What's in a picture?

By Lee Ryder on Sep 14, 10 07:01 PM

And so it was a case of another one for the scrapbook for Newcastle United at a windy day at the club's Benton base.

Or at least it was the annual photo call for the Magpies as it turned out to be a case of all smiles just a couple of days since the loss against Blackpool.

Perhaps more tellingly were broad smiles from Steven Taylor - who we understand remains on the transfer list until his contract is resolved - and Andy Carroll - who didn't look anything like a bloke who wants to sign for Spurs.

Jonas Gutierrez couldn't stop laughing as he struggled to keep his hair under control and as Danny Simpson, Danny Guthrie and Leon Best edge closer from injury problems, competition for places looks as good as it has been for a few seasons.

Another big plus point was the sight of a beaming Hatem Ben Arfa alongside fellow new boy Cheik Tiote not to mention summer additions such as Sol Campbell, Dan Gosling and James Perch which gives the squad that fuller feel.

But for the first time in a few years, the squad looked together and as a unit which was just like last year when the Mags went up in style.

With the Championship trophy proudly on display this year, hopefully it can be the same.

Check out the 2008/09 picture including one of our four managers that season.

About two years ago there were plenty of miserable mugs on show of a team that would later be relegated.

Maybe it was a coincidence in 2007/08 that it was chucking down with rain at St James' Park when the shot was taken, but the team never really looked together from day one (apart from five minutes at Tottenham under Keegan) and months later KK was gone and the team's morale was all over the place.

Thanks to the transfer window and the surrender of football of football to the commercial big boys, the annual team picture no longer takes place on a sunny day in July shortly after pre-season training.

And the days of queuing outside a newsagent for the Pink van to turn up complete with its glossy posters all over Tyneside are sadly long gone.

These days the team picture is just as likely to be used as a screen saver on your phone as it will be pinned up in the pubs and clubs of the Toon.

Let's hope the smiles continue as we head into another long hard winter.

Follow me on Twitter @lee_ryder


DMCtoon said:

I subscribe to the nufc tv channel on the club website because it's cheap, and it's still evident that we have a great team spirit.

Was funny to see Guthrie having his hair messed up by Smithy and R.Taylor, plus Danny Simpson winding Enrique up, whilst Big Andy was pushing everyone off the benches they were stood one for the photo.

It all sounds trivial, but having a training ground that is all smiles and lads prepared to have a laugh and a bit of banter like this, could make all the difference this time round if we end up in a relegation battle.

Would like to see City's training ground in contrast, with it's numerous over paid, self important, greedy individuals.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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