Albert Luque Has Real Chance of Success at Newcastle

Everybody knows that Albert Luque has had a nightmare two years at Newcastle – and quite humiliating at times for the Spaniard.

Glenn Roeder last year basically gave up on Albert and he was hardly ever on the bench – hardly good use of a player that cost ₤9.5M from Deportivo two years ago. But nobody could really blame Roeder given Luque’s percieved poor attitude.

However, it turns out that Sam Allardyce had been tracking both Eto and Luque a few years ago when they were both at Real Mallorca – and if he had the money he would have liked to have signed both of them for Bolton.


Albert Luque

So Sam knew a lot more about Luque than we may have thought and Sam has made it his job to see what’s gone wrong with Luque and get the best out of him.  That’s the job of every coach – to get the very best out of them individually – however they do it.

Given a rare start by Sam last night as striker alongside Martins – both of them looked consummate strikers as all 3 goals in the first half were brilliantly dispatched. The Spaniard scored twice and having been frozen out during the Glenn Roeder regime, he showed very good character to come back like he did in the first half. And this with our other top strikers Owen, Viduka and Ameobi in the stands – this could be an awesome season for United as far as goals are concerned.

This is what Sam said after the game:

“I knew more about Albert than I did Obafemi Martins because I have been watching him since he was a young player at Real Mallorca about seven years ago,”

“He was playing alongside Samuel Eto and I remember saying at the time that I would like to sign them both, but they were out of our price range.”

“It has been interesting for me to see how they’ve both developed.”

” It was strange to see Albert at Newcastle and never playing.”

” It has been my job as manager to find out why.”

As we’ve said before about man management – you usually get out of people what you expect. Roeder didn’t think much of Luque’s attitude but Sam obviously rates Luque – which for Albert will be a huge confidence booster. Albert recently canceled his honeymoon and put in extra training sessions to get fit – and Sam has praised his attitude in training. Strange things seem to happen when a new manager comes in and tells you he thinks you’re a very good player.

Luque has started just six Premier League games since joining Newcastle in a £9.5M move from Deportivo La Coruña two years ago and did not start a single top-flight fixture under Roeder last season.

Sam sees Luque as a great challenge of his man management skills and added:

“At the moment I’m just trying to get him fitter,”

“If we can get him fitter, he will feel better physically, then he will feel better mentally and we will see the skills that Albert Luque can produce more often.”

“It’s up to him if he wants to keep going through the pain barrier as he has been in recent days.”

“When he’s fit, it will help his mental situation and the football talent will emerge at the end of it.”

Luque was good last night against Celtic and though he may never be someone to throw his weight around – like Newcastle fans love to see – he obviously has some great footballing skills and can be a deadly striker and presumably a very good left winger.

Allardyce said:

“It’s up to him whether he wants to go through the pain barrier like he has in the last few days.”

“We’ll work on his fitness and then the talent will emerge.”

There’s nothing people – and fans – like to see more than someone making a come-back from the depths of failure – and if Luque can emerge and even be a good stand-in striker for the club this season – it will be looked on as a success.

It will help if Albert can score goals – and it was clear last night that fans are only too willing to help him along and encourage him at every opportunity. As Sam says – it’s now up to Albert – but the stage is now set – and it could be the story of the season if Albert can finally show his worth at Newcastle. Last night was an excellent first act in the potential drama unfolding – but only one act – and a lot more need to come along for the success story to continue.

Go for it Albert – great start last night.

Comments welcome.

31 comments so far

  • Kash

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #1

    I’m happy for him as I think he’s been undervalued at Newcastle. And Newcastle have witnessed first hand of his talents considering he ripped us apart when he played for Deportivo!

  • Dave

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Albert did have a great game last night. A genuinly different player to the forlorn figure he looked last season. I do think he needs to get more involved. There were a few times when he just watched the ball roll past him which was annoying. That could be related to the fitness issue BSA mentioned?

    The two goals were out of a strikers top draw though. Lovely goals. The subdued celebrations were I think a mixture of relief and humble pie, and quite appropriate.

    No matter what you think of him he’s obviously been through some kind of football hell but going on yesterdays exhibition alone he looks to be coming out of it. Good luck to the man. At the very least he’s starting to look alot better in the shop window.

  • Benny

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #3

    Can someone tell me where can I see the goals? Are they on youtube?

  • Nick

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #4

    unfortunatly couldnt see the game last night..but i wa so chuffed to see the names on the scoresheet. i have always been a fan of luque and always believed that if given a proper chance to prove his worth by having a few game run who knows what he can do for us!! Hes not even fully fit so i cant wait to see him at his best put a few past the Sunderland scum at the gollowgate!! Good luck to the man…it only looks good for the toon from here!

  • joe

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #5

    For me, he worked far harder than Martins last night. It was greatly improved. The best part of the first half though was Butt holding things to allow Geremi and Solano to play the football. They were excellent together. With Milner showing one or two others how to play on the left, it was a neat midfield that was very effective in attack. With Viduka and Owen still to play a part, this was encouraging. 1 more midfielder needed and at least 3 defenders and we’ll be fine. If Dyer goes then maybe 2 midfielders.

