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Viduka exit would be no surprise

By Lee Ryder on Feb 16, 09 04:54 PM

When Mark Viduka signed for Newcastle United on a warm summer day in 2007 there couldn't have been too many complaints from Toon fans as they lapped up something of a double whammy at the start of the Big Sam era.

However, just like the ill fated stint of Sam Allardyce at St James's, it has been pretty much the same story for Viduka since he ruffled some feathers on Teesside by snubbing the chance to stay on at the Riverside to move up the road.

And while laughing at Boro was enjoyable at the time, as was celebrating a big strong striker who could partner Michael Owen, his arrival also came with a fear.

And the fear was that Viduka's dodgy track record with injuries at Boro would come back to haunt the Mags.

It did.

Within a few weeks of signing for United, Viduka from Boro he was suffering from calf and hamstring problems and he'd finish the season with an Achilles problem that meant his first run out of this season was in November.

Just 20 starts so far for Viduka and seven goals (two of them against a shocking Derby County side last season) tells the story that everybody fears.

Viduka wants to stay at Newcastle for one final year but on what grounds should the Magpies agree to what would be such a lucrative extension?

Viduka earns around £60,000 per week at United and given that you could bring in two younger less injury prone players for that same wage, Toon tycoon Mike Ashley may look elsewhere.

There is of course "contract renewal syndrome" still possibly to come for Viduka after a late goal rush at Boro two years ago probably convinced Big Sam to sign him in the first place.

Ironically, with Boro rumoured to be weighing up a Bosman swoop for Viduka again this summer a late run of goals could pave the way back down A19 for the Aussie.

Another case of what might have been for Newcastle United then after a player of such skill, power and goalscoring ability just hasn't worked out at St James's.

With 13 games left, it would take some goal rush to justify the transfer deal that Big Sam offered him back in 2007.

It could only happen at Newcastle couldn't it?

20 Comments

Ruts said:

The boy is top notch when fit...problem is he has struggled for fitness...

I wouldnt mind him being offerred a pay as you play deal....

His touch is still first class and so is his finishing.....he wont cost the club a penny unless he is performing on the pitch....would be a win win situation...

Graham Southern Toon said:

I totally agree with you Ruts, great player when fit, holds the ball up well, difficult to get the ball off him and great playing along side Owen or Martins. But, his injury record for us is as bad as many of the squad and the only way forward must be a pay as you play deal, he is unlikely to get many offers from other teams so surely the club should play into that and only offer him that type of deal???
Only problem is do Ashley and Co understand the play as you pay contract??? They seem to be slow learners in this game so I wouldnt be surprised he goes in the summer and has a great season for someone else in the league!

londontoon said:

i don't think the climate is right for someone with MV injuries.. he should search warmer climates. @ 60K a week for his last yr if wants to stay he should play for free..

he surely can't be looking after himself properly..

He does have class but we've never seen it, so what would we miss a part from a hole in the pocket..

Prince England Geordie said:

He learned he could get away with "swinging the lead" at Boro and perfected the art when he came to the Toon. A disgrace to the Australian nation. If only he could have had an attitude more like Tim Cahill then he might have been a great player.

vik said:

Offload him? I still rate this guy above Ameobi though

M. Sebastian T. said:

Mark Viduka will be dynamte in the Championship, but will it be for Toon?

trev said:

i reckon we sell him and buy carlton cole we should get about 4 million for viduka.

Youngman Foster said:

We got him at least two years too late - though he seems to have been a target of several previous managers - Souness and Roeder come to mind - or is that a target of the previous filthy rich fat owner?

wtf said:

why is it that almost everybody we get ends up injured within a few weeks and usually long term? pick a name, bring him to newcastle and he'll be collecting 3times as much as i make in a year every week with his feet up in the physio room. why is that?

