Given and N'Zogbia are returning to a different Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Feb 3, 12 11:38 AM

It doesn't get much bigger than playing for Newcastle United.

Not my words, the words of the great, late Sir Bobby Robson.

The former Newcastle United boss was talking about players leaving St James' Park for bigger and better things.

On Sunday we will see two players who are proof of this theory in Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia.

It was back in January 2009 that the pair could not live with life at Newcastle any longer as the Mags flirted with relegation

Fast forward three years and Newcastle are closer to the Champions League than the Championship.

In fairness to Shay Given his 12 year stint on Tyneside will probably earn him respect from most Toon fans.

N'Zogbia has already experienced the wrath of the Toon Army in his Wigan days, responding with a two goal blast last season at SJP.

Sadly, he didn't show enough of that on a consistent basis in black and white.

But getting back to Robson's theory both left Newcastle for bigger things.

And unless Given counts his winners medal from last season's FA Cup for Man City, after picking it up when failing to break into a sweat as an unused sub, both he and N'Zogbia have hardly enjoyed the high life since quitting Tyneside.

They arrive on Sunday in a team that trails the Magpies by 11 points.

Newcastle should have beaten them at Villa Park earlier this season and while the 6-0 hammering against Villa last season didn't come much sweeter for United fans, another heavy scoreline could well hammer the point home even harder for the ex-Toon duo.

United go into the game knowing that apart from Tottenham (who NUFC have scored 58 times past in the PL), Villa are the side they enjoy playing most with 54 goals in Premier League history already flying past the Brummie side.

One thing is for sure, the return of Given and N'Zogbia certainly adds even more spice to this fixture.


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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