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The case of Stéphane Guivarc'h...

By Lee Ryder on Jun 12, 08 06:14 PM

It's always easy to get swept away by tournament football but flapping over players Newcastle should be signing from Euro 2008 could prove to be a pointless exercise, I mean ask anybody who watched Stephane Guivarc'h.

Let's be honest United's summer of wheeling and dealing is likely to start as the Euros draw to a close, KK is back behind his desk and the countdown to the new season is officially under way.

Certain people jumped up and down and got excited about signing Arda Turan but most Toon fans won't be getting excited about that, even if the Turk is eventually contacted by Newcastle over a possible move.

After all those same Toon fans have lived through an era where Newcastle went one better than signing a player off the back of a major tournament - they signed one off the front of a major tournament in Guivarc'h.

The player banged them in for Auxerre all right!

But the minute he was announced as a Toon player during World Cup 98, the French striker fell to pieces.

France won the tournament of course but the player picked up his medal with a red face after failing to hit a barn door during the tournament.

Newcastle fans couldn't wait after that!

And despite his five month stay in the Toon the player managed to go through TWO managers in that time before being shipped off to Rangers and then going back to France.

The record books show he did score one in his handful of appearances in black and white but only a consolation in the 4-1 loss to Liverpool at the start of the Gullit era, what a fine memory.

So while you are trying to avoid Big Brother by watching Euro 2008 remember the grass of Austria and Switzerland may seem greener than it is on Tyneside.

Be warned, there's a whole list of other major tournament flops if you dust off the covers too.

SHOULD UNITED SIGN ANYBODY FROM EURO 2008?

32 Comments

Dan said:

Its this type of blog which is holding Newcastle back....

Your all bloody obsessed with players being flops...You wouldn't see any other club in the world with a blog like this!

Yes we have had some flops, We all know that...But bringing it up 10 times every transfer window is not gonna let us forget about it!

If someone is good enough then they are good enough...If a player can't settle in England then it is because they are not good enough!

If I here Guivarch, Marcelino or the word flop one more time then I'm gonna bloody scream!

Ryder's reply: Given that the Blog is approaching it's two year birthday and we've only had four transfer deadlines, I think you need to calm down! Surely Blog on The Tyne isn't the reason why we haven't won a trophy since 1969! I wasn't even born then and nor was the internet!

STEVE said:

I wouldnt mind a player to come in to even be considered a flop!

Paul Patterson said:

Give that Dan a medal,- It’s the Blog to blame- I always thought it was, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

It was the blog that bought Guivarch for £4m and Marcelino for £6m, then went out and bought Carl Cort for £7m, Bassedas for £5m, Boumsong for £8m, Faye for £3m, Andersson for £4m, Smith and Barton for £12m, Luque for £10m and Duff for £5m, thank you Blog on the Tyne.

Guivarch will always go down as the ultimate panic buy won’t he, I bet the club thought, Excellent, a player with a World Cup medal and gaelic flair, lets nab him and he’s cheap as well.

Well cheap usually translates to awful, he’s a player who doesn’t even conjure up a memory of being awful, simply because he didn’t stay long enough to show us how awful he could have been.

Signing from abroad is a complete no-no, I’ve seen players so far in Euro 2008, that has made me go ‘Oooh, nice touch’ and ‘Nice skill’ but that doesn’t mean we should drop £6m on the fella.

I like the Czech’s and I like the Croats, but that doesn’t mean they would fit into the Premier league style of football, they probably wouldn’t, so buying them for over inflated fee’s simply because they have been involved in the tournament would be stupid.

We will probably buy at least one flop in the summer, especially if the club persist with the cost cutting policy. But never the less, it will probably be Blog on the Tyne’s fault so don’t worry.

On a lighter note, The BBC’s Alan Hansen has just made me crease myself- he stated, after Poland’s poor defensive showing against Austria,- ‘ . . .And I thought the Polish defended poorly against the Germans . . .’- a classic pundits comment if ever I’ve heard one.

Paul.

Dave Emmerson said:

I can see the point of this blog, basically its telling us not to get too excited about any player who is having a brilliant euro or even playing brilliant in another country. It is a different ball game playing week in and out in the premier. We arn't the only team that has signed flops. I think most teams in the premiership has.

Hepstyle said:

I don't know why we didn't act quicker to sign quality footballers. Everyone is watching the tournament closely, but any shining stars will end up in the middle of bidding wars that Ashley may not be intent upon winning. And after having players snatched from under our noses (woodgate and modric by Sp*rs alone), I just can't understand why Ashley and Keegan aren't being more aggressive in their approach.

