Newcastle: Yedlin targets improvement; Atsu dedicates goal; lack of consistency blasted
DeAndre Yedlin has established himself as the first choice right back at the club and he played again on Saturday. The American revealed after the match that he was still upset by some aspects of Newcastle’s performance. The summer signing has a winning mentality and that will please Rafa Benitez and Newcastle fans alike. It was an odd move as Yedlin had just spent a year on loan at Sunderland, but he has quickly built a relationship with the Newcastle fans and his time at their local rivals has been forgotten.
“It’s been good but we can’t take our foot off the pedal.
“We have to keep going. These type of wins (like Preston and Cardiff) feel like losses now because we know we should not let it get to the point it got to.”
Newcastle have had to cling on for victories in their last two matches and it was a nervous ending on both occasions. Although they have won their last seven league matches, there is still room for improvement as Newcastle target an immediate return to the English top flight.
Benitez will be impressed by their game management, but he will want to win matches more easily as the season progresses as the players certainly have the ability to blow opposition sides away.
Christian Atsu is another summer signing that is striking a bond with Newcastle fans due to his enthusiasm for the club and explosive displays. He had to cover for Matt Ritchie on Saturday and he did so with aplomb, scoring the first goal for the home side. After the match, he spoke about how he owed the home fans a goal and that he was delighted with his first strike at St James’ Park.
“I’m happy that we won and also that I was on the scoresheet.”
“I wanted to score at St James’ Park in front of our fans, and it was a fantastic atmosphere.”
The Ghanaian is happy to be playing regularly and he is grasping his chance on loan at Newcastle. His pace and ability to run with the ball make him an exciting player to watch. If he continues to perform as he is at the moment, there is a good chance that Newcastle could opt to make the deal permanent in January, when the winger goes away to the African Cup of Nations. Benitez will be considering whether Atsu is good enough to step up to the Premier League next season and the early indications are that he is.
During the match on Saturday, Cardiff City were very heavy-handed from set pieces and they weren’t penalised, despite the new directives from the FA. The Premier League has witnessed many penalties and free kicks awarded for things such as pulling in the penalty area, but it hasn’t translated to the Football League and it could be that the referees are frightened to clamp down on grappling like their top flight counterparts. Benitez had this to say on the issue:
“When you have a team that puts the ball into the box from every free-kick and throw-in and the ref allows too much contact, it’s not too easy.”
“That is Championship football and we have to accept it will be like this and be happy we got three points.”
It is a problem that may need to be addressed as they can’t have the Premier League being different from the Football League. The laws have to uniform across all four divisions and Benitez has a point that the referee allowed too much contact on Saturday. There needs to be consistency from all referees otherwise managers will begin to comment on it, especially when their team is disadvantaged by the failure to carry out the new law.
Featured image: All rights reserved by MekyCM
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