Jose Enrique was signed for £6.2M in the summer of 2007 by Sam Allardyce, and when Jose arrived he was a 21 year-old three times capped Spanish U21 International, from Villareal.
Jose Enrique – settled down well on Tyneside
After a first season in which he struggled just a little bit, he’s come through very well indeed over these last couple of years, and is now one of Newcastle’s best players, and is a big favorite with Newcastle fans.
Along with Joey Barton, Jose has turned out to be Sam’s best two signings for the Newcastle United club.
Under Mike Ashley’s ownership, Newcastle have ventured down the tracks of Arsenal, and are trying to build the team by buying players when they are still young, and we will no longer bring in the finished players for very big transfer fees, and so far that strategy seems be doing quite well and even bearing some fruit.
Jose talked to the Evening Chronicle yesterday, and suggested Newcastle didn’t have to sign top players for huge fees to be a good side:
“We haven’t signed too many players or big- name players.” “Look at Sunderland – they have spent a lot of money and we outclassed them 5-1.”
“Some teams spend money and will think they have more of a chance of staying up or getting a strong finish in the Premier League, but we have a good squad.”
“When new players come in and have been here for a month or so, it feels like two years because they are made so welcome.” “It’s a really important quality.”
Of course the one thing that has transformed the Newcastle team, ever since Chris Hughton took over, is the team spirit on Tyneside, which is arguably the best we’ve ever known at the club.
It will get us some hard earned points in the Premier League this season, which of course it’s already done, with that point against Wigan and the two away wins at Everton and West Ham.
And we’re not even going to mention the 5-1 hammering of Sunderland on Sunday, when some Sunderland players in the second half didn’t seem to have the stomach for the fight – and that’s inexcusable to Sunderland fans.
“We’re very close now. We are not just 11 names on a team sheet – we are 11 friends on a match day and all friends within the squad.” “Most of us have been together for three seasons now so it is almost a second nature when we look up to each other for a pass.”
“Yes, we have only won two games at home, but the overall total of points so far is good.“The celebrations showed how together we were on Sunday.”
Jose has rather surprisingly said that the fans in England are calmer than those in Spain, when they often call for the manager’s resignation after just a couple of defeats.
“The fans wave white hankies at the manager after two bad results in Spain.” “In England it’s different with the managers and not like Spain where you are two games away from the sack.”
“I suppose part of the pressure at Newcastle is because people are scared we might go back to the Championship again.” “The first tactic is to secure survival for us. The fans here are much more patient but they express their views.”
“But I know that Real Madrid lost some games earlier in the season and the fans were shouting for Jose Mourinho to go!” “He has signed for four years and one of the best managers in the world, but the fans were waving white hankies. In Spain, it’s different. It’s calmer here.”
Of course we remember that when Graeme Souness was at Newcastle just a few years back (September 2004 until February 2006), he often said the club was always just two successive defeats away from a crisis.
That was true at the time, but we did have two successive defeats against Stoke and Man City this season, and we were then 2-0 down to Wigan at home, with just 20 minutes left in that game.
But the guts, fight and undying spirit of the Newcastle players allowed the side to finally equalize right at the death through Coloccini, and we kind of avoided a crisis – kind of.
It certainly didn’t stop the gossip press from reporting that Hughton’s job was in danger, but with two successive league wins since the Wigan draw, we have to think that press coverage will die down now – maybe.
“We needed three points but, just as importantly, we needed to beat Sunderland as we know what it means to the fans.” “It’s the best game of the season to win for us. We hope we can do it again and again.” “It was one of the best feelings of my career because the atmosphere was so amazing.”
“We didn’t play that different to previous home games like Blackpool, Stoke and Wigan – we just took our chances.” “To win 5-1 is great, but it’s because we took our chances when they came at the right times, and it must be a continuing theme if we want to win a few more games.”
“We’re in seventh place but if you lose two games you slip down the league by a few places.” “Everybody is happy with Chris. He took us from the Championship when we needed a manager and we’re in the Premier League now.” “We’re having a good season, it’s hard in the Premier League but we’re seventh and that’s got to be a good thing.”
Most Newcastle fans would have settled for 14 points from our first 10 league games, especially after the 3-0 opening loss at Old Trafford, when we were rather outclassed, but the players never stopped fighting for the cause.
And in fact for the first time in 10 years, the three promoted sides, Newcastle, West Brom and Blackpool are all in the upper half of the league after the first 10 games, just over a quarter way through the season.
We’re even helping to give the Championship a good name, after being down there just the one season.