Newcastle United’s season just two weeks back looked like a bad dream which will never end.
But as they say in sports, a win can make everything look so much better, something that has happened with the Magpies.
After having just three points from first 10 games, which was the Toon Army’s worst-ever start to their Premier League campaign, there was uncertainty around the St. James’s Park.
But two wins out of two means the team are now placed as high as 14th on the league table.
Rondon – the star
Solomon Rondon was the striker manager Rafa Benitez identified as his number one target before the start of the season because of his ability to play as an outright number nine who is strong and has great presence in the air.
His arrival was delayed after both clubs failed to meet the transfer fee but he eventually came in a swap loan deal with striker Dwight Gayle going the other way.
On Saturday, the 29-year-old showed exactly why he was highly-rated by the Spaniard as he struck team’s both goals in the first-half in a 2-1 win against Bournemouth.
The Venezuela striker showed his presence in the final third to great effect and also had eight shots on goal, five more than any other player in the match.
It was the kind of performance which will give Benitez and Newcastle fans the much-needed optimism going forward.
Schar – the beast
Fabian Schar’s arrival at the St. James’s Park was something not many people were excited about as they did not understand why Benitez opted for someone who did not necessarily have a great last season for his former club Deportive La Coruna.
But on Saturday, Schar put up a world-class performance and earned his team much-need three points to strengthen their position on the league table.
In the absence of club captain Jamaal Lascelles, the 25-year-old stood up and made himself count by making most tackles (3) and by winning most aerial duels (4) by any defender in the match.
It was the kind of performance which would ease pressure from the likes of Lascelles and Benitez, who now know that their defensive line is in solid hands with or without a single player.