Former Newcastle loan player Oguchi Onyewu has paid credit to the Newcastle United club today, for giving him experience of playing against top English players.
Oguchi Onyewu – American is former Newcastle center-back
Oguchi was on loan at the famous Tyneside club from January of 2007 and played 8 times for the Magpies when Glenn Roeder was manager, but didn’t quite do enough to get himself a contract on Tyneside.
However, he seemed a popular guy with Newcastle fans, and his attitude and professional was first class, which is true of nearly all Americans in the PL.
The 28 year-old Onyewu left Standard Leige last summer for AC Milan and signed a three-year contract with the Italian giants on July 7th, 2009. Of course he will have top competition to get a first team start, with the majestic Nesta still at Milan.
But a very serious knee injury kept him on the sidelines all last season and he has only recently returned to playing, although he had a very strong game for the Americans on Saturday, and Wayne Rooney was hardly seen.
It’s even more surprising that was his first full game since last summer.
The New York Daily News had it right after the game with their witty headline “We Won 1-1”.
It’s a compliment to the character of the big American that he has offered to play for Milan next season for nothing, to even things up – how many footballers would even think that way these days?
This is what Onyewu has said today:
“I played against some good English strikers while I was at Newcastle, and I knew pretty much how Rooney would try to play against me.”
“I didn’t play against Rooney for Newcastle, but I did play against him in a friendly match at Wembley, and that helped as well. I feel comfortable playing against an English style.”
“It hasn’t been an easy time for me, physically, mentally and dealing with all the critics as well,” “That’s all behind me now though.”
I’m a fighter and I was able to get past all the adversity and help the team to get a good result.”
“As the game went on, I felt as though I got more and more comfortable. It’s the first full 90 minutes I’ve played in over half a year. I’ve worked hard since October to overcome injury and get my physical shape back.”
“I’ve been desperate to prove to the world that I’m capable of playing at the highest level again.” “We had a good game and this is a good platform to build on,”
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position to get two more good results and propel ourselves past the group stage.”
Onyewu has also dealt with racism during his time in Europe, having been punched and shouted at by racist fans while playing for Standard
Leige in Belgium – what an absolute disgrace!
When Onywu was playing for Newcastle, one of our American-born twin boys, Neil- a Newcastle supporter no less, really wanted Newcastle to sign the player – and so did I.
But the 6’4″ man mountain just didn’t do enough, but there again he probably needed more time to settle in the PL, as we’ve seen for many good players who start playing in England.