Come in number 7 - but your time might not be up just yet!

By Lee Ryder on Jun 23, 07 09:31 AM

Albert LuqueIf Albert Luque, he's the £9.5million Spanish misfit/flop/waste of money we paid Deportivo la Coruna the Earth for two years ago in case you’d forgot, starts this pre-season the same way he started the last one, we could be in for an unexpected surprise.

Luque’s career under Graeme Souness never really started well after the Spanish international picked up an injury early on in his time in Toon.

And by the time he got back to full fitness Newcastle were heading for the Championship and Souness was heading for the dole office!

Fresh start under Glenn Roeder then?

Not likely, Glenn and Alberto just didn’t hit it off and by the end of Roeder’s time at St James’ Park they weren’t even doing eye contact, let alone speaking terms!

But you’ve got to be in it to win it in football and Luque still somehow has one finger on the edge of the cliff.

He has lost his shirt to Joey Barton but that doesn’t seem like the end.

Because Sam Allardyce has kindly offered to review the Luque situation and somehow try to rediscover the player that once yielded over 50 goals in Spain’s La Liga.

Many might say good luck Big Sam, but if the guy can somehow revive the careers of rebels like El Hadji Diouf, Kevin Davies or Super Nik Anelka, Luque will probably seem like a cakewalk for the new Toon boss.

And he wouldn’t be the first player to come back from the dead after losing the number 7 shirt on Tyneside.

Ask Rob Lee!

Back then the number 7 was famously handed to Kieron Dyer and Lee wasn’t even given a squad number.

However, when Steve Clarke handed him number 37, suddenly the Rob Lee wonder years were back and the player eventually won back his original shirt number.

Luque has work to do but he returned back last season refreshed and with a point to prove to Roeder and did so by scoring a wonderful goal against Lillestrom.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough to win his place back in the side on a permanent basis and no where near enough to win over Glenn, even though a good strike in the 1-0 win in Palermo of all places showed he still had goals in him.
Luque often told this writer that all he wanted was a run in the team at Newcastle.

But that never arrived even though the team suffered its worse ever injury crisis during a torrid season.

Of course we’ve all had plenty to say about Luque in the past, but we all know he’s proved he can score at the top, top level in Spain.

It looked like PSV might take a chance on Luque but when United failed to attract a single attacker during the January transfer window, there was no way Roeder could afford to lighten an already paper thin squad.

Big Sam takes on a huge challenge in trying to sort Luque’s head out and get him into goalscoring nick once again.

Yet looking at the work of the ex-Bolton boss at the Reebok, if any one can, it’s got to be Big Sam.


Adam said:

Howay Albert son! I really hope Sam gets Luque back to his best. But let's remember Lee - Luque is as much a provider of goals as a scorer. And one thing in his favour is that his natural position is in Allardyce's favoured 4-5-1 formation, wide of the striker. Maybe this season will be third time Luque....!!!

Gary Hall said:

"The Luque Situation" is intriguing. He came to Newcastle with a great reputation but this has been utterly ruined to the extent that he is now a mockery almost on a par with Titus Bramble.

Weirdly, this has happened despite barely kicking a ball over the last two years. As far as I could tell from seeing him in the few games he played in, Luque's biggest crime is having lost a yard or two of pace. Other than that, on paper at least, he should be a very useful player.

He is versatile - able to play on the left wing, up front and even "inside left" midfield.

He has technical ability - he scored an absolutely sublime overhead kick for Depor.

He has heart - who can honestly say they didn't feel a bit sorry for the lad when he clasped his hands together, pleading for us to accept him.

He scores goals - he does, honestly. Give him a chance and he can poach like a good un.

I suggest everyone looks on YouTube for his goals in Spain. Albert Luque *can* play football. Give him a chance!

Adam said:

If he can inspire Luque, then it would really feel like signing a brand new player. I'm not at all convinced about the quality of Luque, but Mourinho rates him highly so that might be a good sign. I'd just like most of our squad to be given a chance.
Right now though, the most important thing is that defenders sign...starting with Rosenhal hopefully.

vinny said:

shepherd out!

joal said:

luque was one hell of a player while in spain...create score..he cud do both...thought he's lookin lost at st james ...if sam does get him back to his best then we hav a player whos really good on his won't e havin as many injuries as owen also...