JP...from The Rock of Gibraltar said:

Ohhh yeahh Stephane Guivarc'h...oh the painfull memories, it's all coming back to me now lol..remember Andreas Andersson!! lolol I don't know who's worse! We better sign good this year and it will be tough being out of UEFA of course. The fu££ing Spurs will be our biggest competition next season.

STEVE said:

I wouldnt mind a player to come in to even be considered a flop!

JAYS said:

WE SHOULD HAVE SUED STEPHANE GUIVARCH UNDER THE TRADE DESCRIPTIONS ACT, AS FAR AS MY KNOWLEDGE GOES THERE IS NO WAY ON EARTH HE COULD HAVE BEEN A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER, HE COULDNT PASS HEAD CROSS OR STRIKE A FOOTBALL WITH ANY SKILL WHATSOEVER. HE WAS ONE OF THE WORST PLAYERS I HAVE EVER WITNESSED IN A BLACK AND WHITE SHIRT AND HE HAD NO PACE. I AGREE JUST BECAUSE A PLAYER HAS A GREAT EURO UNLESS THAT PLAYER IS OBVIOUSLY WORLD CLASS NEWCASTLE SHOULDNT LOOK TO SIGN THE PLAYER UNLESS OUR TECHNICAL COORDINATORS HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO HAVE A LOOK AT HIM. ANYWAY WHY SHOULD WE WAIT UNTIL THE TOURNAMENT BEFORE WE START SIGNING PLAYERS WE SHOULD HAVE 2 OR 3 IN THE BAG ALREADY JUST LOOK AT SPURS THEYVE GOT THE RIGHT IDEA NOT ONLY HAVE THEY GOT THE PLAYERS IN EARLY ENOUGH FOR PRE-SEASON BUT MODRIC AND DOS SANTOS ARE POTENTIALLY WORLD CLASS PLAYERS ITS ALL JUST A QUESTION OF HOW THEY ADAPT TO LIFE IN ENGLAND AND THE PREMIERSHIP WHICH WILL BE TOUGHER THAN WHAT THEY ARE USED TO. YOU HAVE GOT TO COMMEND NEWCASTLES APPROACH OF SIGNING YOUNG STARS OF THE FUTURE BUT I JUST WISH BIG MIKE WOULD LOOSEN THE PURSE STRINGS AND ALLOW KEEGAN TO SIGN THE PLAYERS HE WOULD LIKE MOST BECAUSE YOU CANNOT FAULT KEEGANS JUDGEMENT OF A PLAYER. I REMEMBER WHEN WE SIGNED THE SPANISH CARTHORSE LUQUE,JOSE MOURINHO THE SPECIAL ONE HIMSELF SAID JUST WHAT A GOOD PLAYER NEWCASTLE HAD SIGNED,HOW WHERE WE TO KNOW HE DIDNT POSSESS A BACKBONE. WITH A COMBINATION OF KEEGANS JUDGEMENT AND GOOD LUCK WE COULD HAVE A HALF DECENT SIDE NEXT SEASON. AS FOR ALAN HANSEN HES HAD SHEARER IN HYSTERICS STATING LAST NIGHT " AND I THOUGHT THE POLISH DEFENDED POORLY AGAINST THE AUSTRIANS BUT JOP HAS COME IN AND MADE IT TEN TIMES WORSE!" HE DOESNT HALF KNOW HOW TO SLAG OFF A DEFENCE AND KNOCK A LADS CONFIDENCE.

Jon Carver said:

Are we forgetting another flop in Jon Dahl Thommasson ?
Pre season he he was extremely exciting then seriously couldnt hit a barn door til his backside done the trick and we offloaded him.
At the time of all the purchases (with the possible exception of Cort) most toon fans welcomed the signatures. Are we also forgetting some of the fantastic buys we made. Shearer, Beardsley, Lee, Given, Asprilla (jury out on this one) Ginola, Cole, Speed and Albert and I m sure there are a few more.
Taking a look at the list and you ll see that the high majority of good buys were made by KK and not one of the bad ones.
Going by this our man doesnt have a bad record.

parag said:

has anyone wondered why Newcastle of all clubs has got such a disproportionately large slice of all the EPL flops?

