Alan Pardew: "I can reflect on the two Manchester United games - the 3-0 was the best performance he ever gave this football club, closely followed by that performance [on Saturday], so he can do it against the top clubs.
"When we drew 4-4 with Arsenal, that day he was unbelievable, so he has had some big, big games for us, don't forget about that.
"He is playing very well, though. I was very reluctant to take the captaincy from him after he did so well with it.
"But he has proved to me irrespective of whether he wears the armband or not, he is brilliant."