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:
â€œGeremi was the perfect choice to be captain,â€ â€œIâ€™ve already nicknamed him Mandela. He speaks like Nelson Mandela and heâ€™s captain as well, so he has taken on that statesmanâ€™s role at the club. He speaks a few languages and with so many different nationalities in the squad that is important.â€
â€œI think he speaks French and Spanish, as well as English. He is a calm sort of character, but he has authority as well so itâ€™s a fitting choice. He has slotted straight in, heâ€™s one of the lads, but heâ€™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.â€
â€œHe is a good guy to have in the dressing room and people already look up to him.â€
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 â€“ 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.
â€œA few people have come in during the summer who werenâ€™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.â€â€œI 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 havenâ€™t had that recently.â€
â€œI was surprised by some of the signings because, as I say, some of the lads werenâ€™t household names in this country, but Iâ€™ve been really impressed with them.â€
â€œIf you look at someone like (Claudio) CaÃ§apa, he is 31 now and has slotted in and shown what a classy and experienced player he is straight away. But it isnâ€™t just him, all the new signings have settled in straight away and you can see the ability they have got. Weâ€™ve got a strong squad and that bodes well for the rest of the season.â€
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 â€“ 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.