The end of player power at St James’ Park?

Kevin Nolan

Kevin Nolan
Power battle at St James'?
First we had Joey Barton and his contract saga. Then we had Kevin Nolan and his refusal to sign a new deal. Now we have Alan Smith being told that he can leave for free according to some reports.

Now those three players are pretty universally regarded as key personnel when it comes to squad harmony. Granted they may not be the best players that we’ve ever seen at St James’ Park, but they are passionate and played a huge part in our revival from the Championship culminating in our fairly comfortable Premier League survival last season.

Performance wise we had Joey Barton showing us what he can truly offer us, arguably for the first time in his four years at the club. Then we had Kevin Nolan, who ended up as top scorer for us. Then there was Alan Smith, who never really did a lot on the pitch for us but was key behind the scenes apparently.

Those three senior players were said to be part of the Newcastle side who had a shake up from within on our relegation from the Premier League. They were the hub of a supposed players committee that used to regularly hold meetings and meet away from the club under Chris Hughton. He was happy for it to continue so what harm could it have done? Everybody seemed fine with it.

However it did start off rumours of player power at St James’ Park. It used to be a standing joke that Nolan would tell Hughton what team to pick and which formation to play and so on. Now it may have been said mainly in jest, but there have been rumblings of player power at St James’ Park for quite some time now.

Which makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is this stance by the club some form of attempt to try and stamp out this alleged player power? Maybe not directly, but it’s a canny coincidence is it not? I mean three members of this alleged player committee, all being messed about with at the same time? Funny eh?

Maybe it’s a good thing? Maybe it’s a bad thing? Perhaps it’s not even something that the club is looking at? However I happen to believe that these latest moves by the club are indirectly aimed at wrestling back at least some of the power within the dressing room.

Chris Hughton may have been happy with it, but there is nothing to say that Alan Pardew has to be. For all we know he runs his ship entirely different to Chris Hughton. He may not want the players running about in cliques behind his back and may prefer to have that bit more control over things.

So is this the end of player power at St James’ Park? Maybe not directly, but it certainly looks as though it’s something that is on the agenda.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

200 thoughts on “The end of player power at St James’ Park?

  1. we wont be able to have a scrap when booby gets arrested for showing his @rse in fenwicks window anyway 😆 😆


  2. Bobby- c@nt 😆 😆 😆
    my dad isn’t the same as you 😉
    Nottsg- Yeah, you live near them?


  3. NG- be careful what info you give out, Jobey will be asking you to meet him next 😆


  4. DAVE your getting as hard as batty,and he was saying your getting done for useing colouring instead of ink for your tats,and i backed you up 🙁


  5. 160: it’s a small world
    161: Spencer is just jealous, he’s been asking for my mobile number for weeks and been getting ignored. ;D


  6. Ice I did ask him to give you a fiver a week extra but he said that £26 a week was enough but I thought you deserved atleast £30 😀 You were right for backing me up mate I only use good N/E ink from Blyth 😉


  7. God Given has really gone doonhill. ‘Yeah Celtic is a fantastic club, too early to speculate’.

    Another fine example of a player who thought they could do better; only for their career to be cattletrucked. 😉 😈


  8. DJG,

    You are aware that Shay Given was trained at Celtic and it was his first club, right?

    He, like Damian Duff, Robbie Keane, Stephen Carr, etc. are Celtic fans. Hence the videos of them on YouTube singing “Let the People Sing” at Parkhead in the crowd.


  9. Did I say that? No.

    It means the guy is a Celtic fan his whole life, he was trained there and he is now entering the final 4 or 5 years of his career, if he even lasts that long.

    He has all the money he can ever need and he knows playing for his team means he will still get picked for his country too.

    I wouldn’t have thought it was wrong for him to want to go there when his career won’t suffer a bit for it – unless sitting on the bench behind Joe Hart is really great. Isn’t that the same thing Harper gets criticised for?


  10. fj

    I dont care. But it’s hardly Arsenal or something, like he was rumoured to go to a club like that not so long ago. Celtic is one of my favorite Scottish teams and good look to him. I’m mearly pointing out the grass isn’t always greener. Given, N’Zog, Owen all thought they could go and do better for themselves than Newcastle, and have they?? Er nope.


  11. On that point, yeah, a lot of our outbound transfers turn to muck, I agree. Would anyone take Seb Bassong back?

    Just find it funny people would object to Given going back to his home, supported club when he is about 35 years old.

    Just means we don’t have to try and score against him if signed for Arsenal, doesn’t it, lol.


  12. Moving to Bassong, I am surprised we haven’t been linked to him more. Redknapp has confirmed he can leave Tottenham and we are down a centre back with Campbell leaving.

    Unless we are keeping Kadar next season and not loaning him out so he can miss even more match time, we’re gonna ride on just Taylor, Williamson and Coloccini at centre back?


  13. Good night all, it’s now the morning shift.

    Back to the thread … and let me tell you a little story.

    2 years ago, Brisbane Roar had a football team full of old men. You might have heard of some of them – Craig Moore, Danny Tiato, Charlie Miller. They had player power and had a drinking buddy – the manager, Frank Farina. Brisbane were sh!te.

    One day the manager got busted for DIU and the board sacked him. Later they brought in Ange Postecoglou. Ange told the player power group to p!ss off. Brisbane ended up 2nd bottom that season.

    In the close season. All the old guard were kicked out and Ange brought in a whole new squad of players and changed the playing sysem. Another dire season looked on the cards. What happened, though, astounded everybody.

    Brisbane Roar became champions. They lost one game all season. They are considered to be the best club side ever to play football in Australia. Their style of play has earned them the nickname Roarcelona.

    Make of that what you may.


  14. Sounds interesting Bris – can see some potential parallels.

    Jobey/Notts – I work at the city hospital which is another strange thing.


  15. Morning. It’s the wide awake club here!
    Can’t wait for the unveiling of Gervinho today!! 🙄 😛

    Ring ring! Ring ring! ” hello is that Fenwicks? Please cancel my showing of my arse in your window today that the dreamers booked. Gervinho won’t be coming as I predicted. It was obvious from the start. We just aren’t ambitious enough and pay crap wages”

    Heads out the sand boys and come and jump aboard my reality train. 😛 😛


  16. Hello all

    Bobby Shinton will be showing his rear in Fenwick’s window by 5pm . . . Oh Yes !


  17. Ha Ha. . True Stardust.. We’ll have to make sure we are there to witness it.. I’ll bring the step ladders for him !!


  18. I dunno about player power and what not but its clear that the reasons for ushering out Barton and maybe Nolan are purely financial. Pardew has done decently but its clear he was selected because Ashley can easily manipulate him. Pards is just “happy to be here”, he wont kick up a fuss when Ashley over reaches and or sells his best players from under him. It’s ironic you would refer to Chris Hughton as “Clueless”, how quickly we forget what might have been.


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