Harper – Sam Has Great Knowledge of World Football

Steve Harper, who we expect will keep his place at Derby County next Monday, has talked to the Newcastle Journal about new captain Geremi.

Steve thinks Geremi is an excellent choice as captain and he has also been surprised by the strong squad Sam Allardyce has managed to put together in a short 3 months. Steve rightly points out the players Sam has brought in are not exactly household names in this country, but they have quickly shown how experienced and good they are.

Steve has also been impressed with Sam Allardyce’s knowledge of world football and thinks Sam has put that to good use.

Let’s take a look at what Steve has to say.


Steve Harper – Geremi is excellent choice for captain

Steve told the Journal this morning:

“Geremi was the perfect choice to be captain,” “I’ve already nicknamed him Mandela. He speaks like Nelson Mandela and he’s captain as well, so he has taken on that statesman’s role at the club. He speaks a few languages and with so many different nationalities in the squad that is important.”

“I think he speaks French and Spanish, as well as English. He is a calm sort of character, but he has authority as well so it’s a fitting choice. He has slotted straight in, he’s one of the lads, but he’s been there and done that at Chelsea and Real Madrid so he gets a lot of respect from the players because he has that experience behind him.”

“He is a good guy to have in the dressing room and people already look up to him.”

We already know that some of the credit for the great form of Charles N’Zogbia has to go to Geremi, because he has taken the young Frenchman under his wing – and it shows in the performances of Charles this season. That’s what a manager like Allardyce looks for from his more experienced players and it looks like Sam’s choice of Geremi as captain is a good one. We also have a lot of leadership in addition to experience in the squad, with Beye and Cacapa former captains of their clubs in France. That can only be good for the squad.

Harper added:

“A few people have come in during the summer who weren’t perhaps household names, but they have already proven they are excellent acquisitions. You have to credit the manager and his staff for doing that. He has a wonderful knowledge of world football and he has put it to good use.”“I think we have strengthened in the right areas and the squad has a lot of depth to it. I think there are two people competing for every position and we haven’t had that recently.”

“I was surprised by some of the signings because, as I say, some of the lads weren’t household names in this country, but I’ve been really impressed with them.”

“If you look at someone like (Claudio) Caçapa, he is 31 now and has slotted in and shown what a classy and experienced player he is straight away. But it isn’t just him, all the new signings have settled in straight away and you can see the ability they have got. We’ve got a strong squad and that bodes well for the rest of the season.”

We think Sam Allardyce will not change that much with his transfer policy, always preferring to bring in players he has scouted well before going after them. Once Newcastle get up there in the top 6 it will be interesting to see how Sam takes the club higher, because he will never have been in that position before. Oh well, that’s probably getting ahead of ourselves, first goal is to finish top 6 or thereabouts – and that would be a very satisfying position for Newcastle to finish the season in. Then even more excitement will start next summer for the fans as Sam looks to improve his squad even further.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Craig Allen

    Sep 11, 2007 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #1

    lol @ Harper nicknaming Geremi Mandela. As a South African I find that hilarious

    NUFC(.com) published something about Toon scouts at certain games over the past weekend notably Real Sociedad and a u21 international. No doubt looking for that special talent. Go Sam!

  • Ivan

    Sep 11, 2007 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #2

    Big Sam rox

  • pramod-toon roar

    Sep 11, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #3

    this is by far the most anticipated season in the history of nufc since the keegan era. being far down in india every toon supporter can sense it. harper has been so loyal to the club. he deserves a better run as the no 1 goalie, and hopefully win a england cap one day. harps u really deserve something for your loyalty. just cant wait for the derby match. am getting to see all the newcastle games live on espn star.. thank god..!

  • Gordon Tan

    Sep 11, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #4

    Full credits tot Harper too! I’m also impressed by him!

    Especially when you consider after all these years that he has been playing second fiddle to Given!

  • rich

    Sep 11, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #5

    good times are ahead guys, i havent felt this good about our team since 1996.

    I didnt realise ‘Mandela’ speaks Spanish aswell, i knew he speaks English and his Native French, he must be quite intelligent aswell because he wasnt in Spain for long.

  • iain

    Sep 11, 2007 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #6

    tribal football reckons were getting ze maria the brazilian full back in on trial as he doesnt have a club. another typical sam signing potentially if its true.

  • iain

    Sep 11, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #7

    wonder who they were watching at sociedad as they dont have too many good players.

    xabi prieto (rw) stands out as being the the most talented.

  • rich

    Sep 11, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #8

    Iain, Tribal Football are about as reliable as Titus Bramble.

  • Callum

    Sep 11, 2007 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #9

    lol! Good one rich 😀

  • Luke

    Sep 11, 2007 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #10

    Trible Bramble


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