Until last Saturday, it had been a long time since Newcastle had won a match and it’s been decades since the Magpies actually won any silverware (unless you’re counting second division titles). Therefore, it’s little wonder that Jonathan Woodgate instead chose to join Tottenham during the January transfer window, with his decision vindicated only a month later after scoring the winning goal for Spurs in the Carling Cup final. The Daily Mail reports that the former Middlesbrough and Real Madrid centre-half turned down a move to St James’ Park on a couple of occasions.
‘I just wanted a totally new challenge,’ said Woodgate. ‘If I had signed for Newcastle, I would have just been in the same surroundings. I didn’t want to get stale.
‘I am 28 now. Newcastle are going to be a good side in a few years but things can move faster at Spurs. I know I have made the right decision.’
Indeed, while Tottenham have made obvious progress since a change of management, the same cannot be said of Newcastle who appear to have gone backwards since the start of the season. Sam Allardyce was given little time to make his mark at the north-east club, while Kevin Keegan has endured a miserable set of results since taking over, despite having a poor squad at his disposal. It’s worrying that the Magpies will continue to get passed over by top quality players while they continue to flounder season after season.