I was having this discussion with Marktoon in the pub the other night, mainly because I caught a couple of people talking about it on here.
Basically it was a discussion about players who have left Newcastle United, and of those players, which ones have gone on to bigger and better things.
To be honest it was a remarkably hard question to answer as I couldn’t think of many, plus there are many definitions when it comes to trying to ascertain just what bigger and better things are. Whether it’s more money, more trophies, playing for a bigger team or how you view any of them will determine the answers, so other people may basically say that one player has gone on to better things due to a larger paycheck while someone else may say that the same players hasn’t as he personally has done nothing with his career.
You see what I mean? It really is a hard one, but lets try and see just who people think has gone onto better things after leaving United.
The one that springs to mind is Scott Parker. the media favourite is now a starting fixture in the Tottenham side, but lets not forget he went to West Ham and was part of a team that got them relegated first. Yes he’s one on to greater things, but it’s been a roundabout way of doing it.
James Milner I suppose you could say has gone on to greater things, if you class a bench warming role at Manchester City that. I’m sure his bank balance has increased, but I can’t help but feel that he is over-rated. People will point towards that season at Aston Villa where he scored a load of goals, but the vast majority of them were penalties lets not forget.
Shay Given left and went to Manchester City before doing the reverse of James Milner and ending up and Aston Villa. He is now a goalkeeper of a mid-table team at best. Has he gone on to greater things?
How about Charles N’Zogbia, now at Aston Villa after a spell at Wigan? He sulked away from us, and Wigan, and now he is doing much the same at Villa. He never quite made it to Arsenal then? has he gone on to better things?
You see my point? Not many players who leave United go on to better things. They may earn more cash and have a bigger bank balance or another Ferrari as a result, but on a professional level they never really seem to replicate the kind of level of performance level of playing that they reached with us, barring a couple of exceptions.
Perhaps a sobering thought or those players who have even half a thought of cashing in their chips and moving on to “better” things?