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Mark Viduka on Newcastle – New Era and Good Times Ahead

As we had reported yesterday – Mark Viduka talked in glowing terms of Big Sam when he discussed coming to Newcastle.
He has since added to those comments and talked about the dawning of a new era at Newcastle.


Mark Viduka

Mark had this to say about why he chose Newcastle (over Middlesbrough) and how he thinks Newcastle’s future looks:

“Talking to Sam was a big turning point for me,” “I really wanted to hear Sam’s plans for the new season and what players he wanted to bring in. His answers matched with what I was thinking myself. I want to win things and Newcastle is a club that has all the ingredients to do that, especially with Sam coming in.”

“I am over the moon. I am really happy,”

“The main thing that attracted me to the club was it is moving in the right direction. I think a new era is about to start. Sam Allardyce has come in and if we can get success it will be something special. The potential is enormous and I am really pleased to be part of it.  “It is definitely one of the biggest clubs in the country and if we can get success, then it will be something special.”

It looks like Mark is thinking like most Newcastle fans – that this could be the start of a wonderful era for Newcastle. Not since Kevin Keegan was at the club has there been so much excitement in Newcastle. It’s even more so now because it looks like we will have lots of money to spend in the transfer market for the first time really. We’ll also have a ground that’s one of the best in Europe again – hopefully before the Olympic Games in 2012. Newcastle will be one of the football grounds hosting the football tournament.
Sam talked about the Viduka signing again last night:

“It is common knowledge that every manager wants two players for every position, and that is what we will have next season as far as our strikers are concerned.” “He (Viduka) has the size and stature to lead our front line and is direct competition for Shola Ameobi, who is fit again now.”

Middlesbrough were also obviously keen to re-sign Viduka, their top scorer last season with 19 goals in all competitions. They cannot be too happy at losing Viduka to Newcastle. Goalkeeper and Australian team-mate Mark Schwarzer claims Middlesbrough left it far too late before getting serious with talks.

Mark said:

“I sort of half-expected it after they left it so long to negotiate a contract with him,” he said. “I’m disappointed with not keeping him, but whether or not I’m going to look at my future now is another thing.
“It always does put a seed in your mind, an element of doubt.
“Rather than accumulate new players we’re actually losing better players.
“It’s going to be a hard task to actually replace these sort of top quality players and be competitive next season.”

Viduka is believed to be on a deal worth $120,000 a week at Newcastle and Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb said Viduka had turned down an outstanding offer to stay, while manager Gareth Southgate said he regretted the loss. It looks like Mark chose Newcastle because of Sam Allardyce – and also because expectations are sky high now that Mike Ashley is about to assume control of the club.


Jonathon Woodgate

One last thought – it’s such a pity that the great Jonathon Woodgate went to Middlesbrough at the end of last season. He could have joined Newcastle again and helped us to win trophies under Big Sam. It’s sad that Ashley and Allardyce weren’t in place before he made his decision – but that’s life.

Wonder what he’s thinking now about the choice he made?

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Ebol

    Jun 8, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #1

    Woodgate and Sidwell are two big big players we missed out on and they would have fitted right into the two main weak spots in the Newcastle team. I am still really annoyed at Roeder’s delaying and FFS’s stinginess when Woodgate was available. In my opinion, he has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the world and he was definitely one of the best in the Prem when we had him.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #2

    Ebol – Woodgate is one of my favorite players – so sorry he’s not at Newcastle 🙁

  • jacob

    Jun 8, 2007 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #3

    I bet Woodgate’s devastated. After commiting himself to the smog monsters, he now has to continue playing, – week in week out, – in front of literally dozens of supporters, and in a gas mask. I bet seeing Vid move up the road to play a part in an exciting new era for NUFC must rankle even further. No doubt about it, Woodgate’s world class, despite his injury record, and rumour has it, he even asked Shepherd to keep his peg free in the dressing room after his sale to Madrid, because he’d “definitely be back.”

    What chance do we have of getting Woodgate back? If any? Would the Smoggies sell? What’s his contract like? Can anyone pour some light on his situation? I for one, and many others I dare say, would love to see him back in a black and white shirt. And I bet given half a chance, Woody would also be back up to the toon like a shot.

  • mark grant

    Jun 8, 2007 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #4

    Just over 12 months ago over 200 Boro fans were in wait after the AVFC home defeat. His performanes and attitude were a disgrace.
    Last season and this, through injury and non selection , he was out more than he was in, and this suits him. He only plays when there is something at stake. take the UEFA cup final for example and this seasons end of campaign ‘come and get me ‘ goals tally. NUFC certainly wont be in a final of this sort, this side of the VIDs 40th birthday. Take it from me , he is greedy and lazy, I should know Im his best friends brother.

  • jamie walker

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #5

    Fat Fred , Fat Sam and now Fat Vid.
    Are they all as greedy as each other?Surely not!!

  • Craig

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #6

    I’m happy with this signing but if there is any truth in his wages reported at £120,000 a week then it is an insult to our club. It just proves we are a soft touch when it comes to contract negotiations. Great player but not worth even half of the reported wage at his age. Ed, where did you get this figure from?

