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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Sam – Damien Duff a Wonderful Player

10:01 am, Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 by Ed Harrison · 61 Comments

Sam Allardyce has talked today about Damien Duff, almost the forgotten man at St. James Park since he broke his foot in last April’s 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth.

Sam has revealed Damien’s injury was severe enough to have threatened his career.

Even before suffering his long term foot injury Duff had not looked the player he was at Chelsea and Blackburn since his £5M acquisition from Chelsea.

damien-duff-321.jpg

Damien Duff - injured since April with career threatening broken foot

But the Republic of Ireland international has November 3rd down as his official return date to full training which is a short 3 weeks ago and he may start some light training before that.

Sam is obviously looking forward to working with a player he regards as one of the finest wingers in the Premier League and we feel confident that Sam, like he has with so many players in the past, can get the best out of him.

Sam talked to the Northern Echo today about Damien:

“Damien has been working extremely hard, but the injury he had was a career-threatening one,” “It was a really nasty injury and a very serious one.”

“It has been a long and difficult recovery for him, but he is desperate to get back.” “He had a frustrating time last season with injury even before he broke his foot, and he wants to show people the real Damien Duff.”

“There are not many better wide players in the Premier League than Damien and it’s up to us to get him back to the level he was at a couple of years ago.”

“If Damien Duff is playing to his full potential, he would be an asset to any club in the Premier League.”

“He was a wonderful player at Blackburn and Chelsea, and he wants to show people what he is capable of at Newcastle.”

He is expected to join in group training within the next two weeks but, given the seriousness of his foot injury, a first-team return may not come until nearer the end of the year. However, on the bright side, Duff certainly has creativity and will be alike a new player to Big Sam. Sam’s attitude is so positive that he expects he can get the very best out of each player.

There’s an old adage in business that is so true – you get what you expect out of people. Sam thinks he can handle whatever each players problem is once he gets to know it and he helps to solve any personal issues going on. Once that is achieved the player can concentrate on his football and start to enjoy it – and then players usually start playing at their peak. That seems to be Sam’s way and he certainly has a great record on getting the very best out of his players, that’s for sure.

Sam went on:

“We couldn’t have asked any more from him in terms of the work he has put in during his rehabilitation,” “But, having worked so hard for so long to make sure he can play football again, we don’t want to waste all that good work by rushing him into things too quickly.”

“We hope that Damien will be able to join in with group training later this month, but in terms of him playing competitive football in the Premier League, we’re going to have to be patient. It might not be until the end of the year.”

“We know Damien will add something to our side when he is available, but we have to make sure he is fit enough to do that.”

Just think what Duff must be feeling, reading what Sam has said about him today. It will give the Irishman a lift and let him know he still has a career on Tyneside. Damien’s certainly seems to have had a tough time coming back from the dreadful injury. We think Sam can and will get the very best out of Damien – and we cannot wait until we see him performing his magic again on either Newcastle wing. It will be like having a new player in the team.

Comments welcome.



Tags: Damien Duff · Newcastle News · Players



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61 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alan Oliver O.B.E // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:26 AM

    Interesting story, spoke to Damien a couple of months ago and he was very down, he’s obviously stepped up his training and things are going well at this moment in time.
    He was disappointed with his form last term and I know he is desperate to do well on his return to the first team.
    I’m looking for a venue for a talk in, no where too rough mind as I’d like to get out alive…only joking.
    If anybody would like to book me for an opening or after dinner speaking just drop me or my agent a line.
    Better dash, I’ve got a deadline to meet.
    Toon chicken “One Big Ego” I like that, very good.

  • 2 yemozone // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:26 AM

    Wonderful player.i’m really waiting for him to return because with the current squad we have,BSA will get the best of Damien Duff

  • 3 Hammy // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Hmmn.
    Er ….o.k “Alan” do you fancy opening a new retirement home for ex sports writers……bring your suitcase.

