This Is Why Sir Bobby Robson Was So Great


There’s a good illustration today of just how good Sir Bobby Robson was with his players,  and if any coach could get the best out of what he had available, it was Sir Bobby Robson.

Former Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas is now an analyst for BBC Sport, and in his column for Yahoo Sport today, he has opened the door on when he signed for Newcastle United back in early February of 2002, and he was  thrown in at the deep end by the manager, for his debut against Sunderland – at Sunderland.

jermaine jenas

Jermaine Jenas while at Newcastle

You could see that at Ipswich where Sir Bobby initially managed for 13 years, and he had Ipswich in the top six in the old Division One more times than not, even though he had precious little money to spend.

The real definition of coaching is what you can get out of the players at your disposal.

This is some of what Jenas has said today about his exploits at Newcastle:

“The chances I was given at a young age by Forest and Newcastle hugely influenced my career. In my head I felt like I was going in a certain direction, and any young player will feel the same way.”

“They’ll feel loved by their club and that they’re on a track that will ultimately lead to the first team.” “But if you get to 21 and realise you’re still classed as a ‘kid’, that’s weird.”

“I was playing for England by the time I was 19 and it all stemmed from the fact that Bobby Robson put his head on the block for me”  “I was made captain of Nottingham Forest at 17 and then I moved to Newcastle at 18 for £5M – massive money at the time.”

“But my first two weeks on Tyneside were a nightmare. I was nervous, and I was rubbish in training. I remember thinking: ‘What have I done? I’m just not the player I was at Forest.”

“Then on the Thursday before the Tyne-Wear derby Sir Bobby Robson came to me and said: ‘You’re playing on Sunday by the way.’”  “I was shocked.”

“There’s no bigger game at Newcastle. But the minute I played that game, those two weeks of training were irrelevant.” “We won 1-0, I performed well and that earned me the full respect of my teammates.”

“Coming out the other side of that match gave me so much confidence. I felt like I’d passed my hardest test, especially mentally.”

We remember that game against Sunderland well, and not only was Jenas good in that game – he was the best player on the field. and so cool and composed for such a white-hot atmosphere.

And when you consider he was just 18 – he obviously seemed to have the temperament of somebody who could become a big player in the future – and the Geordie fans took to him immediately.

nicos dabizas scores300

Nicos Dabizas after scoring winner – February 26th, 2002 at Sunderland

We won by a goal from Nicos Dabizas midway through the second half – Shay Given had a blinder – and Newcastle climbed back to second place in the Premiership – those were days alright.

It didn’t quite work out for him at Newcastle, and when Graeme Souness was in charge Jermaine was moved to Tottenham for £7M in the summer of 2005.

That’s when he made that famous quote that playing for Newcastle was like being in a  goldfish bowl.

There is significant pressure on players at Newcastle, because that’s all the City and Geordies think about – football – and yes it’s a religion on Tyneside.

Always has been always will be.

Jenas is now retired even though he’s  only 32, so he never did reach the great potential he showed while he was at Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United – but nevertheless he still had a very good career.

But Jenas does seem to have a new career ahead of him in the media – he’s a sensible lad and as we have seen in his column today – he’s certainly willing to tell the truth about things.

That’s good.

Comments welcome.

Note: 18 year-old Harvey Fitzpatrick is a Newcastle fan and an avid reader of this site – and he is fundraising for cancer research as part of the Macmillan’s ‘Brave the Shave’ campaign they are currently running.

On 18th of August Harvey will be shaving his hair off in support of the cancer fund drive – please see if you can support Harvey by donating on his Brave the Shave site.



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107 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #1

    Ashley Out!

    0
  • Noel Worst

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #2

    Eva Carneiro being sacked by Chelsea? Sign her up!

    0
  • Thump

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #4

    Shame he wasn’t the best defender, Chancel.

    0
  • croftus5678

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #5

    @3 chancel + @4 thump

    great crosser of a ball and has the speed with the right coaching in defence like you say he could be a great player as he’s still very young and tbh imo currently our best lb.

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  • martoon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #6

    Noel Worst – I’ve really lost a lot of respect for Jose typical self centred prat. When everything is going well quite happy to take the plaudits but when going badly
    blame everyone but yourself!!!! A bit like Pardew when I come to think about it 🙂

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #7

    Martoon
    Just thinking the same
    Picking on staff who don’t have the same opportunity as him to defend themselves , shows a total lack of class.
    Both he and Terry in their reaction to Courtois red card showed what knobs they are

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  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #8

    MArtoon you are right of late he has come across as a self centred arsehole who thinks he’s better than everyone else, very Pardewesc you are right

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  • martoon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #9

    Jib – I cannot believe they appealed it. On the replay it was clear cut a red card offence. How is it only 1 game? He should have got at least two for a wasted appeal!

