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hopefully this works, I've tried editing out the photos, twitter and youtube stuff. I've also changed alex hursts name too.

anyway, a canny read from the athletic and probably what they should stick to rather than dabbling in middle east politics...... 

‘Mad Dog’ Tindall – and why he’s the ‘perfect balance’ to Howe at Newcastle

“If that was fucking them!” Jason Tindall cries, incredulously pointing his finger at Peter Bankes, the fourth official, as another decision goes Manchester City’s way.

When Isaac Hayden is booked, it is the assistant referee’s turn to receive Tindall’s ire: “Every fucking time!”

It is December 19, 2021, and the Eddie Howe era is only seven games old. Already, his assistant’s vexed, sarcastic and impassioned touchline antics have enraptured Newcastle United fans.

“It must be terrifying when you’re the fourth official,” fat tory cunt said on True Faith. “Tindall is an angry man.”

Cue the birth of Jason “Mad Dog” Tindall, an epithet affectionately bestowed by that Newcastle fanzine. The nickname was even used during the club’s in-house coverage of December’s friendly against Al Hilal by Mark Allison, AKA “Run Geordie Run”.

Colleagues at Newcastle’s training ground sometimes jokingly call him “Mad Dog”, which Tindall finds amusing. He is unperturbed by external perceptions and revels in being the pantomime villain on matchday.

Tindall’s technical-area conduct certainly warrants such a tag.

A far-from-exhaustive register of this season’s exploits includes:

  • Kicking the ball back onto the pitch at the Emirates to prevent Arsenal from taking a quick throw-in
  • Receiving a yellow card for repeating that against Crystal Palace
  • Attempting to convince the fourth official that Fulham had an extra player on the pitch (they didn’t)
  • Calling Nick Pope across when Bruno Guimaraes needed treatment, only for the goalkeeper to go down with a mysterious injury
  • Pretending to talk to the fourth official as he listened to how Nottingham Forest were changing tactically, immediately relaying that information to Howe
  • Being called into the referee’s office at half-time at the City Ground
  • Feisty exchanges with opposition coaches, such as Arteta, Marco Silva, Jurgen Klopp and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ backroom staff

This is nothing new.

Tindall was renowned for his pitchside antics at Bournemouth and, alongside his immaculate hair, tan and entrancing expressions in Newcastle’s post-victory photos, an impression has become established of him as merely being Howe’s agitator-in-chief.

Yet that massively underplays Tindall’s significance to Howe over 15 years at Bournemouth (twice), Burnley and Newcastle.

The 45-year-olds are ever-presents together in the technical area. They are, as Howe admits, a “partnership” — and, while the head coach is the senior figure, his assistant’s importance stretches far beyond attempting to influence officials.

Set pieces and defensive organisation are Tindall’s forte, while he is Howe’s training-ground lieutenant, a voice in recruitment, a go-between with the players, and even shares an office with his boss. He has also held a UEFA Pro Licence since 2016 and managed Bournemouth after Howe.

“We’re really different people,” Howe says of Tindall. “But there’s a force when we come together that’s really powerful.”

An EFL manager previously referred to them as the “boy band”. Now, they are the Premier League’s odd couple.

The Tindall-Howe collaboration was not inevitable.

Long-term team-mates at Bournemouth — even a centre-back pairing — and only two weeks apart in age, there is an assumption they were always close.

“We didn’t really have a relationship,” Howe said.

Howe, an introvert, and Tindall, more extroverted, were not friends. They did not socialise together — they were part of separate dressing-room cliques — though they did get along.

“They are different personalities and that strikes you straightaway,” says Marc Pugh, who played under the duo at Bournemouth. “Jason is outgoing, while Eddie is more reserved. But opposites can attract and they balance perfectly.”

It was during their rare off-field conversations that Howe discovered a kindred spirit when it came to footballing values. They were both proponents of a high-pressing, high-intensity style, with a shared admiration for Arsene Wenger.

