Date:Monday December 4 2006
It wasn't so long ago Nicky Butt was a bit of a hate figure with the Toon Army.
Sir Bobby Robson signed him for £4m and we expected some Manchester United-type performances that we knew he was capable of.
Sadly, it became a bit of a nightmare for the tough-tackling midfielder.
We had seen it all before, players arrive with big reputations from big clubs and fail (for whatever reason) to produce the goods at St James' Park.
Kenny Samson was the classic case. Arguably the best left-back in Europe during his Arsenal days, but a total flop at Newcastle.
And we saw the same with Butt. So much so Graeme Souness tried to off-load him to Birmingham, and he went down like a 'lead balloon' at St Andrews too!
But the penny has finally dropped, he is back in the zone, and Toon goalkeeper Shay Given says he is the main reason the defence is looking a lot tighter.
Centre-backs Steven Taylor and Titus Bramble have won most of the plaudits in recent weeks, but Given has singled out Butt.
Given: 'Nicky Butt should take a lot of credit for the way things have tightened up. He's been fantastic in front of the back four and helps the lads defend better.
'He is a calming influence and he keeps things simple.'
NUFC v Southampton Thoughts (Friday December 13 2013)
Ready Made Secret Excuse For No NUFC Spend (Thursday December 12 2013)
Shearer Speaks On His Return (Thursday December 12 2013)
NUFC's Cash For Access Idea (Thursday December 12 2013)
Logic Is Staring Ashley In The Face But...... (Thursday December 12 2013)
Shearer Wants Zero Tolerance For Fixers (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Shola's Off To Brazil Via Hull? (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Villa Home Game Moved For TV (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Happy Anniversary Alan (Monday December 9 2013)
Praise For Ben Arfa (Monday December 9 2013)
|3.||Kim Jong Un||139|
|4. Man City||15||9||2||4||26||29|
|9. Man Utd||15||6||4||5||3||22|
|Van Wolfswinkel Back In Contention
» Norwich : 13/12/2013 21:00:00
|Something For The Weekend (445)
» Aston Villa : 13/12/2013 20:30:00
|Hughton Confirms Interest In Striker
» Norwich : 13/12/2013 19:52:00
|Pre Cardiff News
» WBA : 13/12/2013 19:32:00
|Pochettino - City Draw Has Boosted Us
» Southampton : 13/12/2013 19:11:00
|Vital Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool
» Liverpool : 13/12/2013 19:02:00
|Bannan Looking For Chelsea Upset
» Crystal Palace : 13/12/2013 18:58:00