Pre-season Interview - 08/08/2003
A number of you have mailed in questions to the site, it’s good to hear from you and I’m happy to answer the questions…
1) With being placed on the transfer list, have you found pre-season more difficult?
No, I’ve just got on with in. You focus on your training and to be honest it’s only away from training when I think about the future and what will happen.
2) What are the best and worse aspects of pre-season?
The fitness work, the running is the toughest – and the most boring. I think most players will say that they enjoy playing more than anything else; I’m no exception. It’s best when the balls come out.
3) What have you seen of Lee Bowyer, and how do you think he’ll do?
I’ve seen him in a couple matches and been impressed. We knew he was a quality player before he arrived and no one’s been disappointed with what they’ve seen of him. He’ll do well at the club and the team will benefit. He’s quite different off the pitch than you’d expect. Before he joined us I presumed he’d be quite loud – as he is on the park, but really, he’s a quiet lad.
4) If you were gaffer, which are of the team would you strengthen?
I think that the gaffer is happy with the squad, I don’t think any area of the team needs strengthening. I’m not saying he wont spend any more, but I think there’s good balance all through the team.
5) If you could buy any player in the world, who?
Well even though I think there’s balance in the squad, when we were linked to Patrick Kluivert a few weeks ago I thought to myself that he’d be a player who has the ability to make a difference at Newcastle.
6) Best buy of the pre-season?
The chances are that this would be a Chelsea buy, and I’m not going to disappoint - Glen Johnson. He’s young, but I honestly don’t think he’s a gamble. I have to say that getting Lee Bowyer on a free was a very clever bit of business.
7) Will Man Utd miss David Beckham?
Yes, I’m sure they will, especially with Veron also leaving. Man U scored a lot of goals from his crosses on the right, is there anyone better in the country when it comes to free kicks on the edge of the box?
8) How do you think Sunderland will do this year?
I’m not just saying this because I’m a Geordie, but I think they’ll struggle. They’ve lost a lot of experience and will have to rely on a few youngsters. The First Division is also stronger than it’s been for quite a few years, so it doesn’t look too good for them.
9) Will Abramovic’s cash make Chelsea Premiership contenders?
Yes, but I can’t see them actually winning it this year. They will be closer to the top than last season though.
10) With Arsenal not buying, will they be weaker this season?
No, I don’t think so, they’ve still got a great squad and they know how to play. They’ll be up there.
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