31st July 2011 - Fueling Speculation
Three of the biggest earners at Newcastle over the last few years have spoken out this week about what they perceive to be the bad management of the club. Jose Enrique got things underway on the clubs pre-season tour of America followed by departed captain Kevin Nolan who had his say in a national newspaper this weekend.
Following the defeat at Leeds United this afternoon Joey Barton was back on Twitter to add to his recent comments and further fuel speculation that all is not as it should be in and around the first team squad.
Joey Barton: "If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place. If it wouldn't effect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room, am certain Jose's comments would be the tip of the iceberg. Again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club. If I wanted to leave, I'd just come out and say I want to leave. Things need addressing as am not prepared to go through a relegation again."
Second goal in two games for Haris Vuckic
31st July 2011 - Leeds United 3 Newcastle United 2
Friendly - Elland Road, Leeds - 2.00pm
Team: Forster, Simpson (Dummett), Tavernier (R Taylor), S Taylor, Williamson, Barton, Gosling (Vuckic), Cabaye, Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi), Ameobi (Best), Ba - Subs not used: Krul.
Scorer: Taylor (35), Vuckic (76) - Attendance: 20,457
Alan Pardew: "We gave away three really bad goals. The first set the tone for a shabby performance. We didn't have focus and those mistakes cost us. I've learnt more about individual players today than I have all pre-season."
"There were positives. Cabaye played the holding role. You could see that he is a great passer. He also has defensive qualities. Haris showed what he is about. Demba Ba was good in all he did without getting a goal. Danny Simpson played well. We need another player. We are conscious of that."
"The eleven starters against Fiorentina will be a lot stronger than today. We will work hard over the next two weeks. We are not pitching in against a mid table team in the first game. We are against one of the top teams in the division in Arsenal. We need to focus and make sure we work."
Steven Taylor: "Our first half performance wasn't good enough. Too many sloppy passes. We just weren't on our game. The gaffer wasn't very happy and told the boys at half-time. I think he got a reaction in the second half. We performed better and looked more of a threat. We have to be more compact as a team. We are trying to get into a winning mentality, friendly, league or cup, we want to win. We showed good character to come back twice. All our focus now is on Fiorentina and Arsenal. We will make sure we are ready."
30th July 2011 - Nolan Joins The Club
Kevin Nolan has been speaking about his departure from St. James' Park. The midfielder follows Joey Barton and Jose Enrique in becoming the third player to criticise club management after having been refused the improved contract he felt he warranted.
Kevin Nolan: "I envisaged spending the rest of my career at the club. I was captain of a huge club. I was forced out because I lost trust in key people at the club and when you lose trust it’s almost impossible to regain it. From January I was involved in ongoing discussions about signing a new contract between four and five years. I discussed the deal at length with managing director Derek Llambias and even shook hands on it. When you do that you expect them to see it through. They did a u-turn on what we agreed. They showed me no respect. I felt totally betrayed."
"Then they had the nerve to claim I rejected a new contract. What contract? A deferred option to increase my deal by 12 months with a bonus that hinged on the success of the team on the pitch the following season. Perhaps I was naive. I thought I had a good relationship with the board. When it all came to a head in the summer I knew my time was coming to an end. I had given the club everything but they didn’t want to give me anything in return. I simply couldn’t work with people like that. There was no way back for me."
29th July 2011 - Carling Cup Draw
Newcastle will enter this seasons Carling Cup at the second round stage. The draw will be made live on Sky Sports on Thursday 11th August 2011.
The Under 18's in action against Heart of Midlothian
29th July 2011 - Heart Of Midlothian U19 3 Newcastle United U18 2
Friendly - Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh - 11.00am
The home side were two goals up at half time before stretching their lead with a third not long after the restart. Newcastle responded through Jonathan Hooper with a nice finish to chip the goalkeeper before Alex Nicholson added a second to give the scoreline a more respectable look. Young left back Michael Riley was particularly impressive in the first half before moving into a midfield role part way through the second half.
This was the third and final game of a short Scottish tour for the Newcastle youngsters. Previous outings saw the lads draw 2-2 with Edinburgh University and run out 4-1 winners over a young Dundee United side, the majority of whom were from the Tayside clubs Under 17 squad.
"Scoring at St. James’ Park is a great buzz."
