ligue 1 record would caution against too much optimism, but perhaps Remy’s inevitable regression will come with Cisse’s renewed ability to find a soccer news.
Regardless, Pardew has been issued as series of challenges, yet he has his team middle of the table. More importantly for this post, he has them capable of beating the like of Chelsea, their ability to do so accounting for this week’s Headline Moment.