The Giuvarch case in point, Lee you yourself mention that in five months he saw two managers! Luque (i think) worker under three managers! For someone coming from a different country and league, these probably weren't the best situations for them to settle. I would argue that rather than buying FLOPs, Newcaste convert these players into FLOPs through an unbelieveable lack of stability, and poor coaching.

I am a Newcastle fan, but I think it's time the Club takes its share of the blame for foreign imports not doing so well. New players need to know their roles in the team. But with the ever-changing management at the club....is it any wonder that players (foreign or home-grown)have failed to live up to their potential?

halfmanhalfkeebab said:

I think you will probably find that the deal to sign Stephane Guivarc'h was done BEFORE that particular tournament started but having said this, why on earth did Newcastle not pull out after they saw what they would be getting? He was chronic!!

Ryder's reply: The article states that Newcastle signed SG on the front of a major tournament

Alex said:

To be fair Lee, I think toon fans should finally be forgiven for an interest in signing Euro players.

Unlike previous eras we now (according to the current regime) have a network of scouts that have been heavily invested in to get us top european players.

Surely its time for the made up titles of Wise, Vettere and co. to stop any Guivarch's coming to Tyneside and fulfill their roles at St James', coz i dont know what else they're here for.

Duncan Baines said:

I think Dan is right, many fans have an obsession with 'flops' at Newcastle - Marcelino, Tommasson, Viana, Cordone etc.

I think it's fair to say we have a lot more 'flops' than Arsenal and rarely get the best out of our players. However, Arsenal would never buy anyone as bad as Smith, Duff, Bowyer in the first place!

M. Sebastian T. said:

My hope is that Toon make no signings at all this summer. Instead they need to start getting some performances out of the players they already have on their books. The problem with Toon is not lack of good players. It is inability to get them to play well for the club. Better coaching and management is priority number 1.

Also, related to Lee's reply to Dan, he says toon last won a trophy in 1969. However the Fairs Cup was not a serious competition (basically to qualify all a team had to do was come from an unrepresented city and I think they qualified finishing 13th or 14th!). Perhaps we should be proclaiming the last greatness as winning the also defunct Anglo-Italian Cup in 1973. Truth is that the last win to actually get excited about was in 1955, but even that was a competion now heading towards being a minor event. Perhaps the last time greatness existed here was in 1927.

Let's get serious about what to expect and let's demand better performance from management and staff rather than new players.

STEVE said:

TO M SEBASTIAN T, the fairs cup wasnt a serious competition,yet in 1970 when arsenal won it, they did and still do regard it as a part of a double.Also,"my hope is that the toon make no signings at all this summer"!!!!!!! if this happens...WE WILL BE RELEGATED...

BRIAN of Durham said:

I always wonder why we watch players in these international matches,then decide if we sign them or not based on those showings. Surely the much discussed scouting teams we now have, should be watching players playing for their clubs, week in week out, that shows their true ability over a season.After all, based on international outings, would anyone sign any English players???

Bert Shaft said:

"However the Fairs Cup was not a serious competition"
Tell that to Glasgow Rangers fans who came up to Tyneside

"and I think they qualified finishing 13th or 14th!"

Your lack of knowledge and ignorance about true facts is astounding!!!!

I will give you the benefit of doubt
that you are either confusing The Fairs Cup with the Intertoto Cup or that you are a mackem wum.
Either way, you come across like a berk! :D

Ronnie Lambert said:

A few weeks ago, on the same subject of who we should buy, I suggested Bafetimbi Gomis and Moutinho after watching them on youtube. Fair enough, you could put together a decent little tape of Shola's greatest goals if you used every single on-field success in his whole tenure here. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea for his agent to do that. He might get snapped up by one of those slower playing continental teams. But on watching this pair so far, they wouldn't get our pulses racing. Deco on the other hand, even at the age of 31 I think would be great as a schemer, but ' could ' we get him? I think not, as Chelsea, Spurs etc. would be a greater temptation for him to end his career with. I'm seriously beginning to agree that building from new foundations of talented home-grown youngsters is not only a sensible idea, but quite probably the only option we might have in this present climate of uncertainty about Ashley's intentions. To think, I got totally swept away with his and Mort's ' apparent ' enthusiasm for the Toon and it's natives, Sam's £50 million war-chest etc. To say that supporting Newcastle United is a rollercoaster ride, is the biggest understatement of all time.