Relton said:

wtf - I would put it down to
a - motivation
b - players not looking after themselves properly
c - bad luck
in that order.
A happy team is a healthy team - where people are eager and willing to play - and even the time to recover from hard knocks can reduce if motivation is high.
Unfortunately - some of the banal cr@p we have been turning out has inspired no-one off the sick bed. I certainly wouldnt rush off me sick bed to watch it let alone produce it.

Jack said:

Contract extention? On your creaking, buckleing, cobweb covered bike. The current blend of penny pinching shylocks, with their podgy finger's clamped, vicelike, around the frail neck of this once glorious football club, are hardley making headlines for their boundless generosity. So, in short; no chance. Well mabey a slim chance. A slim chance that unlike Mr Viduka's Australasia sized gut is getting slimmer by the day. Anyone remember that four goal haul against Liverpool in the leauge for Leeds. What a player. When was that again?

For me Bob Moncure always seems to talk alot of sense. And if he reckons that Andy Carol should be in the team ahead of Viduka then thats good enough for me. Give him a run in the side with Martins along side him and see what he can do. Great for the reserves, now can you do it for the first team. If not, then you know where to go. Is Mark Viduka realy the sort of character you turn to in a relegation scrap?

Big Kev said:

Viduka is one of the best if not THE best target man in the league........ When fit which is never! He sums up NUFC or what's wrong with it, great on paper rubbish on the pitch. When he played at the back end of last season he showed what he could do & it wasn't until he went out the side injured that we lost the last couple of games. We can't sell him coz his contracts up & as for Carlton Cole, do me a favour will ya!! 6 weeks ago he was WHUFC's Shola & they were desperate to get rid!
Oh Lee would the goals Viduka scored against a shocking Derby side be the same shocking Derby who took 4pts off the Toon? & I can't remember any other of our so called superstar forwards scoring against them!

londontoon said:

I knew MV would be up and running eh'hem again when the window shut. for me its been engineered. had he been playing well coming up to the last minute sale we/ MA would of snapped anyones hand-off if they had offered just to take him away and MV knew it!! he knows what/where his last yrs are going to be and its back in Oz he'd like to put it off a yr if we're up for keeping him but he is not looking for another move in england at this stage. the bloke is a joke.. I agree he somes up newcastle's ever on going player problem.. very sad for someone with so much talent..

dessa said:

He's a waste of space..the sooner he's gone the better

Pedi said:

Im sure we only got this bloke in to prove to boro we are a bigger club than them! He's always had 1 foot in the treatment room throughout his career, just managing to show a glimpse of quality when he does play.
It was a massive gamble to sign him that not surprisingly hasnt paid off.
All our top earners will no doubt be fully fit for the end of the season in order to keep themselves at the club and maintain the huge wages no other club would be stupid enough to offer them!

If we are paying to keep nacho and get him fit in time for him to go back to spain then it highlights again how insane our board are

brian t said:

Pretty mixed opinions but the truth is he is not value for money and has to go. Has no legs. Teams defend from the front and here he offers nothing. Never seen him make a tackle yet. (no fear of losing him to suspension)Also has a good touch if the ball reaches him but do not expect him to run channels. Therefore sorry but he is not equipped for the premier league.
I agree with blogs above and he could do a good job for the mackems in the championship.

Tad Caster said:

He's both a luxury and a liability. Even if he was fit all the time (and I mean fit for his age), do you think he'd get the gig at Man U or even Man City? Not a chance and neither would Shola or Carroll. In fact, I don't think Fergie would be prepared to give a fit Owen 90 minutes each week considering his current form.

Let's start with Martins and Louvenkrands against Everton and stop belting high balls up the middle. In other words - let's have the centre midfield do their job.

londontoon said:

Aye, TC I have to agree although I don't think we need to be too tough on AC. If we were in a better position the last couple of seasons I think AC would of been given nore chances by now. but I think If we are playing MV then give him 30mins in the 2nd half, bringing AC or louvenkrads off ..

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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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