28th February 2011 - A Great Leader
Kevin Nolan scored his 11th goal of the season against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday making him the current joint top goal scorer at Newcastle this season. The midfielder is proving to be an excellent captain and has come in for some special praise from manager Alan Pardew.
Alan Pardew: "He is better than I thought. Technically more accomplished than I gave him credit for. Maybe that’s because of Bolton’s style when he was there. He has a knack of getting a goal. He just pops up and scores which is unusual for a central midfield player. He is technically sound in everything he does. He keeps an even keel. He sets the right example as captain on and off the pitch. Things like that make him a great leader."
27th February 2011 - Staffing Analysis
Alan Pardew: "When I arrived we only had two analysts. We have four now. They look at the scouting side, our opposition, put together reports on how our defence, midfield and attack is doing. We also have John Carver. His brief is to keep on top of our attacking side while I concentrate on the defence and the overall organisation of the team."
"In defence of Mike Ashley, players have come to this club with no future value. I have to bring players here of a good age who can add value. The levels of finance to players who make up the numbers in this division are hard to swallow at times. We have had our share of those type of players. That is an area he does not want to be involved in again. The agenda has been set and I have to work to that."
Taking the lead from a Kevin Nolan header versus Bolton
26th February 2011 - Newcastle United 1 Bolton Wanderers 1
Premier League - St. James' Park, Newcastle - 3.00pm
Team: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique, R Taylor, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez (S Taylor 66), Best (Kuqi 90), Lovenkrands (Ranger 67) - Subs not used: Krul, Campbell, Perch, Ferguson - Sent off: R Taylor.
Scorer: Nolan (13) - Attendance: 48,062
Alan Pardew: "Events worked against us today. Really, it started yesterday because Joey felt his thigh a bit. This morning all seemed well. Soon as he started hitting balls in the warm up he didn't feel right. Ryan came into the team. He did very well first half."
"Fair play to the captain. He got the goal today and when we were short of bodies he put his life on the line. We created enough chances to have got a second goal. We then gifted them a goal which was a blow."
"The sending off changed events again. Ryan had a bad touch and in trying to make up for that was over zealous and got himself sent off. I don't think he meant to harm the player in any shape or form. I didn't think it was high but he was late. There will be no punishment from me on that. He has got no malicious bones in him and he is genuinely disappointed."
"We had to take a point but it was a deserved point. It wasn’t a bad result. It was probably a fair reflection. So we go to the next game. I’ll have Stephen Ireland training on Monday. Shola will be available for Everton along with Joey hopefully. A win throws us up the league. Two or three wins could take you into a really nice place."
On the referee: "I don’t mean any criticism of the referee. I genuinely think he got wrapped up in it a little bit. The crowd were booing him and he was like, that looks like another one to the opposition. Sometimes when the crowd gets on them it doesn’t work in your favour. It was no reflection on the result. I’m not trying to hide behind that."
25th February 2011 - Permanent Role For John Carver
Assistant manager John Carver has agreed a new five and a half year deal with the club. John had initially returned to St. James' Park in January on a contract that ran until the end of the current season.
John Carver: "It was right for the manager to give me a short term deal at the time because I didn't know him. When he gave me the long term deal I was delighted. It is great to get this sorted. It's been a great month or so. Where better than my home town club to settle down."
Alan Pardew: "John returned here on a short term contract to allow us to get to know each other. It has been a huge success. I've enjoyed working with John and am delighted to make this a long term partnership."
25th February 2011 - Three More For TV
A further three Newcastle league fixtures have been chosen for live television coverage. Revised dates and kick-off times are as follows:
10/04/2011 - Aston Villa (away) - Sunday 4.00pm
16/04/2011 - Manchester United (home) - Saturday 12.45pm
01/05/2011 - Liverpool (away) - Sunday 12.00pm
The games against Aston Villa and Manchester United will be broadcast live on Sky whilst the trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool is to be shown on ESPN.
Please note that the home fixture against Manchester United on April 16 will be subject to further change should the Old Trafford club progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
25th February 2011 - The Future Can Be Bright
Alan Pardew: "We have a surplus of cash to buy in the summer. Looking around the dressing room we’ve got a good side. If we can improve on that with some new players we could be a force next year."
"There was a time when perhaps Mike Ashley wanted to get out but he understands the club now. He wants to try to build something. Mike wanted to make a statement that the future can be bright here. The signing of Cheik underpins the message Mike wants to give. That we can build a young team which can take the club forward."
"He wants to build a financial structure where it’s not costing him £10 million, £15 million a year. He wants it to try to run itself. With the fan base we’ve got there’s no reason that can’t happen if the finances are correctly managed."
