Newcastle United supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side edge Manchester United 1-0 at St James’ Park on Sunday, thus moving out of the Premier League’s bottom three and up to 13th place in the table.
Rafa Benitez’s men slipped into the relegation zone just prior to kick-off following Huddersfield Town’s 4-1 success over Bournemouth, thus increasing the pressure on the Magpies ahead of their daunting clash with Jose Mourinho’s United. Yet the North East giants produced an inspired display to deservedly beat the Red Devils, with Matt Ritchie’s strike midway through the second half enough to seal the three points for Benitez’s side, thus moving them up to the 13th place in the division with 11 games of the campaign remaining.
Thus, there have been many delighted Newcastle fans in the Tavern in the last few days, several of whom are hoping that Sunday’s victory can inspire their ascent up the Premier League table to banish any relegation fears for good.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Magpies supporters to get their teeth into, not least news that defender Paul Dummett has signed a new long-term deal with the North East giants.
And being one of a select few players in the Newcastle squad to have come through the ranks into the first team, alongside a willingness to leave everything out on the pitch, this could well be the best agreement Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley have secured in many a year.
Ultimately, the Magpies missed the 26-year-old during his four-month lay-off at the start of the campaign, with Dummett coming off injured just seven minutes into the new season in their opening weekend defeat to Tottenham at St James’ Park.
From then, Benitez tried the likes of Chancel Mbemba and Javier Manquillo to fill the void left by Dummett’s absence, but the fact that the latter has since regained his place and started in five successive matches highlights just how integral he is, and how much they missed him. In his seven starts since returning from injury, the Magpies have conceded just seven goals, four of which to free-scoring Manchester City.
More importantly though, Dummett is exactly the sort of character a team would want in a relegation battle.
Not only is he a local man and has played football at Newcastle since 2000, and thus knows what it means to the supporters to succeed, but he will give everything to keep the club in the top-flight.
He is strong aerially and isn’t afraid to get stuck in, and will run up and down the channels relentlessly to both get forward and aid attacks, and then do his defensive duties efficiently. Dummett is reliable and will often always get at least a seven out of ten.
So while it might not be the most exciting agreement the club have struck in recent times, it is arguably the best they have done in many a year.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!