The Newcastle first team squad are off the Carlton House just outside of Dublin, Ireland today, for a week long intensive training session.
Danny Guthrie – 23 year-old has massive season ahead of him
It’s of course where Chris Hughton took the lads last year at this time, when things were maybe at their lowest ebb at the club for almost 20 years.
But things are much better 12 months later, with perhaps a subdued confidence among supporters that the lads could do quite well this coming season back in the big time – well let’s rephrase that – the hope that the lads could do quite well back in the big time.
Danny Guthrie – our 23 year-old central midfielder, signed from Liverpool two years ago for £2M, had a good season just ended, and will be pushing for a starting position in midfield along with some of our other good players, like Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan.
Danny talked today about the Ireland training camp:
“I think Ireland was extremely beneficial last year and it’s good to know that we’re going back,” “It’s going to be very tough for us when we get out there.”“But we bonded as a group last year, which was important for what we went on to achieve, and we’re looking forward to going back.”
“There is a lot of hard work at this time of year, it’s part and parcel of the game. The trip to Ireland worked wonders for us last time and there is no reason why it can’t do so again.”
“We’ve been eased back into it over the first few days of training, but the coaches will crank it up in Ireland. But we also do other things as well, like play golf.”
“The real work starts when we get to Dublin. It’s not like the old days though. The lads were all given individual programs before we went away, and I think most of us have done the work we needed to do, or at least little bits here and there.”
“It’s up to us whether we do them or not, but I think most of the boys have come back in pretty good shape.”
Lat year Chris had them out training early at 7:00am, and even at times had three training sessions a day, and the lads can expect the same tough regime again this summer. One thing Chris Hughton is one of the best at is coaching, and he’s proved that at Newcastle in the 28 months he’s been on Tyneside – it seems like 6 years. 😀
Newcastle had a big task ahead of them last season, and few would have thought the lads would have done so well to win the Championship by 11 points and an automatic promotion place by 23 points last season. Most of the experts were choosing Newcastle to be relegated to League One – but, as usual, they were dead wrong and the lads did us all proud.
The City of Newcastle was bouncing big time at the end of last season, with people so proud of what the club achieved following the previous season’s disaster, and we owe a big thanks to a quiet and withdrawn manager – Chris Hughton, who has brought stability to the club.
We were going to say “back to the club” but that wouldn’t be accurate, since we’ve rarely had any.
A year ago there was confusion and bedlam at the club and we didn’t even know who the long-term manager would be, and the club was again up for sale.
But there is an equal task ahead of the lads this coming season, just to be able to stay up in the Premier League and not be in another relegation dog battle – which is the very last thing the fans want to see.
“We know what the task is in front of us, it’s going to be another hard season, but it’s been completely different coming back this time.”“We know who the manager is and we also know what we need to do.” “It was chaotic last summer. There was so much in the press and on the television. We didn’t know what was going on, it feels a lot more settled this time.”
“But, at the end of the day, we came back last year knowing we needed to get a good pre-season under our belts and it’s the same this time.”
“It’s nice to be back. It’s been a long break so it’s good to see everyone again and get back into the swing of things.” “It’s been a completely different feeling to last summer. There was so much uncertainty this time last year when we came back for the start of pre-season.”“It’s been good to enjoy the summer knowing that we have achieved what we set out to do last season, it’s been a lot easier to kick back and relax knowing we’re going to be back in the top flight.”
For some of the players who cared about the club last summer, one notable being Nicky Butt, it was a painful summer indeed, because Nicky felt so guilty about being part of the squad that got Newcastle relegated – and he talked about that a lot earlier this year, when he announced he would be leaving Newcastle United this summer.
For other players they couldn’t care less, and just wanted to leave Newcastle, which at the time was a sinking ship – and she was sinking fast.
There are some massive games coming up, like at Manchester United and and home to Aston Villa, and we have to hope the lads can rise to the occasion and keep Newcastle afloat in the early part of the season.
But it seems that Shrewsbury-born Guthrie just cannot wait for those games to start:
“It was great when the fixture list came out, especially the first game. I think we all got that little buzz of excitement knowing we were back in the Premier League – where this club belongs.”“And we couldn’t have asked for a better game than Manchester United away. It was nice to get one of the big games first. We don’t see it as daunting, we relish the challenge.”
“No disrespect to the Championship, but nothing compares to Manchester United at Old Trafford, nothing even comes close to it.”
Danny is just one of the players that we will be looking for improvement this season, and if last season is anything to go by, Danny will do just fine next season with the big boys.
The 23 year-old has 70 appearances for Newcastle with 7 goals, and overall in his career so far has 124 senior appearances with 8 goals, having also played at his former club Liverpool, and at Southampton and Bolton Wanderers out on loan.