28th July 2011 - Focusing On The Future
Leon Best sees his future at St. James' Park with Newcastle United. The summer break saw press reports stating that Leon had been told he was surplus to requirements and available for transfer.
Leon Best: "I went to see the manager as soon as I got back from holiday. He told me that what was in the papers wasn’t anything to do with him or the club. My game is on and I know what I have to do, I just need to get match fit and stay injury free. New strikers will come in but that is healthy. Successful teams have strikers fighting for competition. Scoring at St James’ Park is a great buzz and I hope to continue that this season."
On the US tour: "It has been good but also hard to work in those conditions. It has been very hot. We got mixed results. I think every team we played tested us in a different way. I think we were happy with our performance against Columbus because it showed we had gained in every game. We came strong and played some top football. The team spirit is brilliant here and anybody who suggests it’s not is wrong."
27th July 2011 - Coming Together
Manager Alan Pardew is happy that his sides pre-season preparations are on track as things start to take shape for the new campaign.
Alan Pardew: "The tour has been constructive for us. A defeat, a draw and a win. I'm pleased that it has ended with a win. I wish we hadn’t had injuries but we have to battle on. Danny, Shane and Hatem were all impact injuries. We have been unlucky. The build up is going to plan. The boys are in great shape. On a tour like this you learn about player personalities and get to know them better. We had a nice spirit in the group and it showed on the pitch. We are starting to carve things up for the new season. They are a good set of lads who want to do well. It will come together at Leeds."
Goalscorer Haris Vuckic celebrates with Mehdi Abeid
26th July 2011 - Columbus Crew 0 Newcastle United 3
Friendly - Crew Stadium, Columbus - 7.30pm local time
Team: Harper, Tavernier, Enrique, S Taylor, Coloccini (Dummett 54), Gutierrez (Abeid 85), Tiote (Smith 62), Gosling, Marveaux (Vuckic 75), Ameobi (Best 74), Ba - Subs not used: Krul, Forster.
Scorers: Ameobi (9), Coloccini (53), Vuckic (91) - Attendance: 11,224
Alan Pardew: "We had some outstanding performances tonight. Dan Gosling was probably the pick of the bunch. Demba Ba showed that he is going to be a very good player for us. Sylvain had a great performance too. Haris got a good goal. He only had a little cameo but he did great. Tav did great. A real solid performance. We got what we wanted out the game, if I’m honest. It was a good way to end the tour."
On Dan Gosling: "He was great tonight. His all round energy will bring something to our team."
26th July 2011 - Twittering On
Manager Alan Pardew is concerned by his players use of Twitter.
Alan Pardew: "I think Twitter is dangerous. A lot of players will be embarrassed by some of the stuff they put on there. I am not against free speech and am all for people expressing themselves. They just have to be very careful."
The manager also revealed he had met with Jose Enrique and told the Spaniard he was not helping the team or himself with his Twitter comments.
Alan Pardew: "Jose was wrong to put those comments up and I told him. It's a good offer which we have given him and maybe the frustration of the situation got the better of him. I want him to stay, he's a good lad but this didn't reflect well on him. It was a mistake. He knows it and so do I. That is all in the past now. We have shaken hands and put it all to bed like grown men should."
25th July 2011 - Paul Heading Stateside
Welsh under 21 international Paul Dummett is flying out to join up with the first team squad on their current tour of the United States.
The 19 year old left back was with the Development Squad in Holland when the call came for him to join the senior party ahead of the final match of the tour against Columbus Crew tomorrow evening.
Paul Dummett: "I wasn't expecting it at all. I got a knock in the first game in Holland, missed the second and was looking forward to playing in the third. Now I'm going to America. It all happened really quickly. I was just about to go shopping in Amsterdam, then I was told to get packed up and head to the airport. I'm really looking forward to it. It's great to be given the nod."
25th July 2011 - Jose Enrique Wants What's Best For Him
Luke Edwards: The Telegraph
He has criticised the club’s transfer policy, accused members of the board of lying, implied the new signings are not good enough to replace those who have left and argued Newcastle United will never challenge for honours again under the present regime. I don’t think Jose Enrique wants to stay.
He is stuck at a club he no longer wants to play for and in attacking owner Mike Ashley and Managing Director Derek Llambias hopes he can speed up his exit. He has made it clear to his employers that he does not like them or their business plan and he has played the role of the jilted footballer perfectly.