“They complement each other because they’re different people but with the same goals and ideas,” Charlie Daniels, the former Bournemouth defender, says. “They dovetail beautifully.”

When chronic knee problems took hold, Tindall, like Howe, retired in his late twenties and was unexpectedly appointed as Weymouth’s player-manager in January 2007.

Howe visited Tindall during his year-long stint at the south-coast club. It was not a social catch-up, but to watch how his former team-mate worked.

It is also why, when Howe was thrust in at Bournemouth in December 2008 — with the club bottom of the EFL and seven points adrift — that he made a solitary demand: Tindall, already an assistant and set to be sacked, was kept on.

This was a rookie manager following his instincts. Aged 29 and whose only previous experience was as a player-coach and academy coach, Howe did not have an established confidante to appoint.

Interestingly, when the board told Howe he needed an assistant, he rejected their suggestions of an older coach. He did not see any benefit to being told to do things by someone just because that is how they had always done them. For example, Howe did not want an assistant who would tell him he could not improve a player in their thirties and sought someone who believed they could extract more, regardless of age.

He also did not want a friend from his playing days. Howe did not want to be comfortable and have a mere follower alongside, he wanted to be challenged by someone of a similar age, with whom he could shape a footballing philosophy together.

“It was strange,” Howe said in Michael Calvin’s book Living on the Volcano. “I just sort of knew I wanted Jason to stay. I don’t know why. I just thought, ‘Yeah, I’d like the chance to work with him’.”

By Howe’s admission, both are “stubborn” and regularly in disagreement. Howe does not want ‘yes men’ and Graeme Jones, the assistant he inherited at Newcastle, is similarly outspoken. “Jason and I are very different people,” Howe told The Coaches’ Voice. “I look at things negatively to get a positive response, whereas Jason is always positive and a real people person.”

Their understanding has developed organically. They had limited resources at Bournemouth — regularly paying with their own money for a fitness coach, masseur or even pitches to train on — and simply had to pull together.

Both accept they are “workaholics” and that shared dedication sees them regularly spend 12-hour days at the training ground, or re-watching matches together immediately after returning from an away game. What started out as a “level partnership” has evolved into a more nuanced one.

“JT is almost Eddie’s yin to his yang,” Shwan Jalal, the former Bournemouth player and now-Newcastle’s goalkeeper coach, told The Athletic in 2020. “They are very different people and you need that. Jason will voice his opinion. They were regularly bickering.”

Their shared competitive spirit adds an edge to training. At Bournemouth, they would occasionally manage teams against one another in training games, with the loser paying for dinner at an expensive restaurant.

While they remain distinct characters, Howe and Tindall have become closer away from work and their families owned an executive box together at Dean Court.

“Your No 2 needs to inspire you in some way,” Howe told Living on the Volcano. “If there isn’t positivity, you’re going to get friction in the relationship because you’re so close. I spend more time with Jason than I do my wife.”

“Tindall is that annoying git who you’d want to punch, but when he’s on your side, you just love him,” a director at a rival Premier League club says, speaking anonymously to protect relationships. “He’s Newcastle’s resident wind-up merchant.”

That was evident during the first match following Howe’s appointment; the head coach was absent with COVID-19, but Tindall did not temper his activity and Thomas Frank, the Brentford manager, shouted at him to “fuck off”.

Tindall spends games speaking to officials, as well as passing on instructions and organising, working in tandem with Howe.

“We’re definitely a partnership on matchday,” Howe said last month. “That’s when I’m doing certain things and Jason is doing others.”

Although Tindall may appear over-emotional on the touchline, that is rarely the case. His task is a conscious one.

Howe rarely sits down on the touchline, believing he is abandoning his players if he is not visible. During his formative days as a manager, Howe decided he did not want to be the coach who barked at officials. He wanted to focus on tactical and technical matters.

Still, he recognised the value of having someone else speaking to referees and so Tindall, who was more naturally suited anyway, adopted that technical-area persona.

