In their opening game of the new Premier League season, Newcastle United lost 2-0 to champions Manchester City; however, the performance of the Toon Army suggests that they just might be a team to keep an eye on.
City were always expected to win the game, but Newcastle put up a good fight and showed signs of quality, and while the game remained at 1-0, there was always a chance that Newcastle might be able to get at least a point from the game. It wasn’t to be as Sergio Aguero sealed the win for City with a goal in the 90th minute, though that was the quality of City more than anything else, and Newcastle had already shown their hand by that stage.
New signings Daryl Janmaat, Remy Cabella, Jack Colback and Emmanuel Riviere all performed well, and they should still grow further and improve from here as they get more familiar with the Premier League. Janmaat and Colback were as efficient and reliable as you would expect, but it was the attacking duo of Riviere and Cabella who really excited the Newcastle fans.
The performance was not the best of Riviere, but there were enough glimpses to be excited about. His strength and work ethic were impressive, and although his end product was poor on occasions, that will undoubtedly come with time. He will be a contributor of goals for the team, but he is also obviously a good player for his teammates to play with too.
One of those teammates this season is the Frenchman Cabella, who was very impressive against City, and even fans outside of Newcastle will be watching closely to see how the 24 year-old develops over the course of his first Premier League season. His agility, energy and quick feet were a huge threat to City, and worse teams than City will really struggle to contain him.
Adding these impressive new players to the steady and organized team that Alan Pardew already had from last season could be an exciting recipe for the season ahead. Every team outside the top-seven in the Premier League will just be looking to avoid relegation first and foremost, and then go from there. Newcastle should avoid relegation quite comfortably, and just exactly where they go from there will be something to watch this season.