Newcastle fans are renowned for getting a bit carried away, although not to the extent that other fans or the media seem to be believe.
This very good start to the season has been different though. Fans aren’t getting carried away and there is generally a feeling of this start being a pleasant surprise ahead of the kick in the nuts we are likely to receive.
Talk of Europe is, well, premature to say the least. We are only seven games into the new season and whilst we currently sit in a Champions League place it’s worth pointing out that it’s highly unlikely to finish up like that when the season concludes in May.
There is nothing wrong with maintaining our position and breaking the media status quo for as long as possible however, and that is what we should be aiming to do in the short term. Looking at the longer term is a dangerous game for a Newcastle fan which is why I personally tend to just take things how they come.
For the players though it is different, apparently. It appears that they have a long term vision in their minds and are eager to fulfil it at Newcastle. The two players in question here are Yohan Cabaye and Fabricio Coloccini, both of whom are aiming to bring European football back to St James’ Park.
“It’s true the results of Newcastle have not corresponded to the size of the club in the last few years,” said Cabaye.
“Hopefully we can make the size of the club correspond to our achievement in the coming years. That is our aim. We want to take this club back into Europe.”
That’s quite a few times that I’ve heard the “E” word mentioned by the players this season, but Cabaye isn’t the only who has aspirations of taking a club the size of Newcastle back on to the European stage. Listen, or read I should say, what our Captain has had to say on the matter.
“I want to stay – and I want to get Newcastle back into Europe,” said Coloccini.
Granted he said other stuff and didn’t just blurt out this one line, but this was the bottom line of what he is aiming for at Newcastle. He says that he is happy at Newcastle and has no desire to leave the club in the near future, citing the happiness of his family as being key in his willingness to stay at the club.
“I love Newcastle. I don’t like the winters, they are hard, but I like the way of life. When I was young I loved the English language. I went to an English school, but in the afternoon I played football so I missed my lessons,” Colo told The Telegraph.
“It was always in my mind that I would like my children to learn English and my little girl, she is fluent. She teaches me. My son, he has a small problem with language, but he is better than me. They make me a proud father.”
“They have English friends, my daughter has a Newcastle accent. Sometimes I can’t understand her. They went to Argentina for three months and they couldn’t wait to come back to Newcastle. They missed their friends.”
He added: “In England the streets are clean and it is safe for my family. If they are happy I am happy.”
And what about that song? The one where Colo has the pick of the wives of Tyneside?
“I can’t remember the game, but I remember Kevin Nolan came to me in the dressing room afterwards,” said Coloccini. “He told me what they were singing about me, I couldn’t believe it. It’s so funny. It moves me. It makes me feel very special. Thankfully my wife thinks it’s funny.”
“When I hear it I want to turn and clap, to show them I love them. But I have to stay focused. My way to say thank you is to play well.”
It’s that kind of attitude which has afforded him the Captains armband. Colo is not one to shout his mouth off and instead he leads by example both on and off the pitch. He says he is proud to be Captain of NUFC.
“There were a lot of players I thought were ahead of me,” says Coloccini. “Steve Harper, Shola Ameobi, Joey Barton, these are all Englishmen, big characters in the dressing room.”
“I’m foreign, I didn’t think I would be given such an honour but I’m so proud. My dad could not believe it. I think he has told half of Argentina.”
“To be an Argentinian, playing in the Premier League and to be captain of Newcastle United. It is unusual, no?”
It could have been oh so different after that ill-fated first season in the Premier League though. Colo could have jumped ship and headed off to another club. He’d have been labelled a failure of course, although that is the exact reason that he stayed according to himself. He didn’t want to be another expensive foreign flop which inspired him to become the player that we all love today.
“It was a challenge for me to adapt but I never wanted to quit. That first year was difficult. I didn’t speak the language, it was a new culture, new country, new style and I signed for a club with a lot of problems,” said Captain Colo
“Relegation was hard. I felt like a failure, I was ashamed, but I never thought it was a mistake to come to England. I wanted to prove myself to Newcastle, to English football. If I had left that summer I would have been a failure. It made me more determined.”
I have to say that I like the noises coming from the players at the moment. There is most definitely a determination to do well for themselves and the club in general which is something that should make us fans happy.
As for Europe, we’ll see. I’m glad that the players are aiming for it as it shows that they have the ambition, drive and hunger. Whether it be this season or next season or a couple of seasons away remains to be seen, but it’s early days. Mind you, if I’m being hopelessly optimistic a win for Newcastle against Tottenham combined with Chelsea failing to win their game would send us 3rd!
What was that about getting carried away again?