Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has said that he received a good luck text from Jose Mourinho yesterday, and Jose has a connection to Newcastle, as his mentor Bobby Robson was born in the area, and finally managed Newcastle to success in five great seasons on Tyneside – in the best job Bobby ever had – and the only job Bobby ever wanted.
Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho – while at Barcelona – circa 1997
Notice the thick black hair Jose had in those days – then came Chelsea
While the special one has a connection to Newcastle, and Bobby even tried to get him as Assistant Manager when he was appointed as Newcastle manager back in 1999, the connection is not strong enough that Jose would want to manage Newcastle – well not yet anyway. 😀
Alan Pardew to Newcastle has so far been a dream move for the Londoner, and who would have thought that Alan would have done so well so quickly at Newcastle, certainly not us.
But his star has risen dramatically since he replaced Chris Hughton in December of 2010, and had Newcastle in a fantastic 5th position in the league last season.
This is what Alan said today to the local Newcastle press, about the club being back in Europe for the first time in six seasons:
“It’s a feather in our cap and I’m proud we’re going to experience it.” “I’d have found it surprising had anyone said we would be in Europe by now.” “I’d have thought we would have had to win one of the cups because the league looked beyond us.”
“I had a text from Jose Mourinho yesterday wishing me all the best and it’s things like that which make you realise things are good.” “I don’t usually get texts from him so it shows we’re getting noticed.”
It’s really hard to know what team Alan will field tonight – it’s a 6:00 pm Newcastle time kick off – and the lads have a really tough game at Chelsea on Saturday, and the Premier League is the priority for Newcastle this season.
One player who is certain to start is 37 year-old veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper, who had this to say today:
“I’m really looking forward to playing again because I didn’t want my career to peter out and disappear into oblivion.”
Steve has 191 appearances for Newcastle and this will be his first start for a while, and he will likely play every game in Europe this season.
Steve’s vast experience will come in very useful for a side that will be full of youngsters and fringe players, but can still do well in the Europa League.
That’s what we are hoping for at least.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org