A new six and a half year deal for Cheik Tiote
25th February 2011 - New Contract For Cheik
Cheik Tiote has signed a new contract which sees him commit his future to the club until the summer of 2017. An Ivorian international, Cheik arrived at St. James' Park in the summer from FC Twente
Cheik Tiote: "I am very happy to have signed this new deal. This is a great club and the fans have been brilliant. I have never known support like it. The experience of playing in the Premier League has been better than I ever hoped it could be. The future is exciting. I am delighted to be here."
Alan Pardew: "Cheick has been immense for us this season. He is fantastic on the pitch and in the changing room. Exactly the type of player I want in my squad. Cheick offers us strength and presence in midfield. He's adapted brilliantly to the English game and has proved to be one of the best in his position in the Premier League."
16th February 2011 - Rave Reviews For Returning Ryan
Ryan Taylor returned to action last night following the broken ankle which has seen him sidelined for three months. Ryan helped Newcastle Reserves progress to the next round of the Northumberland Senior Cup with a 2-0 win over Bedlington Terriers at Whitley Park. Reserve team coach Peter Beardsley was impressed with the players performance.
Peter Beardsley: "Everything he does is the right thing at the right time and his attitude is sensational. He keeps it so simple. I thought he was outstanding. Before he came to Newcastle I knew he had ability but I absolutely love the kid. He’s a pleasure to work with. I asked him towards the end if he wanted a rest. He just wanted to keep going. If it had been 120 minutes he’d have kept going. He’s that sort of character."
Leon Best rises to head home the second at St. Andrews
15th February 2011 - Birmingham City 0 Newcastle United 2
Premier League - St. Andrews, Birmingham - 7.45pm
Team: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez (Campbell 87), Lovenkrands (Ranger 64), Best (Guthrie 75) - Subs not used: Krul, Perch, Ferguson, Kuqi.
Scorers: Lovenkrands (2), Best (50) - Attendance: 28,270
Alan Pardew: "I don’t think we have come away from home and had as accomplished a display as that. We got ourselves in front early and never looked like throwing it away. They had a couple of headers unchallenged in the box but otherwise we defended superbly. We scored with two great moves and I’m pleased for Jonas who has provided the crosses. It was a resounding win. We had to slow the game at times, but we also had to quicken it up. When we quickened it up we caused them problems. We did all of the things you need to do away from home."
On the strikers: "The pleasing thing is that the two strikers showed effort and commitment. They have answered a few questions tonight. They have worked really hard and have run themselves into the ground out there. One has come off with a thigh strain and the other can hardly move, that shows you how hard they have worked for the team."
Peter Lovenkrands: "I needed that goal because it's been a while. I've been feeling good the last couple of games. I hit the crossbar against Blackburn and felt I was almost there. Thankfully today I was. It was good for the team to get an early goal. It gave us confidence, got us settled in the game and got us going. It was a superb win and three points we needed."
Leon Best: "I am feeling confident right now and that is the main thing. I have five in seven now and am over the moon with that. I missed out on the first half of the season but I have helped the team since the loss of Andy. It was a dream move coming to Newcastle. I just want to keep scoring."
"Jose Enrique was magnificent, the best player on the pitch."
12th February 2011 - Blackburn Rovers 0 Newcastle United 0
Premier League - Ewood Park, Blackburn - 3.00pm
Team: Harper, Simpson (Perch 76), Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best (Kuqi 90), Lovenkrands (Ranger 77) - Subs not used: Krul, Campbell, Guthrie, Ferguson.
Attendance: 26,781
Alan Pardew: "We got a well earned point today. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win we deserved. Jose Enrique was magnificent, the best player on the pitch. Against a side like Blackburn you can find yourself wanting because of the size and physical strength of them but we stood up to that part of the game really well and we bossed the other side of it, which was our movement and passing. We controlled the ball, we controlled the game. The only disappointing factor was around the last third. We didn’t work the goalkeeper enough. It’s a shame for our strikers because I thought they worked really hard without getting a break. I’m proud of the players."
10th February 2011 - Surgery For Shola
This week saw Shola Ameobi undergo surgery on the fractured cheekbone he received during the recent match against Fulham. Initial thoughts were that the striker would be out for about two months. However, manager Alan Pardew has revealed that Shola is heading to Detroit to be fitted with a handmade facial mask which he hopes should enable an earlier return.
