Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Luque who's talking

According to reports in the Spanish press, Albert Luque has laid the blame for his failure to make the Spanish squad for the World Cup on Glenn Roeder, and his move away from Deportivo.

Whilst it's fair to say his move hasn't gone as well as any of us had hoped, it can hardly be said to be Roeder's fault that Luque isn't going to Germany. If he hadn't been injured early on, it's possible that he would have settled into the team quickly and established himself. However he didn't: his hamstring went, and he was subsequently out for a long time.

Having returned from injury, Luque looked off the pace and disinterested. He also looked incapable of hitting a cow's arse with a banjo.

Whilst injuries are an occupational hazard for a footballer, the blame for Luque's failure to impress should not be directed at Roeder. As a purchase he seems a poor choice - as he doesn't fit into the system which we were always going to play, once Owen arrived. If anything his acquisition revealed that, at the time, messers Souness and Shepherd were far from certain that Owen would join us. That he did firmly scuppered Luque's chances of performing on the left of a front three (which seems his preferred position).

However, had he trained hard, and given his all on the pitch he would have been welcomed by all and sundry at St James. That he repeatedly looked non-plussed and off the pace can only be considered his fault.

Sadly his omission from the World Cup squad means we'll either be forced to sell him at a cut price, or keep him. Hopefully he'll take some time to address his attitude and return a revitalised player, but his latest quotes suggest he's liable to become the new Laurent Robert (only without the good games to compensate).


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