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Pardew sidekick ‘I’ll be forever grateful to Mike Ashley…He really believed in what we were doing’

6 years ago

Former Newcastle goalkeeping coach, Andy Woodman, claims that United were desperate to keep him and that there was a real ‘tug-of-war’ for his services with Crystal Palace.

This is at odds with the general perception of Newcastle fans that the club simply were holding out for compensation for Woodman before they would let him leave and join his big mate Alan Pardew.

I have to admit I have never liked the former Newcastle goalkeeping coach and as well as him being disciplined after his disgraceful conduct online towards Newcastle fans after last season’s 4-0 defeat at Southampton, he always looked like his biggest qualification for the job was that he was Pardew’s mate.

Andy Woodman also comes across as somebody who has a very high opinion of himself and as you will see from his quotes below, he hasn’t changed…

At Newcastle Tim Krul went backwards during Woodman’s time at the club and maybe no surprise to see the Dutch keeper much improved with new coach Simon Smith working with him.

Also under Woodman’s watch, we have had Rob Elliot who never ever looks fit, whilst the keeping coach was no doubt asked his opinion about Fraser Forster before he was sold to Celtic for £2m.

The big Geordie keeper later moving for £10m and becoming a regular in the England squad before his current injury.

Andy Woodman claims that Mike Ashley really believed in what Alan Pardew and his clique were doing and he says he will be forever grateful to the Newcastle United owner.

Well you can count me in as one of the grateful ones when Ashley finally got rid of the last remaining member of Alan Pardew’s senior coaching staff.

Andy Woodman speaking to the South London Press:

“Alan (Pardew) and I have been friends for 30 years and speak regularly but I had a long contract with Newcastle and they were very keen on keeping me. With my lad there (Freddie Woodman) on their books it was a weird one.

“It was a little bit of a tug-of-war at one point. But it was clear in my mind that I wanted to come back to Crystal Palace because it is close to my heart and I genuinely believe it is going places. It’s an exciting time to be here.”

 “It’s fantastic to be given that sort of contract (was given 8 year one in 2012 at NUFC) but things change at a football club and people find it hard to get their heads around that – I started pre-season with completely new staff right across the board.

“They were fantastic – Steve McClaren and all those staff were really lovely. But it became a little bit uncomfortable for all of us. Not in a nasty way – it just wasn’t natural. It was like oil and water. I felt like that and Steve, in the nicest sense, felt like that. It was about trying to find the best way to part company amicably.

“I’ll forever be grateful to Mike Ashley. He really believed in what we were doing. But if you ask anyone in football if you get the chance to work for your hometown club that you have supported all your life, it is exciting to come back.

“Myself and Alan were friends prior to me working with him. But from his point of view he knows what I’m about and lets me get on with that side of it. I’ve never forgotten he’s the boss. Since we’ve been together we’ve had some nice moments where goalkeepers have come through and gone onto bigger things.

“You have got to be honest with people. Me and Alan are. That counts for everything in this business.

“I’ve always said that all the goalkeepers I work with have got to trust what I’m telling them. I’m not telling them to make me bigger or better than them or to cover me in glory – I’m telling them because I want them to be the best.

 “The biggest thing I do at the training ground is work at a high tempo. The Premier League is quick – the ball comes quick – and I’m trying to work on that on the training pitch.

“I build relationships and I’m in contact with pretty much every goalkeeper I’ve worked with – I take that as testament of how they trust me to look after their career.

“I think we can sometimes forget as a club and supporters that the people we watch play football are human beings with feelings and emotions – they have good days, bad days and lapses in confidence. I try and help keep them level.”

 “Just look at some of the names signed over the summer and the club has got to be doing something right for those players to come here and that they didn’t opt for other clubs.

“It’s going nicely, albeit it is only early days.”

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