Last year at this time James Perch looked like he was on his way out of the club, after being a huge disappointment at Newcastle in his first full season on Tyneside, when he played only 15 times and picked up 6 yellow cards in the process.
Perchinho - the new James Perch – looks the part
But last season, after being left out of the squad that toured America, he forced his way back into Alan Pardew’s plans, and played some great games for Newcastle at center-back, right back and central midfield, and James, to his huge credit, is now a valuable member of the Newcastle squad.
We wonder if he can keep improving to become an even bigger player for Newcastle next season, when he will taste European football for the first time in his career.
The lads will all report back to Benton a week on Thursday, apart from Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Tim Krul, who have been participating in the Euro 2012 Championships, and will be given extra time off.
And the fact that James has made terrific come-back in his career on Tyneside, is not the only strange thing that happened to the 26 year-old last season, but he is now called Perchinho, and apparently he was now born in Brazil.
That may come as a big surprise to his mother, among other people.
James has become a popular player on Tyneside, and he always across across as a down to earth professional in the interviews he gives, and he had this to say yesterday on the Newcastle web-site:
“We’re looking forward to next season – and the fact that we might have a lot more games than we did last season because of Europe.” “We’d like to have a good cup run next year and do better than we did last year, so we’re looking at probably 50-plus games at the end of it.”
“It’ll be gruelling but we’re looking forward to it, and the lads are just recharging now and getting themselves right for next season.” “When I came in, I like to think I did well.” ”I managed to play a bit more than I did in the previous year so that was great and to be part of a successful team that did really well was a massive plus for me.
“I think the run that we went on at the end of the season – six wins on the bounce at a vital time – stood out, and our form at the beginning of the season, when we started so well.
“Beating Man United at home was special and so was Liverpool at home. That was a great game and it was a massive highlight of mine because I played.” “And all year long, I think everyone could see the team spirit that helped make it a great season.”
Good words from Perchinho there.
The versatile 26-year-old has an excellent chance next season to become an even better player at Newcastle, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this lad could force his way into becoming a starter again, maybe at one of the full-back spots?
It’s unlikely, but if he improves as much as he did last season, he could play a lot of games for Newcastle next season.
That’s what we are hoping for, with Newcastle’s new Brazilian star.