What is it with Newcastle? First there is the Cabaye debacle and then there are constant mutterings about a rift in the dressing room. One of the French contingent, Mathieu Debuchy denied any rift of course, saying:
“It’s true that in the dressing room we talk a lot in French. We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.
“We have a big group of French players. But we avoid always staying together, and we aim to speak in English with the other foreign players and the English ones. But it’s good. There are no issues.”
Besides thinking that Pardew had put a stop to that sort of thing, this strikes me as odd. It is normal to want to speak to people with whom you’re fluent. If I went to a party that consisted of 11 Mandarin-speakers and Alan Pardew, I’m afraid I’d have to speak to Pardew. I don’t think I’d enjoy that party very much.
This would not mean I had a rift with the Mandarin speakers, merely that I can’t get to the finer points of conversation with them. If fact, I couldn’t even get to “hello.” (more…)
In his latest defence of his French players, this time against alleged criticism in the media, Alan Pardew’s continued with his latest “inexperience” offensive, which seems to have replaced injuries and Europa League fixtures as his main explaination for Newcastle United’s poor form, which now has the club in a relegation dogfight.
Seemingly relishing the chance to shift the the cold finger of blame from himself to the players in the guise of defending them, the silver one reacted to Luke Edwards’ Observer story which alleged a rift in the dressing room and earned the former Journal hack a ban from Press access to the club. On this he began:
“Some of the criticism of the French group has been so unfair on them.”
He then went on to explain that the latest reason for the club’s recent hammerings has been the Premier League inexperience of his January signings (Debuchy, Gouffran, Sissoko and Haidara), along with Cheick Tiote’s “overmotivation” apparently. On this, Pardew continued: (more…)
Writing in his column for the Sun, Alan Shearer has laid the blame squarely at the door of Mike Ashley for the Newcastle United’s current lack of form.
“Newcastle missed a huge opportunity in the summer” he began, continuing:
“Having punched above their weight last season and almost made it into the top four [sic], this was the time to spend. The club was up and running again after so many years mired in uncertainty. There was once again a feel-good factor and even Mike Ashley was enjoying it. But he needed to put his hand in his pocket and strengthen with two or three quality players. The best time to buy is when you are in a position of strength.”
Which is fair enough, especially the last sentence which is very true. “Momentum” is vital in football, something which the ex Toon hitman acknowledged himself when he continued later in the piece:
“Sadly the momentum built up by Alan Pardew last season has been lost and Saturday (Newcastle’s 1-3 defeat to Man City) was a stark example of that.”(more…)
With today’s game against Norwich City seeing Alan Pardew’s predecessor, Chris Hughton, returning to St James’ Park for the first time since his sacking in December 2010, there has been far more of the usual pre match words from the managers on both sides.
On the Pardew side, amongst other things, he has been anxious to remind we fans that we shouldn’t get too carried away with any kind of appreciation for the man who returned us to the Premiership, not to mention bringing former Tottenham colleague, Graham Carr, to the club as his Chief Scout in the February preceding his sacking.
As with much of what Pardew says, there was a whiff of some kind of underlying agenda in his comments. In some double-edged words of “praise,” he sought to diminish Hughton’s contribution to the club as he not so subtly reminded fans of previous smear stories which circulated about Hughton, saying that much of the credit for leading the club back to the Premiership should actually go to Joey Barton, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and Kevin Nolan as it was they who were really running the first team after Hughton’s appointment. (more…)
Speaking in a pre match press conference for this evening’s Europa League game against Maritimo in Funchal, Alan Pardew has revealed his displeasure at the recent words of Demba Ba’s spokesman, Alex Gontran, also revealing that there is STILL a release clause in the player’s contract.
Telling the media of a recent conversation with Ba about his spokesman’s comments, with Ba himself also revealing that “lately I am not so happy with some things going on.” at the club in his Everton post match interview, Pardew commented:
“I have spoken to Demba [about his agent] and told him I was disappointed with some of the comments around him. Sometimes it’s out of his control and out of my control. We know each other well enough. I just think people were saying things they shouldn’t say, really.”
Pardew then reiterated however that despite all the current fuss and bother, they still have a good working relationship, saying: (more…)
Davide Santon has given another fairly extensive interview for the Italian CalcioMercato.com (Football Market), which was published on Monday.
