N’Zogbia Back in Frame For Saturday’s Game

Charles N’Zogbia will be back in the frame for Saturday night’s televised game against FA Cup finalists Portsmouth.


Charles N’Zogbia – back in the squad for Saturday

N’Zogbia has not made the bench for Newcastle United’s last two games because of a knee injury he suffered while on France Under-21 duty. That injury was kept fairly quiet, so most Newcastle fans have wondered where Charles has been the last couple of games.

Keegan told the Shields Gazette today:

“Charles picked up a knee injury playing for the French Under-21s. He’s had a week training with the physio, and he should be alright now.”

Kevin Keegan has worked hard to persuade N’Zogbia that his future lies at St James’ Park, but we think the decision will be totally up to Charles to make in the summer. He will have an excellent career at Newcastle under Kevin Keegan, with every chance of being in a successful team.

But his agent Willie McKay said on transfer deadline day last January, that N’Zogbia wanted to join Tottenham Hotspur, and the feeling at the club is that he still remains unsettled.

But with the excellent form of Newcastle’s side during the last four games, the loss of Charles, if he does decide to move on, will not be as great as it would have been. We’d still like Charles to stay at the club.

But if he goes to Tottenham Hotspur then Keegan will probably try to get Aaron Lennon in part exchange, and Aaron would be a great player in a Kevin Keegan attacking side.

We’ll just have to see what happens, but Kevin will not want to keep players who don’t want to play for him.

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Craig Allen

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Good. I’m a huge fan of Zog and would love to see him play for King Kev! Here’s to catching hammers before end of season! Cheers! 😀

    EDIT: (love the feature btw) I see Crouch in the papers again … let’s go get him! He’s defo not happy not getting regular game time.

  • Charlie Bucket

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #2

    Team for Portsmouth match



    Yes please.

  • Eric

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #3

    I hope Zog wants to stay with us. However, neither do I want to retain players who do not want to play for us. Trouble is he has got McKay for an agent. Nowt but a horsetrader and not really cared about Zogs career – just sees Zog as a wallet filler. Hope he plays against Portsmouth, really do.

  • dougnufc

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #4

    I would prefer to have Duff instead of Smith

  • moomfan

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #5

    i think zog can have a future in football. but his attitude with newcastle sucks. at his age and with the opportunity sir bobby gave him, i think this kid is ungrateful to the club. he is decent not spectacular and personally i consider him a better left back than a winger. reason is his tenacity and he passes better when he is playing in that position. as a winger his crosses get nowhere and we loose the battle up front. the same for another likeable player milner. i would much rather see zog leave in the summer because his poor personality and ineffective winging is not needed while we are trying to turn thing around. but get good value for him as he does have a massive potential to grow and he certainly has skill, not quality, i said skills, talent call it what you want , but that sour puss face and attitude has to go. point blank.

  • faustino

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #6

    It’ll be Willie McKay makes the decision not Charles and the simple fact is, he’ll threaten all sorts to get Zog higher wages which will result in him being shown the door; due to the fact he will confuse fat men and think he’s in a meeting with Shepherd and not Ashley.

  • faustino

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Moomfan: in the scheme of things N Zogbia is probs best in the middle of the park then cos he is attrocious at left back.

  • Viper

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #8

    moomfan, I think he is, whey as he says, a central attacking midfielder not a winger. Hey I like the kid but agree neywhere near good enough for a winger for us to continue going forwards!

    Emre, Duff, Milner, Zog, Deco(?), Barton. Hmmm who’d say no!

    Where’s Lennon supposed to go btw?

  • HeronMag

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m a big fan of N’Zogbia. I really hope Keegan can persuade him to stay.

    I honestly think he is one of the best young talents in Europe. He’s quick and can leave most defenders for dead with his dribbling skills.

    If we can develop his game I reckon we could have a massive star for the future.

    He’s probably on his way to the bright lights of London, but as he agreed to a brand new 5-year deal recently I would expect at least £10-15 million pounds for a transfer fee.

  • Eric

    Apr 7, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #10

    If Zog gets persuaded by McKay and leaves then he will show he is not one of the intelligent players KK needs. He’ll be last seen sitting on Spurs bench in between modelling for Mothercare and advertising their baby toys..

  • sparetheman

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #11

    I don’t understand why everyone’s saying he’s got a bad attitude – he never shows it on the pitch if he does have one. He’s always been a hard worker on the field and that’s what is most important. People shouldn’t believe everything they read on the internet.