Jimmy said:

I agree with M.sebastian.t, we havent got a terrible first eleven we should concentrate on getting them playing out of their skin for 38 games. once milner is fit on the right vid,oba,mowen all ready to go. back four was improving every game why do we need to fly out and buy another lot of rubbish like we have done before. i understand our squad is thin compared to the rest of the leauge but if we can get a couple of good quality additions by pre-season which i am sure we will why worry about hoardes of players coming in. I have all my faith in KK he doesnt often sign rubbish so he isnt gonna start now. as for players in euro 2008 while they may look good on tv, playing in the premiership is a different kettle of fish and watchin modric in the first game for croatia he was very quiet apart from the pen... Lets just wait anxiously and watch this space...

harpo said:

All those years of hurt, all those years of frustration. More False dawns than a French & Saunders lookalike competition but a last we know where to lay the blame.

Lee Ryder and this blog.

You should be ashamed. It's been you all along, I've blamed Gypsies, Bill McGary, Lord Westwood, Stan Seynour jnr, Freddy Shepherd and Bobby Shinton.

Hang your head in shame man.

G Forrest said:

"My hope is that Toon make no signings at all this summer."

My hope is that this crackpot is a mackem troll on the windup and not a Toon fan.
The anti Inter Cities fairs Cup rhetoric he spouts though suggests to me that he is a two headed smoggy mutant!

paul said:

SURE WE'VE HAD PLENTY FLOPS OVER THE YAERS NOT JUST IN RECENT TIMES EITHER. REMEMBER JOHN ROBERTSON, ANDY THORN, DAVE BEASANT, BILLY WHITEHURST, TONY CUNNINGHAM TO NAME BUT A FEW FROM THE PAST. FLOPS NOWADAYS COME UNDER MORE SCRUTINY BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SPENT ON THEM. SURE ENOUGH THE CONSTANT CHANGING OF MANAGERS AND BACKROOM STAFF ADDS TO THE PROBLEM. THIS IS WHY WE DESPERATELY NEED STABILITY WHICH ENABLES THE MANAGER AND HIS SCOUTING TEAM TO TAKE TIME IN IDENTIFYING SUITABLE TRANSFER TARGETS FOR THE STYLE OF PLAY WE ASPIRE TO. I HOPE EVERYONE RELAXES AND TRUSTS THE NEW SYSTEM REGARDING OUR TRANSFER POLICY IN SOURCING OUT NEW YOUNG TALENT, BECAUSE IT IS SURELY A BETTER OPTION THAN IN THE SHEPERD ERA WHERE WE SQUANDERED MILLIONS BECAUSE OF POOR TRANSFER POLICY. ARDA TURAN WAS IDENTIFIED BY OUR SCOUTING TEAM BEFORE EURO 2008 AND LOOKED A REAL PLAYER THE OTHER NIGHT, IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW HE PROGRESSES.

Charles said:

I usually wont do this, but I decide to put a simple comment here today.

Whether or not Turan and the others lands on the magpies, I wouldnt worry much nor do I care. I think they probably wont, because Ashley will not offer any wages higher than 15,000 a week.

Not to say that amount is low, I just cant see any quality to take that ridiculous amount as pay. Even the lowest form of quality expects at LEAST 50,000 a week. Take A.Smith for example, a total flop from the other side of Mars but made more money in a week than me working for a year. We pay him 60,000 a week and no one's ranting about his wages. (Wonder why?)

And as for Milner...Poor lad, wants to play but either he takes a short dip, or he leaves. How could we abandon one of our most consistent young players for over-rated superstars like Geremi, A.Smith, etc, is really beyond me. I mean, I dont care if Milner's worth 15M, its just not worth it selling him. If you think its wise, then I'd better start fasting and practice my mob speeches.

Ashley, you're the owner and I dare say even Shepherd puts more money than you. The debts are high, but even more so if you dump talent for money. First, Owen's wages to be cut by 20,000 pounds, then its sign or die for Barton, then Milner for auction sale, real cheap, what next? Maybe Martins, take a 10,000 cut, or turn back the No.9 shirt. I dont see this things happening to like of A.Smith and company. Even now, I heard you are demanding that the players buy their own kit for each match, COME ON! You're not serious are you?

A word of advice to the supporters, if Mike wont cut the stupid 'safe Newcastle United's fund' rule, then better start getting drunk every match so you wont start a rebellion instead.

