Newcastle Is A Fantastic Place To Play Football


41 year-old Gary Speed has been getting a lot of coverage this week as he prepared his Wales side to meet England this afternoon at the Millennium Stadium.

Gary Speed while at Newcastle

Gary, who was born in Mancot, Wales,  was manager at Sheffield United with John Carver as his assistant before he was offered, and accepted the Wales job last year, and replaced John Toshack.

Gary had a terrific 6 years at Newcastle from 19988 until 2004, when the skilled central midfielder played 284 times for Newcastle with 40 goals.

Gary then went on to play for Bolton (and Kevin Nolan), and has had a terrific playing career that lasted almost 22 years, and he played for Leeds United and Everton before moving to Newcastle.

In total Gary played a phenomenal 831 first class club games with 133 goals, and in addition he played 85 times for Wales with 7 goals, and he  came out yesterday to say it was a mistake when he left Newcastle in the summer of 2004.

Bobby Robson had told him he would no longer be an automatic choice at 34 on Tyneside, and he moved to Bolton Wanderers.

And of course in late August of 2004 the incredible happened, and Freddy Shepherd sacked Bobby, which is now history at Newcastle, but not very good history.

This is what Gary Speed said yesterday:

“I shouldn’t have left when I did. Bobby didn’t want me to go, but the club accepted an offer, I wasn’t going to be playing every week so I made a decision to go to Bolton,”

“I enjoyed my time there, but with hindsight I could have stayed and I should have done, the door wasn’t closed on me. I didn’t like the idea of not being first choice anymore. It was a mistake, but we all make them.”

“I loved my time up there, it is a fantastic place to live and a fantastic place to play football. It was definitely the most enjoyable period of my career, playing in the Champions League. We were one of the top four or five sides in the country at that time and that is where Newcastle should be in my opinion.”

“It may not have seemed like it at the time, but I think relegation might be the best thing that could have happened to them.” “It’s going to take some time, but they seem to be in a good shape financially and gradually they are building themselves back into the club they should be.”

“Bobby Robson was fantastic, there are so many memories. He pops into my head a lot, things he said, things he did. I’m my own man, you have to be as a manager, but obviously there are things I picked up.

“Bobby was just a fantastic manager, he knew how to get the best out of his players.

Gary Speed is very good friends with Alan Shearer, and if Alan had got the manager job in the summer of 2009, there were rumors Alan would have brought Gary in as his assistant manager, and indeed we wouldn’t be too surprised to see Speed turn up back at Newcastle as manager,  at some time in the future.

But first of all he would have to show he is a very good manager just like another former central midfielder at the club,  Lee Clark,  is showing at Huddersfield Town, who are currently second top of League One in an automatic pormotion place.

Lee Clark has already let everybody know his ambition is to one day manage his home town club.

Alan Shearer seems to want to stay in the BBC studio, and that will never improve his management skills of course, and Alan will have to go out to some smaller club and learn the ropes, just like future good managers have done in the past.

But it would appear he doesn’t want to do that.

Comments welcome.



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12 comments so far

  • Ciaran Thomas

    Mar 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #1

    Did Speedy play in a time machine ?.

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  • Marty-Toon

    Mar 26, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #2

    831 first class club games with 133 goals
    That`s some scoring record for a midfielder.
    Shearer wants to sit in the studio as he won`t come back while the Fat man is in charge.
    Although i do agree he needs to get managin a lower league club for some experience.

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  • thepict

    Mar 26, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #3

    Reckon Gary Speed and CLarky are better bets as future managers. Shearer doesn’t need the hastle.

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  • supermacnumber9

    Mar 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #4

    Newcastle Is A Fantastic Place To Play Football
    – I agree, so why don’t we try it more than once a month? (at least it seems like it!)

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  • G

    Mar 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #5

    I loved seeing Speedy back in a toon top at Shearer’s testimonial. Him, Ferdy and Watson in toon tops again just looked right.

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  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 26, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #6

    Tears rolling down my cheeks. I find it a pity that Shearer will not (swallow his pride and) learn at lower league level.

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  • cupiddstunt

    Mar 26, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #7

    CT @ #1 If you check out Gary’s career you will find Ed is on the button

    Gary’s senior career started with Leeds in 1988 as a 19 yr old and ended with Sheffield United in 2010 when he announced his retirement aged 41 and my maths makes that 22 years or thereabouts.

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  • tom tomb

    Mar 26, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #8

    Great lad, one of the nicest blokes you could wish to meet and a cracking player. Good luck mate!(after today)

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  • GeordieDan

    Mar 26, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #9

    G >

    2nd that. Brought back great memories for me as well!

    I hope we get days like those again sooner rather than later. (The good old days I mean, not testimonials. lol)

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  • The Power Ranger

    Mar 26, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Comment #10

    Future Newcastle Manager? I want Lee Clark eventually.

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  • stuart no9

    Mar 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #11

    rob lee, speedy, kieran dyer, in m/f in late 90″s early 2000″s , heaven !

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  • Ciaran Thomas

    Mar 27, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    Comment #12

    Ease up,Mate. I was only having a laugh.

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