    In my opinion, he was our best player for the first half of the season without question, and he’s unfortunate to find himself out of the team right now. Having said that, he can’t complain when the current first team are doing so well.

    I hope he stays in the summer though because he certainly has a role to play if he does. I honestly think he’ll eventually force his way into the French squad at some point and I’m sure there will be plenty of takers if he is available.

  • UTD111

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #12

    Perhaps Charlie knows that the way things are going, and with some class summer midfield signings coming in, he’s only going to be a squad player at United. But I’m not sure he won’t be in the same position whether he goes to Tottenham or Arsenal.

  • Obafan

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #13

    I do not like his attitude at all. What has he proven to think he is the man. First of all he is incosistent and I prefer Duff above N’Zogbia.

    And something which irritates me so much is the fact that he loves the ball so much. He never passes the ball at the right moment (or not that much) and he dribbles too much.

    I would not be disappointed if he would leave in the summer. We could get better players who really want to prove that they deserve to wear the black n white stripes!

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #14

    I would love Zog to stay and fight for his place.

    Should he choose to move, he’ll have to fight anyway because he has a fair bit to learn yet as he matures.

    Either way – good luck to a talented lad who has Gallic talent and moods – it would appear.

  • Thomas

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #15

    N’zogbia is much better on the wing than defending. Lets not forget at the beginning of the season he was our brightest player. He might not make the right decisions in the final third be all the lad needs is coaching and direction, but like Ameobi, if at such a young age you have 5 different coaches in a short amount of time, how do you learn and improve with all them saying and demanding something different? i know if i were one of them id be bloody confused, he is right to be disillusioned with the club, he just needs to feel the King Kev love for once

  • hanzemre

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #16

    i suppose he’d just earn his place in the team by push hard & professionally in the traning. He must show his heart is here 1st & that he is ready. KK’ll uses him eventually. If not doing so, he is then up to any offers in the summer.

  • Bill F

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:40 PM

    Comment #17

    ChrisL, don’t know if this answers our earlier debate. Might just be a smokescreen to cover up what is really going or he might really have been injured. If the former is true then it’s good to see KK keeping it inhouse and not spread across the tabloids as might have happened in the past.
    I suspect under Fat Sam that some of the players didn’t have the same sense of team spirit and would have blabbed to the press at the drop of a fiver.

  • Spyro

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #18

    Slap a 12 million price tag on him and then we will see who comes in for him. Win Win situation if you ask me

  • moomfan

    Apr 7, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #19

    sparetheman: the best player on a loosing team is no reason to like zog. the best scenario for him is to go to wenger, as he has the potential that wenger can bring out the best in him. but that would require something in return and in my opinion either hleb or sagna would be fair trade or 8m. this lad is only on our squad because we have a small squad and no replacements. keggy is the man, and with his style of play, passing and attacking is essential, therefore n’zogbia will never be a force until he settles down and become a better passer and heads up midfielder.
    faustino: i gave him the ok at left back simply because he did score the three goals early in the campaign pushing up from that position with confidence.
    my opinion zog to arsenal, the only team in england where he can possible be encouraged and become a good footballer. anywhere else and i guarantee you he will fall flat on his arse.


    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #20

    ED you have sold your soul to the devil by putting the 3 good games a season midfield brigade on the banner instead of N’Zogbia and Milner

  • malaysian youngster

    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #21

    kk why the hell u want lennon. we are doing great without winger. we dont need any more winger. we had being playing great with 433.nzogbia as centre midfield will be great.he is one very hard working lad. always try his best for the team.seldom do stupid decision. except one game dunno against which team keep shootin from far.

  • HeronMag

    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #22

    I agree Craigg. Milner has been our most consistent player over the last two years.

    Surely we aren’t that fickle!


    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #23

    Heron mag

    Trust me some are!

  • Whumpie

    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #24

    He’s an oddun. On more than one occasion he’s been a petulent little French git, and yet when things were going badly he was one of very few who didn’t let his head drop. I think he’s got a shed-load of talent, but needs the right type of manager to channel it. I’m not sure KK is that manager.

    Personally I think it’s time to let him go be with the tossers in London and get someone in who is better suited to Newcastle. He’ll also do well under his fellow cheese-eating surrender monkey Wenger.