“He takes the pressure off Eddie,” Daniels says. “Jason is an extreme example, but every club needs someone who speaks to the officials, so they notice things. He’s there to get under the opposition’s skin and he executes that perfectly.”

Much of what Tindall does is premeditated.

“While Eddie is cool and collected, Jason is vocal and animated,” says Pugh. “As players, you always feel he has your back, he’s trying to help you.”

This season, following Newcastle matches, Arsenal, LiverpoolTottenhamManchester United, as well as Newcastle themselves, have been charged by the FA with various alleged offences relating to failing to control their players or the behaviour of their backroom staff.

At Bournemouth, this was a semi-regular occurrence.

Manuel Pellegrini accused Tindall of spending “the complete game with the referee trying to pressurise every decision” following a 2-2 draw with West Ham in October 2019. Howe responded that “Jason is quite active on the touchline” but is “fair” and “always, in my opinion, acts within the laws of the game”.

Sometimes, however, Tindall has been adjudged to have overstepped. In April 2015, he was given a two-match touchline suspension and fined £3,000 for allegedly using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards or in respect of a match official against Sheffield Wednesday.

“I like to think I get on well with fourth officials,” Tindall told The Guardian in 2018. “I think I’ve got better with the way I approach them, being respectful. There’s been times as well, don’t you worry about that, where Ed says, ‘Go on, get into them!’ So it’s not all my own doing.”

What is fascinating is that, aside from David Moyes and Paul Nevin at West Ham, there is no other coaching duo who are constantly prowl the touchline together.

“It’s unique,” says Daniels. “They work in harmony and as players it gives you a lift having both of them there. Jason tends to communicate more when it comes to defensive, off-the-ball work, whereas Eddie is more in-possession.”

This is another remnant of their formative days, when both were inexperienced and trying to rescue Bournemouth.

It has continued, though they do not discuss before matches which areas each of them will cover — they react to what they see and to each other, calling for a more-intense press or to switch the focus of an attack when necessary.

“They’re always keen to pass on information,” Pugh says. “You never feel alone or uncertain, you always know they’re there.”

As at Bournemouth, Tindall joining was a dealbreaker for Howe at Newcastle.

“Eddie craves familiarity,” a Bournemouth source says, speaking anonymously to protect relationships. “He doesn’t trust people easily but, once he does, he values them. Jase is the perfect example. Eddie knows Jase is integral.”

Howe “doesn’t suffer fools”, a phrase he cites during conversations with people who accuse him of nepotism, adamant that he does not hand out jobs through patronage. “But once he trusts you, he shows loyalty that is unique in this industry,” says the first-team source.

That is why Tindall joined Howe in the directors’ box at the Amex to watch Newcastle’s draw with Brighton, ahead of their appointment. Some of the discussions Howe held with the owners featured Tindall, as they explained how they would set about saving the team.

During the 15 months that Howe was out of work, Tindall had succeeded him as Bournemouth manager, before becoming an assistant to Paul Heckingbottom at Sheffield United. Although Howe was surprised that Tindall continued at Dean Court, in hindsight, the experience gained by his assistant is viewed by the head coach as a positive.

Just as they did at Bournemouth, Howe and Tindall share an office (with Jones). Individual player meetings are often conducted with both present.

“Normally when you’re called in, you’ll speak to both,” Daniels says. “Eddie leads and then Jason has his say. They have different tones. Eddie makes a point, then Jason will reinforce it but in an entirely different way.

“Eddie is intense and clear, whereas Jason often puts it in more personable language. They pore over clips with you, one pointing out the positives and the other the negatives.

“It isn’t quite good cop, bad cop, but they know how to get their message across collectively.”

Newcastle players appreciate Tindall does not merely repeat Howe’s messages, as assistants can sometimes be prone to do. Nor does he “speak for the sake of speaking”, as a first-team source, speaking anonymously to protect their position, puts it. Tindall reiterates key points but also expands on what Howe has said.

