Best leads the way in Portugal

Posted on January 27th, 2011 | 27 Comments |

Leon Best, Newcastle United
Table tennis master
Newcastle United’s mid-season break to Portugal is mainly about hard work rather than lounging in the sun, although Leon Best proves to be a table tennis demon in one of the more light-hearted competitions.

Newcastle’s early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Stevenage has meant that, without a fixture this weekend, Alan Pardew has managed to get the team away to Portugal for some ‘conditioning’.

Pardew has had this to say about their trip:

It’s going well.

It’s wet and windy rather than sunshine, but we’ve got some good work done.

The guys have had a lot of thinking time about the last two games.

It was never that (a sunshine break). It was a conditioning week to make sure we are ready for the second half of the season.

And it was about regrouping too – looking at what we did well, what we can do better.

Some players need rest and some need to work. When you look at Kevin Nolan out here, he is in need of a rest. On the other hand the likes of James Perch and Sol Campbell need to work and we’ve made sure they’ve done exactly that.

Speaking about our last two games, both of which have seen us give up points to injury time goals, Pardew said:

That is where we are. We are not overjoyed with ourselves.

Yes, we’ve let in a couple of late goals which has been disappointing, but we’ve had two great performances from the squad.

And one of the most pleasing things is that it’s come from players who you probably wouldn’t expect. Danny Guthrie is doing well and was very good against Spurs, Leon Best is doing well too.

It’s been good and Steve Harper also probably had his best game since he’s been back (against Spurs).

It has not been all work and no play though and Leon Best is proving to be a superstar at the extracurricular activities.

We’ve done a couple of little tournaments – table tennis and table football – around the presentation room. There is also a golf tournament on Wednesday,” said Pardew.

At the moment Besty is probably leading the way. He’s looking like a table tennis demon.

I’m quite partial to a game of table football myself, although ping pong was never my thing.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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27 Responses

  1. Yeah its a good time for a week off if you have a full and strong squad but the end of the transfer window?? I can only assume Pardew has given the board his targets and left it up to them…all he can do I spose!

  2. cant say it was a defensive let down the last 2 games, fact is, we had chances both games to put em to the sword. mcloven and ranger both should have scored late against spurs, and mcloven should have scored against scum as well, these strikers need to step up. mcloven and ranger especially. ranger causes defenses fit only to let down on the finish when half the time he could pass for a sitter to somebody else. mcloven one on one with the keeper you gotta put that in the onion bag to play in this league. overall lads are doing well, but we could be sitting on 34 points and doing better….hwtl

  3. More news on Carroll’s knock…they’re flying in a thigh specialist, as he’s still not able to run…

    Also mentions Gosling looking at exploratory knee surgery…floating cartlidge…not available until March…

    Also read this morning HBA’s agent mentioning a more realistic return than we were hearing yesterday, and that he had a career saving op in November on the injured leg

    The latter was in the Mail, like…;0)

    God we need a couple of signings/loans even more urgently, now…anyone know the state of play with Guthrie? For all AP said he went off with cramp, he did seem to get a knock just before that…

  4. Hugh/Worky

    most times I try to send a link, it doesn’t register my post! Any ideas as to why?

    Just posted links to the following, which can be found on NewsNow from this morning:

    Carroll still not running yet…flying a swedish thigh specialist in(!)

    Gosling about to undergo an exploratory on his knee…out ’til March

    Also, HBA agent say he looking at the lad playing again by March

    Christ, we’re getting a bit thin on the ground…

  5. As the links aren’t working, me last post was just to let others know the gist, and where to find the articles.

  6. I still think once Ranger gets his first many more will follow , imo he is trying too hard once he gets a half chance and puts to much pressure on himself too score . Once he gets that first goal the pressure will be off his shoulders and he will learn to relax and become a real goal scorer . Any more news on contract talks with Joey and Enrique ? hope we get them tied up quickly , as for new players coming in i think the only one will be Ireland now if any , time is running out .

  7. Also read this a.m. that according to AP, we’re miles apart with Villa re: Ireland…(phew..), but that we might get somewher nearer as the deadline approaches. (Doh)

    Also he said that we’ve now been offered players whose deals with other clubs have fallen through.

  8. bet one of those players is Keane , i would love us too move for Kranjar though . One thing is for sure all the Agents will now be moving into overdrive before the weekend to line their pockets .

  9. antmanbee says:
    January 27, 2011 at 9:09 am (Edit)


    most times I try to send a link, it doesn’t register my post! Any ideas as to why?


    Yep, if you post two or more links in a comment the system marks it as spam. The system is usually correct because 99% of people who post two or more links are indeed spammers.

    Although obviously it was wrong in this case.

    Anyway, I rescued your comment from the spam box and it is now showing.

  10. Thanks Hugh…apologies to everyone for the duplications, but thought it was important enough to try to duplicate the first post gist ( Post 6 which didn’t show initially ).

  11. Axel @ 11: I wouldn’t say no if it was a Keane loan, especially under the circumstances.

  12. Well with Carroll out for longer than expected then Keane would be good so long as its only a loan until the end of the season

  13. yes we seem to be haveing a lot of luck at the mo trouble is its all bad luck,hopefully it will turn in the window,might see the cut of the manager jib to cope now

  14. Axel.

    Agreed, mate. There’s been a line of thought on here recently, that we need another forward, despite AP’s denials. Carroll’s latest setback looks to have exploded that strategy…just as well this didn’t happen next week, when we can’t do anything about it, coverwise. We are short on goals despite our numerous forwards…I’d say this becomes one of the main priorities.

  15. Keane on loan to plug holes until the end of the season might be okay, but I wouldn’t like us to take him permanently on anything like the £65k/week he appears to be demanding in wages these days.

  16. Icedog…it all seems to be hitting the fan this morning. Hopefully, especially with the Carroll news, we’ve still got time to do something about it. I wonder if AP and co really DO believe we are good enough upfront without him? Suppose we’ll find out by Monday night…;0)

  17. Hugh @ 18: Yeah same here Hugh…also, he’s no spring chicken either, and signing him on a perma-basis would fly in the face of our current transfer strategy…

    …which from here at the moment, seems to be, don’t buy/loan anyone !!


  18. ANT,to me we have to go with what we have yes we need signings but lets not forget if we do get one or two in they will need time to settle/blend in with team so lets not expect to much

  19. icedog i agree the only signings we need are tested premiership players that would make an instant impact and lets face it their is not many of that type to pickup in the January sales .

  20. AXEL imo mate you dont get “good”players in this window unless you pay well over the odds and high wages shown in the case of bent ect,loans is the way to go at this time

  21. I’d take Keane on loan if Spurs were to pay half his wages, but I doubt it’ll happen.

    Does anyone know how many times he’s played this season?

  22. Aye, Ice, you’re right but I’m gettin a bit twitchy…I just think with the not so good injury news today, and our loaned out players, we are looking a bit too thin on the ground.

    I reckon unless there are any stonewall definate improvements with a signing, we should be looking in the short term by just loaning now. Leave the rest ’til the summer. But can’t help thinking 1 or 2 more knocks/suspensions could tip things on the pitch for the worst…

  23. None of the NUFC players loaned out now would bring anything to the squad should they return.

    I am hoping that our scouts have located and management is securing the services of some young players from off shore. More tall, strong strikers, and a fast wing.

  24. Given Spurs interest in Carroll, it may be wise not to talk to them at all about Keane or any other of their playes. Doing so would give them the opportunity of raising Carroll’s availability again and that ain’t wise as it’d spark the press inot speculation!