In terms of work-rate, enthusiasm, mental toughness and overall professionalism, it seems like Shefki Kuqi has been a great role model for the young players at Newcastle, since he arrived in February on a short term contract.
Shefki Kuqi – in action for Newcastle on Saturday
Of course Shefki could hardly have dreamed he’d be playing for a club like Newcastle in his career, even if it’s just small cameo appearances at the end of games.
However, it seems that Alan Pardew doesn’t think the Finnish International has the quality to ever start for the Magpies this season.
Shefki seems to be a terrific professional, and he has drawn some praise from his manager today:
“Shefki is an example of someone that perhaps wouldn’t have expected to ever come to a club like Newcastle,” “But I knew that when he put the jersey on, like he did on Sunday, he’d affect the game.”
“His character is big enough to carry the shirt.” “Of course he isn’t blessed with the quality to wear Newcastle United’s number nine shirt.”
“We are looking for someone else for that. But by the same token this particular player will have to have Shefki’s character to do it.” “It’s a very important ingredient for whoever comes in.”
Let’s just say that it’s always great to have players with the enthusiasm and passion that Shefki displays at Newcastle, and when Pardew brings in new players this summer, he should check that out, plus their injury records too.
Shefki Kuqi has so far made 4 appearances for Newcastle in his overall 516 first team games, over a long career, stretching back to 1995.
And with Pardew admitting yesterday that Newcastle had already put in several bids for players, Newcastle may even have an announcement of their very first signing before too long.
That would help both the players and the fans at Newcastle, because they are still unsure about what Mike Ashley’s intentions are for the club, but we have to think he wants the Magpies to become very successful.
That would be great for Newcastle and the fans, and it wouldn’t be too bad for Mike Ashley either, as the value of the Newcastle club would go a lot higher than it is at the moment.
The next step is to get Newcastle back into Europe, and we could also raise the profile of the club around the world, in the short term, by getting some good results.
As an example of that, Newcastle received terrific global publicity for their fighting comeback against Arsenal, when they were 4-0 down at home after just 26 minutes. So much so that my Doctor called me after the game with congratulations on an amazing comeback.
Remember the lads were still 4-0 down after 66 minutes, yet came storming back with four goals in the last 23 minutes of the game, with Cheick Tiote hitting that stunning equalizer.
Maybe we can get more great publicity by beating Manchester United tomorrow night – it’s just a thought – and yes – very unlikely.
But not as unlikely as scoring four goals in the last 23 minutes against Arsenal, when Newcastle had scored only 4 goals in their last 9 games against the London powerhouse.