  • Craig

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #7

    Oh and as for Woodgate, you clearly have to question the man’s ambition.

  • Cathal

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:13 PM

    Comment #8

    120,000 a week is ad disgrace if its true!! thats in effect 12m over 2 years! so much for a free transfer!! we def shud hav bought woody!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Craig – wonder if there’s any chance of tempting Woodgate to Newcastle? He’s been great for us before.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #10

    Cathal – the 120K/week is what’s been reported – have no idea how true that is – but with a free transfer the players always get a better deal because no transfer fee.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #11

    jacob – see question above to Craig – it’s interesting if we could get Woodgate as you ask – maybe not this summer – but next year would be OK – that’s when we will really need to step up the squad to challenge for premiership title. If i was Sam i’d starting thinking about how to get Woodgate – he mustn’t be feeling too good about Middlesbrough right now..

  • Jam

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #12

    Woodgate is just the sort of player that Newcastle are crying out for!!!!

  • Jam

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #13

    And 120K…no way. That is a ridiculous sum to pay Viduka. He is up himself if he thinks he is worth that. IT is a mockery that we pay him that if its true!!!!

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #14

    Jam – i may put an article out on Woodgate tomorrow – get the Middlesbrough fans really worried 😀

  • Andreas

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #15

    Even with our track record when it comes to negotiating player wages I really don’t think Viduka is on anything near £120k/w. The number might stem from some aussie report (they tend to convert salaries, transfer sums etc when reporting about “soccer” – well any non-aussie matter including finance/sums to be honest). AUD 120k/w = £51,6k/w seems a lot more likely.

  • dazza

    Jun 8, 2007 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #16

    the 120000 a week is in dollars ya bunch of rodneys, likely he’s on 50-60 grand a week

  • craig chisholm

    Jun 8, 2007 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #17

    120,000 aussie dollars lads NOT POUNDS. the aussie dollar is 2.5 to the pound. work it out, its 48 grand a week sterling. thats his deal. which is ok and about right for a bloke that banged in 19 goals last season. he was offered alot more to stay at smogg land but saw the light and moved on. some of the other comments on here are obviously from boro wankas slagging off the Vid for being greedy. How can this be, if he was greedy he would have stayed at boro for more money. boro will be in a year long relegation battle next season and they know it in their hearts. mind you, i would rather see them stay up instead of the mackems. you know, i always hated roy keane as a player, it makes sense that he is now their manager.
    changing the subject………….. who do you think will be our captain now that parker is history. i think it will be Owen.

  • Jam

    Jun 8, 2007 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #18

    dazza -cheers for clearing that up. lol. I feel a bit stupid now. Well thats a better wage.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #19

    Craig – we had a piece on here asking exactly that – who should be our captain next season – most said Nicky Butt – take a look. http://nufcblog.com/who-should-be-newcastle%e2%80%99s-captain-next-season/

  • jamie walker

    Jun 8, 2007 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #20

    120,000 Aus dollars is an unconfirmed report through Aussie media. Fat Vid was holding out at Boro until they at least matched WHU offer of £8m over 3 years.
    Woodgate raked in a % of his £7m transfer fee on top of his wage, plus Boro are willing to pay this annually, with such a small fan base how is that? Fat Fred wasn’t willing to pay either. Who got the better deal? Oguchy Onyewu seemed a better prospect at the time to FF/GR. He was flatly rejected by Boro when they realised his first club was the Harlem Globetrotters. Best to do your research first FF- enjoy your Geordie millions and your future divis.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 8, 2007 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #21

    Viduka’s salary is being reported as $120K/week US dollars. That’s about £60K UK pounds – and that’s what’s being reported in UK press. Seems about right to us – Owen is on about £105K/week and Dyer presumably around £80K/week. Of course it’s hard to confirm these. I mean the wages are far too high – but that’s the way it is these days.

  • Soren

    Jun 8, 2007 at 11:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Woodgate / Taylor would be an awesome Newcastle center defence! Woodgate should’ve never been sold to Real. Bring him back sam!

  • Jam

    Jun 9, 2007 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #23

    Selling Woodgate to Real, although i hated it at the time, was a great bit of business. Look how many games he played for real. It wasn’t many. We made a lot of money on a player that wasn’t gonna be able to play anyway. But i do think that we should have kept an eye on him and been there first to get him back, instead of middlesbrough anyway!

  • Craig

    Jun 9, 2007 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #24

    Woodgate ad Taylor would be superb.

  • Degsy

    Jun 12, 2007 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #25

    Yes Woodgate must be kicking himself at a missed opportunity to join a club that has not won anything since Dick Turpin was still robbing stagecoaches.. a club that is obviously up there with Real Madrid, Baecelona, Man Utd, AC Milan..oh hang on didnt the skunkies finish below the team he already plays for..perhaps not such a missed oportunity after all.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 12, 2007 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #26

    Degsy – please don’t confuse us with facts 😀


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