26 year old Mikel Arteta, who has been at Everton since 2005, seems to have respect for a Newcastle side whose form in the last three years has been very different from that of the very well run Everton club.
Mikel Arteta – heart of the Everton midfield
Mikel, who was signed from Real Sociedad for just £2M, another great Moyes signing, talked today about Newcastle’s three Spanish speaking first team players in Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez and Fabricio Coloccini:
“I know Jose Enrique, Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez — these people are not bad players,”
“They have proved their quality in Spain and I’m sure they will give Newcastle excellent service.”
“But they have to be given more time to adapt properly to English football.”
And Arteta makes no secret of the fact that Everton come to Newcastle for only one purpose today – all 3 points, as he continued:
“We go to Newcastle with one objective: victory. But playing there is always difficult,”
“I have a lot of respect for them because they are still one of the biggest clubs in England.”
“It’s difficult to understand how they are where they are. They have an excellent squad and in normal circumstances, they would be fighting with us for a European place.”
“But morale is so important in football, and a bad start to the season and changes on the bench have maybe damaged them.”
Truthful words from Mikel, and it will be important for Nicky Butt and Kevin Nolan to win the central midfield this afternoon, and it will not be easy against Mikel, who is pure class.
But that’s just one of the things Newcastle will have to do this afternoon to register the win, which is what Newcastle fans all want to see.
If we do manage the win, listen for a great rendition of The Blaydon Races at the end of the game.
Howay The Lads!!