Charles N’Zogbia – A Diamond in the Rough

Charles N’Zogbia has been in sparkling form for Newcastle United this season, albeit in an unusual position for him, left-back.

But he has looked so good in that position, and has still been able to get forward to score two excellent goals in the first three games.

We think he’s been Newcastle’s best performer along with another 21 year-old at the club, James Milner.

Surely Charles will get some French Under-21 honors soon.


21 year-old Charles N’Zogbia – in sparkling form for Newcastle

Charles says he is loving life at Newcastle after having a particularly rough season last season when manager Glenn Roeder seemed to blame Charles – then a 20 year old – for Newcastle’s various troubles on the field. Hardly inspired management from Roeder and is it any surprise he didn’t play well last season?

We think Charles has prospered from having a man-manager like Sam Allardyce at the club, and Sam has probably given him more confidence and will be able to nurture Charles to his full potential.

Charles told Newcastle World TV, in an exclusive interview after the game, he is more than happy to play in the new defensive role asked of him by Big Sam.

“It’s a new position for me because usually I play left-midfield or in the centre but the manager has asked me to play left-back.”

“Last year was not a good year for me and if I play at the back it’s not a problem because I am happy to play and be on the pitch.”

N’Zogbia opened the scoring against Middlesbrough with a tremendous right-foot shot from 27 yards after cutting in from the left – and beating Mark Schwarzer high to his left.

Charles went on:

“I’ve tried to take my chance and I’m happy it’s gone in with my right-foot, hopefully I can continue to do more and to score more goals.”

“It was disappointing to lose the lead so soon after scoring both our goals and that was not good for us.”

“We have to win games like that when we have the lead and it was disappointing not to get the three points.”

“But we are unbeaten so far and that is good because it gives you confidence for the next game.”

And to think N’Zogbia was thinking of leaving the club after last season.  We think he would have been gone had Roeder still been manager this season.  Charles went on to say how happy he is right now at Newcastle:

“I’m enjoying it in Newcastle.”

“My friends are here and my sister and girlfriend are here and Newcastle is a great city and I’m very happy.”

We think Charles has done great so far this season and applaud him for the courage he has shown in coming back from a difficult season last year. He’s certainly a diamond in the rough for us – just imagine what he can be like in a couple of years time under Sam’s guidance.  Can’t wait.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • George

    Aug 27, 2007 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #1

    Young Charles is without a very talented player. Not afraid to take on an opponent. Has speed. Has dribbling ability. Has an eye for goal. These are probably why Booby Robson bought him. ” One for the future” he said. Old Bob was definately correct. But why was he left to lanquish in the reserves for so long by latter managers. Afterall, ever since Bobby Robson, our managers have said what a wonderful talent he is. Even Arsene Wenger has tried to sign him. But apart from injuries he was never given the chance. Yes he is a bit rough round the edges, but how many top class players have been the real thing strait away, very few.
    Now under SA charles is playing in defence and proving to be a bit of a hit there to. And on top of that he goes on a mazey run at Boro and grabs himself a great goal.
    If this lad becomes polished, what can he become as player for us, or any team for that.
    Without doubt he is the shining light of this season and pre season friendlies to date.

  • Graeme

    Aug 27, 2007 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #2

    Another young player, with immense talent that was about to thrown away by the previous regime at SJP. Hopefully, with BSA now establishing things at the club, these problems will be a thing of the past. Charles was a great player for us last season, in an aweful year, one of the few who can look back on it with some pride.

    Hopefully, he will now go on to mature into a wonderful midfield star for the Toon, for a good few years to come. I think he can only get even better.

  • Sandy

    Aug 27, 2007 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #3

    The whole La Havre fiasco is supposed to be the reason that the French U21 squad never calls him up.

    Future full French international, I’d say.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Aug 27, 2007 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #4

    Zog is a wonderfull footballer with the correct attitude; i.e. will play any position as needed to benefit the team.

    Hopefully he get’s his France Under 21 call-up this season and looking forward to him being back in midfield or LW as his speed and ball control make him a tremendous footballer.

    Just hope that BSA plays Enrique at LB and Zog LW as Newcastle rebuild the left side of the park…… Enrique will benefit having Zog covering for him this season on the left flank!

  • Shane Coghlan

    Aug 27, 2007 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #5

    Just a super player, that will no doubt be world class in a few seasons.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Aug 27, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #6

    world class in 2 years we will have a fight to keep him if we keep playing the way we have in the last 2 games

  • Bill F

    Aug 27, 2007 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #7

    I think we have a consensus re. Zog. I can never see why there is such a reluctance to give young players a chance if they are up to it. Pele was a world cup star when he was seventeen. Providing they are not expected to shine every week and are getting the correct physiological and psychological backup they should be OK

  • Bill F

    Aug 27, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #8

    Oh and I think Sam should have a look at Bikey.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 27, 2007 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #9

    Bill – I agree – when they’re that good they have to play – as long as don’t get carried away.


    Aug 27, 2007 at 6:24 PM

    Comment #10

    It is obvious Charlie can have a very bright future because he is so talented and determined. I’m wondering how Sam will use him if Enrique will play good (hope he will). Of course left or central midfield is much better place for N’Zogbia to shine but who will be dropped to the bench? Milner can go to the right which is slightly better for him. Barton will be back. maybe Geremi switch to the RB but I think Taylor can go there because Cacapa can be great success at CB. with more players at their best Sam will have big selection problem but this is the problem every manager wish for.
    hope for a good and convincing win on Wednesday. games against even weaker opposition (like levadia, zulte or venspils) were very frustrating for me.

