Thursday, August 02, 2007

Situation vacant

Are you a 31-year-old defender seeking gainful employment and a nice juicy wage packet?

Do you have experience of European football, but no experience of playing in the English Premiership?

If you answered yes to all of these questions please contact Sam Allardyce c/o Newcastle Utd, St James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Two people apparently responding to the above advert (well, at least ticking all of the relevant boxes) are Cacapa and Ivica Dragutinovic, who are both rumoured to be Tyneside-bound.

According to Big Sam, former Lyon captain Claudio Roberta da Silva (or Cacapa to his mates) has been training with the club this week, and is due to undergo a medical today before arriving at the club on a free transfer. Whilst clearly a player with some Champions League experience, the fact that he has been frozen out at Lyon (apparently because he refused to sign a new contract), the fact that he is the wrong side of 30, and the fact that he is currently being chased by such footballing luminaries as Panathinaikos and Al Rayyan make me wonder whether he's going to prove a defensive stalwart next season.

However, to give Allardyce his credit, he's got a track record of drawing good performances out of ageing footballers, and at least his arrival should provide some additional defensive cover. So from that point of view it should be welcomed.

On the same subject, are suggesting that Ivica Dragutinovic is also on his way to Tyneside from UEFA Cup holders Sevilla. Again 31, Dragutinovic can play both centrally and at left back and should he arrive will again add some much needed depth to the squad. Reports would suggest that Dragutinovic is a typically uncompromising defender, and as such should bring some welcome grit to our backline.


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