Dave B said:

Having Luque playing well would be good, but personally I'm more concerned about getting N'Zogbia injury free and back playing at his best on the left

john burnside said:

I agree entirely about Charlie. He just wasn't there last season. I wonder if it's because he was 'demoted' when (the largely ineffectual) Duff arrived; on the other hand, when he had his chance, he didn't take it. The attitude seems to have gone.

Agree 100% about Shola too. There's undoubted talent which has occasionally risen to the surface, but on the whole, he's been ineffectual for far too long and wouldn't command a place in the starting line-up of most top-flight clubs. Why we persist with him (and we have done over several managers) is beyond me. When we bring a forward off the bench, we want someone who will damage the opposition.

As for Luque: well, the talent's there but I'm not sure the mental strength is and some of his more petulant displays towards the bench and the fans would suggest he doesn't want to be here and simply won't perform. Again, if you bring a player in his position off the bench, he should be primed.

simon grier said:

why does NUFC,s official site only show 37 premier league games? arsenal is missing

Kirk Floyd said:

I feel that Luque if he got a run in the team would show us what he is really about. After i saw him play for deportivo i was excited when we signed him but unfortunately he has never really kicked off his newcastle career. Also i think after he scored against lillestrom he showed us what he could do but glenn decided for whatever reasons not to play him which i think was poor managerment from Roeder as i feel he could be a quality player for newcastle united


Hi Lee.When I first saw Luque in a black and white shirt I thought we had made a 10 million pound blunder,he lacked pace and power was very slow in his general perception {or was the premiership too fast? } and looked way out of his depth. This was against Man U. at home if I remember corectly, then he produced a sublime bit of skill by chipping the ball over the head of Rio Ferdinand and peeled a low shot which went just wide of the post. The chap has undoubted ball skills and there is a great vision there in his head,but he has to start showing more than he did last year. I think he has it in him,but he must adjust to premiership pace and has to realise that if the mountain wont come to mohammed then mohammed must go to the mountain. The ball is as they say in his court. Iwatched an interview on him on Spanish television and he seemed very passionate about winning his place and doing well for United and projected a good professional attitude { pity some of his team mates last year and currently did not show the same passion for the black and white shirt-- notably a certain MO when currently a statement of intent to the fans would not go amiss. I think Luque deserves a chance and we will give him all the support under the sun. Hats off to Sam if he can make Luque realise he can perform. Roeder should be shot for the way he treated the lad. Howay the lads.

Ronnie Lambert said:

Hey Lee, I just wrote a scathing sarcastic letter to you about Luque, it was my sincere opinion when I wrote it. But, prompted by a recomendation from Gary Hall on your page, I U-Tubed Luque, and wow. One film summed it up by saying, '' ...form is only temporary, but skill remains.'' I've never done such a quick u-turn since a mate told me that the lad I'd offered out after school was the hardest kid in his previous school. Phew, his goalscoring ability is quite phenomenal, not the hard-lad, Albert. Boy if Sam can get the same out of him as I watched from his Deportivo days it will be like acquiring a very top-notch international striker. Here's hoping, I'm dead sorry Luque son, give it another go.

oxboy said:

Dear me how.

Don't get excited Luque lovers. Allardyce simply has bigger fish to fry at the moment. I'm sure if Tesco's approach him when they are short of trolley dollies Luque will be on his way.......... out!

matt said:

IF luque can be revived, big sam'll do it.

get owen out of here, he's worthless, he's heartless, and he's without passion.

Luque actually cares about this club

Anonymous said:

roeder had no intention of giving luque a chance, he played him to prove that he wasn't good enough, and because he scored he dropped him. He then played him in the reserves, but he then scored to 30 yard goals, and then never played for the reserves again.
this shows that roeder never had any intention of giving him a chance


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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