Harper Talks About Newcastle’s Difficult Characters

Veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper has talked to the Evening Chronicle today and talked about some of the difficult characters the club had had in the recent past.

Steve Harper – some difficult characters in the past

Steve talked this morning:

“It’s vitally important to have the right sort of players in.”

“It is well documented that we have had our fair share of difficult characters in the past.”   “But everybody that has come in now seem to be good lads.”

“And that’s part of what the manager was looking for.”

“With the injuries we’ve picked up, it was important to get in proven players at this level.”

“That’s what we’ve done.”

Harper has been impressed with the new players brought in during quite a successful transfer window.

In particular Steve is impressed by new 6’4″ center-back Mike Williamson, who has been a breath of fresh air since he signed from Portsmouth – not to mention he’s looked a very good player.

Steve continued:

“Mike has been excellent and he seems to be a really nice guy.” “He looks the part for us.”

“He’s very positive in the air and he’s got two good feet. So far he’s taken up some good positions and he’s settled straight in.”

“Two clean sheets are testament to that.”

And Steve talked about 19 year-old loan signing  Patrick Van Aanholt, signed on loan for a month  from Chelsea, and who was man of the Match in his debut on Saturday night.

And Steve is expecting to see more from Dutch U21 International Patrick Van Aanholt.

Steve went on:

“Young Patrick looks a very good player for the future – he came in and made one block and almost scored.”

“He will look even better on a good surface tomorrow night.”

The last time Newcastle were beaten at home was back in May against Fulham, when we lost by the only goal.

And that was following our great 3-1 win over fellow relegation struggler Middlesbrough on the previous Monday night, and it was a surprise result that helped take Newcastle down to the second division of English Football..

Steve continued:

“The longer we can stay unbeaten home and away the better.”

“With 19 games left there is a long way to go and there will be many twists and turns, as we’ve seen.”

“We are not going to win every game and there plenty more battles ahead. We have to make sure we’re up for it.”

“It’s good now – we have players who want to be here.”

“We’ve got Shola Ameobi and Danny Simpson due back tomorrow and Joey Barton champing at the bit.”

OK so who were the difficult characters we had at the club last season?

We have to think Oba Martins and Michael Owen (who’s he?) were two of them – who else do you think didn’t help in the dressing room last season?

Comments welcome.

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The poll is worded as follows:-    Do You Approve Of The Way Mike Ashley Is Now Running Newcastle United?

20 comments so far

  • listie

    Feb 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Prety easy really Ed “Le Sulk”

  • NUFC-0809-Oh Dear

    Feb 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #2

    I think over the years we have had loads of problem players.

    Last season I think the problem players were:

    Mike Ashley – Enough Said

    Michael Owen – Thought he was better than everyone.

    Oba Martins – Became frustrated with lack of service.

    Seb Bassong – Realised the club was going down and his head dropped.

    Same applies for all players who jumped ship in my opinion.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Anyone French…

  • Will

    Feb 4, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #4

    luque and robert are other examples grrrrrr

  • Sav

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #5

    Am I reasonably happy with the last transfer window and with Hughton’s performance as manager to steady us in the Championship?
    – Yes.

    Am I happy with being in the Championship in the first place, satisfied we have the makings of a team that can survive a first season in the Premiership, satisfied with the standard of football the current team and coaches aspire to
    or feel confident that Hughton is the manager to rebuild a successful Premiership side between May and August in a World Cup year?

  • Elfy_Toon

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #6

    just a quick observation, harps mentioned barton coming back into fitness, if he didnt value him in the team would he have mentioned him?
    hopefully when he does come back hell be used properly as nolan needs a rest as does smith, start guthrie and barton in the center to give them a break nd give harper the armband if taylor is still out.
    we did have a lot of moaners last season but id say they are gone now, owen, n’somnia, Given (i dont want to say it but i get a nagging feeling that he was one) bassong (i forget who said it but someone mentioned speaking to either taylor or guthrie and saying he was n arrogant french prick)

  • Elfy_Toon

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #7

    sav, would you be happy with this situation if u looked at it from this perspective? if we hadnt been relegated and forced to sell all the shite in the team and gone into administration hadnt ashley taken over and shook up club. dont get me wrong i cant stand him, but looking in hindsight at whats happened id rather be here now with a squad building from the ground up than stuck with the whinging players of last season all jumping ship at once as soon as they saw us going into admin.

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #8

    barton and carroll !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lewisnufc

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #9


  • Ericles

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Makes one think about the contribution Ipswich made to NUFC does it not? Oh my…..

  • Ericles

    Feb 4, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #11

    It also makes one think about how all of our past divas, cry babies, and whingers could have taken a good old leaf out of Steve Harpers book too…

  • woodsee

    Feb 4, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #12

    dont agree about laurent robert being in that category a bit moody maybe,but when the chips were down,he often produced the gods

  • woodsee

    Feb 4, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #13

    goods lol

  • Spitfire

    Feb 4, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #14

    Difficult characters is a euphimism for arseh0les. I give you : Owen, Viduka, Bassong, NZogbia, Dyer, Martins, Faye,Luque, Beye, Parker……I could go on but whats the point

  • bill

    Feb 4, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #15


    Mike Ashley shouldn’t have bought the club if he wasn’t prepared to do an Abramovich.

    Be truthful, that’s what we expected.

    Back to the players creating waves – probably those who left the club except for Given and Owen, as I think they have morals, unlike a lot of footballers.

  • budmon

    Feb 4, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #16

    bellamy, bowyer, dyer, robert….

  • Robby Bobson

    Feb 4, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #17

    Owen always thought he was bigger than the club.
    Robert, Luque, Bellamy.

    Its almost safe to say that at the moment there isn’t any bad characters.

    Its been said many times that a team meeting was called and it was said that if you want to leave…go!

    So the people here at the moment must have want to stay and stick it out. Maybe Colo is here for the money I don’t know but he always seems genuine when he gives interviews.

    Jonas is a very good character and very honest as h said he would leave if it affects his world cup place but it didnt so it sticking it out.

    Those who are here now are here to prove a point and are taking responsibility.

  • Chris F

    Feb 4, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #18

    i don’t think he meant last season in particular, more that in the past decade we’ve had plenty of players who had a bit of an attitude problem about them, and still have one in barton imo.

    kluivert, owen, martins, luque, robert, bellamy, etc.

    while undoubtedly some of these produced on the pitch (ie bellamy and robert, sporadically at least) most of them seemed to come to the club with the impression that they were doing us a favour by being there and had nothing to prove.

  • silverfox

    Feb 4, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #19

    It was such a shame that we were relagated however, looking back things have not been run right at the club for some time. When you look at the money we have spent over the years we should have been a top 6 established club. Mercenaries have took this club to the cleaners for years, been happy to take the inflated wages do little on the pitch and moan.
    Hopefully we will be promoted and Ashley will sell the club to someone who cares and runs the club sensibly. Lets give the new lads a chance at least they want to play for the club.

  • Chris F

    Feb 4, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #20

    silverfox, i couldn’t agree more.

    when we did go down, first thing i said to my mates was “oh well, at least all the rats will jump ship now” and they did.

    i’d kill for an owner like Randy Lerner at villa, tbh. He’s done everything right at that club if you ask me, sensible decisions and let the manager get on with it.


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