National Team



Nikos' Opinions

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Newcastle United

After having played a few games in the Champions League, the manager said that an English team had expressed their interest. It was February, when the english started monitoring me in the Greek championship and Champions League games, and they then decided to come forward with a proposal. I spoke with my coach, who was Bagevic at the time, and told him I would like to take my chances abroad. Although he refused in the beginning, since we were already in the middle of the season, when the official proposal came forward later, it was too lucrative financially to refuse it.

From the beginning, the atmosphere was good in the team and I did not have many problems adapting to my new environment. Although I am not the most appropriate person to judge my trainers, I must say that Daglish was a very receptive person and a great character.

My first game was against Coventry, when I came to the game as a substitute in the first 20 minutes. I have never felt like I did then in my whole career. The reception from the fans was great, as if they'd known me for years. The main points I can recall are the fantastic atmosphere in the game against Sheffield in Old Trafford and in the game against Arsenal at the final in Wembley.

In my second season, Daglish's removal after the first two games was a great shock. Gullit coming to the team signified a new era, since he wanted to bring his own ideas and philosophy in the team, as well as his own players. Although it has been said I had problems with him I played in about 80% of the games with the team, when he was the manager. The only problem was that his attitude towards me was not always positive, as he wanted to bring in his own players. He made me think with his behaviour that I had no place in his plans for the team's future, and I would find myself somewhere else the following season.

At the start of the season I did not seem to be anywhere in his plans and I came very close to changing teams. There were some discussions with Leicester, which did not go through, something that came to a good end. The team was having a bad start and after six games Gullit was let go from the team. When Bobby Robson came to the team things took a turn to the best, and I believe he is the main reason for the team's positive transformation. While we were heading to relegation we managed to finish the season 11th on the league and even played against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

The beginning of the season following was by far the worst possible season start of my career. After only two games in the season I had the first serious injury in my career, which kept away from the team for more than six months. At the time everyone though I would not manage to play another game for United during the that season, but I did manage to recover and actually played quite a few competitive games! During my rehabilitation everyone was very supportive and I have to thank them once more.

The 01/02 season was the best I had as a United Player. Bobby Robson had yet another time made his miracle! The team finished fourth, winning the last Champions League ticket! Most importantly I finished the season with no problems at all. After a serious injury you tend to look at things from a different perspective.

The 02/03 season started as always with a lot of expectations. This time the fans were a bit more demanding as we had achieved a lot in the previous season. Unfortunately I found myself completely out of the squad although I was doing quite well. Since the beginning of the second round it was pretty clear that I was not in the manager's plans. When the summer came and I was about to consider my options I had a serious car accident which was enough to stop any interest!

It was not a surprise to start the season from exactly the same spot I had finished it: the players' lounge. It was really dissapointed not to get involved in any first team action, but I kept my head down and continued to work as always. I was finally rewarded with a transfer to Leicester in January 2004!


232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.