  • 4 bobby // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:33 AM

    if you would like to tell alan oliver from the chronicle what you think of his journalism you can email him at alan.oliver@ncjmedia.co.uk

    much love

  • 5 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:39 AM

    I cannot wait to get Duff back, he has been targeted for not playing at his best tho and i fell that only a few remember how he can play if he is truly ready… On a sitenote… There have been a great campaign called “bring back the noise” at St. James, but i feel that a new campaign is now calling for those capable along the lines of “stop the boo’ing”. I could fear a player like Duff getting boo’ed if he was replacing Zog and what would that do to his comeback?. I understand why people boo at times, being frustrated. But really, boo’ing your own team and players???, what good is ever going to come from it… In the last 2 seasons when we have played like **** i could see why it started, but it seems like it is an ugly side to the support of NUFC now that comes every time we are the slighest unhappy, about a freakin substisution ffs!!!. We should all be happy about the future at NUFC, we have a new owner, new great manager, allot of new players and a long term strategy that seems wise… So why the boo’ing over small matters as subs?

  • 6 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:48 AM

    Listen guys… I have had problems with Alan Olivers writing at times to, as it have seemed very pro-Shephard when we desperately needed a change and speaking for the fans when what he said was the very oposite of what we wanted… BUT… If that really is Alan Oliver then he is doing a very good job at last, getting in where the fans are and listening to them allows him to know our true feelings on NUFC matters, and if u keep on flaming him, all that will happen is that he stops comming and then all is left in a no-better situation than before, at least this would allow AO to forward our feelings on club matters and give us a line of communication with our beloved NUFC… I know im being gullable for thinking its the true Alan Oliver, but weirder things happen in the world than a local Journalist trying to forge a link with the club supporters.

  • 7 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 10:56 AM

    valle – very well said mate. I only wish your views were echoed by more people inside the ground. Booing seems to have become very fashionable throughout football all of a sudden. Occasionally I do feel it’s warranted, for example in the case of David Bentley – it was important that he realised what his actions meant to the fans (although I do hope they don’t make him the subject of abuse in the future). In the case of Lampard the other I think it’s disgraceful and, quite frankly, dumb.
    I can’t see Duff getting booed though – it’s been that long since he played for us I doubt many of us would even recognise him. I’m starting to think that he has a secret untalented twin, because the Duff we ended up with certainly wasn’t the same one that used to terrorise defences with Blackburn and Chelsea.

  • 8 Jesus // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Please everyone, do the Christian thing and let Alan Oliver O.B.E say his piece.

  • 9 Satan // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Sod that – give him hell.

  • 10 Elvis // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:05 AM

    Hey folks!

    When I heard my great friend Alan Oliver O.B.E was using this blog to get in touch with his fans I thought I’d give it a go.

    Great site Ed, uu-huh!

    Thank you very much!!

  • 11 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:22 AM

    valle – just to clarify – I was saying well said to your booing comments. Don’t really care either way about Alan Oliver, but then again, if he’s mates with Jesus and Elvis he can’t be all bad.

    And don’t listen to that Satan fella – he’s always trying to stir things up!

  • 12 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:24 AM

    Funny thing that… Jesus and Elvis actually picked the exact same time to write the blog… Makes u wonder bout conspiracy and corruption… And btw Elvis, i was ur greatest fan.

  • 13 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:25 AM

    That should say “Jesus and Satan”, but i guess that figures…

  • 14 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Toon chicken… I know mate ;)… i knew i was heading for troubled waters when i wrote that piece… I do stand by it tho, and both pieces have a connection with all that grudge going around.

  • 15 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    Peresonally Ed I think you should moderate any comments by him. I think he has a bl**dy cheek using your blog as his notice board. Any body else want to advertise their services. Perhaps he can go back to using telephone boxes.

  • 16 George // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    How sad is this, Alan Oliver is so desperate to be loved by his millions of fans (only joking he only has one, his mother), that he has to go to were the real fans and real news is at Eds Blog.
    I think we should block his comments as he is responsible for more verbal shit than any other so called reporter on the toon. He is probably a one night stand love child of John Gibson that other gobshite.
    Just goes to show you that this blogs popularity is getting the publicity it justly deserves, however do we really want to read what Anul Oliver has to say. Afterall we could pay for the honour and buy the chronicle, then at least we have something to wipe our backsides on, painful as it would be.

  • 17 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:38 AM

    On a matter of actual interest to real bloggers, I am dissapointed to read how far off Duff’s return is. Regardless of what Sam says the proof of the pudding is what happens on the pitch, obviously we all want an on form Duff but do not expect instant miracles. Oh and I have some wargames figures for sale anyone interested :)

  • 18 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:41 AM

    Bill F… As i saw it, it was a chance for one of the local users of this blog to get to say his piece about NUFC matters… As i said, i havent been his biggest fan neither, but forgive and forget?… You must at least agree that if he actually get among fans, it would enable him to forward OUR opinions on NUFC, instead of assuming that we share his, and isnt that exactly what we wanted from him?

