When you think back to Andy Carroll shockingly leaving Newcastle last January 31st - Newcastle have made some significant progress since that time.
Alan Pardew – great progress in last last 12 months
Andy hasn’t done too well at Liverpool in his first year there, but when he left Newcastle he had 11 league goals and looked to be the new face of the England team.
But it hasn’t turned out that way, and it hasn’t helped that Liverpool have not played to Andy’s strengths – which is what Newcastle United did.
It was good coaching from Chris Hughton that took advantage of Carroll’s ability in the air, and his overall physical play in kind of beating up on the opposing center-backs.
We played Fulham at Craven Cottage on the Wednesday, a couple of days after Carroll had been sold, and we were beaten 1-0, and most of the players were still upset at Carroll leaving the club, and the lads didn’t play well at all.
Carroll leaving is why we think Jose Enrique made up his mind to leave Newcastle, and Joey Barton held back on signing his new contract because of that too - and in the end Newcastle withdrew their offer of a new contract to Barton in early June.
And in fact we lost Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton in the summer, but this season Newcastle are a better side without those three very good players.
This is what Alan told the local press today on what has happened over the last year:
“You have to remember the environment we have created here in the last 12 months.” “Under the environment here Kevin Nolan did really well.”
“Joey Barton did really well – Jose Enrique did great for us.” “But new players have come in and done well in the environment.”
“We’ve got an environment in which people can excel and do well.” “Do we miss the players who have left?”
“Of course we do, we would love Enrique to be in the team, we would love Kev Nolan to be in and around the team and nicking us a goal – they were great players.”
“Now we have different players.” “We have Cabaye having a tremendous first season, Santon has found his feet and looks a real promising talent and a future Italian international, but we have to be on our guard.”
“We have had to work hard as staff.” “Graham Carr, Mike, Derek and myself, and all my staff under me, John Carver downwards.”
“Everybody has done a terrific job.” “We just need to keep it going, that’s the most important thing, you keep going because any kind of slip of concentration, it costs you.”
Newcastle have done just great since Alan arrived, and he’s turning out to be an excellent manager on Tyneside, and Alan quickly hired a top coaching staff, within a couple of months of the Londoner arriving at the club.
The news is that the lads are going away for about a four day break after the Fulham game, much like they did last year when they went to Portugal, and the destination this time is Tenerife, and it’s for a team bonding trip and a sunshine break.
The average temperatures in the winter in Tenerife are 68°F to 72°F degrees (20°C – 22°C), so the weather hopefully will be a lot better than it was last year in Portugal when it was raining and damp.
Newcastle’s next game after tomorrow is at Brighton a week tomorrow, in the 4th round of the FA Cup.
It would be great if we can win our next two games.