Duff just didn't have the stomach to help save Magpies
Damien Duff will make his return to Newcastle United and probably endure his fair share of boos at St James' Park.
You can count the amount of times that Duff really shone at Newcastle during his three year stay on Tyneside on two hands if you're lucky.
Nobody needs to be told the ability of Duff and what he could do when things were going well.
But I for one, would much rather see what a player has in his locker when the chips are down.
Unfortunately, we didn't see that too often with Duff - in my opinion.
At the start of his career, Duff was happy to do a couple of interviews, but he never appreciated that in Newcastle the fans are hungry for fresh news and views all of the time.
Fair play to him he demonstrated every possible way there is to dodge an interview, he used the "I can't hear you I'm wearing an iPod" method, the "I'm on the phone so can't stop to talk" method (despite the fact there was no signal at grounds such as Liverpool), then there was the time when he tried sprinting down the tunnel after he'd scored the winner for Joe Kinnear's side against Spurs!
As relegation looked more likely, one prankster shouted "exclusive" in a squeaky voice at the club's Benton base as he did a rare official website interview - but it didn't dawn on him!
Ironically in his last ever game for Newcastle I asked Duff if he'd dedicate his goal at West Brom to Sir Bobby Robson in the game between the two sides of the old master, and he did but it was a rare moment where he saw eye to eye with one of the media men.
Too often his moody expressions on the field summed it up for a player that left Newcastle under a cloud.
He probably didn't deserve to score the own goal that sent us down but had we seen a few more performances akin to his Chelsea days in other parts of the season then perhaps he wouldn't have been in that position.
When it came to the crunch and the Magpies were relegated, Duff did hang around - but only because nobody else came in for him.
The infamous dressing room "stay or go" debate amongst players was one of the final acts of Duff's career at Leyton Orient.
He's played 73 minutes before he was hauled off by Chris Hughton after wandering round like he was punch drunk.
Eventually, and after he'd scored what some would deem an important goal at West Brom on the first game of the season, Fulham coughed up the money for Duff.
He couldn't get away quick enough.
In some ways it was one of the best things that could have happened to Newcastle United.
The list of players who quit the club that summer were Habib Beye, Duff, Oba Martins and Seb Bassong - while Michael Owen left on a free transfer along with Mark Viduka as they were never going to take massive pay cuts even if they had been offered new deals.
The players who stayed Alan Smith, Steve Harper, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Shola Ameobi, Andy Carroll, Jose Enrique, Jonas Gutierrez, Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Guthrie, Steven Taylor and Nicky Butt - may well be part of the squad that took the team down.
But seldom in modern football do you get players who are hungry to put things right.
That lot did, but Duff was happy to jump ship at the first opportunity because unlike the above mentioned players, he didn't have the stomach to go to Barnsley, Scunthorpe or Doncaster - or perhaps his ego wouldn't accept it.
Without the likes of Barton, Nolan, Smith, Carroll and Harper - who knows where Newcastle United would be now.
My guess is it certainly wouldn't be fifth in the Premier League.