  • 19 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:42 AM

    Just a point on the whole Alan Oliver – is he or isn’t he debate.

    The real Alan Oliver isn’t an OBE is he? Surely not?

  • 20 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Bill F… Are we talking warhammer fantasy figures?… in that case, ill buy em ;)

  • 21 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:44 AM

    Toon Chicken… Not to much into English titles, since i live in Denmark… What is O.B.E anyway?

  • 22 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Ed… I would like to know where u stand in this AO debate… is he allowed to comment on ur blog?

  • 23 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:47 AM

    Well, as I said yesterday, In Alan’s case it most likely stands for “One Big Ego”.

    But it more commonly stands for “Order of the British Empire” and is normally reserved for individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to society. Not sure if AO falls into this category!

  • 24 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM

    Toon Chicken… hehe, the guy just cant win, can he? ;)

  • 25 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM

    Valle, it was his overt attempt to advertise his services as an speaker that got up my nose. If he really wants to connect with the fans then good on him but gut feeling tells me this aint so, I reckon he is to far up his own *rse.

    The figures comment was meant to be irony, but yes I really have if you want to contact me on billandpat.forster@virgin.net I can tell you more

  • 26 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    Bill F… I know mate, i was just playing along… as previously mentioned i live in Denmak, some fair way from u i would guess =)

  • 27 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 11:58 AM

    Valle, No problem, I can be a little slow at times. :)

  • 28 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Nah, i doubt that Bill… it’s just easy to misunderstand each other through texts… after all 70% of our understood language is bodu language.

  • 29 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:02 PM

    Nah, i doubt that Bill… it’s just easy to misunderstand each other through texts… after all 70% of our understood language is body language.

  • 30 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:04 PM

    hmm, i really need to read through my texts before i post them ;) … good thing this aint a spelling contest.

  • 31 Hammy // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:06 PM

    Elvis…aren’t you supposed to be dead…..hang on …can we cut a deal…..I’m just off to Ladbrokes…..I’ll go halfers, not that you need the money of course.

  • 32 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:07 PM

    On another note… Sam was getting a bit of stick for taking the players to the lake instead of somewhere fancy like Dubai, but take a look at these pictures from the official site

    http://www.nufc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10278~1144039,00.html

    It really seems like they are having a good time, personally i get all happy just by looking at ‘em.

  • 33 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:11 PM

    Hammy… Havent u seen Bubba Ho-Teb?… Elvis aint dead he just switched lives with an Elvis imitator because he was tired of the spotlight. It was really the imitator who had a bad lifestyle and ended up dead, while the real one is fighting zombies in an American old folks home. ;)

  • 34 Hammy // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:23 PM

    Great pics valle……wasn’t sure if that was Barton scuffling in a rock pool….but he is smiling, looks like the lads had a good time, nice to see Babayaro in places other than a nightclub…

    Not sure if I believe your Elvis story though….

  • 35 Alan Oliver O.B.E // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:32 PM

    Toon chicken, I’ve spent over 25 years writing in the North East, I have all my articles archived to prove it.
    It’s not every day you meet the Queen, I understand it was a real honour for her. Thanks for all the e-mails by the way, nice to see I have the odd fan.

  • 36 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:50 PM

    Hammy… It looked more like Jose to be honest, but yah it seems like they really enjoyed it.

  • 37 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 12:55 PM

    Alan Oliver O.B.E… What exactly is the point of using a fake name? are u a 12 year old with a personality/selfesteem problem or a mackem in disguise?… Whatever u r u gave urself up in that last message… On a future note, i think The Queen is spoken of as “her majesty” by a well educated journalist such as yourself “sigh”… well at least u got me to look like a fool.

  • 38 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:03 PM

    Valle That was one funny film, Hammy the truth is often stranger than fiction we live in a strange universe.

    Incidently if any one decided to contact me on my e-mail address, I automatically junk anything with attatchments if I don’t know source, Idon’t suppose any does, but if they did mention Ed’s blog in the title. I might even be prepared to send the first chapter of my novel. This may be of interest to PK or Valle as it is set in Norway.

  • 39 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:09 PM

    Valle looked at pics, Have to say they looked a bit iffy if Sam don’t want injuries. I have had some great holidays in Lakes (mentioned in earlier blog) but as I said not much night life there, probably why he chose it.