When I saw how snippets of it had been taken out of context elsewhere (as is usually the case with such interviews), with even the title of the original interview suggesting that the young wing back was angling for an immediate move to AC Milan, I decided to do a translation of the full interview for you delectation and publish the full transcript on here so you can judge for yourselves.
In the interview, he gives a very positive message of how he’s raring to go for the new season, how happy and well supported he feels by his colleagues and the fans on Tyneside, how he’s now overcoming his language problems and adapting well to the different style of the Premiership, how he’s glad Newcastle united said “no” to Roma and much more.
The interview was held by Calcio Mercato’s Simone Togna, and like the last Santon Calcio Mercato interview I translated on here, many of the questions seem to be designed with the intent of making him say he wants to come back and play for an Italian team, which is understandable I suppose on an Italian site. However, he also revealed that he is now engaged to an English girl, which could indeed be an important factor in keeping him on Tyneside. After all, I’m sure that she would be very reluctant to give up the delights of Metro Centre and the glorious Tyneside weather for somewhere like Milan with all it’s shoddy clothes shops and second rate restaurants! (more…)
As we have reached the season’s end, I’m going to jump in and do a little assessment of the players, culminating in a vote for your Newcastle United “Player of the season”.
There have been quite a few stand out performers and stand out performances this term. Some were almost anticipated, others almost definitely weren’t. A few players have come in when the chips were down and done an excellent job. Others either came back from injury or suffered injury and made way for squad players to shine. Then there was the little matter of the African Cup of Nations riving a few players away to play for the respective countries, whilst depriving us of their services. It all adds up to most players getting games to show their worth and to be fair, I can’t think of anyone that has let either themselves, nor Newcastle down. In fact, this season has showed one of the most ‘United’ fronts we’ve had the pleasure to witness, even after the amazing efforts put in through very recent seasons to get us back into the position we find ourselves. Whilst the team effort has been monumental and it’s an ethic that has permeated throughout this campaign, deserving of all the credit in the world, I’m still going ask you: Who is Newcastle’s individual ‘Player of the Season’?
Here’s a little resume to help you along, starting with case for the defence:(more…)
Alan Pardew says Newcastle United are a year ahead of plan in being in contention for a European place this season. Pardew also talks about some of the ‘problems’ that need to be overcome to compete in the Europa League.
Much has been said in the past about 5-year plans for our club, although I’ve never been entirely sure what those plans are. If we look back to when the first 5-year plan was mentioned we must be on about year 4 of it by now, although I rather suspect we’re now on a different 5-year plan than that one. But wherever we are on whichever plan we’re on, we’re a year ahead of it.
“We’re a year ahead of schedule. I didn’t expect us to be as close as we are to those European spots but we’re going to take the chance in front of us if we can.
“That’s football – it doesn’t often put an opportunity in front of you and you’ve got to grasp it. I keep saying to the players that you’ve got an opportunity so grasp it with both hands and that’s what we’re going to do hopefully in the remaining games.(more…)
Welcome to our usual round up of what the managers have been saying in the run up to this afternoon’s home game against Everton.
For a detailed preview of the match with stats, team news, match details, thoughts on the upcoming game etc, please check out our comprehensive match preview. We will also be posting our regular “match banter” thread, where you can make comments, share streams for the game etc while the match is in progress. This should be going up around and hour before the kick off. Also, we shall be posting our usual report of the game some time after along with highlights when they become available.
Getting back to what the managers have been saying though, we start as usual in the black and white corner with Alan Pardew, who had much to say as always. Speaking in a fairly long interview on Talk Sport’s “Matchday Live”, he began by talking about the club’s excellent start to the season, starting on how both the squad and we fans are not getting too “carried away”.
Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor talks about the excellent team spirit at the club, including good relationships all the way up the hierarchy.
I was alarmed to see a headline in The Telegraph that said ‘Newcastle have Europe in their sights’. Admittedly the author of the article intimated that European football is more likely in future seasons than this one, but it also mentioned ‘whispers of Europe on Tyneside’ for this season following our good start.
The reason this alarms me is because it raises expectations and we’ve been down that road before. Many times.
I prefer it when nobody thinks we’re capable of anything significant and that with each win we’re exceeding expectations. Obviously our current Premier League position is going encourage some talk of Europe in people of a more hopeful disposition, but I fear that such people are simply setting themselves up for disappointment. (more…)