Tuesday night brought Newcastle United’s first away win since they won at Chelsea back in May. Since then Newcastle’s fans have travelled 14,000 miles and have not seen their team come home with all three points domestically or in Europe, or win in a cup tournament away from St. James’ Park. Some fans have been as far as Athens but hadn’t seen Newcastle pick up a win.
That all changed as Newcastle went to fellow relegation strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday. From the off in the first half Newcastle were on the front foot with Pappis Cisse eventually slotting them ahead after a wonderful ball from new boy Moussa Sissoko. The lead was doubled not long after when Villa failed to clear their lines and Yohan Cabaye smashed the ball from outside the area on the half volley in to the back of the net. At half time Newcastle were very comfortable.
The second half was a different story. Mathieu Debuchy conceded a daft penalty within minutes of the restart when he fouled Gabriel Agbonlahor as he moved away from goal. Benteke dispatched the penalty cooly and gave Newcastle a nervy second half. The rest of the second half was a Villa onslaught with key blocks from several Newcastle players and some great saves from Tim Krul but Newcastle held tight for a huge 3 points.
After the fantastic victory things look a lot brighter for Newcastle, here are five reasons in particular that Newcastle have to be positive:
5. The Return of Captain Coloccini
As hugely important as Newcastle’s five January signings are, the most important piece of business in January may well turn out to be keeping hold of their captain. Earlier in the month, Coloccini made it very clear he was unhappy on Tyneside for personal reasons and wanted a return to Argentina. The club spent the last couple of weeks in talks with Argentine club San Lorenzo (where Coloccini’s father is by some coincidence a director) and Colocinni’s representatives. These talks eventually lead to a stalemate and Coloccini agreeing to stay till the summer at least.
This personal crisis seemed to coincide with a drop in form for the Argentine. Coloccini has spent the last few years of his time in Newcastle forging a reputation as one of the best centre backs in the league and of late standards have slipped. This is not to suggest Coloccini has been poor, just not at his best.
Last night was a very different matter, in the second half in particular as Villa launched an onslaught on the Newcastle goal Coloccini was composed and marshalled Newcastle brilliantly. With his personal problems seemingly behind him, last night can give Newcastle fans hope that they have their influential captain back to his best and he can take them over the line to Premier League survival.
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This article was first posted on January 30, 2013