Mark Viduka Chooses Newcastle over Middlesbrough


News this morning that Mark Viduka will be joining Newcastle United on a free from fellow North East club Middlesbrough.
The Sun is briefly reporting today that Mark could be Sam Allardyce’s first signing for Newcastle (probably this week) as the Aussie has rejected Middlebrough for Newcastle’s new revolution under Big Sam Allardyce.

mark-viduka-ball.jpg

Mark Viduka – where’s the ball?

Viduka is 31 (32 in October) and apparently has rejected a 40,000 a week two year stay at Middlebrough. Viduka no doubt will be a squad signing for Newcastle and it’s yet another good deal for Allardyce as the price is right – nothing.
The news is also that Big Sam would also like Mark’s International team mate Lucas Neil at Newcastle – and this would be a good acquisition for our right back position – although Lucas can play across the back line. Neil is experienced and that’s what Allardyce is looking for.

Sam seems to be doing what he did at Bolton – bringing in good experienced players on free transfers or small fees.

The players seem willing to join Sam – given his experience with older players – and he seems to be able to revitalize their careers.
It also appears that Sam is determined on two things in the summer – both good.

  • Bring in a number of players to revamp and reshape the squad
  • Bring them in early so that when training starts in early July he will have most of his players here –so they can gel before the start of the season in August.

Some Newcastle fans will argue that Viduka is not good enough for Newcastle – but he’s still only 31 – and played very well for Middlebrough towards the end of last season. Who better to revive his career and get the best out of him than Big Sam.

Mark was born in Melbourne and here are his career statistics:


Year               Club                        Games(Goals)

1993 - 1995    	Melbourne Knights     48 (40)

1995 - 1998    	Croatia Zagreb             82 (40)

1998 - 2000    	Celtic                              37 (30)

2000 - 2004     Leeds                           130 (59)

2004 - 2007    	Middlesbrough            72  (26)

Mark has played 369 club games and scored 195 goals. For Australia he has played 38 times and scored 6 goals.

Viduka has not scored too many goals at Middlesbrough and seems to be injury prone – but both those deficiencies could be fixed by Sam and his backroom staff.
Portsmouth were also interested in the Aussie but Viduka wanted to stay in the North East so Allardyce seems to be bringing in yet another player on a free transfer.

Comments welcome.



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26 comments so far

  • Colin Porter

    May 31, 2007 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #1

    I think this will be a brilliant signing!! I have always rated Viduka and will be a great partner for either Owen Or Martins!! Big Sam is workin his magic already!! I would also like us to sign Barton, Baines and Ben Haim!! Then a right-back and we are sorted for next season!! Things are lookin good people – ur thoughts??

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  • superswede

    May 31, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #2

    I think Viduka is an good signing. But please please please start grabbing some qualitydefenders.

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  • Phil

    May 31, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #3

    If true would be very happy for a free transfer. He is a very good target man style forward perfect foil for Oba and Owen.

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  • John Walker

    May 31, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #4

    If this is true I am a little taken aback,I had pretty much given up on him staying with us but I thought that he would show a little more ambition than just taking a big wage rise from a team that finished below us in the league and got knocked out of the FA Cup by Birmingham and out of the UEFA Cup by a team that couldn’t score against us on their own ground and hasn’t been to a final in europe or england for some years. Never mind at least his kids will be wealthy. I know that we are going into the promised land with yet another top class manager and I know it will be different this time cos Sam means it.

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  • Sean

    May 31, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #5

    Good signing for nowt.
    We need players of Eidur Gudjohnsens quality though to make a mark on the premiership.
    Martins & Viduka, Owen & Gudjohnsen. Four quality strikers are needed in any serious team.
    Manure have Smith & Ole, Rooney & Saha.
    We should make a big money offer for him now, but the takeover ( as good as it is,) is hampering our transfer budget.

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  • Rob Kirton

    May 31, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #6

    I personally think Viduka will be an excellent signing. Never mind back up, I se him as a first pick forward. His close ball control and ability to pick out a pass, as well as his goalscoring record will be much welcome. Thinking of particular pairings of forwards

    Owen – Martins (Nah)
    Owen – Viduka (yep)
    Martins – Viduka (yep)
    Shola + Anybody (Nah)

    He may also just be able to show Martins / Shola how to control and pass the ball..

    Not a long term prosepct, but if we get two seasons out of him on a Free, it will prove to be an excellent acquisition.

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  • Aaron D

    May 31, 2007 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #7

    I agree that we need 4 quality strikers, Viduka is an ok signing might be good a season, and will give Sam time to find another.
    Shola is not up to the Premiership, might be good at Fulham, or one of the newly promoted times, and he’s not even that young anymore. But i still think the defence is the priority, with only one decent one left (Taylor).

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  • Jeff

    May 31, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #8

    VIDUKA WOULD BE A QUALITY FREE TRANSFER….IF YOU THINK BACK TO WHEN WE SIGNED SIBIERSKI EVERYONE WAS ANNOYED,BUT WITH VIDUKA I THINK MAJORITY OF FANS WILL BE PLEASED WITH IT,THATS IF IT COMES OFF…

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  • Evan

    May 31, 2007 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #9

    Viduka is a class act. His performances near the end of this past season were phenomenol. Good signing.

