Newcastle have had some characters over the last few years who have been prima donnas, and have put themselves before the club.
Mike Williamson – in action against Blackburn
But there’s not many of them left at Newcastle these days, as the team spirit at Newcastle has never been better.
27 year-old Mike Williamson is one of Newcastle best buys in recent times, signed for just £1M from Portsmouth just over a year ago, and in a new interview today, he opens the door a little to the way in which Alan Pardew manages his players.
We like what Mike say and how Alan manages the players too.
This is what Mike, who was born in Stoke on Trent, said today:
“When the gaffer came in he didn’t know me, and I hadn’t done anything for him,” “Chris brought me here and I’d done well for him.”
“Before the Manchester City game he pulled me in and basically just said, ‘Steven did well for me against Liverpool, I’m going to start him again. I like you as a player, I’ve seen a bit of you.’ We had a good chat and got acquainted.”
“I said, ‘Fair enough,’ it’s nice for managers to do that. It’s nice to know where you stand and I think that’s what it’s all about. He puts his stall out so everyone knows their place.”
“That’s the only thing you can ask for from a new manager, that everyone’s on a level playing field, there’s no favorites or anything like that, that people’s name doesn’t go before what they actually do on the pitch.”
It’s good to hear that about the new manager, because it shows Alan is a good man manager, and we’d certainly heard that from fans of some of the previous clubs he’s managed.
Hopefully the great team spirit at the club will also continue with Alan, as he seems fair with players and Pardew himself says he has learned from some of his brashness of the past, and his 10 years experience of managing clubs.
And of course when Alan came on board he made a point of watching all the tapes of this season’s games, so he would have seen Mike play well in a number of those games.
This season is a season of consolidation for Mike, being the first time he’s played in the Premier League, and with Steven Taylor back in training now, it will be interesting to see what back four Alan will start in the next game against Bolton this Saturday afternoon at home.
We’d be surprised if it’s changed from the last few games, even with Steven being fit again.
“I was lucky Chris was someone who could see the potential, took the gamble and I would like to think it paid off in his time here,” “I wasn’t worried for the future when he left. It’s football. I went through seven or eight managers at Wycombe, that’s just the way it goes.”
“The last few years this club has been through quite a few. It’s nothing new for a player. It’s sad when it does happen if you’ve got a good relationship with the manager at the time but unfortunately its part and parcel.”
“You just have to knuckle down, prove yourself on the training pitch and take it into the games.”
“The gaffer’s set his stall out in the way he’s integrated with the lads, he’s carried the momentum and just tried to tweak things here and there,” “It’s a credit to him.”
“Instantly he could see the team, the spirit and the dynamics of how it works, and it was up to him as an intelligent man to keep things going. He’s just kept the thing snowballing, which is great for the club.”
When Alan came in last December he was close to brilliant in the way he kept things going and didn’t upset the great things that Chris Hughton had achieved in his 18 months as manager of Newcastle United.
Mike has signed a new long term deal, which will keep him at Newcastle until the summer of 2016, and that’s some good business by the club, as Mike will only improve further, as he gets more experience in the Premier League.
After the excellent performance at Birmingham last Tuesday night, it was good that Pardew singled out Williamson for special praise, because in the two games since the first half disaster against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago, he’s put in some excellent shifts for the side.
If Steven Taylor shows good form in training and in tomorrow’s Reserve game at home, then it could be in a game or two that Pardew even tries Taylor at right back.
Steven has played there before, and Alan may come to the conclusion that a Taylor, Williamson, Coloccini Enrique back four, is the best one he has available right now, so that would certainly be unlucky for Danny Simpson.
It will be interesting what the back four is in the next few games.
For the record, Mike now has 39 appearances for Newcastle, with 24 of them being this season.