With Newcastle United in the US – A Geordie expat’s view.

Posted on August 2nd, 2011 | 16 Comments |

Geordie runner, Mark Allison, at the Columbus game.
Geordie runner, Mark Allison, at the Columbus game.
At my request, site user ‘Geordiedug’, a Geordie currently living in the New York, has very kindly agreed to write about his time at the Columbus Crew game, and also with the lads at their hotel. Below are his impressions of both the game, and meeting the players. Many thanks Geordiedug! – workyticket.

As an expat geordie living in NYC for the last 9 months ‘soccer’ and supporting NUFC from the ‘States has taken a whole new meaning for me. After becoming a member of the Toon Army NYC fan club when I arrived, I have met a lot of different Newcastle fans from around the world and I’m very impressed with the knowledge and passion of the boys out here.

So with the Toon coming to the ‘States it was a perfect chance to get a summer fix of seeing Newcastle United live. Some made the trip for all 3 games; others like me could only do 1 so I met up with the gang in Columbus.

I am a big fan of NUFC being in the US as ‘Soccer’ is taking off big time over here with the MLS and the national team getting a lot of exposure, plus with teams like Man.U and Barcelona touring here, its vital the club is promoted outside of the UK and can develop its fan base.

The media seemed be concentrating on the negatives ie the visa situation, injuries, Enrique’s ‘Tweetgate’ saga plus the strange loss to the third division Orlando FC! The tour to the outsider was fast becoming a nightmare but from the feedback I had been getting from the lads who were actually there though, it was a lot different.

After a 10 hour drive from NYC We booked into the same hotel as the team and I thought that the players might have been kept out of the way and the team would just go through the motions of the game and head back home as quick and injury free as possible. But as we checked in, we straight away bumped into Pardew casually walking in the lobby and with Alan Smith and the coaches playing pool in the bar the mood was seemed relaxed and friendly. Apparently this was the norm throughout the tour as our lads met up with all the dedicated followers of the club who were arriving in Columbus. It was quite refreshing to see all the players happily interacting with fans in the hotel and during training, stopping for photos and autographs. Pardew also had a lot of insightful ideas about what do with the Carroll money and that we need to sign players, especially a striker, and he acknowledged the fans and came across as a decent guy.

We got the chance to meet all the squad before there pre match briefing and the guys with us that speak Spanish had formed a real friendship with Enrique, Jonas and Collo over the whole tour so we had a good talk with them which was unreal. I found Enrique to be a top man and it is fair to say that Newcastle fans have made a real impact on him and he will be very sad to leave. We then hit the main Columbus Crew bars and they made us feel very welcome. Newcastle fans from around the world began to arrive from LA, Toronto, Miami and even Yorkshire so it was a fantastic atmosphere!

As soon as the game kicked off I was impressed with Newcastle from start to finish, with crisp passing high tempo football, even before the sending off, we were on top. After a very solid performance, Gosling and Vuckic were the star players for me, with Collo and Tiote looking sharp too. Also worth a mention was Abeid, he was the name everyone was talking about as he has looked very good this tour although I have only seen him play the final 5-6mins in Columbus. Back at the hotel and we got to speak with Vuckic and he was really chuffed with his goal. Enrique and Collo made a point of saying thank you for the support as we left and we got match day shirts from them at half time which all added to the positive experience.

So all in all the feedback I got from the whole tour as well as my own experience was that it was a success and apart from the injuries (which could happen anywhere) and the tweet saga it looked like the players have progressed and are at the correct fitness levels for pre season which must have been the aim of the tour. I feel a lot more confident going into the season now and with *Barton and Cabaye ready to come back into the squad and hopefully 1-2 more additions we should be alright. One thing is for sure I can’t wait for the season to start.

Come on you Mags!

*This ‘blog was written before Joey was banished into solitary confinement.

NUFCBlog Author: geordiedug geordiedug has written 8 articles on this blog.

