I REMEMBER USED OWNER FAVOURITE HOPE
I was actually very fortunate to get one cap. But you know within five minutes whether you can cope with that level or not, and I knew that I could play international football.
Sam Allardyce said that you had let him down when you were arrested during your time at Newcastle – do you think that was a fair comment?
Dave, via Twitter Yes, I think so. He had every right to feel that way. He had a small window of time with me at Newcastle – five months. Within two weeks of Sam signing me, I broke my foot, and there were contributing factors to that – it wasn’t through my own making. I was out for three months and I probably rushed back: I wasn’t at the level that I was at before, and I wasn’t completely comfortable with the injury. Then my form dipped and then I got dropped, so there was a chain of events that set everything off. Did Sam go ballistic with me when I was arrested? He couldn’t, because I was remanded in Walton jail for six days. I spoke to him on the phone and, as you can imagine, he wasn’t best pleased. By the time I was released, got back to the training ground and had the opportunity to rectify things, Mike Ashley had chosen to sack him.
What was the hardest moment during your time in prison? Were there any good moments?
James, via Facebook The hardest moment was probably the first night, when you realise you’ve had your liberty taken away from you. There is no easy moment. But are you going to feel sorry for yourself, blame others, seek to justify why you behaved the way you did and not really address the pressing issues of your behaviour? Or are you going to think, ‘This isn’t going to happen again’? My mindset was to learn from it and then not let it happen ever again. I tried to use the time there to the best advantage and, sitting here today, I think that I did.
What are your feelings towards Alan Pardew and Mike Ashley after you weren’t offered a contract extension ahead of the 2011-12 season?
Geordie Boy, via Twitter That’s a common misconception: I was offered a contract, but I was offered it by Derek Llambias, and there were stipulations attached to that contract that I didn’t think he had the credibility to put in there. I didn’t think he had a clue what he was on about and I made that point quite directly. We didn’t sit down and negotiate again. I was gutted, because I really enjoyed playing for the club – I felt I was playing fantastically well and I wanted to stay and play there for the rest of my days. I have got no issue with Mike Ashley. There are certain things that have happened in the past where I’ve had an opinion and spoke from the heart about what I saw going on, but I don’t carry any animosity towards him. The sad thing is that time has come along and vindicated the things that I said. I knew that I was right at the time but people didn’t, and now they do. It’s nice when you know that you were right, and that you were right five or six years ago.
How close did you really come to joining Arsenal instead of QPR? Did you ever speak to Arsene Wenger?
‘Warburton Is Magic’, via Twitter No, intermediaries spoke on their behalf. There was definitely some low-level interest, and before I got sent off against Arsenal, when the thing with Gervinho happened, I was due to hold some form of discussions with them. But then it never came to be. Would I have liked to have played for Arsenal? Of course. Who wouldn’t?
What was going through your head when you tried to attack half of the Manchester City team on the day they won the Premier League?
Shane Burns, via Twitter The overriding priority was QPR getting a result to stay in the league. We equalised, then I checked [Carlos] Tevez’s run and he attempted to punch me in the face. It’s weird how people get away from that. I got up, realised that both the linesman and Mike Dean hadn’t seen it, felt incredibly aggrieved and decided to take the law into my own hands and level it up. I shouldn’t