Friday, April 04, 2008

Where are they now?

Not a great deal of news on the Newcastle front of late, so how's about we take a quick check on some old friends?

First up is Laurent Robert, a player for whom the word "mercurial" was invented. After a less than successful spell at Derby, for whom he showed his face just three times, the French w(h)inger has had his contract torn up by mutual consent, enabling him to join our former coach John Carver across the pond at Toronto FC, where he'll line up alongside another old boy, Martin Brittain.

Carver's been quoted as saying: "I've spent a lot of time with Laurent and know about his game. He'll be a big asset to the team". Sorry, John, but those two statements are contradictory - if you know about Robert's temperament, then you'll know he's not exactly what you'd call a team player...

Meanwhile, no doubt also unamused at having to deal with the fall-out of Matty Pattison's drink-driving charge, Glenn Roeder's been uncharacteristically vocal in expressing his irritation over the loan deal that took Shola Ameobi to Stoke: "Lee Clark was told a couple of months ago that first of all Allardyce was not going to loan him then Keegan wasn't going to loan him, but Lee had an agreement with one of the senior coaches that if he was going to go anywhere we'd get a phone call. We never got a phone call, which disappoints me greatly, because I wouldn't do that because I don't break promises. I found out through the back door that Stoke were going to try and sign him on loan until the end of the season and I chased Dennis Wise until I got him on the phone".

And when he did finally get Wise on the phone, what he was told had the unmistakeable smell of bullshit: "If he is telling me the truth, Stoke have paid an incredible amount of money for a short period of time that is attached to potentially a £5m transfer deal". £5m for Shola?! We'd probably all be happy with a fifth of that...

Lastly, spare a thought too for another disgruntled ex-Newcastle manager, albeit one who took charge for only a handful of games as caretaker. Nigel Pearson's Southampton have slipped into the relegation zone, and are up against league leaders Bristol City in their next game...


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