Khamis, 13 Oktober 2011

Faktor kebangkitan Newcastle United


"This season, we wanted to be more fluent - a mobile team with quick passing, a team that will entertain," said Pardew. "I wanted to evolve the team this season.

"Last year, our first back in the Premier League, we were functional. We were solid at the back, could score from set pieces and could grind out results.

"So far this season, I am left asking myself, 'How good are we?' I really don't know yet. I feel there are more elements that can go wrong. What happens when we lose a match? Or there are a couple of injuries or a loss of confidence? Those tests are ahead. But the evidence is that we have evolved."


"We are a proper team," claims defender Steven Taylor. "It starts on the training ground. Everyone together, laughing - and the banter comes from everyone. It brings everyone together.

"We have had team-bonding sessions, like paintballing and Mario Kart games. We all eat together. You can't underestimate the effect of those simple things. They keep us united.

"The new signings have been brilliant. They have joined in with everything, they speak up and are great. It is a start and we have to stay focused. We have conceded fewer goals than anyone in the Premier League. It is hard work, team play, the gaffer drilling the back four and defending for your lives."

That team spirit and determination has shown on the pitch.


Newcastle MD Derek Llambias had been battling with the players' committee for 12 months over the bonus structure.

Pardew made it a key mission to resolve the dispute and brokered a deal between the factions. It has ensured a united front from boardroom to dressing room.

Small details are being noticed. For instance, two weeks ago, after a day out paintballing, the players went for a Chinese meal. Llambias turned up late on and settled the bill, thanking the squad for their efforts.

A small gesture, but one the regime would not have thought of a few years ago.


Nolan and Barton were central to Newcastle's revival on and off the pitch. But the club decided it was time to move on.

Nolan was not deemed worth a new four year deal, and Barton's summer outbursts sealed his fate.
In stepped Argentinian defender Fabricio Coloccini as Newcastle's new captain.

He stamped his authority early on - as one player discovered when he was summoned to a showdown with the skipper, Llambias and Pardew and told to calm down.

Coloccini has been as assured on the pitch too.


"This was the vital result, so early in the season, especially for the supporters and the mood," said winger Jonas Gutierrez says of the 1-0 win over Sunderland on August 20. "I know what it means for fans to say they have beaten their nearest rivals.

"As soon as we scored at Sunderland - it was only the second game of the season - we started to keep the ball much better.

"They are difficult games, and can set the tone, but we came through it and have not looked back."


Newcastle' chief scout Graham Carr says the club know French football inside out - and also know that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is never far away when they are trying to land a player.

"People look at Wenger and think he has got the French market covered, but we've got a good handle on it, believe me," said Carr. "The same is true of other countries, too.

"The key is to react quickly, that is how we will get our targets. Newcastle United is a big draw overseas."
Carr has been key to Newcastle winkling out the best value new recruits.

Yohan Cabaye (£5 million for a French international playmaker) Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid arrived this summer, as did Italy Under-21 left-back David Santon and free transfer Demba Ba.

You can add Hatem Ben Arfa's permament move, sealed last January, and the capture of Gabriel Obertan, a Frenchman signed from the fringes of Manchester United's squad, to the mix.

"We're learning quite a lot about French history and culture this season," says Pardew.

Newcastle players joke they wish they'd studied harder at school and learned French, but in truth everyone has to speak English at the training ground.


Leon Best and Ba, who has scored four goals in Newcastle's last two games before the international break, have stepped up to the plate and grabbed goals.

Best, who was considered one of Chris Hughton's waste-of-money buys last season by some club chiefs, has three goals to his name already.

"A few fans still um and ah when they hear my name called out, but this is the season to prove I am a Premier League striker," he said. "My record shows that given a chance I'll score."


Michael Martin, editor of Newcastle fanzine True Faith writes: "It is undeniable. There is optimism afoot and even fanzine curmudgeons have been caught up in the positive mood swirling around our mental football club.

"Who knows, there may come a time soon when the words 'Newcastle United' and 'basket case' do not appear in the same sentence.

"I hope those who felt the trials and tribulations of following the club had got too much for them in seasons gone decide to come home.

"No one should deny themselves the pleasure of anticipation for what could be an absolutely splendid football match against Spurs.

"Fill the ground and just feel the innocent pleasure of following your football club again."


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