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16 Responses

  1. good stuff buddy! can’t wait to get back down to legends in a couple weeks.

    can also say that abeid and gosling were VERY impressive on the tour. really eased a lot of the concerns over depth in the MF with their energy, movement, passing and just getting stuck into tackles. would definitely have liked to have seen more of vuckic but he was carrying an ankle knock for the KC game.

    will also second how great all the players were with fan interactions. had an open training session in KC and the entire team and some of the coaching staff sat for a good couple hours after to take pictures, sign stuff and just chat with all the fans. every one of them was incredibly nice to speak with and seemed genuinely impressed with the level of support here in the states.

  2. “I found Enrique to be a top man and it is fair to say that Newcastle fans have made a real impact on him and he will be very sad to leave.”

    My friends tell me that he’s keen to leave but would have stayed had we shown the ambition to push for Europe ?

    Mind you Jose needs to make sure he doesnt get too involved in Twitter otherwise the Fatman will be handing out another free :)

  3. Great report and enjoyed meeting the TANYC gang on the tour. You nailed it: strange to be having such a good time with such a seemingly relaxed club while reading all the upset about the tour in the cybersphere. Driving from my hometown of Milwaukee I visited KC and Columbus and especially enjoyed Columbus because of the pubs nearby and the easier time mingling with fans, versus KC where the stadium, gorgeous as it is, lies 20 miles outside downtown. But both stops far exceeded my expectations except for the heat. What a blast, literally.

    Talking to players, coaches and press I got the feeling most on the club would be glad to return to the US. If they do, let’s hope it’s with better visa preparation, and matches in the north, away from the tropics.

  4. Bob says:
    August 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    “If they do, let’s hope it’s with better visa preparation”

    The club once lost a supposedly talented young Brazilan footballer because they couldn’t be arsed to sort out his visa properly. It was back in the days of Dennis Wise, can’t quite remember the players name right now due to the Alzheimer’s.

  5. i’ve just seen that little buck toothed w**ker david b****d craig,on sky sports.he always seems to show up when the club are in crisis,he’s got a dial you would never get sick of hitting.he has his tongue continually up the jacksies of the regime.

  6. TROJAN 69 says:

    “i’ve just seen that little buck toothed w**ker david b****d craig,on sky sports.he always seems to show up when the club are in crisis”

    He must have a season ticket Trojan ? :)

  7. cheers guys and thanks worky thought with all the barton carry on it might get swept under rug!

    @ andy mac
    enrique said quite alot of stuff to us but he asked it to stay off the record which we are more than happy to do. but i reckon he would also have stayed had he been offered what i think would have been a fair contract for one of the best left backs in the league! we have missed an opportunity to get this guy signed up for a couple more years had the contract been right and the club been moving forward. it just doesn’t make sense to not try and keep him? im gutted coz he was such a good fella and loves playing for the toon! but good luck to him he kept with us and has been a fantastic player and in my opinion he deserves to be playing champions league football

    also i forgot to mention that if anyone is ever in the big apple you are more than welcome to come to legend’s bar its on 33rd street opposite the empire state building so you cant miss it! and it has to be the strangest thing in the world coz of the 5 hours time difference that you have a load of pissed Geordie’s at 1000 in the morning dancing and singing at one of the most famous places on the planet!

  8. Hopefully anyone other than those lot. All my happiness over the start to this season has now gone, I just hope we get our act together before the Arsenal game.

  9. Worky, “jimbob, born and bred geordie, born in gosforth

    Snap nzed, I too was born in the home of the Geordie elite.

    Aye methinks that I saw you in gosfath in yer nappie boot same time as me , …

    went to SJP when I was 6 or 7 to see joe harvey’s boys , centre paddock , as too rough in the leazes or gallowgate, great days sideburns on all the players, ollie burton frankie clarke was great , and ben arentoft , and wor scottish bobbie …great team then and nee w***ers tweeting , pure loyalty…

  10. OH and thats me new phrase, at the moment for all these tweeters to get stuck in footy instead…

    ” PURE LOYALTY ” ….thats all the fans ask , isn’t it ??