We have wondered openly how it takes Celestine Babayaro 7 months to recover from a groin strain.
But thatâ€™s how long Babayaro has been out injured since suffering a groin strain in early March. He is now finally back in training at the club.
But weâ€™re not sure Big Sam will bother much with Celestine, whose contract is up in the summer, because we donâ€™t think heâ€™s shown the determination or character that Big Sam demands from his players.
Celestine Babayaro - not enough desire or character shown to be an Allardyce player
But Big Sam told the Chronicle today:
â€œHe is no longer injured and heâ€™s training.â€ â€œBut having not played competitively for such a long time he is short of match fitness.
â€œThis now is the last go at it for Celestine.â€
Thereâ€™s no questioning Babayaroâ€™s ability after a successful career with Chelsea but itâ€™s his desire to play that weâ€™ve always questioned. His appearance record for Newcastle since Graeme Souness signed him in January 2005 has been abysmal, and thatâ€™s being kind.
Babayaro is believed to earn in the region of Â£35K per week at Newcastle, and he is currently out of favor with the Nigerian international side following a long-standing rift with his home association. It wouldn’t surprise us if he is not be selected for the upcoming African Cup.
However, Newcastle will lose other Africans like Oba Martins, Geremi, Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye for up to six weeks from the start of January. Big Sam continued:
â€œ â€œThere is a possibility that we may need Celestine in January.â€ â€œWeâ€™ll have four players away at the African Nations then.â€
â€œBut we have to get him match fit and then keep him that way.â€
â€œThe squad will be short in January and we will need all of what we do have left to stay fit after what will have been a grueling December program.â€
We just donâ€™t think Celestine is worth bothering with at the new Newcastle, and he will leave when his contract expires next summer. We also expect another perennial injured player to also leave then â€“ Irishman Stephen Carr. The loss of these two will at least ease the wages bill so we can bring in more committed and better players to the club.