January 2007 Archives
He's big, he looks hard and he looks like he'll take no grief from anybody.
And if he stops United conceding sloppy goals it can only be a good thing, right?
Welcome aboard Oguchi Onyewu.
The big American defender arrives at 24 as one of Standard Liege's best players but nobody can get too excited by that can they?
After all the Belgian League is hardly Serie A.
But move on we must.
Newcastle United may not have signed any big names during the transfer window so far but the re-emergence of Damien Duff will be like, as we are sure to hear soon by pundits far and wide, signing a new player for Glenn Roeder.
Since Duff arrived from Chelsea in the summer the Irish winger has only shown us glimpses of what he can do.
Duff has yet to find his best form and like many others this season the only thing he's come across so far is injury woe.
But are we about to see exactly why he is rated so highly throughout the football world?
Injuries at football clubs are supposed to come and go aren't they?
Well, not in Newcastle United's case and certainly not in the case of Shay Given.
True, they do come and go but that doesn't mean to say certain players won't suddenly pick up a different injury in a different place.
And why not chuck in a nice twist of irony as well?
That's twice our top stopper has been hurt against the Hammers!
It's funny the things you tell yourself to feel better after games like West Ham.
Obviously things could have been a lot worse after going 2-0 down before the first half an hour.
So it was no surprise to see, "It was a point gained in the circumstances" rolled out by many of the fans.
And although West Ham scored their first away goal for just over 15 hours a lot of people had to subscribe to this theory due to a spirited fightback.
But was this not very much a case of two points dropped?
Humiliating, demoralising, gut-wrenching, shocking, awful, heartbreaking and desperately disappointing.
Those are just some of the words to describe Newcastle UnitedÃ¢ÂÂs painful 5-1 hammering against Championship side Birmingham City.
I mean, where did that come from?
We knew it wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt be a cakewalk but 5-1? Howay man!
Is it just me or do you really want to see certain senior players back in the team at the expense of Newcastle United's super young guns?
They will get their chance against Birmingham in the FA Cup once more and there aren't too many Geordies complaining.
The kids have done fantastic since they come in but with Stephen Carr, Celestine Babayaro, Craig Moore and Titus Bramble all to come back, Glenn Roeder will have decisions to make when it comes to his team selection.
Like kids in all walks of life the likes of Paul Huntington, David Edgar and Matty Pattison have all put in solid but not, at times, perfect performances.
The same can be said for Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage.
However does it seem that long ago since the likes of Bramble, Babayaro and Carr were all being slated for the similar mistakes?
He didn't look like he gave a monkeys when he returned to Newcastle in the summer after a depressing season on loan with relegated Birmingham.
And even though Glenn Roeder welcomed him back with open arms, something wasn't quite right.
Could Nicky Butt ever be the player he was for Manchester United again?
The answer now is turning out to be yes, with the performance against Tottenham big proof that Butty is back and loving football again.
Not since Jermaine Jenas - now with Spurs - fired home a last minute winner in North London have Newcastle got the better of Tottenham in their own backyard.
United have certainly had their moments at White Hart Lane in their Premiership years but none of them coming in the last three visits.
No goals, no points, no wins and a broken foot for Michael Owen is all United have to show for their efforts since 2003 and with another patched up squad heading for the capital it wouldn't be a surprise if that pain continued.
It was bound to do the rounds the minute Real Madrid said that David Beckham's future won't be in Spain.
And now with a lucrative move to LA Galaxy sealed, dreams of Beckham in black and white have faded.
Becks, Posh Spice and the kids won't be shopping in the Grainger Market at any point, unless they run seriously short of lighters, biros or pipe cleaning products or take a serious wrong turn on their way to Harrods!
I've got nothing against the Grainger Market and I am sure Becks hasn't either but the truth is the Toon were not interested in the former England captain - and on those wages they couldn't afford him.
He might have been a dream for headline writers everywhere but Albert Luque's nightmare stint on Tyneside could be about to grind to a shuddering halt.
United didn't get much change from ÃÂ£10million when they snapped him up from Deportivo la Coruna in the summer of 2005 but there was plenty hope that Luque would do the business in the Premiership after notching a half century of goals in Spain's La Liga.
But it never worked out that way did it?