Newcastle fans are blindly loyal. They are not blindly stupid.
They know Enrique has been offered a new contract. They know he turned it down. They know he once said he wanted to spend the rest of his career at Newcastle. They know he never meant it. They know he first started making noises about leaving this summer when the prospect of a new contract was first raised twelve months ago, long before Andy Carroll was sold to Liverpool in January. They know most footballers want what is best for them, not the football club they once pledged loyalty to.
Enrique has been disrespectful to the club, he has been disrespectful to new signings Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux. As popular as he is, that was a mistake. He has given the rest of the country a stick to beat Newcastle with. He has made others laugh at a mess he has created. Newcastle fans will criticise their club but they will not let others do it for them.
25th July 2011 - Twit
Left back Jose Enrique has accused the clubs owners of a lack of ambition whilst claiming that he has not been offered an improvement on his current contract. The spaniard was posting on social networking site Twitter.
Jose Enrique: "The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go. Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? Andy, Nobby etc, etc. This club will never fight to be among the top six again with this policy. They give the money I have already. They lie all the time. They don’t want spend in the club and bring quality players, that’s why everybody go."
A perfectly good Haris Vuckic goal was disallowed
23rd July 2011 - Orlando City 1 Newcastle United 0
Friendly - Citrus Bowl, Orlando - 7.30pm local time
Team: Forster, R Taylor (Enrique 26), Tavernier, S Taylor, Coloccini, Gosling (Vuckic 71), Smith (Abeid 73), Tiote, Best (Ameobi 74), Lovenkrands (Ba 74), Gutierrez - Subs not used: Harper, Krul.
Attendance: 10,889
Alan Pardew: "It was a tough game for us. We're disappointed to lose. It's hard to enjoy a game when you get beat. We'd like to have played better. Our biggest problem was the surface. I didn't think the heat played a massive part but we looked tired. We lacked energy on the pitch, making some really unusual errors, passing was astray, we never got any sort of flow in the game. We scored a perfectly good goal to equalize, the referee didn't give it. We should have had a couple of penalties as well. It was one of those nights. We didn't really have any breaks in the game. The commitment and workrate was there. The quality needs to come. We need it in the next game and certainly for Leeds and Fiorentina."
21st July 2011 - Hatem Ruled Out
The match against Sporting Kansas City saw Hatem Ben Arfa leave the field on a stretcher following a blow to his left ankle.
Hatem was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary x-ray which saw him ruled him out of the rest of the United States tour. The club will have to wait for the swelling to go down before the full extent of the injury is known.
Alan Pardew: "Hatem is going to have a few demons from that injury he had last year. We took him off as a precaution. He was a bit shocked by the challenge. We think he will be okay."
"We all hope he'll be okay as he really is a top player."
20th July 2011 - Sporting Kansas City 0 Newcastle United 0
Friendly - Livestrong Sporting Park, Kansas - 7.30pm local time
Team: Krul, R Taylor, Coloccini, S Taylor, Gosling (Simpson 62), Gutierrez, Tiote (Abeid 46), Ben Arfa (Ameobi 35), Marveaux (Tavernier 46), Ba (Best 71), Lovenkrands (Smith 46) - Subs not used: Forster, Harper.
Attendance: 16,131
Alan Pardew: "Kansas were good opposition and it was a decent result for us. It was really hot out there. We looked a bit lethargic and heavy legged. We lacked a bit of sharpness around the box. We had some good chances and were unlucky not to score. Sylvain, Ryan and Danny Simpson all came close. We worked hard in Kansas and now we're looking forward to Orlando."
Leon Best: "At this stage it's about getting fit and improving your sharpness. It was a good game against a team that's in a good run of form. We can take a lot of positives from the night. We could have won it. We had some decent chances. Hatem hit the post and it was a shame he had to leave the game. We all hope he'll be okay as he really is a top player."
18th July 2011 - Development Squad Further Strengthened
Summer signing Yohan Cabaye has become the third Newcastle player to be denied an entry visa to the United States for our pre-season tour. Yohan will now join the development squad that are heading to Holland later this week.
Alan Pardew: "He really should have got a visa. It was such a technicality. I’m disappointed if I’m honest but I’m sure it won’t take him long to show what a class act he is. We’ve already had word back that he will eventually get a visa, but it’s a three week process. It became very frustrating because we need it now. There was no talking them around."
