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Former Newcastle Youngster Thinks Manager Upheaval Led To Release

This week former Newcastle youngster Callum Roberts signed a contract until the end of this season with Blyth Spartans who are coached by former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark.

It was a big coup for Clark and Blyth as Callum had scored 9 goals in 9 games for the club. He had joined them on August 30th on a non-contract.

The Chronicle have done an extensive interview with the 22-year-old after he signed his new contract. In the interview, one of the areas that were touched upon was what exactly went wrong at Newcastle.

It seems that Callum had expected to get a new contract with the club he had been at since 2005. However, he was informed late last season that he would be released this summer.

Callum only had two first-team appearances for Newcastle. He was given his debut in the FA Cup in 2015 by then-interim manager John Carver. His second appearance was earlier this year, again in the FA Cup, against Blackburn in which he scored his only goal for Newcastle.

Roberts seems to think that it was the upheaval in the managerial ranks that ultimately led to him not getting a full crack at Newcastle. This is what Callum had to say:

“I think I was unfortunate with the manager changes, because I think if Alan Pardew or JC had stayed I think I would have got more of a chance. But the change of managers leads to a change of plans.

“Pardew was really good with young players, and me in particular. He would speak to us all the time in training, he’d tell me what I can do better, tell me what I was doing well at.

“Then Carver took over with Peter [Beardsley], and I think that was a big help in my debut because I had a really good relationship with Peter. We got on really well together, obviously he was a player who played in my position so he helped me a lot.

“When Steve McClaren was there, I got the impression he really didn’t fancy us. He would put others ahead of me who had never been ahead of me before.

“It’s just whatever the manager fancies at the end of the day.

“The only thing you can control is your performances, and if he thinks your performances aren’t good enough he’s never going to pick you.”

Callum seemed to have a bright future back when Alan Pardew was the coach. We remember some promising reports of a pacy local lad rising through the ranks.

However, Alan decided to move on to Crystal Palace in late 2014, and in came John Carver. While Callum may have enjoyed having Carver as the manager, we certainly don’t have fond memories of his tenure.

The following summer Carver was not retained and Steve McClaren was appointed. The rest is history as Steve McClaren proved a hapless choice and Rafa Benitez was ultimately brought in to try and salvage Newcastle’s place in the Premier League. It proved to be too big of a task.

However, it was a brief respite for Newcastle fans as we finally had a world-class manager in charge. While Callum would have to wait a few years for another chance in the Newcastle first team, it was Rafa who would hand it to him.

Last January, Rafa gave Callum his shock start in the FA Cup against Blackburn. His goal in that game will certainly be a moment that Callum will always remember.

That was also the game that Sean Longstaff scored his first goal for Newcastle in.

This is how Callum described the day leading up to that FA Cup match:

“Benitez would always set his team up the day before in training to work on the shape and set pieces to get you prepared.

“At the start of every session he’d read the team out and say to these lads put the bibs on, you’re starting tomorrow.

“I wasn’t expecting it all, so when he read my name out I was shocked. I thought I was going to be on the bench just to make the numbers up.

“I didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Newcastle would win the match with two extra-time goals for a 2-4 victory at Ewood Park. It was just the beginning for Sean Longstaff but the bitter end for Callum Roberts.

Roberts has since been on trial with Burnley, Middlesbrough and Southend United before landing at Blyth Spartans. There was even some talk of him joining former Newcastle defender Nikos Dabizas at Panathinaikos in Greece, where Dabizas is the director.

However, Callum will see out the rest of this year at Blyth. He is likely too good for this level of football and will hope to attract some attention from other clubs. We wish him all the best as he continues on his footballing path.

48 comments so far

  • Online Guy

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:05 AM

    Comment #1

    John J was speaking from the heart ‘re Planning and Strawberry place ..hes a musician …thats what he does .

    Jib gave some advice that did not look good on paper but rings true..also Tsunki, good advice.

    What I would like any individual to do as regards an objection to any planned construction and Ashley pocketing £60m quid (bit of anti ash propaganda from me there but you know what I mean) is the following.

    Object on the grounds that if there was a serious fire in either St James’s park or any proposed habital buildings full of office staff , or student accommodation , adjacent St’James’ on a match day with 53 thousand people in attendance , how would the fire services cope ?

