Danny Simpson has come out today and admitted that in his younger days he was a bit of a playboy, who went to too many nightclubs.
Danny Simpson – in action last Sunday
You have to remember that he is now only 24, so when these players are coming through the ranks they are very young indeed, and with too much money to spend too, and we all tend to be a bit daft at that age, if truth be told. 😀
So there will always be temptations for young footballers, and some of them fall off the rails, and just never make it because of all the temptations.
But it would be hard for anybody to criticize the top professionalism shown now by the first choice right back at Newcastle, and he thanks the Newcastle club and Chris Hughton for that opportunity.
This is what Danny said today about when he was a playboy, frequented night clubs and the like:
“I was a playboy, I was getting into trouble off the pitch. People had a certain opinion of me, things I’d got up to at Man U. I was a Manchester lad who’d gone from being a nobody to playing in the Premiership.”“I got some attention, I got confident.”
“I can admit now it went to my head.” “There were certain things I did, I was hanging around the wrong people. I had a bit of money. I was wearing the jewelery, driving a fancy car. I hadn’t done anything in the game, but I was living and behaving like someone who had.”
“That wasn’t me, I’d always been a hard worker. I’d lost my way. When anything happened, I had that reputation. When something went wrong, even if it wasn’t my fault, I got the blame.”
“Football’s a small world and people heard the stories and listened to the rumors and nobody wanted to touch me because of it. It was my own fault, but it takes a long time to change perceptions.”
“It was hard to get anyone to give me a chance until Chris Hughton came along. He spoke to Paul Ince about me, and he recommended me, Newcastle gave me that chance and here I am. If Chris hadn’t spoken to Paul Ince, who knows?”
“He gave me a chance to rebuild my career and it’s gone fantastically for me. I’ve changed my personality and my lifestyle, I’m a firm believer that how you behave off the pitch has a direct bearing on what you do on it.”
“I needed a home. I’d been at Manchester United since I was 11, but I’d spent a three-year period out on loan. It was good, I didn’t want to get stuck in a rut playing in the reserves.” “I always tried to get out and get more first-team experience.”
“It helped me in a way, but on the other hand, if I’d stayed at Man U, would I have played more there? I do wonder.” “But at 21 or 22, I had an opportunity to come here and it’s something I will always be grateful for. It was perfect timing, I knew it wasn’t going to happen for me at Manchester United. I had to leave.
“There was a temptation to stay, it’s Man U, I’m from Manchester, I was training with players like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo. It’s like a dream.” “I was happy, but at the same time I wanted to have a career, I wanted to be a success, not someone who is mates with a load of superstar footballers.”
“I wanted to come out of my comfort zone and Newcastle gave me that.”
Those are really good words from Danny boy, and he has improved this season into a solid right-back, and there was even some speculation last year that the England selectors were watching him closely.
And Simpson may still have a chance to make the England squad, if he can improve further in the next year or so, but he will also have to watch a certain James Tavernier, who is coming through the ranks at Newcastle and whom we featured yesterday.
This Bradford born 19 year-old could be challenging Danny for the right back position as soon as next season, as he is quickly improving his game on Tyneside, and has impressed manager Alan Pardew.
But there’s also no doubt that Simpson has been an excellent signing for Newcastle for something in the range of £750K, and he is also a smashing lad.
For the record, Simpson has now played 66 times for Newcastle with a single goal, and in his career so far has 146 first class appearances with 2 goals.