Pardew’s happy campers

Posted on July 26th, 2011 | 22 Comments |

Happy campers?
Happy campers?
From what I can recall, at the start of last season, Newcastle United were seemingly going about their pre-season in reasonably quiet fashion.

We had of course, just dispensed of the Championship at a canter, and were looking forward to a return to the Premier League. At the start of that particular summer, we had a statement from the Newcastle board, citing mainly that:

“The first team squad that won the Championship this year will form the basis of the team for next season in the Premier League.

“There is no plan for new capital outlay on players.”

Well, that particular line certainly had a few people up in arms at the time. In the end though, Newcastle did do some business recruitment wise, bringing in Dan Gosling, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sol Campbell, Cheick Tiote and the majestic James Perch.

More importantly last summer, I remember the current crop of players being reasonably happy with life at St James Park. There was no moaning or bitching about the ‘politics’ of the club. This could be due to the explosion of ‘Twitter’ this past year (certainly in Newcastle United’s case anyway), with a fair few of our squad now signed up to the social networking site.

What has become clear, in these last few months, is a few of our first team players, are not too happy with current events up in the North East. It started with our player of the season, Joey Barton, and the refusal of the board to give him a new contract. Joey went on to criticise Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, highlighting their ‘transfer policy’ of bringing in “younger, better, cheaper players”, and that the Newcastle board didn’t want to spend any money.

Then, our captain Kevin Nolan decided to take the security of a 5 year contract with West Ham, and leave Newcastle. Now, I have no problem with Nolan wanting to go, but it does strike a nerve within me, that we lost our club captain. Add this to the Barton situation, and come September 1st, we may have lost the two figures, that not only showed the most passion in our team, but probably the whole of the Premier League. If we didn’t have both Nolan and Barton in the dressing room when Hughton was sacked for instance, I think the repercussions would have been much worse. I think the pair of them really held the camp together, even during our Championship season.

I think Joey Barton is a very important player. He was our best player last season, and if I was Mike Ashley, I would be sorting out a new contract right now. The truth is though, Ashley doesn’t like Barton’s face, and if a bid comes in between now and September 1st (around £4 million maybe), he will be gone, regardless of how much Barton says he wants to stay at Newcastle, it will be out of his hands. Subtract Nolan’s leadership, coupled with Barton’s artistry and passion from the team, and you have a big hole that needs to be adequately filled.

We now, more recently, have Jose Enrique whining like a big bairn about the ‘politics’ of the club. The difference between Barton and Enrique, is that Barton has always stated his desire to stay at St James’ Park. What Jose has ‘tweeted’ about the clubs overseers is probably true, and a fair few of us (myself included), know this. I think Enrique is just upset he hasn’t got himself a big move yet. Frankly, I don’t care about him anymore, his attitude stank towards the end of last year, and if he wants to go, then let him go.

But it doesn’t matter what I think of him does it?

What matters is what the players think about him. He is a popular figure in the dressing room, especially to Jonas Gutierrez and newly appointed captain, Fabricio Coloccini. I’m starting to slightly worry about all this unrest with certain individuals in our team. Even if it is a select few, it will have repercussions on the teams morale, and that is not a good thing.

Do you think the players ask themselves the same questions that we do? About investment in the team and contract situations for example? To me, it seems some at the club, have gone from happy campers, to being unhappy, in the space of a year. It may only be a select few, but one of them (Barton), has a massive effect in the dressing room. I hope the players can show the determination, enthusiasm and passion they showed last season, and replicate it this season. Players become unhappy at clubs all the time, usually for wanting to play more regularly, or move to a bigger club for example. It seems in our case, some are unhappy with the ‘politics’ at St James’ Park.

Are they really upset by that? Or is it just an excuse to deter from what they really want? Is it only a select few who are upset? Or can you see more of the team becoming disillusioned?

What do you think?

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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22 Responses

  1. When are players happy?Enrique on £50k a week and wants more Barton 2 seasons lost thru jail and injury.What do they owe the club?A LOT!!!

  2. If Barton wants to stay he can.

    He doesn’t have to agree personal terms.

    He keeps saying he’s going nowhere.

