'Jose Enrique, we’re in the top six’: The former Liverpool defender opens up on his nightmare return to Newcastle United - nine years ago today
Jose Enrique has opened up on his nightmare return to Newcastle United that saw him end up in goal for Liverpool during their 2-0 defeat, nine years ago today.
Two goals from in-form January signing Papiss Cisse earned a vital victory for Alan Pardew’s side during their successful push towards the Premier League top five.
Enrique and Andy Carroll both returned to Tyneside for the first time since moving to Anfield and were greeted by a chorus of relentless booing.
But while Carroll was subjected to sarcastic cheers when replaced by Jordan Henderson, Enrique soon suffered the ultimate humiliation.
With Pepe Reina shown a straight red card for a headbutt on James Perch and Reds boss Kenny Dalglish out of substitutes, the Spaniard was forced to play the final 10 minutes between the sticks.
Reflecting on that strange old day at St James’s Park, Enrique told the ITV Football Show Podcast: “In the moment, I was so mad because I didn’t understand why Kenny (Dalglish) choose me as a goalkeeper against my ex-team for the first time.
"They were singing my name ‘Jose Enrique, we’re in the top six’ because when I left the club, I said something I shouldn’t have.
"I was young and made a mistake and said ‘I’m going to a team that is going to be top six’ and actually, they (Newcastle) were in the fifth position and Liverpool were seventh!
"I went in goal and I’m telling you, for 10 minutes, the full stadium was singing that non-stop.
"Actually, in the moment, I was mad but when you think about it, it’s beautiful. It’s like ‘oh my god, that full stadium, 40,000 people singing that to you’.
"I was thinking ‘please Jose, don’t get injured. I know they are never going to forget this day, I won’t forget it either so just try to make it as good as possible’.
"I remember, I think it was Shola Ameobi who crossed and I punched it away and they (the fans) were going ‘waaaaaaaay! It was very good.
"Obviously I’ve kept the gloves from that day, it was beautiful to come back and have something like that.”
Enrique made 129 appearances for Newcastle across his four years at the club before being sold to Liverpool for around £7million in August 2011.
The 35-year-old believes the hostile atmosphere showed how much he was valued by Magpies fans during in time in the North East.
He added: “When they do that to you, you think ‘OK, I did something well then I was there.’”