Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Wednesday February 13 2008
To think that just two or three years ago it was Newcastle who were in pole position for snatching players from Tottenham`s grasp. Fast forward to the present and it looks practically certain that Charles N`Zogbia will be joining David Ginola, Kevin Scott and Ruel Fox on the well worn route from SJP down to WHL.
The lad is obviously unhappy with something, probably our crap league position, as he has been called up and played regularly by France under 21s, is well paid after signing a new five year deal in the summer and plays every week for NUFC, albeit at left back.
The press reports seem to suggest his mother and sister have based themselves in the UK following the death of his father and now young Chuck wants to be down with them, just like Nobby wanted to head to West Ham to be near his family. Arsenal remain keen but it seems more likely Spuds will want him to replace the ineffective Tainio.
Obviously French left winger syndrome has well and truly kicked in with him, joining other Gallic gimps such as Bernard, Goma, Dumas, Ginola, Robert and Domi as whingers when things aren`t going all their own way. I`d love to keep him at the club but his head and heart are almost certainly somewhere over Grantham at the moment, prior to arriving at Kings Cross. KK has spoken out, aiming to keep him but telling us to expect the worse:
"The best way to get people to commit to a club is to convince them that there isn`t a better club out there for them. He`s just signed a new contract, but if he`s really homesick and wants to go, there isn`t much we can do. All we will do is try and convince him that if he leaves he will miss out on something.
Players are scared of jumping off a big ship on to a littler one, they hate the idea of missing out on something. If, at the end of the day, he still says he doesn`t want to be here, and he`s not saying that at this stage, then we will have to consider what to do in the summer.
At the moment we are pretty open minded. He said his family are in London and he wants to be closer to them, but it is our job to try and keep our best players. I personally don`t think he will leave for a better club if he does go. There might be one who are above us in the league at the moment, but there isn`t one with the potential this club has.
He`s definitely a talent, he can go past people and he can excite the crowd, but he`s by no means the finished article.
But fans love those sorts of players, who in one movement can go past two or three people with a little shift of the feet or with a burst of pace. Rest assured we will do what we can, but if he says he doesn`t want to be here, we have to accept that and bring someone better in.
Charles N`Zogbia has been compared to David Ginola, but Ginola was 29 when he came, he was very experienced. The reason he came was because he was guilty of giving the ball away on the halfway line and the other team scored and knocked France out of the World Cup.
He was never forgiven for that by the French people so we brought him to Newcastle. I think Charlie`s got a lot of ability but it`s off the cuff at the moment, he`s still learning the game, but you expect that from someone so young. He`s only 21 and he hasn`t got David`s experience yet."
Hardly encouraging words from Kev but in this era of player power it`s only to be expected.
Date:Wednesday February 13 2008
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