NEWCASTLE striker Loic Remy is back up and running – and he will take some stopping.
That was the verdict of manager Alan Pardew after Remy ended a five-game goal drought in the Magpies’ 5-1 Boxing Day demolition of Stoke City.
With Newcastle trailing to Oussama Assaidi’s 29th-minute opener, Remy opted to take a penalty after he was brought down by Marc Wilson, whose dismissal reduced the visitors – who had already had Glenn Whelan sent off – to nine men.
Remy’s 43rd-minute spot-kick was saved by ex-Sunderland keeper Thomas Sorensen, making his second penalty stop at St James’s Park following a memorable effort to deny Alan Shearer in 2000.
But less than a minute later, the on-loan QPR striker had levelled.
The forward scored again in the second half to take his goal tally for the season to 10 goals.
“He needed those goals, especially after missing the penalty,” Pardew said. “He’s just got that knack of making opportunities for himself.
“I just think he’s a player who’s got a special talent, and we’re lucky to have him.”
However, Pardew was unhappy that Yohan Cabaye, the club’s designated penalty-taker, hadn’t taken the spot-kick.
“I said to him at half-time ‘Cabaye is the penalty-taker – he takes the penalties’,” said Pardew.
“He said he didn’t know that, so that makes me question myself and my staff.
“I shall be having words with (assistant manager) John Carver, because obviously I’m going to blame him!”
Meanwhile, Stoke manager Mark Hughes was unhappy with decisions from referee Martin Atkinson that led to the dismissals of Whelan and Wilson.
“We were very much in control, and then the referee makes a couple of decisions which change the course of the game,” said Hughes.
“We all say – managers, players, everybody – that you just want the referees to make decisions that don’t have a direct impact on the result.
“Unfortunately, some of Martin’s decisions had a direct impact on the result.”