The Ignacio González files

By Lee Ryder on Jun 12, 10 09:30 AM

He showed some good touches, he worked his backside off, he looked a shadow of the lonely figure that spent most of his life in the treatment room at NUFC's Benton base but for most of us to see Ignacio Gonzalez on the pitch at all was a bit of a shock to the system.

Last night, the Uruguay graced the World Cup stage in the 0-0 draw against France and for an hour looked half decent.

Gonzalez, or Nacho to his team-mates, was infamously the straw that broke the camel's back at Newcastle and finally triggered Kevin Keegan's inevitable departure as the Messiah and little Dennis Wise just couldn't see eye to eye over anything.

After performing well for South Americans Danubio, Valencia snapped up Nacho in 2008 and no sooner had he arrived in Spain he was being loaned to Newcastle.

Keegan knew little of Gonzalez and when he was told to look at Youtube to see what he was all about, he flipped causing the mother and father of eruptions outside St James' Park.

Poor Gonzalez had actually been quite excited about signing for the Mags though and couldn't quite believe the stir caused by his arrival.

Now playing for Levadiakos in Greece on loan the Nacho man must wonder if his Toon nightmare ever really happened at all as he pulls on the sky blue jersey for his country at this summer's World Cup.

Going back to his two outings for Newcastle, I actually remember getting a rare interview with the South American and his intentions were good, he spoke about wanting to show Toon fans his worth and even hinted at staying on permanently.

The only problem was he turned up with a heel injury that simply got worse in his two games, against Hull and then West Ham away.

By the time Joe Kinnear had arrived Nacho's stock had dipped in Newcastle beyond belief as the player struggled to shake off a heel problem that ultimately curtailed his career on Tyneside.

I can't forget the day that Kinnear thought he'd got rid of Nacho.

I asked for umpteenth time where the hell the South American had disappeared to and during the January transfer window, Kinnear said he'd been sent back Sampdoria!

He then gestured with a huge thumbs down.

My response was: "Didn't he come from Valencia?"

Before Kinnear could even answer the NUFC Press officer corrected Kinnear and told him that it was Fabio Zamblera that had actually gone to Sampdoria leaving the then Toon boss looking a shade crest fallen.

And so Newcastle were stuck with Nacho, who finally went back to Valencia at the end of last season before being farmed out to the Greeks last season.


George Anderson said:

Useless against South Africa and taken off.

alex moore said:

he always going to struggle to play well against south africa..... considering he was playing against france!

kenni boi said:

he just couldnt fit in.he doesnt deserve to wear the black and white kit


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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