Newcastle Were A Team Of Men – Robson Made Me Feel Like A Million Dollars

Jermaine Jenas is making something of himself as a pundit and an honest  character these days – and he has given an incredible interview in the Mail today where he talks about signing on at Newcastle United as an 18 year-old from Nottingham Forest back in 2002.

It was a club he said he didn´t want to join because it was in the middle of nowhere, but he says everything changed when Bobby Robson called him on the phone as he was travelling by car up to Newcastle.

bobby robson and jermaine henas

Bobby Robson with Jermaine Jenas – after Jermaine had just signed

It´s one of the best interviews we have seen about Bobby Robson´s Newcastle back then in 2002 – and it shows just how fantastic Sir Bobby Robson was as a man-manager and a leader of men – and how he could get the very best out of any player he had.

Here it is.

Forest called me in, said that Newcastle´s  £5M bid had been accepted and that there was a car coming in half an hour.

On the way up I just kept saying I didn’t want to sign for this club miles away in the middle of nowhere.

Then Bobby Robson rang my phone. Watching Italia 90 was when I fell in love with football and to hear Bobby Robson ringing my phone to talk to me was incredible.

Newcastle was 100% right for me but it was all because of Bobby. He just understood me, knew what I needed. He just let me play, made me feel like a million dollars.

He would pull me before a game and say, “Give me everything you’ve got and then I don’t want to see you ‘til Thursday.”

So I would run my heart out for him and then head back to Nottingham and see my mum. They made me feel really special. Bobby was like a dad to me and I was lost when he was sacked.

My respect for Gary Speed went through the roof as soon as I played with him. I thought he was a grafter, hard to play against, but as soon as I played with him I realised the quality, the timing of the runs, the passing, his left foot, the quality of his strike, his command of midfield.”

He would protect me, too. Once at Everton I gave a penalty away in the last minute and afterwards Bobby launched in to me. “What the f*** did you do that for son?”

Gary was straight up. “He never f****** touched him! And did you see the header he won before that? Leave him alone!”

He had my back from the minute I walked in. And Bobby backed down. If Speedo said it then it must be true, simple as that.

It was a team of men, that one, and I don’t think I got close to that again in my career.”  We used to come off the pitch at Newcastle and there would be full-blown fights, shirts off and everything.

Incredible people like Craig Bellamy, Alan Shearer. I missed being around players like that. The elements they bring to a team are hard to quantify.

You think everyone will be like that and they are not. They were hard and honest. Priceless.

Those were the days when Newcastle were great!

Comments welcome.

108 comments so far

  • Ian Toon

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #1

    Sounds to me that he’s after a coaching job now that he’s retired at the toon.

  • Ian Toon

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #2

    He hasn’t yet joined so he can’t retire-?

  • hibbitt

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #3

    we were never in for rhodes boro were the only club to bid…. 9m plus 2m if they go up ……if his goals get them up he’s worth every penny………..for the fans who don’t think he’s worth it but wanted Karanka as our manager rhodes is karanka choice will be interesting how this turns out !!…………………no mention of a goldfish bowl there jermaine

  • Ian Toon

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #4

    Seems he finally appreciated what he had at the toon. Flattered to deceive as a player. It was Lee – from darn scarf for me.

  • AncientC

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #5

    No prizes for guessing that Ed is alluding to Charlie Austin with this piece.

  • switch365

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #6

    miles away in the middle of nowhere.

    What a prick,

  • optimistic prime

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #7

    Sounds like Jenas lived in a goldfish bowl before he came to NUFC

  • switch365

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #8

    Said it last year, said it this year and I’ll say it again.

    We’re after a lb with ability, quality, experience and someone who would fit in with the way we play.

    There is one such player who is in a team pretty much guaranteed to go down this season. Get a bid put in for van Aarnholt, we could do far worse

  • Transfer Sage

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #9

    Jeans comes across really well on TV and radio, I think he has changed from the kid he was. Very interesting stories I bet from that time.

    He’s right with what he says, it was a team of men, good pros, senior players to guide the younger lads, a top manager who had done it all and just knew people….you can have all the qualifications and tactical knowledge in the world but if you can’t make people want to play for and buy into what you do you will get no where near their best.

  • Malta Mag

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #10

    I really rated Jenas and remember his debut v the Mackems at their place. Assured and a lovely first touch. Should have captained the team for years but for his pathetic comments reference “the gold fish bowl” conspiracy.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #11

    I know some people will say and justifiably so maybe that Ash is only finally splashing the cash as we look like missing out on the TV money.

    However, if we had 100M to spend why on earth don’t we have a top D.O.F, manager and scout to invest it.

    Currently we have a near octogenarian scout, a more often than not failed manager and a glorified teaboy, all in key positions.

    If Ash is suddenly spending like there’s no tomorrow, why doesn’t he stop surrounding himself with no marks and get in top competent people.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #12

    i went on a coaching course and jenas was there. I had the same shirt (not the actual same shirt) he is wearing there which he signed and I still have it, even though i knew he was never going to stay long.

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #13


    Competent people would presumably challenge his approach to owning a football club.

