Steve Harper was our best player yesterday, but the other player to catch the eye was 22 year-old Charles N’Zogbia, who could have been playing his final game for the Tyneside club.
Charles N’Zogbia – last game for Newcastle?
We had the same situation last year at this time, when Charles wanted to leave the club.
Of all the teams he could have gone too he wanted to go to Fulham, but when Geremi came to the club, things changed around. Glenn Roeder, had made Charles (then just 21 years old) the scapegoat for a lot of poor displays by the team,
We always thought Glenn was unwilling to confront his senior players during that time so picked on Charles – which we thought was very unfair and unwarranted.
Big Sam was brought in and Geremi took the youngster under his wing, and he has probably had his best season ever for the club.
Charles appeared 36 times this season, with 31 starts and scored 3 goals. One of those was the great goal against Middlesbrough, when he cut in from the left and hit a wonderful right foot shot into the net. One of our best goals of the season.
Yesterday he looked exactly what he is – a young exciting player headed for even greater stardom, if he can keep his head down, and doesn’t get carried away with his own success and start believing his own headlines.
He probably needs some guidance too, and we now have experienced players like Geremi, Beye, Faye and the like, at the club, who all speak French and can freely communicate with N’Zogbia, and act as his mentor as he continues to learn his trade.
Charles says he misses his family and wants to go to London, where there are more frequent flights to France. But that doesn’t sound too good a reason to us to leave the North East. Maybe he just want sot leave Newcastle, and if he does, so be it.
However, Charles is still well liked by the Newcastle faithful, and watching him yesterday, it’s not too surprising why that’s the case.
To be out of the team so long, and then come back and put in a performance like he did at Goodison yesterday, says a lot about the boy. He’s taken a lot of criticism this year, but in the last few weeks Keegan has pointed out he has buckled down very well in training.
He got us the penalty yesterday, just 35 seconds into the second half, when he was just too fast for Yobo, and he looked an exciting player throughout.
And of course he would be brought on famously by the boss, Kevin Keegan, who just loves working with players like N’Zogbia – loves it!
For the record, Charles has made 134 appearances for Newcastle with 98 starts, and scored 9 goals.
The decision will probably rest with young Charles, who turns just 23 later this month.
We hope he stays.