With today’s upcoming fixture against the Birmingham based club, we though it would be a great opportunity for a ‘Where are they now?’ episode to reflect on our squad which thrashed Aston Villa 6-0 back in 2010.
Steve Harper: The man between the sticks for us at St James’ Park continued his playing career with us until 2013. Racking up a total of 199 appearances in black and white across all competitions, he departed for Hull City after making limited appearances following the 2010/11 campaign.
After acting as backup goalkeeper to Allan McGregor at Hull City for 2 seasons, he then picked up a similar role at Sunderland, although never made a league appearance for the Black Cats.
When drawing curtains on his playing career, Steve Harper returned to Newcastle as an Academy coach in August 2016. Since late 2019, the former number 1 now holds the role of our first team goalkeeping coaching, aiding in the development of Dubravka, Darlow, and Woodman.
Jose Enrique: The Spaniard left the North East to play for Liverpool at the end of the 2010/11 campaign. During his time with the Merseyside club he amassed 99 appearances and picked up his maiden piece of silverware, the Football League Cup.
Jose Enrique will be remembered for making the return to Tyneside a couple of years later, which involved unfolded into an unusual turn of events.
Fellow countryman and goalkeeper, Pepe Reina was dismissed for headbutting James Perch with Liverpool having no substitutions remaining. Enrique was subsequently placed between the sticks and actually managed to keep a personal clean sheet within the match. The game ended with us gaining a 2-0 win, as the scoreline remained the same following Reina’s dismissal.
The full back then returned to Spain to represent Zaragoza, where he wound down towards the end of his playing career.
On a personal note Jose Enrique was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2018, which was followed by the brilliant news that he was given the all clear a year later.
Fabricio Coloccini: The Argentinian was certainly a big figure, not just within the match against Aston Villa, but for the remaining of his Newcastle career.
At the end of the 2010/11 season, Coloccini was awarded the captains armband on a permanent basis. After assuming this responsibility, he typified the performances of Newcastle United with his inconsistent run of forms. In the season which we finished 5th he was arguably one of the best defenders in the league, while in following campaigns we knew there was always a chance of a defensive collapse.
For the final 3 years of his Newcastle career, Coloccini often flirted with returning back to Argentina for personal reasons. This move was finally granted in the summer of 2016, as his contract was terminated and he signed for San Lorenzo. He still plays for the Argentinean side at present.
Mike Williamson: The 6″4 defender split opinion within the Toon Army during his stay on Tyneside. Not known for his ability on the ball, the centre back was an old school defender and often received criticism for his reluctance to play out from the back. This however, did not prevent Williamson from spending the majority of his career in the North East, racking up 169 appearances in black and white.
Towards the end of his time at the club, there was a particularly negative atmosphere around the defenders performances. He lacked the pace required in the modern game, while a red card away at Leicester was perhaps the final straw. John Carver, who was manager at the time claimed the sending off was intentional, however this was of course denied by Williamson.
The experienced defender has represented both Wolves and Oxford United since leaving the club, while he now assumes the role of player manager at fellow North East club, Gateshead.
James Perch: Perchinio. His time on Tyneside was short in comparison to others, but he did really capture the heart of many Newcastle fans during his time in Tyneside. Known for his willingness to play wherever required, Perch always offered honest displays.
He was utilised in an array of positions, from full back, to centre back, and central midfield, the now 34 year old never backed away from a tough challenge.
Since Perch left Newcastle in July 2013, he has played at Wigan, QPR, and currently plays for Scunthorpe United in League Two.
Jonas Gutierez: The true definition of an adopted Geordie, Gutierez will remain a fan favourite in Newcastle for years to come.
Picking up over 200 appearances in black and white, the Argentinian also provided us with one of the greatest footballing stories ever with that goal against West Ham.
Following the awful treatment of Gutierez by the hierarchy at the club, he won a discrimination lawsuit against the club. Back on the pitch, Gutierez signed for Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna where he stayed for one season before appearing for a host of clubs in his native Argentina.
After playing for Justicia, and Independente, Gutierez currently plays for fellow Argentinian team, Banfield.
Kevin Nolan: The club captain appeared on the scoresheet twice for Newcastle in the fixture against Aston Villa, before going one better and netting a hatrick in the derby against Sunderland, also in the 2010/11 season.
At the end of the campaign Nolan made the switch to West Ham who had dropped down to the Championship. He was awarded the captaincy and tasked with ensuring the London based club made an immediate return to the Premier League. He achieved this, notching 13 goals across the season, while captaining the side to a 2-1 victory in the play off final.
The midfielder spent a total of 4 years at the club before spending short spells as player manager at both Leyton Orient and Notts County. The former Newcastle captain is currently working as a first team coach at former club West Ham United.
Joey Barton: Netting the first goal in this fixture, Barton has spent the majority of his footballing career in media spotlights and front page headlines. His time on Tyneside although provided 8 goals in 84 appearances, also included numerous on-pitch outbursts, a prison spell and relentless controversy.
The antics continued following his departure from Tyneside as he was charged with violent conduct while at his next club, QPR.
On the final day of the season, QPR was fighting for their Premier League status against Manchester City. Joey Barton however decided to fight the Manchester City squad, receiving a straight red card for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the face, before proceeding to kick Sergio Aguero, headbutt Vincent Kompany and face off with Mario Balotelli.
He has since retired from playing, after overlooking spells at both Burnley and Rangers before making his first steps into footballing management with Fleetwood Town.
Wayne Routledge: The speedy winger has spent the majority of his footballing career fluttering between Premier League and Championship football. This pattern has not been disrupted since he departed Newcastle for Swansea City, after making just 36 appearances for the club.
Leaving the North East during the 2011 winter transfer window, Routledge made the switch to QPR where he achieved promotion, before moving to Wales, where he has become a mainstay in the Swansea squad for the past 9 years.
Appearing over 270 times for the Welsh club, Routledge won the Football League Cup in 2012/13 while they currently sit 9th in the Championship league standings.
Alan Smith: Another versatile player for Newcastle United, Smith made a total of 94 appearances for the Toon Army before moving to League One club, Milton Keynes.
The midfielder spent 2 years at the club before dropping down a further division to play for Notts County in League Two.
Andy Carroll: The hatrick hero in this fixture, local lad Carroll was unplayable at times throughout his spell as Newcastle number 9. Unfortunately, Liverpool also noticed his imperious form and offered £35 million for his services.
It was deemed an offer to good to refuse, and still maintains top spot for the biggest transfer fee received for a Newcastle United player.
Although his Liverpool career never lived up to expectations, there were some memorable moments for the striker in Merseyside. For example the last minute winner against Everton sent Liverpool into the FA Cup final. Jamie Carragher described the moment as “The best feeling ever” claiming that moment had made every penny of the £35 million of the deal worthwhile.
After injuries blighted his playing time, West Ham came in for the striker but were also faced with similar challenges. The striker was devastating when in top form, but with reoccurring injuries hampering his match fitness, these performances were only seen on a handful of occasions each season.
As known, Carroll has since returned back to Tyneside where he is yet to score. He has however provided some important assists, and has recently been rumoured to have been offered a one year extension on his current deal, which is heavily weighted on appearance fees.
In hindsight we had a lot of big characters on the pitch that day, highlighted by the fact that multiple players have entered management in some way or another.
Lets hope we can repeat the result this evening, while a repeat of the scoreline would surely be even out of reach for our wildest dreams.
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