Date:Sunday January 1 2006
Jermaine Jenas and former boss Graeme Souness are both at odds over why the midfielder quit Newcastle.
The England star insists he needed a 'breath of fresh air' to reinvigorate himself, and make sure he kept progressing. But Toon boss Souness has disputed the player's reasons for leaving Tyneside and says he joined Spurs to be closer to his friends. The Newcastle chief insisted there is no way he could have kept Jenas at St James' Park, despite wanting to pair him with Scott Parker in central midfield.
Jenas: 'There was nothing to it other than I felt my career would progress if I moved on. During certain times in a career I think it is best to get a breath of fresh air at a different place and I certainly think the move has furthered my game. I think I am now improving as a footballer and that is what it is all about. I learnt so much under Sir Bobby Robson when I first moved there and I feel the club developed my game so much.
'But a change is sometimes needed and that is why I asked for a move. I had some absolutely amazing times at Newcastle and the fans were fantastic to me. I would be the first to cheer them if they won anything.'
Souness: 'We didn't want to sell him. But he was determined to leave. Several of his mates are at Tottenham, which was always going be attractive for him. We were a reluctant seller. We bought Scott Parker to play with JJ. He is a young man who will only get better, he is on the fringes of the England team.
'He is someone who made it very difficult for us to keep him. There had been murmurs before hand that he wanted to go. He has the potential to be an England regular but there is strong competition. He will get better. It's how much better he gets. He has done all right since I has been there.'
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