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  • swisstone

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Comment #10

    Ed, not related to this story as you’re on one of your rapid story surges.

    In reference to an earlier post, I think its about time you stopped dropping these digs in about how disasterous Carver was.

    The bloke is a die hard geordie who got the chance at his dream job, any of us in his position would have took it. He may have been out of his depth but it was never deliberate, his best wasn’t good enough and he has paid the price for it now.

    Let it go and move on.

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  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #11
  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #12

    Martoon
    There was some discussion about him being in line with the last defender , benefit of the doubt as regards severity I guess.

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  • Tsunki

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #13

    Haidara rates high in PL stats too. You have to love stats. They don’t tell you anything more than what you want your extract from them. Having said that, I rate Haidara and think with a run he’ll come good, like many others in the side actually. Even now he’s an upgrade on Dummett.

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  • JDdubai

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #14

    Really interesting to see how Shaqiri does, should be a superstar in the PL.

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #15

    Pardew is getting shot of Dwight Gayle – that is a strange one.

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  • Belfast

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #16

    Jib I don’t actually see what Terry done wrong? He was trying to keep his goalkeeper on the pitch? That’s his job he’s the captain.

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  • Mr Funk

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #17

    Raphael Guerreiro

    Could he be an alternative to Thauvin as he did play left wing for more games last season than left back.

    0
  • Tsunki

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #18

    ‘Es bin fitted up for the Brentwood Tickle, mate. ‘swot ‘appens when you get the shooters ‘aht.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #19

    would love eva carneiro here. chelsea were bottom of the injury table last season. And to be honest Eva is far better image than Derek wright who helped us finish top.

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  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #20

    Shaqiri to Stoke so that means we’ll have more Thauvin stories now!!

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  • WWSBRD

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #21

    martoon/Chancel
    Jose has everyone talking about him and the medical staff rather than their very very below par performance against Swansea

    I think Jose knows exactly what he’s doing always does

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  • Rotonda heights

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #22

    swisstone

    carver was a narcissistic, classless oaf who offered his own fans outside on more than one occasion. As far removed from SBR in terms of a humble human being and coach as you could get.

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  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #23

    As an Opta analyst you type in the minutiae of every televised game. You would earn pitiful sums of money but to watch football. Mind, given that you would have to log every single event in endless detail- long pass, weight on the ball, origin of the ball, where the ball lands. In all Opta collects several hundred categories. Having seen their operation at close quarters it really is lies lies and statistics for me.
    I don’t need anyone to tell me that Dummett is better defensively and Haidara offensively.

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  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #24
  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #25

    Rotonda- So it’s not because she’s not bad looking but you admire her professionalism .
    What about the East Fife supporters who shouted get your —- out for the lads at the female physio.

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  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #26

    Belfast – We don’t know what Terry actually said but it did seem a bit harsh to be booked merely for fulfilling the role of Captain.

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  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #27

    Rotonda – Derek Wright he’s been our physio for as long as I’ve been supporting the toon. I can’t remember him not being our physio he’s just got bigger over the years. Around 5 years ago he was nearly involved in a collision with a metro train – I think he tried to drive through a red light and barely made it!
    Interesting character not sure how good a physio he is!

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  • sweendog

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #28

    and now for the next rumour we’re now linked with vestegaard

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    Comment #30

    Derek Wright has been at the Toon since 1984
    He joined in KK’s last year as a player
    cctv footage of his near miss

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #31

    Jib- When he does retire he will not be remembered for being a physio!

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #32

    Vestergaard 6’7″ – 23 years old – fits the profile
    But Werder Bremen only bought him in January and he has played every game since.
    Seems a bit early to be changing clubs

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  • Our Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    Comment #33

    Mourinho is being very clever, taking the pressure off his misfiring team and laying the blame elsewhere, the difference between him and pardew is that he can back the talk up.

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #34

    When I played Rugby we used the NUFC physio he had a practise on Whitley Road
    Racking me brains to remember his name
    1st name Harry – I think

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  • davis_toons

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    Comment #35

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOuR2Mm0iQU

    Mourinho target player is good. (LB)

    0
  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #36

    Remember Ian Liversedge from the 80’s

    0
  • Take a Chancel on me

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #37

    he was physio

    0
  • Ian Toon

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #38

    Jib- Lewis Dunk Brighton CB. They are at Southend tonight and Fulham are one of a few clubs apparently planning on watching him.
    We were supposed to have an interest I read somewhere.

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  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #39

    Ian
    I don’t think (if he has any say in it ) Chris Hughton will sell him .He’s the club leader and would make the transition to EPL easy but he’s young and with CB’s time is on their side

    0
  • Jib

    Aug 11, 2015 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #40

    Yeovil Town v QPR tonight also
    Be interesting to see if they risk CA in an away game

    0

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