Yes, a new dawn has arrived. It’s understandable why the public address system played Nina Simone’s song “Feeling Good” before Newcastle United’s match against Nottingham Forest because Wor Flags had just unfurled another magnificent banner in the Gallowgate End that read, “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for NUFC and we’re feeling good.”
After watching their team win 2-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday, Newcastle’s fans felt even better at the end of the game. Saying that it was the Magpies’ most dominating performance in the Premier League in a long time is not an exaggeration.
Newcastle possessed 62 percent of the possession, 23 shots, and 11 corners, which spoke for themselves. In comparison, a forest player did not even muster a shot on target as Newcastle’s new number one, Nick Pope, enjoyed the most comfortable of debuts in goal.
In reality, Newcastle should have won this game by a bigger margin, and there were instances in the first half when the hosts lacked a cutting edge or squandered good opportunities, highlighting the persistent need for attacking reinforcements.
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After a scoreless first half, the players may have become upset and frightened in a prior age, but not in this iteration. Before the hour mark of the second half, Fabian Schar scored with a screamer as Eddie Howe pleaded with his team to maintain their composure.
The hosts went in pursuit of a decisive second rather than attempting to defend what they already had like Newcastle had been trained to do for so long. Callum Wilson’s deft finish in the 78th minute gave the hosts all three points. But even that was insufficient for Howe.
Even in the latter minutes of the game, Allan Saint-Maximin picked up the ball and assessed his worn-out opponent on the touchline as the vicious Newcastle manager yelled, “Go on Maxi – run him!” By that point, Newcastle supporters were cheering “olé!” after each successful pass.
Although there may be tougher challenges ahead, this 2-0 victory seemed like a promising start, especially since Newcastle didn’t win a game until December.
Most significantly, Newcastle has begun to capitalise on the momentum created by a good end to the previous season, where only Liverpool, Man City, and Spurs picked up more points in 2022, as Howe requested before the game.
He told reporters, “I’m really pleased of the squad for having such a wonderful run towards the conclusion of the season, but in my mind, it’s gone and we can’t look back to that period. “We may attempt to capitalise on the positive aspects of it, but first we must earn that privilege once more, which is essential for any Premier League team.
“You start again, you’re on an equal footing with everyone else, and we have to earn everything that follows this point.
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I encourage the players in doing this because we need to regain the supporters’ faith by working hard, being enthusiastic, and being energetic.
Bruno Guimaraes and Eddie Howe
Newcastle still needs to sign more players before the transfer market closes, but it is simple to overlook how much has changed at the club even before the season’s first game. In actuality, only three players from the starting lineup were still present in the XI on Saturday: Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Callum Wilson. In his pre-game programme notes, captain Jamaal Lascelles said, “I’ve never been part of such a talented side.”
Lascelles will have been thinking of fellow center-back Sven Botman when he made that remark, but Newcastle’s most expensive summer addition had to settle with a late cameo as a substitute against Forest. It reminded me of how Howe handled another acquisition from the French league back in January, Bruno Guimaraes. Even though Bruno was a senior Brazil international, Howe intended to give the newcomer some time to adjust to the Premier League’s demands before giving him his first start.
The fact that a high-paying signee would not just stroll into the squad also conveyed a favourable message to the locker room. Burn and Schar have reacted favourably to Botman’s entry, much as Jonjo Shelvey, Joelinton, and Joe Willock all increased their game after Bruno’s entrance.
Burn, a left-footed center-back who faces the greatest pressure, performed very well against Forest. The defender just stood up quick winger Brennan Johnson and dispossessed him right near the touchline at one point while Botman watched closely from the bench, drawing cheers from both the crowd and Howe.
The entire stadium was on its feet just moments later as Burn’s teammate Schar gave Newcastle the lead in the 58th minute by launching a 25-yard rocket past Henderson. Despite the fact that the season has only just begun, the incredible goal has already been nominated for goal of the year and given Newcastle a boost.
The players sought to increase their advantage and were quickly rewarded for doing so since they knew they were fit enough to complete the game strongly, unlike in the comparable match a year before. When Saint-Maximin sent Joelinton in down the left with 78 minutes remaining, Wilson was there to score the Brazilian’s cutback with a deft first-time effort while being pressured by the sliding Moussa.
Wilson scored his first goal of the year, and Newcastle quickly earned its first victory. Howe will hope there are many more to come still.