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Rout of order

By Lee Ryder on Jun 24, 11 08:27 AM


Newcastle United will have an extra body on their hands come July 4 when Wayne Routledge regroups with his Toon team-mates after a six month stint on loan at Queens Park Rangers.

For Routledge, it represents yet another new dawn after QPR pulled the plug on a permanent transfer to Loftus Road.

Once again Routledge finds himself at a crossroads in a career that has had its fair share of thrills and spills.

But once again from United's point of view and for Alan Pardew, he has the frustrating task of having a player on his hands blessed with ability who somehow can't turn it on when it matters at the top level.

Routledge made a sparkling start to his career at Newcastle in the Championship and spoke highly of United and how Chris Hughton had handed him a wonderful chance to rebuild his career.

Stints at Fulham, Tottenham, Pompey and Aston Villa failed to bring the best out of Routledge in the Premier League - and sadly so far he can add Newcastle to that list from a top flight viewpoint.

Once tipped for full England honours, Routledge has a unique ability to hit the byline and put in delicious crosses for his forward line.

Yet so far in his career, he's only been able to deliver in the Championship.

One thing is for sure, if United were willing to offload him to QPR for £1.5million a matter of weeks ago, Newcastle will be prepared to listen to offers again.

If they don't come though, Pardew must try to bring out the best in a player he didn't deem good enough back in January.

Back then Routledge's poor show in the FA Cup against Stevenage resulted in more than just an early end to Wembley hopes for the Londoner.

Yet six months on, he will report back at the club's Benton base for action and could even be in the squad for the trip to Darlington three weeks tonight.

We all love a comeback...don't we?

For the latest NUFC news follow me on Twitter @lee_ryder

2 Comments

Chris Gray said:

You can’t rule Routledge out because over the years he seems to have persuaded a number of top coaches to buy him – he must have something. Always looked very limited to me, though, and frankly we could not afford him on the right and Gutierrez on the left as we would only see one good cross a season between them. What they both have is a bit of pace and a kind of “nuisance factor” which might win some free kicks. But very little quality and that is obviously what we need. Although Ben Arfa is not seen as primarily a wide player, he would get in ahead of Gutierrez every time and now we have Marveaux as well that could be interesting. (Most of the stuff about Marveaux suggests he’s a flying winger – but many of his games in France appear to have been at left back – interesting perhaps given the Enrique situation and our supposed pursuit of N’Zogbia). Most of us have been questioning Gutierrez playing on the left ever since he’s been here – that has basically been because there haven’t been any other options. He is obviously very right footed and his left foot is only for standing on – and sometimes not even for that, as we know. Now we have a number of potential left sided players it could be that Gutierrez will play on the right, especially as Barton’s future looks uncertain. Gosling can apparently play there, and now Routledge might be back in the mix. At least there are options – add Guthrie, Tiote, Cabaye, Ferguson, Vuckic and you can probably see why they wouldn’t extend Nolan’s contract. Another striker (possibly two, but one more would do) and a couple of defenders and we might be alright. And you’re right, Lee, you can never rule out a comeback – remember Nicky Butt who disappeared and then returned to be a strong player for us. Mind you, he was pretty good to start with …

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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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