  3. There is no loyaalty by players or by club owners…
    Ashley is an arse…
    Newcastle will struggle to stay up to to lack of investment and having a poor squad.
    The new Sports Direct sign that is replacing Newcastle United on the East Stand will look silly…

    That is all.

  4. Ronnie Ameobi says:
    July 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    “The new Sports Direct sign that is replacing Newcastle United on the East Stand will look silly…”

    I sincerely hope that’s just a silly rumour from Steve Wraith Ronnie.

  5. Forgetting for a moment that Fatman is a “footballing” ingenue, even as an alleged “Corporate Chief” you would have thought that he could see the power of positive thinking within the squad after we regained our Premiership status ?

    So much was said about the dressing room spirit at SJP that you’d kinda think even a half witted shopkeeper from Burnham could recognise what was good at the club and what was not ?

    Unfortunately less than four months into the campaign the Fatman rips up the “Guide to a successful Football Club” manual and decides to do it his own “hire and fire em” way ! Forgetting how much influence his stupidity and senseless decisions had on taking the team down in the first place !!!!!!

    Reading between the lines the US tour has been, if not a disaster, an unmitigated failure which has seen players choosing to fly home early or perform poorly just because the “dressing room spirit” has evaporated and Pardwho now finds himself preaching to a disillusioned mob rather than an enthusiastic band of brothers.

    Good luck sorting out this latest cock up Fatman :(

  6. Please tell me that this sports direct sign thing is a joke? First I’ve heard of it.

  7. I think there is an epidemic spreading from the players outward called knickers-in-a-twist-itis.

    Let’s just let the season get going and hopefully enjoy some footy – this break seems to get longer as I get older!

    Owners will always be silent or tell lies, managers will always put their foot in their mouth and come out with some crap, players will always be hard done to and us poor fans will be trying to foresee the future…

    same old.

  8. AndyMac says:
    July 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    “Fatman is a “footballing” ingenue.”

    Andy, you make him sound like a naive but charming young woman there, which is quite a long way from Mike Ashley I think you’ll agree! :-)

  9. Yeah ! finally some are picking up on whats happening at this club.
    Ashley is a control freak, who trusts no-one, otherwise he would have hired a manager, he’s got Carr who probably has more influence than either Llambias and the other clown Pardew, face it no one with any self esteem would want to be told what, where and when, like those two.
    So we are stuck with all three.
    Joey aint going anywhere, niether is Colo. not sure about Jonas?
    If they had intentions of leaving, they wouldda gone when we were relegated, hey a guarranteed £60 to £80k per week is hard to give up.
    Yeah its a two way street, with Ashley figuring he’s got things covered and can run the club by himself, while the players are looking out for their interests.
    Probably feeling a bit smug over his recent dealings, got what are supposed to be some good players for next to nowt.
    Well lets see what happens, best laid plans etc.

  10. chuck says:
    July 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    “he’s got Carr who probably has more influence than either Llambias and the other clown Pardew”

    Chuck, it was Hughton who brought Carr to the club, so that would be somewhat ironic if it were true.

  11. workyticket says:

    “you make him sound like a naive but charming young woman there”

    Yes I know what an ingenue is WT, I was just being kind to the Fatman by claiming he was a bloke way out of his environment !

    The reality is I’d love to see him get shafted like an innocent young virgin – right where it hurts :)

  12. He must already have been when he was young. Hence the reason he eats so much to hide away the pain. Repressed memories.

  13. Phisix says:

    “He must already have been when he was young. Hence the reason he eats so much to hide away the pain. Repressed memories”

    He wasnt popular at school Phisix so maybe……………..

  14. “WT I have no links to give you for the Columbus game”

    Not sure but this looks promising ?


  15. i only hope whoever is on the pitch come time to play the unwashed they are ready to take the 3 points we should have had last season!

  16. staffs,
    i hope whomever runs on to the pitch for the Toon don’t take too much to heart some of the crap they may read.

  17. The fatman is a joke, we have 35 mil in bank frm carrol and wheres tht gon. Probs on a new sports direct store sumwer. Ashley needs to invest or hes neva goin t make a success. I feel sorry for every1 within the club tryin t wrk under him.