  • 40 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:20 PM

    Bill F… I agree, and we dont know half of it I reckon… PS: I might take u up on that :)

  • 41 Alan Oliver O.B.E // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    Toon Bloggers Annual Gullibility awards 2007

    1st place. Bill F
    2nd place Valle
    3rd place Toon Chicken

    well it was fun while it lasted.

  • 42 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:28 PM

    Alan Oliver O.B.E – gullibility isn’t even a real word – have a look in the dictionary!

    And yes, you really had me going. Lord only knows how you got round the tight security on this blog that stops people making up any old name. Jesus even had to supply Ed with a copy of his birth certificate before he was allowed to use his name – and you can only imagine the complications that caused.

    Muppet!

  • 43 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Well, im going for first place next time around… Just tell me u r the real Elvis… i watched that movie u know

  • 44 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    Well it’s nice to be first at something and some interesting points of ethics raised and the universe has a way of getting something done and it was enjoyable and :)

  • 45 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    I still dont get why ppl do it tho… i have an idea but im stuck between Personality disorder or severe lack of self-esteem… Anyways, i hope u come around mate, there are hope for u2.

  • 46 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Bill F… At least it woke u up, unlike all the Owen talk ;)

  • 47 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:40 PM

    Btw… one good thing came of this, it made me search youtube for impersonators, being bored as i am. And i found this guy, doing different actors casting for the Samuel L Jackson role in snakes in a plane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G54rRiEynEk

    Great Joe Pesci and Christopher Walken imo.

  • 48 Alan Oliver O.B.E // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:44 PM

    Well most of you saw the funny side, personally I was sick to death of Owen, Estonia, Russia, England, plastic pitches and so forth…..unfortunately Sinaed was my handywork also….alas I am a sad man.

    Anyway roll on Tottenham.

    Toon chicken, I thouht I’d spelt gullable wrong, happens even to the best journalists.

    Adios my friends…

  • 49 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:48 PM

    Haha – oldest trick in the book that man Alan – can’t believe you fell for it :)

  • 50 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:51 PM

    Well… Making jokes are alright by me, but be careful saying ur someone that ur not on the internet, people usually dont take that lightly since some sad stories have come from those kind of things… Not that there was any harm in yours, but it made me remember the doc on that kid who got a royal screwing… think it was a BBC

  • 51 bobby // Oct 16, 2007 at 1:55 PM

    your not alan oliver.. your a strange man

  • 52 ToonKing // Oct 16, 2007 at 2:22 PM

    Did anyone notice on the pictures Shola and Baba are the only ones either taking a break or walking, while others are running ?? lol

  • 53 Toon Chicken // Oct 16, 2007 at 2:41 PM

    ToonKing – yeah funny that – so out of character for the both of them ;)

  • 54 Hammy // Oct 16, 2007 at 2:44 PM

    Valle….great link, Pesci was great not sure about the Jack N. impression though….good stuff!!

  • 55 leo // Oct 16, 2007 at 2:53 PM

    alan oliver is a strange man…

  • 56 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 3:14 PM

    Valle why do you think the mention of Owen makes me go to sl…………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • 57 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 3:24 PM

    And my wife and I were gobsmacked at the impressions, really bad :)

  • 58 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 3:53 PM

    Bill F… I dont know where i got the idea about Owen ;) … Really u didnt like them?, i think they are great :)

  • 59 Bill F // Oct 16, 2007 at 4:02 PM

    Valle bad as in, Plan 9 from outer space, Attack of the killer tomatoes, etc. so bad they become good.

  • 60 valle // Oct 16, 2007 at 4:08 PM

    Hehe ok… take a look at Mother Walkens Christmas story

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pzB30dsxsQ

  • 61 Hadrian // Oct 16, 2007 at 8:02 PM

    yeah id like to see a push to stop the booing , if not only for this season .
    we’re all entitled to our opinions , but there has been so much change at the club , this season it should be all about fresh starts and making everyone feel welcome … as long as the same respect is afforded to us to fans that is .

    cant wait for duff back , and i also can see big sam getting the best out of him .
    duff seems to fit the mould perfectly for sam to work with and get back to his former self .
    as great as zoggy is , he’s no messi ….. im of the opinion that young players should always be waiting in the wings behind a senior , so duff would start for me over zoggy , give the younguns the chance to strut their stuf in the easier matches .




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