THREE reasons for optimism at Newcastle

It’s obviously dangerous stuff to read too much into opening day fixtures – but over here at FootballFanCast we like to play with fire. However, such was the change in Newcastle against Manchester City when compared to last season, that it doesn’t feel like a risk at all. Here are three reasons to believe that things will be better at St. James’ Park this time round:

Cabella looks the real deal

Yes he’s probably too found of a stepover, and yes his hair is a bit mental, but all the signs are the Frenchman is the real deal. Many were surprised that Cabella didn’t move to a team in the Champions League, and after watching his debut for Newcastle it’s not hard to see why.

A change of style

Gone are the days of ‘hoofball’ at St. James’ Park. Well, maybe not completely gone, but at least left on the bench for a bit. Alan Pardew frustrated many on the North-East to their wit’s end with his insistence on playing the ball long last season, particularly after the departure of Yohan Cabaye to PSG. But even against last years Premier League champions, Newcastle attempted to use the ball intelligently. Encouraging signs indeed.

A local lad shines

Colback may forever be tainted with his Sunderland roots but if he keeps playing as he did against Manchester City then he may very well be forgiven. The midfielders delivery from set-pieces caused the Champions trouble and Colback more than held his own against Toure and Fernando.