Alan Pardew: "Shola could be back in two or three weeks. We're sending him to America. There's a guy who specialises in protective masks for NBA players. We're going to use him to protect Shola's cheekbone. The guy designs the mask to reflect the injury. He's the only guy in the world who does that kind of thing. Shola's sending out the signals that he'll play with it if he's given the guarantee that it will protect him. I think it will. If he doesn't feel confident going into challenges then there's no point. We've got to get it made and get him comfortable with it."
"I don't really have the words to describe how happy I am."
10th February 2011 - Veteran Hitman Signs On
Newcastle have signed 34 year old striker Shefki Kuqi until the end of the season. Shefki completed a medical at St. James' Park yesterday and the club confirmed his signing this morning. The Finnish international is a free agent after his contract with Championship side Swansea City was terminated by mutual consent last month.
Shefki Kuqi: "I had a phone call from the Newcastle manager this week. He said he had seen me playing against his teams a few times and that he knows what I am capable of. He said he looked at other options who might have been better than me technically, but he looked at my character and personality and felt I would suit Newcastle best. I am really proud. It's an honour to be here. It is a great opportunity. I can't wait to start and hopefully try to do the best I can for Newcastle United. I don't really have the words to describe how happy I am. It is hard to describe how Newcastle coming in has made me feel. To get this chance is a massive thing for me."
Alan Pardew: "Shefki is a good, honest pro who will give us a strong physical presence from the bench. He's match fit and knows the English game well having been in the country for the best part of ten years. He is ready straight away and that's what we wanted. We needed another option up front, because we're a little light there. Shefki will provide us with something different."
7th February 2011 - Cheik Tiote On The Arsenal Game
Cheik Tiote has revealed that the players were on the receiving end of a stern talking to from Alan Pardew as the manager delivered a stinging half-time team talk. He left the squad in no doubt about how he felt.
Cheik Tiote: "It was a very angry dressing room. The manager was furious. He said that it was up to us to give something back to the fans. They spend a lot of money and time on supporting the team and we had let them down in that first half. The manager was very annoyed and he told us that. There were things thrown in the dressing room and we knew we had let ourselves down. He kept the same team for the second half because he said it was up to us to put it right. I think we did that."
On his goal: "It’s the best feeling. I had not tried anything like that before. I don’t know why I hit it. I don’t normally score goals like that. I am right footed and I hit it with my left. I was running away to celebrate one minute, the next I was at the opposite end of the pitch with people on top of me.
A delighted Cheik Tiote celebrates his stunning equaliser
5th February 2011 - Newcastle United 4 Arsenal 4
Premier League - St. James' Park, Newcastle - 3.00pm
Team: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best (Guthrie 89), Lovenkrands (Ranger 73) - Subs not used: Krul, Campbell, Perch, Ferguson, Richardson.
Scorers: Barton (68 pen, 83 pen), Best (75), Tiote (87) - Attendance: 51,561
Alan Pardew: "When you are 4-0 down after 26 minutes, you haven't made a challenge or got close to anyone, then you're going to fear the worst. And I did fear the worst. At half-time you have to make a call. No one was taking responsibility, no one was wearing that shirt and playing with pride, playing with character like they can. They were a disgrace. I hate to think what would have happened if we had gone out and tried to protect ourselves a little bit and lost five or six nil. We more than made up for it in the second half. We played like lions. I said to them at half-time that if they are going to feel sorry for themselves after losing at Fulham and losing a really good young player then you're going to get embarrassed. We've shown character. It fills me with pride the way the fans reacted and our players' reaction."
On Joey Barton: "He showed what he is about. I saw the guy throw him to the ground. You have to hold your hands up and say his reaction was top drawer. He didn't react and the Joey of old might have. There are people, including myself, thinking that England duty might be coming his way because he has matured as a person. He put in a great second half display."
On the fans: "The fans stayed with us and the team responded. I'm so pleased for them, 51,500 after the week we've had, unbelievable support."
"Leon Best didn't have a good night."
2nd February 2011 - Fulham 1 Newcastle United 0
Premier League - Craven Cottage, London - 8.00pm
Team: Harper, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Enrique, Barton, Nolan, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Best (Lovenkrands 72), Ameobi (Ranger 13) - Subs not used: Krul, Campbell, Perch, Ferguson, Richardson.
Attendance: 25,620
Alan Pardew: "We did not play well enough. It was a tight, tense affair. We did not threaten enough. We could have been a lot better. I will be honest about the strikers. They weren't as good as they have been. Young Nile has got a lot to learn and Leon Best didn't have a good night. Leon is not a young player. This is not a player who is new to the game. Bestie is probably now the one who has got to come to the fore. Shola’s injury has not helped our cause. The fans understand there was a blow to us on Monday. We need to rally together and I thank them for their support tonight, they were fantastic."
