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My morning at Newcastle United...


Dave
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SAMMMMYYYYYYYY is the last into the canteen and grabs himself a glass and one of the boxes of milk that is really meant to be for the tea/coffee machine and proceeds to take it back to his table and drink it. Bless him. His legs are scarily skinny in real life – if you’ve seen them on the tv, yes they really are THAT thin. He goes and shakes hands with his brother – Ameobi brotherly love – if I wasn’t so stupidly excited by this point, I’d have shed a tear. Such a beautiful sight to behold. I love the Ameobi family.

 

:D

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Any chance someone can post the full thing? Can't get on it at work.

 

Thanks.

 

So the story goes something like this…

 

A friend of mine won a competition to be in the squad photo at the training ground today, I got to go along as a guest/hanger-on/whore/whatever. We arrived at the gates of the training ground where two young lads were stood with a toon shirt, I declined to sign, instead waving at the guard who raised the bar, clearly assuming I was somebody important.

 

We made our way into the reception and had to wait for the other competition winners to arrive… Whilst we were waiting, a smiley Steven Taylor arrived and shook hands with everyone and said hello, closely followed by a French-styled Yohan Cabaye, who said in an ‘allo allo’ style of English, “morning” and swiftly moved along.

 

First musing - Steven Taylor - Geordie lad, turns up to training in jeans and a polo shirt with trainers, similar to what I’d probably turn up in… Meanwhile, Yohan turns up in a wool cardigan complete with scarf/neckerchief combo. Very ooh-la-la.

 

Then in comes Alan Smith, gives everyone a broad Yorkshire “morning”, no messing there. Bit like his style of play. Rob Elliot follows, as does Gabriel Obertan and James Perch. Perchy looks surprisingly happy, probably because people are happy to see him… The bairn next to me probably didn’t know who he was and was chuffed to see any of the players.

 

We were then ushered into the players canteen, or restaurant, where Steve Harper is watching the Rugby on the tv, flanked by Dan Gosling, who’s chowing down on what seems to be eggs on toast. In comes Alan Smith in full kit – who exclaims to the room, “feels weird to be in football kit again”.

 

Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan follow him – they have a bit of cereal, or La Cereal I assume the French call it.

 

SHOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA walks in, similar looking neckerchief getup that Yohan was sporting, The Bensham Baggio looks over to us and gives us a good old fashioned “yeralright”. God bless that man.

 

Demba Ba I assume walks into the door and it flies open, he’s followed by the ever-so-lovely-but-not-quite-as-lovely-as-Yohan, Hatem Ben Arfa. The French speaking boys all sit together, they do a kinda weird, double hand slap to each other, instead of the old fashioned handshake. Those continentals. Did I mention Demba Ba seems a bit dim? Speaks good English, though he only uses this to order his breakfast. He turns back to the table with Gabriel, Sylvain and Hatem and they begin speaking in French. I assume at this point they probably talked about garlic, or onions, or black and white hooped tshirts, or maybe berets? Who knows. I was bloody fascinated though…

 

Hatem is eating Frosties by the way – that’s how he rolls. Apparently.

 

In walks the silver fox himself, Alan Pardew, who’s all smiles and goes around every single person in the canteen and shakes hands. Nice guy. Very good PR from the manager, Keegan would have been proud – looking after the little guys. He’s followed by Peter Beardsley and a few of the other coaches who clearly aren’t into berets and go and join the English lads. Shola is by now scoffing poached eggs on toast. And still smiling.

 

Tim Krul, who looks 12 facially, but is actually A GIANT, comes in and eats a banana, nothing more, nothing less, just a simple banana – maybe it’s the potassium in them that makes his voice so deep? I wish I knew this when I was 12 – maybe it would have helped me sound older?

 

Anyway, the equally young looking, or maybe younger looking, Shane Ferguson walks in and has a bit of breakfast… By this point, I’m too giddy to even notice what people are eating. He’s followed by Tamas Kadar who just looks chuffed that he’s allowed into the building.

 

Next musing – even though the French Clique sit on their own – as the players come into the canteen, they all go around and shake hands with each other – maybe because they knew they had an audience, maybe just because it’s something they do when they first see each other in the morning. Anyway, it looks impressive that there’s that mutual respect there.

 

SAMMMMYYYYYYYY is the last into the canteen and grabs himself a glass and one of the boxes of milk that is really meant to be for the tea/coffee machine and proceeds to take it back to his table and drink it. Bless him. His legs are scarily skinny in real life – if you’ve seen them on the tv, yes they really are THAT thin. He goes and shakes hands with his brother – Ameobi brotherly love – if I wasn’t so stupidly excited by this point, I’d have shed a tear. Such a beautiful sight to behold. I love the Ameobi family.

