Jose Enrique will have some competition at left back for really the first time since he arrived on Tyneside over three years ago and has become one of Newcastle’s best players.
Jose Enrique with Jay Osman last Saturday at Goodison Park
The performance of 19 year-old Shane Ferguson at left back on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge was a bit of an eye opener for the fans, and Shane had a great game and looked so comfortable.
He also put in the great cross for Newcastle’s first goal that Nile Ranger slammed into the back of the net, to signal Newcastle were by no means going to lie down and be steamrolled by the good Chelsea side – and the rest is now Newcastle history – but good history – even great history.
The team spirit in the Newcastle camp seems to be just unbelievable at the moment, and Jose Enrique has talked to the Sunday Sun about the new Newcastle side, after a cold and wintry training session on Friday – and talking about the weather we are in a bit of an Indian summer here in Raleigh – with it being 93 degrees F yesterday.:
This is what Jose told the Sunday Sun:
“It’s always winter here!” “But I feel more comfortable now in the Premier League. When I first came here I was young and still had a lot to learn. It’s always hard for players from another country when they first come here.”
” It’s a different life.”“Now this is my third year in the Premier League, I’m happy here, I’m settled and my English is better.” “When I signed here we had Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins – great players,”
“I came because Newcastle were a better team than Villarreal, and much bigger. But I know sometimes it’s better playing with lesser names.” “The new players have come here to prove themselves, and that has been good for the club.”
“Even Sol Campbell. He has come here, he’s won so much and he’s 36 but he’s just like the rest of the lads.” “That’s better because everyone is giving 100 per cent, everyone is happy. The atmosphere among the team is unbelievable.”
“We’ve played against four big teams in England – Everton, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Chelsea – and we’ve won three of them.” “I think we’re playing well now and against big teams we play better, maybe because we play on the counter-attack, maybe we are a little scared before the game or maybe because we know that we have nothing to lose.”
“Against Stoke we have to win. There are different teams with different styles. Stoke are a physical team, but I think we have the players to play against them. We won’t be bullied.” “The last game we played at home against Blackpool two weeks ago, we lost 2-0 but we could have won the game because we had a lot of opportunities.”
“We’re at home so there is more pressure on us, especially after losing to Blackpool.” “We’re in good form now and we have to continue that. But it will be hard, like all the games in the Premier League.”
With young Shane Ferguson already a Northern Ireland International at just 19 (yes he looks about 14 we know), coming through so well this season, Newcastle will not need to buy anybody to push Jose Enrique at left back, and of course the Newcastle strategy of concentrating on the youngsters, already seems to be paying off big time.
But Jose says he enjoys the rivalry and that it is good for the Newcastle club to have competition for places all over the field, as he continued:
“He is training with us a lot, so it didn’t surprise me that he played so well against Chelsea,”“Everyone played well and he did really, really well. It’s difficult to go there and win, no one gave us a chance but we did it.” “Maybe they didn’t play with all their players who play all the time but they still had really good players.”
“Shane played really well at left-back, he’s a good player. He can give me competition. I need that because I’ve played here for a few years as the only player in my position.” “Now I have a bit of competition and that’s good for me and for the team.”
Newcastle go into the game against Stoke this afternoon on a high, much like we were for our last home game against Blackpool, when everybody was expecting all 3 points.
That was a big let-down, but because it is still so fresh in the memory, we have to hope that will not happen this time, and with just a little bit of luck the lads should be able to get the win this afternoon – we hope so in any case.