  • Zebra

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #6

    To say that he played ‘Superb’ or had a great game is over the top. Im pleased 4 him but he did very little apart from score the goals, then again thats what owen does. Hopefully he can improve on his all round game and stop giving the ball away as much. If u are looking 4 Superb u should look 2 geremi or nobby

  • Howie

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #7

    Anyone know where I could see the goals.


    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Zebra is right. Luque scored twice and that counts but saying he had “great” or “superb” game brings smile to my face. he lost almost every single ball he had (one nice touch at the begining), two awful shots (one from free kick), still lack of pace. his movement was really good and those goals came from that. I wish him all the best and hope he will be useful player for us but never agree he played superb last night.

  • Ian

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9

    It was brilliant to see Luque notch a couple last night as this can only help his confidence. However, there is still a long way to go for the man and his overall play was still sadly lacking.

    I think it will be a shame if Dyer does leave as expected as it may be that he has now finally overcome his injury problems. If he does leave for 4.5million as reported this morning, the deal could come back to haunt the toon. Curiously many of the paper reports today suggest that Man City are now favourites to sign him, with some even suggesting he will be in Manchester for a medical today.

    If this is the case, then I for one will be disgusted with the man as how much closer is this to Ipswich and his family?! Maybe the family which are being suggested do not really exist, and as he has been picking up a cool £80k per week for doing very little I believe he owes the club a bit more loyalty.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #10

    Zebra – very fair point – we were just so surprised at Luque we may have overstated the case a little – but hey – we need to give Albert every encouragement – to be fair to him a lot of players would have given up with the disdain Roeder showed for him last season – it was just very unfair to the player. Similar poor man-management from Roeder with young N’Zogbia – who should hardly have been made an exanple of – at 20 – for the team’s poor showing.
    We are really hoping Albert can be a big success still – but as we say he’s not going to be like a Tevez – appearing to give 110% with wonderful skills to go with it – but we like Luque and we like his new attitude under Big Sam 😀

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #11

    Ian – it’s obvious that the story about him wanting to be near Ipswich was the best Kieron could come up with – given Sam asked him a straight question – what’s the problem. Don’t think Big Sam doesn’t know what’s going on with Dyer – but hey – he wants to leave – Sam will show him the door – he doesn’t want anybody who doesn’t want to be at Newcastle – and that’s how it should and will be under our new manager. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Bosck

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #12

    Benny and Howie if you sign up for Newcastle World on the official website (£4 a month), you can see interviews with Martins and Rozenhal which include clips of the goals. Great interview with Oba as well, says he loves the club and is not going anywhere. Just want we want to hear!!!!

  • Tony_D

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #13

    So Dyer wants to be near ipswich, hence a possible move to Machester City!!

    Was nice to see Luque score, hope he regains his old form !

  • Ian

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #14

    Ed – It really is a shame cos I believe Dyer could have been a gem under Sam. However, I think didn’t fancy trying to compete for a place and fancies a new comfort zone (no doubt for a similar £80k a week).

    I agree that if he doesn’t want to stay then let him go, but I just hope Sam doesn’t make it too easy for him with a silly bid being accepted. If he does go, which seems inevitable, then he must be replaced and the limited squad numbers are a bit of a worry. Is Newcastle a cursed club?… Given the number of new injuries it certainly seems that way.

  • Ian

    Jul 27, 2007 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #15

    Benny and Howie – I watched the game live last night after signing up to the Setanta Broadband service. £8 per month (in advance) and absolutely no contract involved (can be cancelled as any time!). Given that thay are screening all of Newcastle’s pre-season games live as well as two of the first four league games this seemed a bargain.

    Follow the link below:

    and click on the new subscribers link for details.

  • Steely

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #16

    I just think it will take a few more games (consecutive??) to realise that he is being given a proper chance at a run in the squad this time! If he plays a few more matches and feels wanted I think his confidence will shoot up. Hopefully he can get himself to peak fitness soon so we can se his “real” potential.
    I reiterate some of the comments above – he didnt have a brilliant match, but then last night was by far the best I have seen him play ( i think I actually seen him win a tackle!!), so who knows what’s to come.
    The only down side I can see, is that I dont think BSA will play him ahead of MO, OBA or VID….will he feature on the left wing?

    Do anyone think he’ll start again against Juve?

  • Jamie

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #17

    we’ll soon see how much Dyer wants to be near his family, when Spurs don’t break their pay structure and he has to take a pay cut!!
    really pleased for Albert last night if he gets 100% fit and a run of games could finally see the player we paid £9.5mill for!!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #18

    Benny – if you are a member of Newcastle World – there is just a great interview with Sam Allardyce today talking about Luque and the game last night and they show all 4 Newcastle goals. If you aren’t a member it’s well worth the money – for instance the Juventus game is on there live on Sunday. Sam is a little dispirited about the 2 injuries and he seemed a little despondent and said he’s rather have lost and not had the injuries. He has some real insightful things to say about Luque, Solano, Geremi and Milner – who all greatly impressed him – but he’s not getting carried away. On new transfers he says Russel Cushing is working with him very closely and sop is Mort and within 7-190 days they would hope to bring in the players he wants. Near the end he says they hope to bring some in within the next few days – so take your choice. Great interview though – he’s really inciteful – on Luque he thinks it’s all about getting him superbly fit.

