Before I start, this is Robbie Elliott ex-Newcastle left back, not the current Newcastle number two keeper Rob Elliot, or Toonsy’s nickname for him, tubby. [Pot…Kettle, I know]
I’m back again with my fifth interview for the blog, but this time it’s a little different to what it normally is. Normally I stick to our young stars, but when I thought I’d give one of our stars of yesteryear a go?
I got in touch with Robbie over Twitter on Saturday night and he said he’d be very happy to do an interview for us which was very good of him. Robbie was very good with all the questions and made my job easy for me, which I was very grateful for.
Did you enjoy your time playing for Newcastle?
Can’t believe this is a question! It was all I ever wanted growing up. Of course there were ups and downs but it was all I ever dreamed of.
Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with?
I think for his first 6 months at the club Ginola was unbelievable. I think it was the unknown with him when he joined. We soon realised he had everything and more!!
What was your greatest moment as an NUFC player?
Probably captaining the team in a couple of European ties. There is no greater honour for a Geordie than leading the team out to battle.
What was your favourite goal for NUFC?
Probably scoring in the 1-0 victory at Highbury which helped take the club into the Champions League for the first time.
What made you do your funky chicken celebration?
It was all down to Andy Hunt, a summer holiday and alcohol.
Who was your favourite manager at NUFC and why?
I have been fortunate to work with some amazing managers. Ossie gave me my chance, Kevin during arguably the greatest era the club have had, but personally I loved Kenny. He was my idol as a youngster, I was in the team scoring goals (7 in 16) and loving the time then the summer came and everything changed.
What are you currently working as?
I am working for Nike and US Soccer as a Strength and Conditioning coach for the national youth teams. I work on both men’s and women’s side travelling the world.
Would you ever return to NUFC to coach?
Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to be a member of staff there already and thoroughly enjoyed my time. I only left due to the US Soccer job offer and the uncertainty at the club at that time.
Seen as you played for Newcastle and Sunderland, I have to ask, Sunderland fans or Newcastle fans, who’s better?
I have to say I never had any issues with the Sunderland fans but I obviously I have more affinity with the Newcastle fans
Do you still go to watch Newcastle play?
Yes, whenever I am in the country I take my boys along to the game.
Who’s your favourite current player?
I think the fact that no one springs to mind shows how it is now a team effort.
What do you think of Newcastle’s current transfer policy? Selling Nolan, Barton, Carroll etc, bringing in Cabaye, Ba etc.
Interesting! I would prefer to have a core of English players with a couple of foreigners, as Kevin did during his first spell here. I have to say the scouting at the club seems to be working with the likes of Tiote and Cabaye coming in.
What do you think of the clubs start to the season?
Surprising lol. It has been fantastic. I think we have taken points in games that maybe in the past we wouldn’t have.
Where do you think we’ll finish the season?
Comfortably in top half maybe pushing 6th or 7th.
Do you rate Alan Pardew as a manager?
He seems to be doing a great job at the minute.
Our good start to the season is rumoured to be a lot to do with team spirit, what’s the best you’ve been involved in?
The best spirit was definitely during ‘The Entertainers’ time. Players would say it was something very special but it was all I knew and said no this is just Newcastle. The players were right!
Meeting the players again for the charity game brought it all back. It was an amazing time for the players, fans and the whole region.
I found this interview one of the most interesting ones I’ve penned to date, Robbie was very in depth with his answers and some of the things he said surprised me.
Even though I only really remember Robbie’s second spell at the club due to my age I can really tell the amount of passion he had for the club, but that’s just standard procedure for a Geordie isn’t it? **ignores Andy Carroll**
The main thing that surprised me was the fact he said he enjoyed his time with Dalglish as manager. Obviously he was enjoying himself as he was scoring goals, but Dalglish was far from a fan favourite and Elliott enjoyed working with him more than he did Keegan, Dalglish must have been doing something right.
Elliott said he would return to the club to coach, after leaving the club when we were taken over due to job uncertainty. Elliott’s passion and love for the club is something I’d welcome back if there was a job he could have. It would increase the core of Geordie’s we have in our backroom staff which would be pleasing.
Something else which was interesting was the way he spoke about our current team. I liked his answer about the team being his favourite and not just one player. That’s something which I think Pardew is looking at doing, he doesn’t want it to be about individuals, like the Barton show, or Nolan “carrying us” he wants a team effort, which is showing through.
He also has high hopes expecting us to challenge at in the top half at around 6th or 7th, yes please! He also alluded to the team spirit in “the entertainers” dressing room. But does that mean the team spirit is good when you’re winning? Or you win when the team spirit is good? I’m sure it’s a bit of both, but I’m sure the team spirit doesn’t take many knocks when you’re winning. You can tell that the spirit is breeding confidence into the lads at the minute, and hopefully that continues.
Finally I’d just like to thank Robbie once again for taking time out of his schedule to do this interview for the blog, and hopefully we can hear from him again in the future.
You can follow Robbie on Twitter @RobbieElliott3