    Smoke inhalation from occupied buildings in the event of a fire into St James’s or vice versa .. flame and debris .. and all that comes with a fire, tragedy, of this sort . The proposed new buildings are very close to St’ James’ Park and its always a possibility .

    Could 53 thousand people be evacuated safely , or the occupants of afore mentioned proposed new buildings be evacuated safely and speedily within the proximity of St James Park and a panicking 53 thousand people exiting a major premier league football ground on foot and with all the general traffic and the extra traffic generated by a major sporting event ?

    With the tragedy in London recently, Grenfell Tower , many people lost their lives through smoke inhalation , nothing should be left to chance when it comes to getting the emergency services on site both in and out ..access is paramount and has to consider any given scenario.

    Any proposed new buildings will hamper the emergency services in the event of fire and this planning application should be struck out as not feasible and dangerous ..and especially as the application only exists in the quest for making profit for a few individuals and is of no benefit to the City and people of Newcastle .

    Bit wordy I know but pick out your Bullet points and get it in.

  • Unused Substitute

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:09 AM

    Comment #2

    Wow! This place is dead. Rugby could become physically draining for old folks. Anyway, getting back to footy and Almiron’s diving issue. Almiron is OK, only just, in shouldering defensive duties. When he is wide, he tends to move back up nicely with the ball as well. While trying to work his way up through the middle though, he gets crowded out or bumped off. Perez used to get into this sort of trouble as well. He would then stay on the ground in the hope of squeezing out a free kick leaving us shorthanded. Perez only started to flourish after Almiron was introduced last January. Almiron, on the other hand, is of late taking to diving. A good manager should be able to sort out such systematic issues just like Rafa sorted out Shelvey’s tendency of seeing too many cards.

  • Online Guy

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:09 AM

    Comment #3

    John J

    I’ll get back to you on the J200..I read your messages.

    Been travelling.

  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:11 AM

    Comment #4

    Cracking point that mate.

  • Online Guy

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:19 AM

    Comment #5


    Fire regulations are major .. I was involved in ..well put on an outdoor event at a stately home in Northumberland (Romeo and Juliet) and put a trusted road/ tech on to the fire regulations ..it was a minefield .. the chief fire officer is an important bloke , his word sticks.

    You might do well to have a chat with him for the best angle to get this development kicked out and buried deep.

  • Online Guy

    Oct 14, 2019 at 3:24 AM

    Comment #6


    I’m just home so off to watch an episode of detectorist with a pint of the black stuff .

    Keep up the hard work mate.

  • Paully

    Oct 14, 2019 at 4:36 AM

    Comment #7

    I thought Tracy Swan was the organiser for Romeo at Alnwick?

  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 4:37 AM

    Comment #8

    At graft olg so enjoy your relax.
    Can you point me to the right person.
    Contact details.
    If so ill have a little.chat yes.
    Btw Tony from Chis office is a lovely bloke you were right. Very helpful.
    Anything else you want me to look into?

  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 4:39 AM

    Comment #9

    Hello Paully
    How are you.
    Hope your good.

  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:15 AM

    Comment #10

    Headline in today’s papers – ‘Blogger Talks Sense!’. ‘Online Guy…’


    Seriously though, your post suggesting the safety aspects of the proposed Strawberry Place development could prove decisive – especially if the media pick up those concerns. We’ll done.

    And, you watched the Detecorists eh? Well, I suppose someone’s got to but with a pint of Guinness (I guess) to hand it could help one unravel.

  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:21 AM

    Comment #11


    Too late for chilling but…..


  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:24 AM

    Comment #12

    Aye lesh
    Olg is speaking some sense there.
    New objection getting wrote up when i get in.
    Wonder whos left in my street to send it off.

  • Online Guy

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:34 AM

    Comment #13

    Morning Lesh..im away for a kip ….

    I’m looking at all the angles .. Genjikia . Email chief fire officer then ring him. Paul Hedley .

    Paul Hedley ..massive Newcastle Supporter..black and white blood. 01670-621178 . Possibly speak to Jillian first or Steve .

    Paully …it was Wallington Hall . Many years ago .

    Will check link Lesh. Ta.

  • Paully

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:35 AM

    Comment #14

    I’m good Genjikai thanks, my objection is in, keep fighting the good fight.

  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 5:43 AM

    Comment #15


    Here’s one to start your day – maybe about mid-afternoon!


    Must say, you see to move in wide circles. Lots of contacts who can all prove to be helpful in one way or another.

