Some players who have arrived at Newcastle, usually after the club has paid huge transfer fees, are just never a success on Tyneside.
Albert Luque – dismal failure on Tyneside
Recent examples that manager Graeme Souness brought into the club are Albert Luque (£9.5M) and Jean-Alain Boumsong (£6.5M), who were both disasters on Tyneside, and heaven knows what wages we were paying them.
We’re not even going to mention the £40M we spent over four years on Michael Owen and got 30 goals in return, although it looked great when we signed him in August 2005.
It’s the constant pressure and intense scrutiny that comes with the territory when you are a Newcastle player, and the lads need to be able to deal with that.
And the plain fact is that some just haven’t been up to it.
Mike Williamson talked about that pressure today:
“In general anything which goes on at this club can be blown out of proportion, good and bad things I suppose,”
“The boys know they have to keep on a level pegging all the way through and do not get too high when things are going well and do not get too low when you are up against it, on and off the pitch.”
“I can see why this club has proved too daunting for some players who have joined. When the crowd are on your side it is brilliant, it fills you full of confidence and vice-versa.”
“I think it is down to a player’s character more than anything else. When things are not going your way you have to be mentally strong and get through it.”
It says a lot about Mike’s strength of character and temperament when Mike hadn’t played a first team game for over four months, yet made his debut at St. James’ Park on 27th January against Crystal Palace, and gave a commanding display at the back in which he didn’t put a foot wrong.
His temperament is one reason we think Mike will be in the starting line-up tonight, and come in for the unlucky 20 year-old central defender Tamas Kadar, who was great in our last game at Doncaster Rovers.
Mike’s wish is to play with the very best, and that means playing in the Premier League, and there is a great chance tonight to make that dream almost come true, with a win against Nottingham Forest.
“It is human nature to dream about playing and achieving the highest things that you can achieve.”“I have always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, it is one of the best in the world. To come here, there is a realistic chance of doing it.”
“When you have your fantasies you get back to real life and you just have to hope you can achieve some things, going up with Newcastle will hopefully help to achieve one of those.”
If Mike does start tonight, we’ll have to hope he gives another faultless display in central defense alongside Argentine Fabricio Coloccini.
Comments always welcome.