Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lightning strikes twice

Well, the Xisco Kid, to be more precise. After mustering a grand total of one goal prior to Wednesday, our misfit striker came off the bench to score two vital winners for Deportivo La Coruna in the space of a week. Those goals, against Tarragona and then Huesca, helped propel Depor back into the top flight at the first time of asking following last season's relegation.

Talking of Newcastle players who've recently assisted in other clubs' successful promotion bids, new arrival Romain Amalfitano has been speaking about his "winning mentality" but remains modest and realistic enough to realise that just breaking into the team is going to be tough. His apparent versatility could be a useful asset but could equally prevent him from staking a claim to a regular place.

Meanwhile, Amalfitano's compatriots HBA and Dreamboat both lined up for France on Sunday as les Bleus recovered from two goals down to beat upstarts Iceland 3-2. Dreamboat was deployed in a somewhat unfamiliar anchoring role, while HBA had a hand in the strike that gave France a foothold back in the game, one which came from the boot of wanted man Mathieu Debuchy. Iceland's second, incidentally, was scored by another player once linked with us, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

There were also recent international friendly appearances for Tim Krul, unfortunate to be between the sticks as the Netherlands fell to a shock home defeat by Bulgaria, and Papiss Cisse, named as the Senegalese captain for what proved to be a narrow victory over Morocco.

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