Woodgate v Bellamy

Last updated : 15 January 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Former Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas has revealed the moment Jonathan Woodgate earned the respect of the whole United squad.

Image result for newcastle Woodgate v BellamyWoodgate joined Newcastle midway through the 2002/03 season, while the Magpies were riding the crest of a wave.

Under Sir Bobby Robson, Newcastle were in the last 16 of the Champions League, were on course for another top-four finish, and were enjoying one of their finest spells during the Premier League era.

The centre-half joined from cash-strapped Leeds in January 2003, and the season previously had seen the Magpies come from 3-1 down to secure a memorable 4-3 win at Elland Road.

Woodgate was playing for the opposition that day, as Nobby Solano, Craig Bellamy and Kieron Dyer led the comeback charge.

So when Woodgate took part in his first training session at Newcastle, Bellamy and Dyer were quick to remind him.

Bellamy even challenged Woodgate to a ‘one v one’ on his first day at the club, to which Woodgate duly obliged.

“When I was at Newcastle United, we had just signed Jonathan Woodgate,” Jenas told BT Sport.

“Bellaz (Craig Bellamy) and Kieron (Dyer) were the lively two of the dressing room and we had played him at Leeds earlier in the season and they tore him apart to be fair.

“Anyway, we have finished this training session and Bellaz and Kieron are in his ear going: ‘I don’t know why we have bought you, we absolutely annihilated you at Elland Road earlier in the season’.

“So it ended up with Bellaz going: ‘Come on, let’s have a one v one now’. and Woody went ‘all right then’.

“So he is at the halfway line and Woody is telling him that he will not score in this goal.

“Bellaz has tried to take him down the line, Woody has gone all the way with him and bosh, he takes the ball.

“Everyone went, to be fair, you can’t not respect that.”

And Jenas believes that showed the class and the character Woodgate possessed.

“It was in front of everybody, the whole team, and Bellaz went ‘right, fair play’,” Jenas added.

“It takes a certain type to stand up and go ‘OK, you’re on, let’s have it’.”

For fans of a certain era, Woodgate remains the best defender to have worn the black-and-white shirt - despite only being at the club for a season-and-a-half.

From Newcastle he went on to join Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2004, joining England international team-mates David Beckham and Michael Owen.