I hope Steve Bruce can do well at Newcastle. He is a friend of mine and if there is anyone I want to achieve success at the club, it is him.
I was every bit as nervous watching the cricket as I was watching Newcastle on Sunday. It was a long half an hour in both games and it was great to see England get their win against Australia to keep the Ashes alive.
I have never seen anything in cricket like the innings Ben Stokes produced at Headingley. I am not a huge cricket fan but I was gripped to that and seeing another north east lad do so well is great.
For Newcastle, their own surprise win came thanks to their 5-4-1 formation. It is only one game, but it worked to perfection. It would be surprising if we did not see that system again in the future. If they have one or two injuries that could change as Allan Saint-Maximin went off, but Christian Atsu came on and he was superb.
Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton went off too, so the game against Leicester on Wednesday could be different as we wait to see who is fit and who is not.
In the Premier League it was a weekend for the goalscorers. Mohamed Salah grabbed two for Liverpool against Arsenal and so did Sergio Aguero for Manchester City against Bournemouth. But it was great to see the new boys getting off the mark, including Sebastien Haller at West Ham, Aston Villa’s Wesley and Joelinton for Newcastle.
The Brazilian’s performance was excellent against Spurs. He held the ball up well and brought his team-mates into the game and it was a very clinical finish for his first goal for the club since signing from Hoffenheim for a club record £40m fee.
As a goalscorer, you want to get off the mark and do it quickly. It is his third game but he took the goal very well and his overall performance was excellent. He played the role of a lone centre-forward really well and of the 23 passes he attempted, 95.7% reached a team-mate.
Paul Dummett was outstanding at the back and he was man of the match. Nothing got past him all game. This was highlighted by making 12 clearances in the game, more than any other player. There were so many impressive performances from Newcastle and Miguel Almiron was another who did well.
Ultimately, you always try to aim for better than how you did last season, when the Magpies finished 13th. That is what Steve will want to do.
He has also said he wants to take the cup competitions seriously, while also looking to survive in the Premier League.
Hopefully Newcastle can go on a good cup run, because it has been way too long since they did well in one of them.
The emergency services in Andalusia and the authorities in the player’s home town, Utrera, said Reyes died in an accident on the main road from Sevilla to Utrera. They said another member of his family also died and a third person was injured.
Spain captain Sergio Ramos, who is also from the province of Seville, came through the youth team just after Reyes and later played with him at Real Madrid also tweeted his grief.
“Broken. Shattered,” wrote Ramos. “I have no words. All the affection for the family. We will always remember you, my friend! RIP brother.”
Reyes won a European under-21 title with Spain in 2002 and went on to play 21 times for Spain between 2003 and 2006, scoring four goals.
He won Premier League and FA Cup medals at Arsenal and came on as a late substitute when the Gunners lost the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona.
He helped Sevilla win the Spanish second division in his first stint at the club. He won the Europa League five times, twice with Atletico Madrid and three times in his second spell at Sevilla.
He also won domestic league titles with Real Madrid and Benfica.
After leaving Sevilla in 2016, Reyes played for Espanyol, Cordoba and Xinjian Tianshan in China, before arriving at Extremadura this year as a free agent.
“With broken hearts we announce the news of our player Jose Antonio Reyes’ death in a car crash and we ask for you to pray for his soul,” Extremadura said.
Monchi, who overlapped with Reyes as a player at Sevilla and is now the club’s director of football, also tweeted his sadness and referred to wingback Antonio Puerta, who died of a cardiac arrest playing for Sevilla in 2007.
“Impossible news to believe, impossible to digest, that hard my God,” wrote Monchi. “What a left flank you are going to make, Antonio and you, up there.