Claudio Ranieri has been interviewed by the Evening Chronicle and Lee Ryder today, and the well travelled manager, who is the current Monaco manager and managed Chelsea for four years from 2000, seems to be a big fan of the new Newcastle United.
Claudio Ranieri – Newcastle are a fantastic team
The Monaco manager has a long management career stretching back to 1986 and Monaco is the 14th club he has managed, as the commentators on ESPN pointed out on Monday night, when Newcastle beat the French club 1-0 with a good goal from Demba Ba.
This is what Claudio told the Evening Chronicle from Germany today:
“Newcastle are a fantastic team. In fact, I enjoy watching them and last season when they were in with a chance of the big four I watched them a lot.”
“They play very, very well and it is good football too.” “They can get better too. They have a chance of top four.”
“I don’t see why they can’t do really well in the league.” “It is important for them to do that.” “You always look to build on the next season.”
“They have the Europa Cup too and that will be a good competition – the further they go the more important they become on the European map.”
“Don’t forget in pre-season they have been without Yohan Cabaye, without Ben Arfa, without Coloccini and without Cisse.”
“So they have to come back. And you need your big players to stay.” “They are a very big team in my eyes.”
“Arrivederci” “Newcastle are a good team and I wish them all the best for next season. They have great fans. “I hope they do well.”
Good words from Ranieri, and indeed if Alan Pardew continues to have Newcastle play the way they did all last season, when they put on some wonderful performances to a world-wide audience, we have no doubts at all that Newcastle will again become one of the most popular teams in the Premier League.
Pardew has Newcastle playing differently from the way Kevin Keegan had the famous Entertainers play – Alan actually wants Newcastle to defend – but what we like about Alan is that’s he’s such a brave coach, and it’s never say die in any game.
And when will someone tell us exactly what the manager said and did in the dressing on Saturday 5th February at half time at St. James’ Park, when we were 4-0 down to Arsenal?
That comeback, when the Magpies scored four goals in the last 25 minutes, and almost won it in the last minute when captain Kevin Nolan whistled one past the post, even had my wife Madeline watching the last 15 minutes of the game.
It is bravery like Newcastle showed in that game, that can get the Tyneside club a whole lot of new fans around the world over the next few years.
Roll on next season.