I'm serious. If you dont stop, no player will be bought this season except for youngsters who accepts 10,000 a week's pay. Ever heard of investing now, get pay later?

dexter cousins said:

Is it not a coincincidence that almost all players were bought under the FFS era? Sounness famously said there was only one person making the decisions on who came to the club.

Last season we made some decent buys and with the exception of smith and rozenhal it wasn't too bad. Barton was great at Man city but unfortunately he is the kind of person we could do without at the club.

I think the reality has finally hit home that as a club not in Europe we can't compete and I think Ashley is a smart man. He obviously sees the club as a business that will make revenue from TV as well as lots of other areas, casinos, hotels etc.

I don't think he'll sell the club, but he certainly won't be an Abramovich. It could be worse, we could have an owner who is wanted for Human rights abuses.

RAY WILSON said:

Keegan never bought rubbish and while Kevs here we wont be signing any more donkeys-- There is a bit of a puzzling situation though Lee which may be you could answer KK says no one is to be signed unless he agrees and wants to sign them --if that is the case why is the little cockney reportedly going around the world on his scouting missions -if wor Kev does not want what the cockney and his mates suggest--then what is the point of having the cockney in the first place ? Still think there is more to this gang than what we are being told -better make MA aware we toon fans will side with King Kev everytime and we want no more messing.

Pedi said:

It still remains to be seen whether Ashley will dig deep and buy us some good players but if he doesnt, his northern asset will stop providing him with profit.
Its good to get young prospects in that can grow into good players but we also need a bit of proven quality for two reasons. One being the current team has no flair/creativity or pace in midfield, we desperatley need someone that has those attributes or we'll struggle again. The other reason is if no quality players come in, who will draw the fans, get the shirts sold, excite the crowd? Alan smith - I think not.

Running the club as a business could back fire on Ashley, if he doesnt spend on players the season tickets will suffer and the income will drop, then what?
He does have to lower the wage bill but at what cost, having 13 squad players on 10k a week? High wages dont just live at NUFC most of the other prem teams are the same.
Unfortunately even players that arent top quality are demanding 40k, if they dont get it they go somewhere they will. This is most likely the problem with Taylors contract.
We have nothing to attract the top players, no european football, we are not 'London' and we're not challenging for the league so what else do they come for...money!
Doing things on the cheap ashley wont work. Young talent is a gamble, either they make it or they dont and when was the last young player we had that became wanted by all the 'big' clubs? Some of the promising young English players are going for 6-10 million.

I look at man city going for Ronaldhino and think 'if only'. Instead we get turned down by kids from lower divisions.
I'll reserve judgment on Ashleys dealings until the new season starts and see just who has come and gone, hopefully NOT KK.

Ronnie Lambert said:

Dexter ? are you the serial....nah, he's American. Your comment...." I don't think he'll sell the club, but he certainly won't be an Abramovich. It could be worse, we could have an owner who is wanted for Human rights abuses." The suffering and anguish me and the Geordie nation are undergoing should just about qualify for human rights abuse, and he may well sell the club. He is first and foremost a businessman, albeit a football fan....Spurs that is, which is looking more and more ominous to some. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but I wish Bill Gates' daughter would marry a Geordie.

Arby said:

This post is spot on and I hope people are warned what type of players the new management will be after.

If we go for Gomis, it will be a disaster! He was awful against the Dutch and the game before it. He cant make a psss and keeps losing possesion.

There is quality out there but they usually cost 15-20m and they want CL football.
I cant see us getting anyone of that caliber for another year. Not until we're in europe

Alex said:

Yes we've signed some dodgy players over the years who might look half decent but then flop but so have everyone else. Arsenal paid £10mil for Jeffers and Richard Wright, i never rated Wiltord, Man U's list is as long as ours - Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, Jordi, Taibi, Bosnich, and to some extent, Poborsky. Kevin Davies cost £7mil to southampton when he was awfull, Chelsea even can add Bogarde, Del Horno, Veron, Crespo, Shevchenko etc to the list. Man City chipped in with Bianchi and Petrov (Sorry but he's as close to Laurent Robert as i've seen and wont be any good next year. Stands on the half way line, refuses to track back but has a belter of a left foot), Everton got Van De Meyde, Bakayoko (someone plays a lot of champo there i'm guessing) Spurs paid £18mil for bent and also have kabul, boateng, who remembers Rebrov and Postiga?!?! Liverpool had cheyrou, £10m each for djouif, cisse, baros, heskey, biscan.
Jesus christ - We've not done any worse than other clubs in reality so why do we dwell on it??

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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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