It was rather a surprise when Charles N’Zogbia was named at left back by Sam Allardyce for the game at Carlisle on Saturday. In the past we might have expected Charles to have been unhappy at being played out of position again.
But not so â€“ Sam was full of praise for Charles’ play on Saturday which augers well for Charles’ future at the club.
We have always thought that Charles can benefit greatly from Sam’s fatherly guidance – and still think Charles can be a great little player for Newcastle in the future.
Big Sam told Newcastle World after the game on Saturday:
“Charles N’Zogbia arguably could be the best left back this club has on its books at the moment playing like that.“
“For him, and me, it was an opportunity to see him give a terrific performance in that position.
“He did everything the right way. He made fewer mistakes than a lot of his team-mates, he created a lot of great opportunities for us coming from deep and defensively where I thought he might get caught out – and perhaps might in the Premiership – he did not get caught out.
“I think it could be a good position for him if he wants to play there.
“Some people have said he may not be comfortable with it but he should be comfortable with any position as long as it’s 1-11 playing for Newcastle United.”
Oh â€“ we just love that last sentence. Sam is indicating that any player should be happy just getting into the team and he’s so right. We expect a sea change with Charles’ attitude this season and he played the whole game on Saturday and played well.
The only negative would seem be Charles’ height (5’7″) – since Sam has repeatedly talked about wanting taller defenders – and that is thought to be the reason why he was not interested in Leighton Baines of Wigan. But Sam has that knack for not only getting the best out of players – but also having them enjoy playing for him. It will be interesting to see if Charles starts again at left back against Celtic on Thursday evening.
But this is good for Charles and Newcastle â€“ and the boy should be congratulated on his attitude â€“ after all he had precious little support last season. We are really pleased with his performance (out of position?) on Saturday.