  • archaeomag

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #14

    Ed; on the subject of the good old days;

    “Aston Villa midfielder Charles N’Zogbia, 29, is refusing to leave the club cheaply and is prepared to see out his £63,000-a-week contract, despite only making two substitute appearances this season.”
    (BBC -Mirror)
    \Who would have thought it of old Insomnia?

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15

    hibbitt…last time I checked Boro was in the Championship and we were in the PL. Two very different things.

  • hibbitt

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #16

    they would also want to win something not just be happy staying in the peem

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #17

    Rotonda #11…you basically summed up everything that is wrong with this club in 3 lines!

  • hibbitt

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #18

    not sure what you mean by that…………by the way the next time you look they might be in the prem and we could be in the championship

  • Fostino

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Great interview ….dyer was on soccer sat too this morning and no surprise bobby was his best manager too. to think we shamefully sacked that legend. That must haunt freddy shepherd to this day.

  • Fostino

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #20

    When you have a team with payers like shearer..speed…and before them Lee Beardsley ferdinand etc etc etc you knew yiu had players with huge heart.

    Now it seems we have had a team if pretenders for the last few years..far too nice and more worried about themselves and using the club as a stepping stone to better things.

    I’ve been encouraged to see shelvey and townsand cone through the door. Bringing back a bit if heart. Still feel we need more proper leaders.

  • hibbitt

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #21

    any other club would have just moved him upstairs bot not us we even made an arse of that…….such a shame

  • Ron Knee

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #22


    If we do manage to survive this season, I bet it’ll be back to the same old sh*t next season.

  • Fostino

    Jan 30, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #23

    Colo too nice. His time is surely up this summer. Wini has to be made captain nxt yr. We need fighters.

  • angelswithdirtyfaces

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #24

    Rotonda @ 11


  • croftus5678

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #25

    hope we get doumbia !

    i’m thinking if we did get gomis it would be a fairly bright move tbh !

    we would have a replacement for mitrovic’s hold up play and strength for when mit is out and he links very well with shelvey.

    but the main thing is we are weakening swansea even more so our chances of survival would be even higher than it normally would be.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #26

    WEll if we bring a decent LB in, Dummet can play at CB if need be and I guess that is the CB situation sorted, especially if Taylor keeps fit.

  • davetoon

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #27

    Jenas sums up what has always been wrong with Newcastle. Potential that is unrealised, inconsistent performances and weak leadership on field.

  • AncientC

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #28

    Gomis is all we need, he makes Cisse look like a master of beating the offside snare. They are around the same age and we wouldn’t get 7 million for Cisse.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #29

    I saw an interview with Freddy before and he said the board had already had a majority vote that Sir Bobby was to be released and Freddy wasn’t able to do anything other than carry out their group decision.

    Who knows?

    I didn’t want him to go, it was some of those players making a mockery of him it seemed. They didn’t seem to be responding to Bobby anymore. The bling brigade.

  • check the toastie

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #30

    Jenas was a great young player, remember him bossing the Juventus midfield in a champions league game, Andy Griffin scored and we won 1-0, those were the days.

    Always liked Jenas, one quote and he’s hammered, funny old life, press love causing chew and sheep enjoy hammering folk rather than supporting.

    We must stay up, a smell of change is in the air from Fatty. Next year will be entertaining either way I suppose, this squad would win championship by 40 points, and the Fatman wouldn’t let them leave I reckon.

  • stuart no9

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #31

    ” Miles away from anywhere” oh yeah , as opposed to the gunslinging wild west of f”””ing Nottingham and its poxy village of a city centre . never did like the little cretin – now i know why, prick,

  • JackButler

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #32

    The day Sir Bobby was sacked was the day we began to fall to where we find ourselves today. We’ve gone through countless managers, wasted hundreds and hundreds of millions of pound but have been in decline ever since.

    One of the greatest and most genuine men to ever grace the game we love

  • martoon

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #33

    Why is it that some of you, particularly Rotonda and B&B, think that because you are over 55 you become incapable and senile? You may slow down physically but you still have your brain, wit and experience, that doesn’t leave you!

  • JackButler

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #34

    BREAKING NEWS: Sky Sources – Fulham forward Moussa Dembele having medical at Tottenham. More on #SSNHQ

    That seems to out Sours out of the running for Berahinio, if he is going to leave WBA

  • stuart no9

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #35

    jack butler ,……. add to that alan shearer retiring 10 years ago this year , and we have never replaced either of them . whwre have all the legends gone ??


    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #36

    If we have put a bid in to loan Doumbia it’s likely we are out of the Berah deal

    Unless he kicks up a stink again though considering how much that tainted his image I doubt he will do

  • Jib

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #37

    He’s talking about his knowledge of the world when he was 18 and had never been outside of Notttingham for god’s sake.

  • JackButler

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #38


    It seems that legends are a thing of the past for us mate, the likes of Shearer, Speed, Lee, Beardsley and late great Pav are long gone and we now have players using us as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. It’s sad and confirmation of our decline as a club

  • belgrade fan

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #39

    jack b

    he will be loaned back to Fulham

  • JackButler

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #40


    I know mate, but seeings as we don’t know if the Doumbia link is accurate or not Spurs moving for someone else gives us another straw to clutch at. Agree we would not be in for both and wouldn’t be surprised if we get neither………….oh the joys of being a NUFC hogan eh!!!!


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