 

Then we’re told the picture is imminent and that we should make our way outside. Everyone else walks the polite way around the outside of the tables, not me, I walk straight past the French Clique table… Making sure I don’t knock Hatem, god knows, one nudge and he’ll be out for another month. I manage to avoid causing him any damage and we go outside.

 

Walking through the car park is like a visit to one of those expensive car show rooms, crazy to think of lads, younger than me, driving cars it would take most people years to be able to afford. And then I see it. The RANGER Rover. What a tool.

 

Anyway, I manage to calm down long enough to realise that we’re right next to where the player exit from the dressing rooms is and we move down to the training pitch. We’re onto the grass and despite it just being a training pitch, the grass is unreal. I mean seriously, it makes my carpet in my lounge look bobbly. I dream of playing on a pitch like that.

 

More and more players begin to stream out in full kit, starting from the first teamers, all the way down to the reserves and few of the youth team lads. They all get into some kind of order and the laughing whilst they’re stood waiting is there for all to hear. Great camaraderie between the lads – although it seems to be aimed a lot at poor Jonas, who is practicing his smile, much to the amusement of most of the lads.

 

Next musing, again, maybe because there was an audience, maybe not, the lads seem to be a very tight unit and even the supposed outcasts like Perch, Kadar and Ranger seem to be heavily involved in the ‘banter’ – good to see.

 

The pics are finished after 3 board changes in front – SD then Northern Rock, then Puma. Pardew comes across to the few of us waiting and has pictures taken with everyone and anyone who wants one – including one man who is there with his wife. Pards puts his arm round the wife and then laughs, “I’m not putting my arm around you” to the bloke. Oh Alan, you sly devil…

 

Pardew has a pic with a kid who is clearly nervous as hell – he’s in full Toon kit, (obviously) and Pardew tells him he could be his new number 9 one day. Investing in youth? He does a few posed shots and pretends like he’s a new signing and makes a real fuss of the lad. My opinion of Alan Pardew is hugely different after today.

 

Pardew gets a pic with me and puts his arm around me… Maybe hoping I have a wife? I don’t know, but he’s a genuinely nice guy, football and management aside. Very impressed with him.

 

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/7130/614948626103331fa37c.jpg

 

We move away from the training pitch and are told that we might get a few pics with players before they start training. First out is Ryan Taylor, who I can only assume is off to find some walls to peer over/round. Ryan loves a good wall.

 

I await my chance for a pic with the newly crowned mackem slayer, only for a scene from a 50s romance movie suddenly emerges in the distance… Almost in slow motion, the number 4 training kit emerges and he playfully jogs down the steps. Yes ladies, Yohan Cabaye was walking towards me. In shorts. Hatem Ben Arfa was there too. My life seemed to actually be in slow motion at this point and I remember kind of waving my camera in their general direction. Hatem does a bit of a double take and kinda looks at Yohan and goes along with it…

 

The two of them let me in the middle and they BOTH put their arms round me… At this point I’m almost beginning to question my sexuality. I get the picture and say “Merci” to them, I could tell they were impressed. Secretly.

 

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/2108/61500646480888c6e892.jpg

 

Tim Krul comes across to us next, he’s finished his banana of course, he stands next to me and puts a giant hand on me and I feel like an actual midget… I imagine this is the feeling Dennis Wise gets when he stands next to anyone that is older than the age of 8. Nice lad, very deep voice.

 

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/4731/6150037580b92ab2fc42.jpg

 

Davide Santon walks past and is clearly thinking about how he can get out of going to Birmingham on Saturday… See, he was planning that knee injury all along. He likes Birmingham as much as we all do.

 

Just as the morning is about over, out walks the heir to Shola’s crown, when SAMMMMMYYYYY is told he needs to have his profile picture taken, he walks over to us and a dad collars him for a picture with his bairn, I’m clearly next in line, but some kid walks in front of me… I think about taking the kid out, Smith/Tiote style, but common sense prevails. God help him if Sammy walks away after his pic…

 

Luckily Sammy looks at me and I walk over, as we’re waiting for the pic to be taken, I tell him I’ll tweet the pic later today – he laughs. Dammit, does this day get any better, I MADE AN AMEOBI LAUGH!!! The sound of that is like one of the most precious noises you’ll ever hear. Immense.

 

http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/9856/615003803676370957a7.jpg

 

Clearly, this is a much better way of describing my day… Had I have tweeted all of this, I’d have had nobody left following me – maybe just that Geordie69 bloke asking me if I could get him a shirt or pair of players boots.

 

Best. Day. Ever.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157627675664548/

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Clearly, this is a much better way of describing my day… Had I have tweeted all of this, I’d have had nobody left following me – maybe just that Geordie69 bloke asking me if I could get him a shirt or pair of players boots.

 

:lol:

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