  • Ed Harrison

    Aug 27, 2007 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #11

    nufcstats – good points – i’ve thought myself – where will Charles play when Enrique comes in ? – and if Faye comes in where does he play? Just hope Sam can keep everybody happy – but he’s good at that. Great to see Charles in good spirits again. We’ll see what this week brings in terms of new arrivals. Good win needed Wed – should be quite a few changes in team 😀

  • TOON1

    Aug 27, 2007 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #12

    Absolutely over the moon that the zog seems to have settled on tyneside and seems to be really happy at the toon.Got alittle worried a few weeks ago when fulham were heavily licked with him and we didnt know if he was happy.But with the quotes hes made ,its very pleasing that he will play anywhere for the new manager ,shows hes maturing nicely.In my opinion 1 of the best young talents in the premiership along with huddlestone of spurs and denilson at arsenal.

  • Shearer 4 pm

    Aug 27, 2007 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #13

    how his he not already in the u21’s

  • Rich

    Aug 27, 2007 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #14

    Shearer 4pm – he is not in the under 21’s because they are still annoyed at him for breaching his contract at Le Harve to join us.

    i believe when Enrique is bred into the team (from the carling cup onward) Zog will move back into midfield and be used ina typical 4-4-2 with Milner wide rightt, this will make us alot more balanced and it will be harder for the opposition to decide who to cover as the past 2 weeks both Villa & the smoggs have covered Milner with 2 players stopping us getting any creativity… with both Milner & Zog causing problems then i think it will be fantastic.

    one thing Zog has to work on and thats his delivery, hes really good at running at players and past them and taking shots at goal when hes in the mood but he just needs to get that pin point cross like Milner & Nobby have.

    im very pleased to hear some of his Family have moved to the toon as well as his bird, bodes well for the future.

  • Rich

    Aug 27, 2007 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #15

    on a different note, what really annoys me is this:

    right, so far Owen & Martins have pledged their futures to the Toon yet the BBC & Sky Sports dont pay any attention to it instead they continue to run gossip stories that both want to leave or are about to leave or some random club is going to sign them, as soon as Berbatov says he wants to stay at Spurs theirs front page bloody stories every where you look saying that hes pledged his future.

    bloody london press do my fricken nut in.

  • Rob Kirton

    Aug 27, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #16

    N’Zogbia has been far better handled by SA than last year by GR. He is a young guy who has done his growing up in a foreign country. Since moving to the club he has hankered after playing central midfield and was forced to play wide left, which always semed to rankle with him. He also did seem to adopt an attitude last year and there are few at the club who started to refer to him as a “big time” Charlie, hinting he was getting too big for his boots. Irrespective of management style or shortcomings, his behaviour at Watford last season was not that of a mature person.

    With the right management he is now happy to be in the team whether left back, left wing or central midfield. In such a physiclly demanding league as the premiership, central midfield is a role for men, not boys. We’ve seen him grow into a man and ultimatley I think he will make his mark there. He has undoubtedley grown in stature. In the mean time he seems happy to establish himself as a first team regular (whatever the position).

    As long as he and SA keep doing whatever they are doing, things should turn out fine.

  • JJ

    Aug 27, 2007 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #17

    Charles is so much better than what we’ve seen from duff, pacey, aggressive, good work ethic and he scores goals. Milner has been outstanding too!!!
    In defense we are looking great in the middle, Roz looks fantasitic.
    And I really enjoy Martins up front. We need to improve in midfield though.
    Joey Barton is the missing link, our drive in midfield or our “Gerrard” if you will.
    When he is back we’ll be 100 times better. But please Sam play 4-4-2.
    Loads of Newcastle fans in South Africa. Watch them at the pub every week.

    ——————–Given (harper)

    Geremi (carr)—Cacapa (taylor)—–Rozenhal (faye)—Enrique (babajaro)

    —————————————————Butt (geremi)———————-

    Milner (solano)—————–Barton (emre)——————N’Zogbia(duff)

    ————–Viduka (smith)———————–Martins (owen)———

  • Aussie geordie

    Aug 27, 2007 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #18

    Charlie is our Cesc Fabregas and we should be employing him as such on the field.

  • geordie_jordan

    Aug 28, 2007 at 4:04 AM

    Comment #19

    howay the ZOG!!!!!!!
    we’ve got the zog
    we’ve got the zog….

  • valle

    Aug 28, 2007 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #20

    He is good, but as usual we tend to get carried away… He is not as great as u say in the left back position. He plays there for the team and thats a good attitude but he made a few mistakes last sunday and we need to get a new left back or throw in Enrique soon imo… That said, Zog should get the chance in midfield on merit of his form going forward, with Geremi moving to right back perhaps.

  • Tom from Aus

    Aug 28, 2007 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #21

    wat a freak goal. but i think it is going to be hard 4 sam because when we have the class of barton and duff back im not sure that every1 is going 2 be happy. Thats BSA choice ( and a tough 1).

    I wonder if BSA reads this blog??

  • Dingo

    Aug 28, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #22

    just to let you all know … charlie is rated no. 7 in teh prem by actim

    go on charlie… GR>>>> what were you playing at?


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