Obertan has chance to break free from chains of Old Trafford

By Lee Ryder on Aug 9, 11 11:10 AM

Gabriel Obertan looked like a focused and hungry individual when setting foot into a deserted St James' Park for the first time since joining the Magpies from Manchester United.

He arrives from Old Trafford stating he has a point to prove after making just over a dozen appearances for Man U and on the back of a few moans and groans.

Given Obertan has not even had a run in the Man U team in the last two years, it's difficult to see how the masses from Torquay, Halifax and Wigan can really formulate an opinion.

But his opening words were impressive and when handed a black and white shirt from Alan Pardew for the obligatory photo opportunity it has to be said he couldn't get it on quick enough.

Don't forget, Obertan had stars like Nani, Antonio Valencia, Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-Sung and Anderson all ahead of him and at 22 comes to Tyneside with his best years in front of him.

Incoming players from Man United though do not rest easy with Newcastle fans sometimes.

There was a bit of a stir when Seppe Rossi was signed on loan by United five years ago with fans feeling aggreived that Newcastle looked like a farm out club to the Red Devils they were once 12 points ahead of in the Premier League.

As it turned out, Rossi turned out to be one of the best strikers Newcastle never had.

For some reason, Glenn Roeder seemed reluctant to give him his break at St James' Park and the exciting talent we have seen take Serie A and La Liga by storm in recent years was never given a chance.

Before that Nicky Butt's arrival was also met with some caution with punters feeling that Fergie only lets players go when he feels they are past their best.

However, some of Butt's performances in black and white could not be disputed, even if he was part of the team that dragged the Magpies down.

Keith Gillespie is another who made the journey from North-West to North-East.

The Northern Ireland international's performances at times were first class in Toon, but off the field problems hindered his progress at St James' Park and he was eventually flogged by Ruud Gullit.

Nevertheless, every player is different and in the case of Obertan, he couldn't be made to feel more at home with no less than five other French players to keep him company.

Toon fans love to see a good old fashioned number 9, but wingers have a special place in the heart of the Geordie public too.

Gillespie for a spell was one of them with Ginola, Robert, Terry Hibbitt, Scott Sellars and a host of others have all set the standard.

Now it's up to Obertan to prove his worth and join them.


Donal H said:

Just cannot argee with you on one point - Nicky Butt was one of the worst players i've seen play for toon in midfield!!

We'll see what obertan does.... Good Luck to him

Little Davey said:

This 25 man squad has got to be a benefit to clubs like ours as it should stop the like of manure chelski and ali baba city hoovering up all the available talent every year.
Also important to remember that Obertan requested a transfer in order to get more 1st team matches. He obviously believes in himself.


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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