NUFC.COM: "This was the most gutless, clueless and ultimately pointless performance since that fateful day in Birmingham in May 2009 when the threat of relegation became reality."
2nd February 2011 - Andy Carroll: The Final World
Freddy Shepherd: "They’ve sold the future of the club. Carroll will go on to play for England for the next 10 years. That lad could’ve taken the team forward much like Alan Shearer."
Lee Clark: "It's a big blow for the city. I think Andy wanted to stay. When you're the local lad and you're playing for that team, especialy when you're the main man, best feeling in the world. They've turned down £35 million. He's thought, well, if they think I'm worth more than £35 million, they have to pay me accordingly. He's asked to be the top player. They've refused that."
Chris Coleman: "I'm inclined to believe Andy Carroll. He's an honest man. If you don't want to sell a player, certainly on transfer deadline day, you don't sell him. Andy has done enough to be the top man at Newcastle. If Newcastle wanted to hold onto him, they should have given him what he was worth now. It had to be now, forget the end of the season."
2nd February 2011 - Transfer Income To Be Made Available
Club owner Mike Ashley has told manager Alan Pardew that the entire £35 million received from the transfer of Andy Carroll will be made available to him to strengthen the playing staff.
Alan Pardew: "I said to Mike on Monday that money has to be reinvested. All of it. He assured me of that. So for the Newcastle fans that is the most important message I can give to them. All that money will be used. We weren’t expecting him to go, so we weren’t in a position to replace him. One thing I can guarantee, having spoke to Mike Ashley, is that every penny will go back into the club. Mike’s assured me he won’t take a penny out of the transfer."
2nd February 2011 - MD Responds
Managing director Derek Llambias has hit back at the recent criticism levelled at the club following the transfer of Andy Carroll.
On Andy Carroll: "We didn't push Andy Carroll out, far from it. He asked to go. The fact is Mike Ashley didn't want to sell him, it's not like he needs the money is it? We turned down bids of £30 million and then £35 million from Liverpool. That's serious money for a 22 year old with only six months experience in the Premier League. But finally Mike's point of view was the player's put in a transfer request, so what can we do? Andy was already earning top money at the club after signing a new deal recently. But he said he'd been offered £80,000 a week from Liverpool and asked what we would pay to make him stay. We told him the club just couldn't afford to give him a deal like that, nothing close. That's when he put in his transfer request."
On Alan Shearer : "Do I care what Alan Shearer has to say? When he ran this football club we were relegated after picking up just five points from his eight games in charge. Mike Ashley has only ever put money into this football club. He has never taken a single penny out. He won't take a single penny of this £35 million either. All the money will go to the club and we are already working on identifying transfer targets for the summer."
"Make sure they know I didn’t want to leave."
1st February 2011 - Forced Out?
The fallout from the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool continues.
George Caulkin: "Carroll was not agitating to leave. He wasn't unsettled. And, yes, the transfer request was a mechanism used by NUFC. But... he signed it."
Harry Redknapp: "I had a good laugh watching the interview from Newcastle. One of the most amusing things I'd seen. How hard Newcastle had fought to keep him and pulled out all the stops and they had battled it all the way, even when he put in a transfer request. Every time these clubs sell a player they seem to have to get the player to put in a transfer request to make it look like they did not want to sell him. He is a good prospect the boy, but I think they will be quite happy with the business they have done."
Andy Carroll: "I was talking to the gaffer about a new contract. As soon as the offer of £30 million came in he told me they are now not going to give me a contract. I asked why and he said his hands were tied, it wasn’t up to him. Then a £35 million bid got accepted. The owner then made it clear to me that I was not wanted at the club and I was allowed to talk to Liverpool, saying that his helicopter is waiting for me. Being shown I’m not wanted I said I will talk to them. Then suddenly the bid was rejected. Derek asked me to hand in a transfer request. I was pushed into a corner and had no choice. I wasn’t wanted by them. They made it clear they wanted the money. I didn’t want to leave. I’m gutted that I wasn’t wanted at my home team. The players, staff and fans were fantastic. Make sure they know I didn’t want to leave."
Alan Pardew: "There was an offer refused in the morning and then we received a second improved offer. Myself, Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias were having a discussion when Andy requested to see me. I had the conversation with Andy. He wanted a new contract that would make him the highest paid player at the club. If he didn't get that contract he would give us a written request. This from a guy who had signed a new deal just a few months ago. We didn't force anybody to leave. He had a contract here for five years and at some point it would get renewed. For him to sign in October and it get renewed in January - where would it stop? Personally, I'm disappointed. He's a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision. You can't change that."