  • Leo

    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #25

    he will most likely be on the bench, keegan wont change a winning formula unless he has to


    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #26

    I really think KK is right to get this kid to the top he wont play much at Arsenal and will go the route of many others bouncing from crappy club to even crappier club (Reading to Wigan)

    I hope the lad stays as he will improve massively in the hands of the King, Martins (Already) Taylor, Milner, Edgar and Enrique will be staggering in 2 years time and we could compete with the best with young players like these and the reserves like Carroll, Kadar, Baheng, Godsmark, Zamblera, Tozer and hopefully soon Barnes and Vokes all looking like a massively talented squad in the future.

    Zog could be our outstanding left winger in a dominant period of success like Giggs has been for all the major achievments at Man Utd since the early 90s.

    Zog can have a great career at Newcastle or an average one elsewhere especially at Arsenal

    2 words could define Zogs long term prospects “Francis Jeffers”

    The grass aint always greener down in the land of the Chimney sweeps and pearly kings

  • shirts

    Apr 7, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #27

    Charlie makes great, scorching runs, but then can’t pull off a pass to complete the move–much like Milner, I think. Both of them need to work on that. But Charles seems to want out.

  • Craig Allen

    Apr 7, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #28

    Ed, I hope that banner’s one of many as I’d hate to think we’re as fickle a bunch as the press would have everyone believe.

    As for the arguments against Zog, I agree Zog is still a way from the finished product and with KK’s guidance could (just like Oba) channel that energy into something positive instead of negative (misguided passion). Like Oba, he too has areas of his game to work on and gets as irritated as Oba when a chance is missed or he’s in space and doesn’t get the pass etc. This all while we were struggling week in/out under FS with low confidence bad results etc etc. I’ve watched him play I’ve seen his passion and skill. We should keep him – unless he tries (albeit through his agent) to hold NUFC ransom – then I say, let him go … let him go!

  • sparetheman

    Apr 7, 2008 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #29

    “the best player on a loosing team is no reason to like zog. the best scenario for him is to go to wenger, as he has the potential that wenger can bring out the best in him. but that would require something in return and in my opinion either hleb or sagna would be fair trade or 8m. this lad is only on our squad because we have a small squad and no replacements. keggy is the man, and with his style of play, passing and attacking is essential, therefore n’zogbia will never be a force until he settles down and become a better passer and heads up midfielder.”

    I disagree. Playing well in a losing side is more difficult than playing well in a winning side, and I don’t think he N’Zogbia got enough credit from the Toon fans for being pretty much our only creative force going forward. Not to mention he was being played out of position half the time he was in the first team.

    I’m not saying he cannot improve – he definitely can – but he’s still a very good player as he is. I think those of you who want rid of him simply because of a few rumours are ridiculous. People keep pointing towards his poor attitude but do we have any prove he has one? It seems any player who has a few stories written about them have a bad attitude these days. It could all be fabricated for all we know. Anyway, as I said in my previous post, if he does have an attitude problem, it certainly doesn’t show where it matters – on the pitch!

    p.s. if you think Wenger is going to give us Hleb or Sagna for N’Zogbia, you’re dreaming.


    Apr 7, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #30

    I agree fully Zog and Milner both we fantastic playing in a pathetic side last season and most of this, Yes both need to improve their crossing and should stop tying themselves in knots when the get to the byline.

    but my god do we really want our wingers to play hundreds of square passes who cant run and waste every good position from set pieces and if Milners or Zogs crossing is poor watch some of the great Geremis efforts the other day.

    We have played some sides in the last 4 matches for 1 reason or another arent on top form but this side will be found out soon sadly, Remember Portsmouth at home up to that match we were winning by playing poorly and we thought we were unbeatable especially at home, We had a total reallity check and i hope it doesnt happen on saturday, we arent playing poorly at the minute but the opposition are flattering us.

    But my words, Emre, Milner and Nzogbia should all walk back into this side despite the recent results, Form is temporary Class is permanent

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 7, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #31

    Craigg, I partly agree and mostly disagree respectfully.

    I haven’t found Milner a particularly effective player, nor Emre for that matter. I don’t have the stats (would like to be proven wrong). Milner has done a bit here and there. Apart from a great 20 mins against Everton, I can’t recall Emre doing anything of note this season, he gave Sunderland players the freedom of the pitch whilst he was caught ballwatching.

    Zog is classy when he’s in the mood. Which is less often than not.

    So to describe these 3 as class above the remainder is a tad over the top. Capable of doing classy things now and then is nearer the truth.

