Being professional is something that can rarely be attributed to Newcastle United.
For as long as I care to remember we’ve lurched from one controversy to another affecting all levels at the football club, right from management to playing staff.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wanted to ground to swallow me up when it comes to NUFC. Remember the Fake Sheikh? How about the Bowyer/Dyer scrap? More recently there is Ashley’s antics to consider and then there was the whole Joey Barton Twittergate which was amusing, briefly, before it became a bit of a circus. In fairness there are many more I could have mentioned but sometimes things are best left in the past!
For the moment though this appears to not be the case. I’m going to discount our owner from the equation as he has the ability to shake things up very quickly, but in terms of the playing side of things I’m struggling to recall a more professional outfit.
Of course the highlight of this has been the revelation that Yohan Cabaye came straight back from international duty and returned to training a day early with the game against Tottenham firmly in his mind. That kind of commitment should be applauded and should set the standard at our football club.
It doesn’t end there though. We seem to have a group of players who are able to act professionally on and off the field which in itself is an achievement. At the moment I’m not on red alert wondering when the next player outburst is going to be or wondering who our striker is going to thump next.
A player can’t get in the team? Fine, no problem. They’ll bust a gut in the reserves to prove a point. It’s all rather, well, pleasant.
Add to that a professionalism on the pitch which has seen us rise to 4th in the league table and joint top of the Fair Play table and you can maybe start to see what I’m getting at.
Much was made at the start of the season about this new group of players. For me my only criticism was that we seemed to be changing things too quickly and I worried about the destabilising effect that may have had. I shouldn’t have been concerned.
If the players carry on doing what they are doing then the results will stack up. They seem to work for each other and get along which will help things when we eventually hit a slump in form. It will happen,but the professionalism of this squad should mean that a bad result gets forgotten about quicker.
As you may be able to tell, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it all.