  • Owen

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #19

    I for one was delighted when we signed Luque, excellent player for Deportivo amd Mallorca. The Injury against Man’ure at the start seemed to really knock him.

    I think the problem with Luque is that he is neither a striker or a winger, he is something in between. His movement off the ball can be excellent but he needs a quality pass to find him and that is something the toon have lacked for a long time.

    Luque desperately needs to play off and behind a striker or on the left of a 3 man attack ( Something BSA has played in the past).

    I like the options we have in attack if we can keep them all fit but boy do we need another quality CB, RB and 2 LB’s. Maybe not a RB cause if Barton is fit then I cann see Geremi playing there, but still……….

  • MightyMilburn

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #20

    More than happy that Luque did well.. Hope that he gets a decent run in the team now.. All he needs is increased self confidence and match fitness – and then I am confident he will be a very valued member of the squad..

  • zebra

    Jul 27, 2007 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #21

    I really hope luque can do something for us this season, as has been said, it is hard t fit him in with owen, martins, vids etc.

    I would like to see him start against juve and get another chance, unlike when he scored against palermo.

    I can see oba and luque destroying boumsong, if he plays.

  • Rich

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #22

    I hope Sam works his magic with Luque, i think they key is to get his physical side back i mean he looks to be a big strong lad but last night he was knocked off the ball far to much.

    I think also, the problem is Luque is not and never has been an out and out Centre Forward, the press dont even seem to enterain the fact that in Spain he played like Paul Scholes behind the front two or supporting a lone striker but yet he gets compared to all our other strikers etc…

    i like Luque, hope Sam will do what he did with players like Diouf etc…


    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Comment #23

    “Owen” Luque was injured against fulham not manu. against manu he looked well but against fulham he was so slow like many players used to play in spain or portugal. they need (and have) a lot of time to do something with the ball and in Premiership they usualy don’t have that. I remember Viana complaining. almost crying oposite players don’t allow him to play slow. People are so excited about Deco (I don’t think he will want to come) but this is the same risk for me. It could be too different and too hard for him. I remember Portugal game against us (Poland) last autumn. I was there and saw him useless like a child and frustrated because there was not enough room to play and tempo was too high.

  • Ivan

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #24

    viva luque!


    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #25

    one more about last game. look how short we are. we throw all the youngsters plus harper as an outfield player 🙂 (Beresford had a lot of laugh about that) and finished with ten men after Taylor walked off. yeah I know Owen, Viduka, Ameobi missed that but we need some new faces and this is more important then Luque future

  • WelshWizard

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #26

    i thought Luque was injured against Man U, live on sky??


    Jul 27, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #27

    against manu he scored well off side and next game against fulham was injured. michael owen played his first game in black and white and N’Zogbia equalised from free kick close to the right corner of penalty box if I remember. Fulham had a lot great chances to destroy us but could not finish more then once.

  • Ed W

    Jul 27, 2007 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #28

    Ok glad to see he got a couple of goals and hopefully he’ll get the confidence back he needs… but I was there last night and he still looked average to me.. gave the ball away a lot, got muscled out of tackles, he looked lightweight.

    Liked a lot of the football we played though, neat passing, good movement.. bodes well!

  • George

    Jul 28, 2007 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #29

    I hope albert Luque does get a chance this year, but i also hope that he gives it 100%. Since his arrival things have not gone according to plan. however, AL became the topic of conversation in my local hostelry yesterday and as was pointed out, AL tore us apart a couple of years ago and was firing shots from all angles at us. So what happened. From Deportive to Newcastle, other clubs interested but he chose us. Now some sceptics may say he is another Marcellino but no. The big difference, AL has persistently requested the chances to perform, have a run in the team. Marcellino just handed in sick notes. Roeder did not give him a chance. After a couple of games and better performances he was dropped again. In a couple of european chances he was quite threatening but still dropped. It happens to us all, we get pissed off, disillusioned, lose interest. Give him a chance, look at the difference in Nicky Butt.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 28, 2007 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #30

    George – agree with all your sentiments – we think Luque has come back and shown a lot of charcter under Sam – he has obvious class as shown in the way he scored the goals on Thursday – they would have been very easy to miss. He’s a will of the wisp kind of player – but that’s Albert – and we ‘re sure Sam will get the best out of him!
    Here’s the goals in case you haven’t seen them.

  • Rob Kirton

    Jul 28, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #31

    I really hope this guy does come good this season, for NUFC as a team and also for the sake of his careeer

    All I’ve seen him do so far is score soft goals against soft teams

    A lot more is expected


You must log in to post a comment.