Joe Enrique, who has not had it easy is the last 18 months on Tyneside, has been interviewed in depth today by the Sunday Sun.
Jose Enrique on Tyneside
Most fans also remember that furious exchange at Ewood Park with Joey Barton, in which he and Barton had to be separated, and even last week Sebastien Bassong had a go at him early in the game, for letting his winger get past him, and Sebastien had to go over and cover for the Spaniard.
But Jose likes it at Newcastle, which he’s said often while he’s been on Tyneside, and thinks Newcastle is a great City, if a little cold.
Jose told The Sunday Sun this morning:
“I’m happy living here, I’m happy being at Newcastle, because it’s a very good club and a great city, and I’m happy because I am playing right now,”
“But I’m not happy because we’ve only won one of our last six games, and because of the position we are in the league. Nobody here can be totally happy in this situation.”
Jose has actually done quite well in settling down, but has been a little inconsistent this season, but there’s signs of a very good player there. He certainly doesn’t lack the spirit or fight, and had a terrific second half against Sunderland a few weeks back, and usually puts in a good shift for the team.
“I know I can play better than I have,” “It’s been difficult to play here. Not in England, but in this team, because when you play bad and your team is down, life is hard.”
“You have seen the games. In some of them, all we do is defend, defend. That is the situation we are in.”
“In Spain, my game was to attack. You play with Manchester United, Arsenal . . . they are never defending in the game. All the time it is ‘attack, attack’. But in our situation, it’s more difficult.” “When I was at Villarreal, I played very well because the team was playing very well. It’s all about the 11 players playing well.”
“They became one of the top teams in Spain, and my characteristic there was to attack all the time. But here, I can’t. It’s very different.”
“The problems for Newcastle have probably made me a better player,” Enrique adds. “I always felt I defended well, but now I defend better, because I practise it every day.”
“The only problem here is our position in the league. Nobody wants this club to go into the Second Division.” “I think we have very good players, so it is hard to understand how we’re in this position. You see training and we have good players. It can only be the injuries.
“Too often we have 10 or 12 people out and reserve team players have to come into the first team because we don’t have enough players.
“The most frustrating thing is that so many of our strikers are out with injuries. It’s frustrating for the team, but this is our only problem I think.”
Jose is very good going forward, and he’s right that he needs to defend better, and concentrate more on that side of his game.
And that’s something manager Joe Kinnear has also said, and Joe should be able to give him some good advice, after Joe played right back for Tottenham and Ireland for some 10 years.
Jose also seems to like the people at Newcastle, and thinks the team spirit within the club is just fine, as he continued:
“No, the people here are incredible.” “Of course, it’s good for me to have other Spanish-speaking players here.”
“It was difficult for me to adapt for my first few months here because I only spoke Spanish, so it’s good that I can help Xisco and Colo (Fabricio Coloccini), who didn’t speak English when they came. It’s a nice group we have.”
“Joey? These things happen in football. Him and me are the same — we want to win. He is hungry, I am hungry. He hates losing, I hate losing. He was angry, I was angry.”
“But after the game we were OK again. I don’t have any problem with him, and we joke about it now.” “My contract here is for another three years. I want to stay here for those three years — and maybe 10 more! I like this club and I like this city.”
“I want to play European football, and this club can do that. It’s not many years since Newcastle played Champions League.” “Yes, this year is difficult, and we must fight to stay in the Premier League. But next year, or the year after, who knows?”
“The weather is OK. It’s cold, but it’s good not to have to play in the heat of Spain. And when I am out in the city, I wear a big coat.”
We really don’t know if Joe Kinnear wants to sell Jose, and there was some widely reported news we would have exchanged him for Celtic center back Stephen McManus in January, but the deal fell through because Celtic couldn’t afford Jose’s wages of £40K/week.
We don’t know if the story is true, but if it is, it would appear that Joe will replace Jose in the summer, but we’d like Enrique to stay at the club, because we think he can turn into a more than decent player on Tyneside.
And it seems like Jose would be happy to stay at the club for his entire career, and that’s good to hear. 😀