Sam Allardyce and Mark Viduka have been talking to the Daily Mirror this morning in an interesting conversation.
Viduka could well turn out to be the signing of the summer for Newcastle if he can produce the form he showed at Middlesbrough last season.
There’s also a possibility that Mark will be fitter and hopefully avoid the injuries he’s sustained through his career.
Mark Viduka – goals, goals, goals for Newcastle
Sam Allardyce spoke about Mark:
“Mark is one of the best at holding the ball up and having players break off him. I want goals, goals, goals or he is in big trouble!”
“He has the ability to retain possession outside the box and there is no one better in world. I hope we can excite him and get him playing to his maximum.”
“He is one of the most talented forwards in the Premier League.”
In the sense of a true front-man Mark is similar to Alan Shearer in being able to hold the ball up and there’s no doubt whoever partners him up front will be a talented goalscorer.
Viduka, who scored 19 with Middlesbrough last season, is also considering ending his International career so he can extend his Premier League career at Newcastle. From a Newcastle point of view that would be good. That worked well for Alan Shearer who quit playing for England at 30 years-old in 2000 and played another six seasons at Newcastle.
It’s certainly difficult for Mark traveling half way around the world to help his nation qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. That will take a heavy toll on the Australian. There is also talk of Mark being called up for his country in September but we hope he can skip those games.
“I want to play at Newcastle for as long as I can but it’s a big ask to play for Australia, it’s not like playing for a European country.â€
â€There’s a lot of traveling involved,” “That takes its toll and as you get older it gets harder physically.
“When you come back from Australia your whole body clock’s turned around and that’s when you can pick up injuries.â€
“There was talk of a compromise. Australian football’s in transition as well and we don’t know who is going to be the manager. So until that’s sorted, you don’t know, it might have an effect on my decision.”
Viduka says he chose to join Newcastle from local rivals Middlesbrough because of their potential and the chance to finally win a trophy in his club career. Mark added:
“The whole set-up persuaded me. It’s a club with massive potential.”
“I can’t speak for what’s happened before but Sam knows what he wants and from what I’ve seen – I’ve only been here five days – he’s a big personality and I think that’s what this club needed.”
“I’ve come close to winning medals but no cigar yet! Can we win something?”
“It’s very difficult to do that in England but our team has a lot of potential and I’d be stupid to stand here and say we’ll win everything but we’ll give it a good go.”
That’s a good comment about Sam Allardyce being a big personality. The job as Newcastle manager can swallow you up if you’re not big enough for it – but Sam is – as we’ve pleasantly found out in the short time Sam has been at the club. And Viduka says moving to Newcastle from Middlesbrough was not a tough choice as he went on:
“Sometimes if you hang around too long then you can get stale.”
Mark has looked very good the few times he played for Newcastle in pre-season. He looked sharp against Sampdoria, but now the real games start at Bolton tomorrow, and it will be important for Mark to hit the ground running in the league. While a draw tomorrow would be OK – we really need a win to get our season off to a good start.
Mark can help us achieve that with a good first game – and dare I say it – a goal.
Comments always welcome.