18th July 2011 - Darlington FC Statement
Friday night's pre-season friendly against Newcastle was a huge success. Newcastle fans came in their numbers to support their team, and there was a good number of our own supporters, so we're grateful for everyone's support. What happened disrupted the game for a few minutes. Newcastle intend to deal with culprits at their end. We intend to deal with those guilty at our end. It was a great night for the club. It was the biggest attendance at the Arena for a number of years and it was an excellent work out for our players. We again thank Newcastle for coming to the Arena.
Checking in for the pre-season tour
17th July 2011 - All Aboard
The Newcastle party for our pre-season tour of the United States left Newcastle International Airport this morning. The group flew to London to catch a Chicago bound flight across the Atlantic.
After a few hours rest in Chicago, another flight took them onto Kansas, where they will play the first match of the tour against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on Wednesday evening, 7.30pm kick-off local time.
15th July 2011 - Club Statement
On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United FC, we wholly condemn the behaviour of a number of our supporters who invaded the pitch during the second half of the club's friendly against Darlington this evening.
The club will be seeking to obtain footage of the disorder from Darlington FC and the police and will be taking the strongest possible action against those individuals responsible for the shameful behaviour.
This behaviour is not typical of the vast majority of our fans, however this incident gives a poor impression of Newcastle United and its loyal supporters.
Sammy Ameobi makes it two versus Darlington
15th July 2011 - Darlington 0 Newcastle United 2
Friendly - Northern Echo Arena, Darlington - 7.45pm
Team: Forster, Simpson (Dummett 65), S Taylor (Tavernier 65), Williamson (J Henderson 80), Ferguson (R Taylor 46), Barton (Gosling 60), Smith (Abeid 57), Guthrie (Cabaye 9 / Donaldson 72), Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 53), Best (Ranger 57), Ben Arfa (Richardson 67) - Subs not used: Soderberg, Newton.
Scorers: Barton (3), Sammy Ameobi (56) - Attendance: 9,721
Alan Pardew: "We were excellent for long periods of the game. Certainly at the start we passed the ball, moved the ball and controlled the game. We did it with a purpose. I thought Hatem was excellent, the workrate he put in and his performance. We caused them a lot of problems. The youngsters who came on towards the end carried that on. It was a good night on the football pitch."
On the pitch invasion: "Apart from the frustrating disruption to what was a very good game of football and an important part of our pre-season preparation, the pitch invasion was totally unacceptable and has brought shame on everyone connected with Newcastle United. We came to play a football match, to provide entertainment for a family audience, instead we witnessed some truly appalling behaviour which damages the reputation of this great club."
"It was a celebration that turned nasty. It is very regrettable. In my time here I have not seen anything like that from our fans. It was only a few but that is all it takes. We all get tarnished with the few. I went over to calm them down. I knew if they came on again we would be in trouble. We will have to wait to see if there are repercussions."
Sammy Ameobi: "I was so happy to score, particularly so soon after coming on. When I got the chance to let fly I did. I didn't think of anything else other than trying to score. It was fantastic to see it go in. It was a great goal to score and hopefully the first of many for me."
18th July 2011 - Brighton Treble For Kazenga
Kazenga LuaLua has returned to Championship side Brighton on loan. The 20 year old spent the early part of last season with The Seagulls, managing four goals in eleven appearances. This will be the third loan spell that Kazenga has had with Brighton as he also spent some time with them back in the 2009/10 season. His current loan spell will expire on 15th January 2012.
13th July 2011 - Joey Refused US Entry
Joey Barton will not be travelling to the United States on the club's pre-season tour later this month after the US Embassy refused the midfielder the required visa. Joey will travel to Holland with the reserve team instead.
Joey Barton: "I was denied my visa due to my past. I regret not being able to travel but I don't expect to be treated any differently or more favourably than anyone else in a similar situation. I intend to continue to improve as a person. Apologies to all NUFC supporters."
