We expect Nicky Butt to retire at the end of the season, and as we’ve said before, we’d love to see Nicky stay on Tyneside in a coaching capacity. Even more so now that we understand how ashamed he was when Newcastle were relegated last May, and elected to stay to right that wrong.
Nicky Butt – ashamed when Newcastle were relegated
And after reading Nicky’s interview today in the News Of The World, Newcastle fans will realize the pride Nicky has gained for the Newcastle club and their fans.
But not only that, it comes across that Nicky Butt was ashamed when Newcastle were relegated last May, and only now is he coming to terms with the fact that the Magpies relegation nightmare is in a way quickly being corrected, with the lads gaining promotion at their very first attempt.
This is what Nicky said today:
“The hurt from last season and regaining pride was a big motivation.We didn’t want to fail the public as we had the year before.”
“You go on holiday and you don’t feel like you should be enjoying yourself. I have kids and a family and I didn’t feel I should be seen laughing and joking on the beach or anything like that.”
“We should never have gone down but the pressure got so much people went into their shells and stopped playing.”
And of course last summer the club seemed to be in complete disarray, with no plans at all on which players they should sell, and which ones they should keep, so everybody was put up for transfer, and it seemed haphazard as to who was moved out and who remained.
But some of the players wanted to stay, and said so at the time, and one of those was Nicky Butt, and other players – like Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini and others, have all played a huge part in transforming the Newcastle United club in just one single season.
A players committee of Nicky Butt, Kevin Nolan, Steve Harper and Alan Smith was formed last summer at the players initiative, and has worked hand in hand with manager Chris Hughton, in ensuring all is right with the players, and that they remain committed to the Newcastle club.
The unlikely Chris Hughton was made temporary manager last July 1st, if only to take the pre-season training (somebody had to) and he immediately hired Colin Calderwood, who was on a weekly contract until both were hired full time last October, after owner Mike Ashley’s efforts to sell the club fell through – for a second time.
And it was a pre-season trip to Ireland, when players like Michael Owen, Oba Martins, Mark Viduka, Seb Bassong and Habib Beye had all left the club, after deciding they didn’t want to stay at Newcastle, and that actually turned out to be the beginning of a new-found team spirit and passion at the Tyneside club.
Nicky continued, and talked about the Ireland pre=season mini-tour:
“In Dublin, we had meals together, we played golf and with us having such small numbers, there weren’t cliques.” “Everyone was together on the same table. There weren’t groups of five here or six there.”
“There were players I didn’t know too well, maybe because they were foreign lads and didn’t speak much English, but I got to know them.” “I looked at different people in different ways and I liked them.”
“That was the case for everybody. The team spirit has been very strong ever since.”
“This season, we have felt what Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United feel every year because everyone has wanted to beat us. We have been the cup final for these teams, but we have dealt with that all season long.”
“To get back up would be up there with all the good times I’ve had in my career. Obviously the Champions League is my No 1 memory but this is up there with League titles. It’s more important than the FA Cup.”
“Relegation was a blemish on my career and last season was my worst. The best thing is to put it right. I’ll enjoy my summer holidays more this year, definitely!”
And Chris Hughton has become an unlikely hero on Tynesode. and this pragmatic and down-to-earth gentleman, who doesn’t seem to have a bad word to say about anybody, has led the side into every game, fully ready to play, but more importantly, ready to go through hell and high water to get all 3 points – in every single game.
And it’s still a little unbelievable what Newcastle have been able to do this season – scrap with the best of them – and it’s something that was sorely missing last season when over-paid players like Michael Owen, Oba Martins and Mark Viduka were in the side, and when things went wrong they went missing – along with other gutless players.
It seems those players were on Tyneside for themselves, and the players currently at the Newcastle club are there because they want to be on Tyneside, and want to play in front of the most loyal and passionate fans anywhere, and don’t forget Newcastle have an average home gate in excess of 42,000, the 4th best in England.
And not only that, but the players are now proud to wear the famous black and white stripes of the Newcastle United club, known the world over, and you can see that every week in the way they play.
Passion and commitment has returned to the Newcastle club this season in no small measure, to the surprise and delight of Newcastle fans everywhere.
And we’re so proud of every single Newcastle player this season, none more so than Nicky Butt.
Howay The Lads!!