Is Alan Pardew's use of Academy prospects his biggest masterstroke at Newcastle?

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has created a Newcastle squad combining international talents and local-born youngsters.

The Magpies have transformed their season in recent weeks, ending their run of seven Premier League games without a victory with three successive league wins - including a memorable 1-0 victory over Liverpool.

They have also registered their place in the League Cup quarter-finals by defeating Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, and manager Alan Pardew - the first United boss to ever win at the Etihad - has alleviated the pressure to be found on his head in the early stages of the season. Thanks to players returning from injury - notably Steven and Ryan Taylor - and certain members of the team hitting form - Fabricio Coloccini and Mehdi Abeid - the Toon are on a run of four straight victories, and they could well continue unbeaten into December - with West Bromwich Albion, QPR, West Ham and Burnley all being faced before the club host league leaders Chelsea on December 6.

Despite signing a number of players from foreign countries - notably France - Pardew has also graduated a number of the Magpies’ Academy prospects, and it has been the likes of Rolando Aarons, Paul Dummett and Sammy Ameobi who have led the club on their recent upturn in form.

And it is these homegrown players who are creating a sense of togetherness at St James’ Park, improving the foreigners’ desire to play for the club as if they were from the North East themselves. Ameobi and Dummett are both from Newcastle, and, whilst Aarons was born in Jamaica and lived in Bristol, he has endeared himself to the Toon faithful with his incredible talents. It has been their influence on the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez which have allowed the signings to flourish on Tyneside, and receive the same backing from the fans as Fabricio Coloccini has since his arrival at the club in 2008.

These ‘adopted Geordies’ have not only found support from the fans, but have impressed on the field of play, with the combined sense of representing - rather than simply playing for - Newcastle, forcing the team to fight harder in the search for victory.

Despite the club looking on their last legs in the opening weeks of the season, Pardew has worked wonders to create a competitive squad combining the mixed players available to him, and there is no telling when the Toon will end their unbeaten run. If the foreign imports continue to perform at the high level they have been, with the strong backing of Tyneside spirit behind them, the Magpies may just be the surprise package of the season - with European qualification a real aim for the North Eastern club.

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