We were very impressed with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, when he commented on the World Cup over here in the States during the summer, and he came across as a man who really understood the game.
Roberto Martinez - praises Newcastle team ethic and world class players
We saw on a Wigan blog (Vital Football) what Roberto has said about the game tomorrow, and specifically about the Newcastle team, and he’s extremely complimentary.
This is what Roberto said:
“They have got a group of players with great experience in the Premier League enjoying a great period in their careers.” “They are really hard to play against, hard to break down”
“I`ve watched them four times now this season and in every game they were the better side but didn`t always get the result that they deserved”
“They have got a great team ethic, a great togetherness and a few individuals who are world class” “St. James Park is a football environment that we will have to be ready to perform in”
That cannot be true surely – that’s like something I would write about Newcastle, but of course it would be completely and utterly biased.
It’s true that Newcastle play very well as a team, no doubt about that, as we proved last season, and it’s one of the real highlights of the team Chris has built over the last 15 months.
And the lads have shown in most games this season, that they never give up, even when everything and the kitchen sink, not to even mention the referee, seem to be against them – as in our last game at Eastlands.
And it’s true the players don’t know when they are beaten, but who are the world class players?
Ben Arfa was close to world class but he’s not playing tomorrow, and Sol Campbell used to be world class several years ago, but not at 36. Enrique is very good but world class? And Andy Carroll is coming through nicely, but he still has a lot to learn, so we’re not sure who he’s referring to there.
Maybe Cheick Tiote, who’s looked fantastic since he arrived at Newcastle, so he has to be close to world class.
Who do you think our world class players are – or is it an over-statement by Roberto? One thing that’s obvious is that we have two gentleman managers on the sidelines tomorrow in Roberto and our own Chris Hughton.
They are both very civil and keep their heads even when they suffer difficult and seemingly unjust defeats, and they are both a credit to the game of football. That’s unlike quite a few other managers in the Premier League we could mention – but won’t.
Let us know which players you think are really world class at Newcastle – we’d say Ben Arfa and Tiote are the two closest to that.