    Take it easy bonny lad


    IC you’re at work, you must have a canny number – any vacancies for an idle owld phart like me?


  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #16

    Lovely 12 hours shifts.
    4 on 4 off days then nights.
    If you fancy looking after robots and having your head screwed over by heater box wiring then you can take my place.

  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:28 AM

    Comment #17

    If you get to read this, please get in contact with me.
    Its time we had a proper chat.
    Its for the future of Newcastle, not just Nufc.
    You dont want that guilt on your shoulders (same with you tunski,still waiting for your reply.)
    Na man good thinking today, something we will look into properly, thank you.

    You know what to do, genjikai.nufc@gmail.com
    Or contact@magpiegroup.org
    Get in touch bonny lad.
    I will keep everything confidential your id is secure.

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #18

    I thought Tracy Swan was the organiser for Romeo at Alnwick?

    That was the ballet

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #19

    Alnwick Castle is not a stately home in Northumberland
    It’s a

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:48 AM

    Comment #20

    They use the music from Prokofiev’s
    Romeo and Juliet at SJP


  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:50 AM

    Comment #21

    Whats your favourite north east castle?

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:59 AM

    Comment #22

    toss up between Warkworth and Dunstanburgh

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:01 AM

    Comment #23

    I used to cycle up to Craster from Shields in the Summer holidays
    as a kid
    That area is the best in the world
    and I’ve seen a lot of the world

  • Genjikai

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #24

    Newcastle, only answer jib.

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #25

    Ha ha ha
    I fell for that one

  • NY Mag

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #26


    Even I realised that was a trick question 😀

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #27

    Sits in the dumb corner with thumb in mouth

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #28

    That makes me think of Vincent D’Onofrio
    on Parris Island

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #29

    That article about Cal Roberts makes me wonder if
    his good relationship and admiration for Beardsley
    was the cause of his difficulties at NUFC.

  • RobLeenio

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:25 AM

    Comment #31

    Good for Cal Roberts, speaking out in defence of Peter Beardsley.

    Our society these days is all too keen to judge people on issues, making them black and white where in truth there nearly always exists a grey area. Beardsley is an ordinary man, despite his fame and skill as a footballer, and therefore makes mistakes as we all do.

    No doubt he made errors as a youth coach, but Cal respects him and I imagine many others do also. He’ll always be one of my all time heroes. Does that mean I think he should coach the Academy players? No, but I do hope he is given some kind of role at the club again at some point, we should be treating our ex players with the respect they deserve and bringing them on board as assets to our cause.

    Not likely to happen when Ashley is still around, sadly.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #32

    Of course there’ll be money available in January, if we’re in the clarts, it’s all too familiar now. Almiron was bought when we were in the clarts, if he’d been bought in the previous summer there wouldn’t have been a relegation battle. We’ve known for a long time now that he’ll spend to protect his investment but not to enhance it in anyway.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #33

    Call Robert’s saying he’d be getting a game if Carver was still here, of course he would, we’d have been starting this season in the conference league.

  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:34 AM

    Comment #34


    Thanks for your kind offer… err, I’m a bit tied up at the minute and can’t take it up, much as I’d love to. Anyway, it’d be a shame to deprive you of one of life’s pleasures. Enjoy!

    And, you’re doing a fine job in trying to mobilise support against Ashley’s abuse of our Newcastle United and in the case of the City, that blight of a development proposal.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #35

    Nufc.com running a story about Strawberry place and a link to object. Come on Ed and Neil give us a Strawberry story.

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #36
  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #37

    On thread….

    ‘Bruce, the Newcastle head coach, has been assured there will be a budget available to invest in his playing staff when the window reopens if the deals are right and it will improve the squad’

    And who’s going to judge whether the deals are right and it will improve the squad?

    Bruce’ll have a rude awakening and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles being pushed back. He was in dispute with Hull’s owner over lack of spend and he might just feel,as though it’s deja vie but this time with Ashley.

  • lesh

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #38


    I’m not sure whether appointing Beardo to some ambassadorial role’d be a good move. Like it or not, rightly or wrongly, his reputation has been sullied over the accusations made

  • Ron Knee

    Oct 14, 2019 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #39

    More than accusations, lesh: he was found guilty of racially abusing players.

  • hibbit

    Oct 14, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #40

    Re Beardsley
    great player but an absolutely a shocking coach should have been moved on years ago


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