Fri 17 Nov 2023, 17:29 · Ash Harrison

‘Really proud’: Jermaine Jenas opens up about confusing time at Newcastle before his exit

‘Really proud’: Jermaine Jenas opens up about confusing time at Newcastle before his exit
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Newcastle United fans have long held a bit of a dim view of Jermaine Jenas after the way he left the club.

When Graeme Souness sold Jermaine Jenas to Tottenham there were reports written that Jenas felt living in the area and being part of the club was like living in a 'goldfish bowl' implying that he couldn't handle the pressure that came with being a Newcastle player.

For 20 years, Newcastle fans have held this belief, but Jenas has once again come out and stated that he never once said that, telling TalkSPORT (h/t The Chronicle) he's always denied ever saying that.

There was no goldfish bowl according to Jenas

"There was a lot of stuff written around that time which was used to try and sabotage my relationship with Newcastle.

"Apparently I said “it’s like a goldfish bowl” up there. I’ve always said to anybody (who has asked), if they can find that quote from me I’ll happily give them a lot of money.

“I know for a fact I didn’t say it and that was something used at that particular time for my relationship with Newcastle fans to be ruined. Essentially, all that happened was I felt I wasn’t being coached. It (the standards) were declining.”
SBR and JJ
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Sir Bobby Robson and Jermaine Jenas

Jenas, who started out brilliantly at Newcastle after his £5million move from Nottingham Forest went on to be PFA Young Player Of The Year in 2002/03 under Sir Bobby Robson before his acrimonious split with the club.

The now pundit and TV host, was sold to Spurs for £8million and went on to have a decent career for Tottenham and England.

Graeme Souness pushed Jermaine Jenas out of the door

Now, though Jenas has shared the real reason why he left Newcastle and it was nothing to do with the pressure, or the comparison to a pet's domain, but it was Graeme Souness.

“Under Graeme, I didn’t feel like our agendas matched, it was weird. One minute he made me captain and, the next, I’m left-back and he’s signing Amdy Faye. I couldn't work out what he wanted from me.

“We were playing against Yeading, in the FA Cup, I was really proud. A young lad, captaining Newcastle. Patrick Kluivert, Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer… and he’s chosen me to be the captain.

“As we walked out, he (Souness) said ‘We’re going to talk about your contract situation next week’. I never heard another word about it. I could never figure it out. As a young player, it was confusing.”

The Souness era was almost like the signal flare that went up into the sky to herald the arrival of Mike Ashley, the beginning of the end so to speak, so we can't really blame Jenas for wanting to get away from that environment.

Souness was far from a popular figure amongst fans and players at the time, and after almost 20 years, we're ready to believe JJ.