They are advocates of fine margins. At Bournemouth, Tindall consulted with supporters to improve the in-stadium atmosphere, helped choose pre-match music and it was his idea to change the colour of the goal nets in 2016-17 from red and black to white, in a bid to help the peripheral vision of the club’s forwards.

Although Howe’s man-management skills are a strength, he must keep a distance from the players. Tindall is the training-ground go-between, trying to make players feel comfortable and reporting back to Howe. Tindall is known for his organisation and for driving standards.

“Eddie is intense, focused and very on it all the time. Jason is more relaxed, more approachable and jokey, if still demanding,” says Daniels. “Jason picks up on things and lets Eddie know. The players trust him — they have to because it’s the only way it can work.”

“Eddie is always on it and likes everyone to be focused on work,” Pugh says. “Jason is just as driven but also knows when to have a laugh and to release the pressure valve. He gives off this relaxed mood but he has that same burning desire to win.”

Privately, Howe and Tindall describe their relentless desire to improve players as an “addiction”. In League Two, they would work individually with different players to improve them, as they had no additional staff, and have continued that into the Premier League.

“Finding players and seeing them develop is the part I’ve always loved most,” Tindall told the Daily Mail in 2021.

During training, defensive organisation and set pieces are Tindall’s domain, even if he is involved in most sessions. Howe has always been hands-on but has learned to delegate more.

“Jason and Stephen Purches (the first-team coach) are huge on set pieces,” Daniels says. “Jason does so much more than that, but his attention to detail on dead balls is phenomenal.”

This season, Newcastle are first in the Premier League for shots (142) and expected goals (13.7) from attacking set pieces, while they have the second-best expected goals against (5.6) from defensive dead-ball situations.

Newcastle's set-piece stats, 2022-23
Shots for
xG for
Set pieces as ratio of xG
Shots conceded
xG against
Goals conceded
Set pieces as ratio of xG against

Intriguingly, Tindall has also been involved in transfer discussions at Newcastle, being part of the informal committee alongside Howe and the British-based owners during their first January window.

This is partly a legacy from Tindall’s time at Weymouth when he made contacts that Howe leaned upon at Bournemouth. Tindall conducted scouting, analysis and made transfer calls in the EFL. He has never stopped, even if he is less prominently involved in that domain now.

“Before I signed for Bournemouth, I was invited out for a meal with both Eddie and Jason,” Pugh says. “They approached me as a team and they work as a team. It’s always been that way.”

The “consistency” of his backroom staff is something Howe views as crucial to his success. “Jason and the other coaches are massive in everything Newcastle do,” Daniels says. “He is practically an extension of Eddie.”

“JT sees a positive in every situation. Sometimes it is just the opposite of my personality, but I need that,” Howe said in 2021. “I need someone who sees the light, even in difficult moments because if I had someone who was very much like me, it’d be difficult.”

Tindall is undoubtedly Newcastle’s “Mad Dog”, but he is also so much more than that.

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4 minutes ago, Howmanheyman said:

You can't knock the absolute loyalty the athletic show to their mates for fan quotes, err, I mean Eddie shows to Tindall and the players. :good:


aye, completely agree with that mate, spoils an otherwise canny read.

hurst's played a blinder in self promoting himself by buying truefaith and turning it in to vehicle for his podcasts with caulkin etc. shame, used to be a reasonable fanzine.

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I, along with my mates, affectionately nicknamed Benny Kristensen the Mad Chef after the character from the Muppet show but we weren't in a bromance with the local sports media so got no credit whatsoever, if only we'd licked John Gibson or Alan Oliver's arse? Sad. 😟

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I tried licking Roger Tames arse but nookie bear kept getting in my way whilst Roger was shouting every cliche known to man into a microphone, it would've been hard for me to do but meat and drink for Roger. :good:

Edited by Howmanheyman
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