Jermaine Jenas has said that since becoming a TV pundit he’s had non-stop questions ‘left, right and centre’ thrown at him about Newcastle United’s plight.
Out of all the clubs he played for, Jenas says that he takes notice especially of Newcastle and remembers fondly the days of Sir Bobby Robson and the Champions League.
It is easy to just remember the ‘Goldfish bowl’ comment about life on Tyneside and forget that back then, Newcastle were interested in and capable of attracting the best young English talent such as Jermaine Jenas.
Arriving as an 18 year old halfway through the 2001/02 season, he helped Newcastle finish in fourth place and the next season at the age of only 19, Jermaine Jenas starred in the Champions League as well as helping Newcastle to finish third in the Premier League, picking up the PFA award for best young player in the league from his fellow professionals.
In total, Jermaine Jenas played 32 matches in Europe for Newcastle United, including those Champions League days at such a young age – no wonder NUFC still stick in his mind.
He was probably as much a victim as the rest of us when it came to the stupidity of those running the club, in terms of employing Graeme Souness who ended up driving out the likes of Jenas, Bellamy and others.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Match of The Day pundit Jermaine Jenas had this to say:
“If I feel that QPR or Newcastle or Spurs or Villa are not doing what I know they’re capable of, I’ll make that point. I’ll explain why it’s not going well.
“It’s tough to watch though. They are my old clubs. Especially Newcastle: I was there for a long time, we were in the Champions League, I was with Bobby Robson… To see what’s happened to the club, not just on the pitch but also the off-field stuff, has been tricky.”
“Football’s a business, and Mike Ashley’s running it as a business. It’s been run ‘well’ as a business, but that in itself is the problem.
“For the fans, it’s all about heart up there, and how much you’re prepared to give on that pitch. When they look at their manager and owner, how much are they prepared to sacrifice for a club that they feel is theirs?”
“There’s been a massive uproar at the club for the best part of a year, and the questions that have been thrown at me left, right and centre about it have been non-stop.
“I only came off the pitch not so long ago – I’m still doing my rehab – and so being asked those questions has been difficult. You have to box clever sometimes.”