    AND…. I think Geremi has been a revelation since playing the 433 formation. he links well, he finds space, keeps possession. He’s not a fast or tricky player granted BUT at the moment he’s our most effective midfielder. Barton is at long last starting to look the part. His passing over 20-40 yards is going to get Martins a lot of goals. Owen is like a new player, playing deep, arriving late into the box. Martins scares the living daylights out of anyone as soon as he’s running with ball on goal. Butt looks 10 years younger at the moment. Viduka = goals scored and goals from flick ons and goals from 1-2s.

    IMO Milner, Emre and Zog (like Duff) can wait their place on the bench until someone gets injured or form drops.

    I suspect we will see Newcastle get better (I certainly hope so) with the current first choice eleven.

    Let’s hope E, M and Z’s patience are tested long and hard.


    Apr 7, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #32

    Yes ill agree with that they can do some brilliant things and some games are inneffective

    I respect your opinions but IMO against better oppositions i think we will be found out Emre is the best midfield player we have, alright he is injured a lot but he on the left of the 433 with Barton on the right of the three, is a better option than Geremi who i dont acknowledge as a revelation he has been good for a bit but for how long he wasnt great against reading.

    I cant see us keeping the 433 next season anyway especially not with us being linked so regularly with Lennon and Reyes.

    Geremi at 30, Butt at 32 and Barton at the gates of Strangeways, cant have so much of our reliance as none can be consistant as they havent been all season, In the summer we need to sign at least 3 midfielders two wide players and at the very least 1 CM.

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 7, 2008 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #33

    I saw Geremi in a different light against Reading. his link up play (especially with Baye) was top drawer. his movement into space, constantly giving anyone probing forward an out.

    It’s taken me a long long time to realise how good a player he is and doesn’t have to be fast (neither does Butt) to do what he does well.

    I’m suffering from 433-love-it-love-it, can we always play this way-itis at the moment. I have no desire to break Owen Martins a big lad up front right now – no way not for forseeable future. If Owens or Martins is injured – then ok. i was pleased to Keegan didn’t revert to 442 when he brought Duff on as well.

    I’ve heard everyone from Deco, Beckham, Lennon, to Mother O’Reilly and Lord HAha coming to Toon next season. Let’s see this one out first.

    I don’t share your regard for Emre – I hope it changes for the better.

    Milner is a lovely lad and I think he’ll do ok in his long career to come. Will he step up another gear or two and add to his game. If he watched Geremi, got his movement right, crosses more accurate and worked harder at forming a partnership with his full back – then maybe yes.

    Zog is in fog right now. I can’t see in to know what’s going on. Very gifted -probably our most entertaining mdfielder. So if he is wise he will remain a Keeganette.

    IMO next season our priorties are:

    2 top class central defenders
    cover for Enrique and Baye
    maybe look top getting a top class target man because Viduka’s legs will probably not last a full season. (Having said that I’d get Carroll on for 2-3 games later this season)

    If a truly world class player would join Keegan’s re-revolution – (Henry for example) then yes, we can reshape – otherwise its 433 all the time – for me.

  • Oga

    Apr 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #34

    Nzogbia, Milner & Taylor must be kept!

    All three have potential to be great.

  • Spyro

    Apr 7, 2008 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #35

    i agree with your comments doctapaul

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 7, 2008 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #36

    Hi Oga,

    My opinion of Taylor has waned a tad. You may be right. He’s 21 and Rio Ferdinand took time toi mature. It’s a possibility so yes I agree stick with him unless the price is right.

    As much as I like Milner, his passion and occasional trickery – his crossing and movement don’t cut it for me. So if the price is right…..

    Zog is our mystery player. he’s brilliant for 10 games or so and then disappears. My intuition says stick with him unless the price is right.

    Like you, I call it as I see it and I hope I’ve underrated all 3 players.

  • chuck

    Apr 7, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Comment #37

    Have to agree N`zogbia is no defender, I think his role should be to interchange with Duff on the left, adding a bit of confusion, both can play the wing or inside roles. If he can learn a little about the defensive side of mid field, he could become a more complete player and to lose him at this stage would be dissapointing. Possibly something he would come to regret.

  • hanzemre

    Apr 8, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #38

    am agree with Doctapaul on N’Zogbia, Milner, Emre, Geremi, Barton & Butt. We must go on with this 433 all the time. The 1st 11 players are good at this winning system so the others (already in the squad or whoever coming) have to adjust for sake of the team.


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