11th July 2010 - Premiership Fixture Updates
Five Newcastle fixtures have been chosen for live television coverage during the opening months of the season, three at home and two away. Sky Sports will be covering four of those matches whilst ESPN will cover one, our opening fixture at home to Arsenal. Revisions now read:
13/08/2011 - Arsenal (home) Saturday 5.30pm
12/09/2011 - Queens Park Rangers (away) Monday 8.00pm
16/10/2011 - Tottenham Hotspur (home) Sunday 4.00pm
31/10/2011 - Stoke City (away) Monday 8.00pm
05/11/2011 - Everton (home) Saturday 12.45pm
In addition, following police advice the kick-off times for our visits to Sunderland and Liverpool have been revised as follows:
20/08/2011 - Sunderland (away) 12.00pm Saturday
31/12/2011 - Liverpool (away) 12.45pm Saturday
8th July 2011 - Captain Coloccini
Fabricio Coloccini has been named as our new captain. The 29 year old Argentinian defender will succeed departed midfielder Kevin Nolan.
Fabricio Coloccini: "It is one of the proudest moments of my career. I am thrilled to be named captain. I would like to thank Alan Pardew for putting his faith in me. I aim to give my best for the team and the supporters throughout the season. Leading the team out will be a great honour."
Manager Alan Pardew: "I had no hesitation in choosing Fabricio to be my captain next season. He will lead the team in a different manner to Kevin but his professionalism, attitude, application and fantastic character made him the standout candidate."
New recruit Mehdi Abeid in pre-season training
4th July 2011 - First Day Back
A number of players reported back for pre-season training today with the others due to return over the next few days. Peter Beardsley and Willie Donachie welcomed the reserve players back with a hill run in the morning before putting them through various training pitch exercises in the afternoon.
First Team Coach Steve Stone: "It's been about six weeks since the West Brom game. A pretty short break. After about four weeks you've had your holiday and you look forward to going back. That said, it's the players that have to do all the hard work and running. They normally want to come back. They're athletes and if you sit around too long, you end up getting bored."
4th July 2011 - Fiorentina Friendly Confirmed
Italian Serie A side Fiorentina will provide the opposition in a pre-season friendly at St. James' Park on Saturday 6th August. Kick-off is 3.00pm.
This will only be the second time the two sides have faced each other. The previous meeting saw Newcastle run out 2-1 winners in Florence in the final of the Anglo Italian Cup back in season 1972/73.
Alan Pardew: "This will be a chance for our fans to see a game at St James’ Park against top quality opponents. By that time, there could well be new faces to go with the new players we already have."
"The team will be set up different. Our style will change."
1st July 2011 - Update From The Manager
With the players set to return for pre-season training on Monday, manager Alan Pardew has been talking about his revamped squad and some of the outstanding issues which need addressed prior to the new campaign getting underway in just a few weeks time.
On the squad: "We’re looking forward to getting back to work. I am pleased with the way the squad is taking shape. You could say we have got five new players. We have lost Kevin Nolan but gained Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux and then there is Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling. Players are only good value if they are a big success. Hopefully they will be."
On the style of play: "The team will be set up different. Our style will change. I will be working with the players to try to make it successful. I can’t wait to start. I am hoping we have a really exciting season
On the captaincy: "I have it in my mind about the captaincy. It is not something we have to decide right now. There are already candidates here. A few players could wear the armband during the pre-season friendlies. It is an important role. I will watch the pre-season games and make a decision before the Premier League season starts."
On the number 9 shirt: "We are still looking to get another striker. We will have to see whether or not they will wear number 9. It is an important shirt. I know what that shirt means to this football club. There will be a few contenders who could wear that shirt and do it justice. I will have to assess characters and give it to a player who doesn’t get weighed down by it."
1st July 2011 - Sylvain Signing Now Official
The signing of Sylvain Marveaux was made official today with the 25 year old winger completing his switch to St. James' Park. Though the terms of the five year deal were agreed last month the player could not actually sign on the dotted line until 1st July.
1st July 2011 - Fourth French Signing Finalised
Newcastle have confirmed the signing of French under 19 International Mehdi Abeid who arrives on a free transfer from Lens. The 18 year old midfielder has signed a five year contract and becomes the fourth French signing to arrive at the club during the current transfer window.
Peter Beardsley: "We think he has an exciting future ahead of him. After an impressive trial with us earlier in the year I’m looking forward to working with Mehdi. He is a bright young talent."
Mehdi had confirmed his intention to move to St. James' Park when he spoke to French publication L’Equipe back in May: "I have had contact dating back some time and I visited the facilities there last week. I trained with the reserve team. I already discussed things with Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheik Tiote and they encourage me and welcomed my signature. The leaders of the club told me about their plans and that they will rely on me for next season. I intend to give everything to develop in the Premier League."