Creating the culture?

I saw an article recently which used the word culture in relation to the happenings at St. James’ Park.

Now the word culture has a few different meanings and the most common one would be to do with classical music and art.

That’s not the one I am meaning although I don’t doubt Ashley has a few Constable’s tucked in the attic and Dekka likes to monitor his servant’s on CCTV with a bit of Bach playing in the background.

The sort of culture I am referring too is a shared set of attitudes, values and goals.

Anyone has has been involved in major business will have had this rammed down their throats by the top brass and it seems our bigwigs alongside their main man Alan Pardew have a similar idea for the dressing room at St. James’ Park.

It’s simple when you look at it. If your attitude does not fit in with this new culture which is being instilled at St. James’ Park then you are not welcome.

What we have to remember that is there was already a culture at the club in the shape of the fabled Player’s Committee consisting of ring leaders Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Joey Barton and Steve Harper.

To instill the new culture on the arrivals at the club and current playing staff, the old one needs to be abolished. It needs to be systematically destroyed. That’s exactly what we are starting to witness.

So what is our culture?

Only the club can answer that fully but from what I have seen, we are looking to recruit players who are professional, respond to discipline and share the same ethos and goals for the club. We are looking to recruit our first team on a similar wage with no stand-out earners to create no animosity in this new positive culture.

Is this a lot different to what goes on behind the scenes already? I really don’t know but it seems some players have choice words to say about the board and I see the club wanting to have the playing staff and the management know exactly where they stand. None of this ‘player power’ we have been used to.

An example of what I mean is a recent report in the Chronicle. If it is to be believed, NUFC met Gervinho recently to discuss a potential move and weren’t overly impressed with him.

Why? He wasn’t going to fit in with our new ethos for the club, so he wasn’t welcome. How often do you hear a club of our stature turning down a player of Gervinho’s quality? The only thing I can think of is that he rated himself higher than the club. We need players who are in awe of Newcastle United rather than players who want Newcastle United to be in awe of them.

No big time Charlie’s anymore thanks!

Nile Ranger has been made available for transfer, even though he was given another chance after the replica gun incident and has massively improved his behaviour since. He obviously doesn’t tick the boxes as he is up for sale.

Kevin Nolan has been sold to West Ham on a five year deal, and I bet the club are over the flippin’ moon that it has worked out so well!

Some fans blame Nolan for being greedy, some blame the board. Some would blame the board for sleeping in and being late for work though so I don’t really take too much heed of most of that. I am of the opinion that it was mutually beneficial for both Nolan and ourselves and really hope he doesn’t tarnish my memory of him by being an arse about it.

After all, Pardew was so quick to thank Kev in his interview and move onto transfer targets that I see that as being closure from the club and it’ll do for me too.

I must say that I don’t believe for one minute that Joey Barton will be a Newcastle player next season. If we are talking about breeding a new culture at St. James’ Park then there will be no place for him. Alan Smith is the same. Although, how are the club going to shift them if no offer comes in? They will be hoping a club offers them a way out like West Ham did Nolan and if that doesn’t happen, plenty of time left to whack them on the old transfer list.

I would think the club are already working on deals and putting them out there as we speak but if the player digs his heels in…what can the club do? Well we are about to find out as that’s exactly what is going to happen with Barton.

I personally think Harper will survive the onslaught as he was here before all of them and has adapted to different managers and regimes as if it was a slight change in the weather. He is big mates with John Carver and I can see him joining the coaching staff in the role made available by the sacking of Paul Barron in a sort of unofficial capacity this season.

Now I get attached to players and personalities….we all do. I am gutted at the treatment of Joey and think he is right to have his say. At the same time though I know that when they are gone I quickly move on and the thing that still remains is the club. It’s going to be a turbulent and emotional summer with a lot of in-house fighting between fans, a lot of media spin to rile us up and a lot of things said in the heat of the moment.

I have no doubt that there has been long discussions about Newcastle United Football Club and how to take it forward and getting the culture right seems top of the agenda. I for one think it is an excellent move and is exactly what you need to take you to the next level, rather than just giving a manager a budget and seeing if he can have a punt at Europe.

These things don’t happen overnight though and there will be some bumps and bruises along the way.

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