Despite only selling one player so far, one website described it as a “mass exodus” which apparently “looks set to continue”. Perhaps you think that the departure of King Kev II, is another example of a player leaving to do great things for another team (e.g. Giussepe Rossi, Jon Dahl Tomasson).
The truth is that many players who left to much rancour amongst the fan base have shown that life after the Gallowgate is not so great. Here are ten players from the last ten years who have given me reason to think that losing the likes of Kevin Nolan shouldn’t be mourned too vehemently.
Hugo Viana – The Portuguese “whizzkid” was supposed to bring skill and technical brilliance to our midfield when Sir Bobby shelled out €12 million to bring him from Sporting Lisbon in 2002. He thoroughly underwhelmed despite being not bad with the ball at his feet.
After two years and 39 appearances we decided to loan him back to Sporting in 2004/05 where he almost matched his record of Newcastle appearances in a season, but Sporting couldn’t be persuaded to take him for £1.5 million and thus he went to Valencia for not very much, if anything at al in fact.
They subsequently found him to be a bit crap and loaned him round the Iberian peninsula until Braga became his current home. Rather amazingly he has been to two World Cups in the same teams as Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, and has a third place medal, which is more than any England footballer has musterted in the last 40 years!
Jonathan Woodgate – Woody arrived from Leeds for a whopping fee of £9 million smackers. A known racist thug convicted for wailing on some Asian fella (sorry don’t remember the guy’s name or even nationality) with fellow Toon underperformer and future on pitch scrapper Lee Bowyer, he was very much the fore-runner of a certain Mr. Barton.
He was actually brilliant on the pitch. which was not frequently enough, and even less frequently for Real Madrid and Spurs via a reasonably fit run at Middlesbrough. Spurs have released him after paying him extortionate wages for someone who basically lies on a treatment table for most of the season.
Michael Chopra – Chopra was supposed to become the player that Andy Carroll almost did. Often touted as the next Alan Shearer in his youth, his crowning glory was scoring against 5under1and and then missing a sitter for them while later wearing their colours. That feat earned him the nickname “agent Chopra” round these parts. Now plying his trade for annual play-off bottlers Cardiff, he remains, well, crap.
Jermaine Jenas – Many thought his arrival from Nottingham Forest was shrewd business from Uncle Bobby for around £5 million. He flattered to deceive many, and when things were going badly he claimed that being round the Toon was like being in a goldfish bowl. He joined the Spuds and now can be seen warming their bench real good, as he has lots of practice at it. He is probably destined for pastures new in either the lower half of the Premier League or the higher echelons of the Championship. He did bear a striking resemblance to…
Kieron Dyer – And you thought that Woody would be the most injury prone player on the list. Dyer had electrifying pace and no small amount of skill. Many thought career rejuvenation was due at West Sham and that the Toon would rue selling him. Two words come to mind. Dodged and bullet. An expensive, gold-plated bullet at that.
James Milner – Milner looked to have been the one that got away last year as he became an England regular under the tutelage of Martin O’Neill. Unfortunately he’s now gone the way of Gareth Barry. He is currently on massive wages for mediocre football at Man City.
Craig Bellamy – After falling out with Graeme Souness (who was in the Ruud Gullet class of terrible Toon managers) he was shipped off to Celtic on loan. He spent most of his time mouthing off in Glasgea and told one opposition player during a cup match that “he’d be cutting his grass this summer”.
Despite brief but promising spells at West Sham (boy we’ve sold them some crap!) and Blackburn, he is currently in exile from Man City having been fairly average in a league where Marlon Harewood scored goals for fun.
Shay Given – The sale of Shay hurt me. He was a legend at this club and had been regularly touted as the best goalie in the league whilst at Newcastle. That he’s warming the bench of Man City is an atrocity, but is also a warning to Jose Enrique when it comes to thinking that the grass may be greener elsewhere. His appearance on the bench of the FA Cup final however represents the only silverware for anyone on this list apart from…
Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian 54-year-old teen sensation was brought by Glen Roeder who actually had a fairly good record as Toon manager, with no other incumbent having finished higher in the league since his dismissal.
Martins’ was the epitome of Roeder’s side. Massively inconsistent, Ameobi like some may say. He was shipped off to Wolfsburg after relegation, where he couldn’t get a game ahead of Grafite and Edin Dzeko and he’s not even good enough for some Russian team you’ve only heard of because they bought Obafemi (Rubin Kazan).
He was loaned to Birmingham for a 2 minute glory-filled appearance in the League Cup final but has now been shipped back to Russia following their subsequent relegation – his second in as many seasons in England.
Sebastian Bassong – Don’t believe the hype of the Gallowgate is the message of this article. Too late for Seb to learn that now. He can’t even get a game at Spuds despite Ledley King and Woody being in ICU for almost a year. We all thought he was a great loss and we were lumbered with Fabricio Coloccini in the Championship. How things change……
So who have I missed? Who else did the Toon sell that you thought were going to come back to bite us, but turned out to be toothless? I could have added a lot of names to this list myself, but thought it was long winded enough.
Or maybe you think King Kev II will come up trumps for the Irons. Please try and tell me why you think this could happen?
Note from Toonsy: Thanks to Michael82 for submitting this article. I usually despise top ten lists (pet hate of mine) but I have to admit this one makes a cracking point! « View from the away end- Liverpool. | Benny keen to don the number 9 shirt? »