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 31, 2007 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #11

    John – we think Viduka will be a good signing – he can certainly play and is a good point man and tall (6′ 1″) and we’d look to Sam to get the very best out of him – but he’ll need to fight for his place – and will probably be used as a sub mostly.
    We now have Owen, Martins, Ameobi, Viduka and young Carroll – not too shabby!

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 31, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #12

    Rob – interesting pairings – we really have two small guys and two big guys –
    excluding young Carroll – who now may be sent out on loan to a Championship side.

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  • Ed Harrison

    May 31, 2007 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #13

    Remember Viduka is costing us nothing in transfer fees – and with the old Geordie saying “Out for Nowt” 😀

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  • LewDavies

    May 31, 2007 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #14

    Ed – Unsure of MV’s motivationfor coming to Toon. If he was offered extra 2 years and 40K to stay at smogland, then he can’t use the excuse that he wants to stay in North East. If he is only coming for the money then I dont want him here. We have enough of those types already. Lets see how much weight he has lost when he comes off holiday in Oz. That may be a clue as to his fitness. If he does come and Big Sam gets 100% out of him then its a real bargain, but I’m not convinced though .

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  • ross

    May 31, 2007 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #15

    I’d have MV anyday. Costing nothing in transfer fee’s why not offer a little more wages than the smogs are. He’s the closest thing in the premiership to a target man that could even come close to big Al and we play well with a target man and a poacher (owen). I would also welcome Joey Barton with open arms. No nonsense midfielder. Last season we had most players (taylor and butt excluded) who hid for most of the match then gladly took thier wages. Lets get players in who not only can play but who also want too.

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  • Ebol

    May 31, 2007 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #16

    I also see Viduka as a squad player but I think we are sorted for forwards now unless Owen leaves. If he does, I hope we sign a prolific scorer who is also a big, strong player and can hold the ball up to feed Martins. Klose, anybody??? I also think that although it looks like we are alright in defence if we sign Baines, Ben Haim and a right back, we really need more cover. I think sign another central defender and a fairly decent left back and then we can get rid of Babayaro at last. Finally, we need a really good attacking midfielder like Diego or van der Vaart as we had no one good going forward in that position last season which I think was one of the main reasons we did so badly. Emre and Dyer just aren’t good enough and don’t play with enough pride.

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  • Fazz

    May 31, 2007 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #17

    Delighted…..Up the Toon man ledge man roysh

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  • john

    May 31, 2007 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #18

    viduka would be a great signing for nowt. lets just hope he doesnt get too lazy.his touch is awesome for a big lad. hope we snap some good defenders up asap though before thier all tied down. Cant wait for next season competition will be very fierce.

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  • Neil

    May 31, 2007 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #19

    Good deal for nothing. But we still need defenders. Baines, Neill, and Ben Haim would be great

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  • iain

    May 31, 2007 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #20

    i hope he breaks his f*&^%^&* leg on his first day. allardyce needs to learn to chew with his mouth closed not wide open like all those geordie lasses legs. sorry boys but we had him for four years and we got one and a half good seasons out of him, you have just said goodbye to 8 million in wages and don’t be surprised if you are slating him by october.
    On a different note, if Mr Ashley gets rid of Mr Shepherd then the single biggest obstacle to the barcodes being a success (rather than a cash cow) has been removed

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  • Sean

    Jun 1, 2007 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #21

    Jeff, stop shouting son.

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  • Sean

    Jun 1, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #22

    iain – A squad player is all he will be at this BIG club.

    Stop getting your smoggy nickers in a twist.

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  • Martin

    Jun 2, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #23

    BIG club

    rofl lmao lol pml pml pml

    Having large attendences does not make you a big club. Neither does the fact 150,000 deluded jawdees buy your shirts every year. You’re no bigger than Blackpool.

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 2, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #24

    Martin – i knew that would get some response – usually i never use that term – because what does BIG mean (or even massive – which some players use). Suffice to say that we are the 13th biggest club in the world in terms of revenues and 13th biggest in terms of market value. If it’s judged in terms of winning trophies we are probably no better than Blackpool – although we did beat them 2-0 in the 1951 cup final – as i recall.
    We’ve been second top to Man United for donkeys years on percentage of full attendances – about 99% – that’s about 51,500 every home game – soon to be 60,00 by 2012. We’re at least big enough to have just been bought (or soon will be) by an English Billionaire – who says he’ll invest 270M in us over the next five years. So if we’re not big now – we sure will be in the future.
    By the way this is how you spell Geordies – so you’re obviously not one – are you from Blackpool? 😀

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  • steven

    Jun 14, 2007 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #25

    i thing it is a good singing but the best partnership will be Owen – Martins so come on boys good season next season i wanna get a top 4 finish next season and with joey bearton in midfild and big sam as the gaffer ans good old shay in goal and steven talylor on the fild we will get a top 4 place so come on boys do me well

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  • Robert

    Jun 14, 2007 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #26

    I think Mark Vuduka is a brilliant signing, he will be able to play alongside anyone.

    With Bigh sam at the helm he will be able to bring gold back to st james park

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