“Non, merci Monsieur Robert” – says Hughton?

Posted on December 4th, 2009 | 50 Comments |

Still a flying Frenchman?
Still a flying Frenchman?
Well he might somthing like that if he turns down the recent pleas of former Newcastle favourite Laurent Robert. Robert is a free agent after being released by Larissa FC of Greece and had been training with Fabrice Pancrate at Paris St Germain. And it’s Pancrate who is acting as the go-between after Robert asked him to put a good word in for him with Chris Hughton.

According to reports in The Journal and The Times, Pancrate has passed on Robert’s phone number and left it up to Hughton to make a decision on whether or not to bring the former French international back for a second spell at Newcastle and Pancrate is quoted as saying via an interpreter:

“I had a lot of conversations with Laurent and he told me about how amazing this city was, how incredible the fans are and how much I would enjoy my time here.

“As soon as I walked through the doors I realised he was right.

“I think Laurent is in talks with Paris St Germain at the moment, but he told me that he would like to come back here.

“If it could happen he would say yes. That’s what he said to me. He loves the club.

“I spoke to the manager to tell him Laurent would like to come back and is available. I gave him his number. I don’t know what has happened since then.”

Having been bought by Sir Bobby Robson for £9.5m in 2001, Robert flourished as our Fancy Frenchman MKII, without the elegance of Ginola but with more speed and potency. With the ability to frustrate on occasions and with his attitude questioned, he was sometimes considered a luxury we couldn’t afford but nonetheless got the crowd on their feet and scored thirty odd goals for the club with a number of assists. His spell at Newcastle was ended by a falling out with new gaffer Graeme Souness, though he wasn’t the first or last.

At 34, it has to be asked whether he still has the legs to get past people because that was always his strength. He sounds genuinely like he just wants to play football, and having been quoted as saying he would play for free at PSG, that would surely tempt Ashley and Llambias if they’ve got wind of it.

The papers are suggesting Hughton will turn down the offer, because his focus is on defenders. But with big centre forwards crying out for good service, could the Frenchman come back and give us one last half season of genuine brilliance or would he be destined to fail in the ‘hard working’ environment of the Championship?

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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50 Responses

  1. If it was on a play as you play or the same ‘for free’ deal he was offering PSG, I’d say he was worth a punt. Fof all te running Jonas does, how many crosses into the box does he do?

  2. it’s prob worth getting him over for a trial to see if his legs, pay as you play at 10k a week is prob good value if he can still cut it – he’s still probably better at dead ball situations than any of our current lot


  4. Anyone seen the NUST article in the journal – my god what a bunch of cretins.
    They expect to receive favourable treatment in the future do they? they  certainly know the wrong way to go about it.

  5. Pay and Play I see no problem with that and he would offer lots training wise especially in the free kick department.

  6. I joined a while ago but my comments would not post…then I realised I hadn’t logged in :)
    Will stick around Mate.

  7. I’m coming up for the game tomorrow but will have my kids with me (13 and 15) – anyone recommend a child friendly bar to goto before the game – I’ll also have a watford supporting mate but he’s expecting to get the p!ss taken out of him so that aint a worry :-)

  8. No to Robert.   He wasn’t THAT good when he was with us.  He could take a free kick, but his contribution to the team as a whole was limited.  People say Ginola was lazy, he was Beardsley like busy compared to Robert.
    I wonder if Watford will turn up.  They are so skint now, that they probably can’t afford the petrol for the bus.  Their players aren’t being paid and their ground is in need of repair.  The company that owns them is going to be bankrupt in a couple of weeks!  And you think we have problems.

  9. Stardust….. posted earlier and like you, NUST’s behaviour just beggars belief – crass to say the least!

    lesh says:
    December 4, 2009 at 10:52 am
    NUST have done themselves and the club a great dis-service in going public with their letter. 
    They argue that the club’s image has been badly damaged under the stewardship of Ashley and Llambias and that any would-be buyer would view it a toxic. 
    Yet, as the dust is beginning to settle, the club’s looking a good investment prospect and the team’s at the top of the tree, they open up that can of worms, bringing the matter to the fore and back into the public domain! 
    Are these people stupid?  Do they want to see morale at the club affected again?  Do they seriously want to see a change of ownership?
    Or, do they want to devalue the club for their own ends – to reduce the club’s status and market value, the price they’d expect to pay……. for a second tier club?
    I call on NUST to wake up and build bridges with Llambias and Ashley by engaging in constructive dialogue.
    From the little I’ve seen of irresponsible and apparently unprofessional behaviour and language , does NUST really think it will attract serious investors?  
    I think not!

  10. I am sure NUST said they would be transparent in all correspondence with the club at every step of the way from day one?

  11. Robert had a much better strike rate than Ginloa many more goals and assists. Have a look at premier stats and compare the two of them. However like Ginola he was Lazy with a capital L, never as good to watch as Ginola but much more effective!
    Laurent is supposed to be signing for Montpelier according to my mate who is in regular contact with him. Anyway he could not cut it  with Derby a couple of seasons ago so he looks past it!

  12. @bowburn – up for the weekend, seeing family as aint able to make it up for xmas – gotta keep me mam happy :-)

  13. robert was class when he was on his game – trouble was that he couldn’t be assed half the time and rapidly went downhill when he left the toon
    keep those pub suggestions coming – I might drop my daughter off at me mams first so just need to be able to sneak my 15 year old son into pub

  14. Sirjason… transparent or not, that NUST letter in itself is provocative, tactically naive and anyone could be forgiven if they thought it to be the product of folk who seem to have no business savvy at all!

  15. Whoops, sorry Stardust but my post @ 20 should have started…

    Stardust….. posted earlier and like you, *I think that* NUST’s behaviour just beggars belief – crass to say the least!

    No inference that your behaviour’s like that of NUST ……..

  16. @STARDUST WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR OPINIONS. You support ashley so keep your nose out of our business. NUST have a right to an opinion. You dont.

  17. They are bound to make some mistakes along the way Lesh…they may even have more business savvy than Mike and Owl Head you never know :)
    I would still love a change of owner/director I can’t even be bothered to get annoyed about them two anymore it is a waste of time and energy.

  18. @STARDUST keep out of our business as your opinions are worthless. You support ashley and we as NUST are campaigning against cretins like you! So get out of our club, you skinny mackem bastard, get out of our club. Can you remember going to see the mackems when you were younger stardy? Youre a disgrace and You ll never understand Geordie passion.

  19. Sirjason, we all make mistakes but if NUST’s serious about being taken seriously they shouldn’t be making stupid mitakes like this – they should be taking professional advice!

    Do they not realise that they’re not arguing the toss about a 50p item on the Quayside?  Do they realise they are trying to suggest they’re serious players in a market to persuade people to part with something like £200m to buy the club and manage a massive business in a responsible manner.

    Sorry, but if this were Dragons Den, I’d be saying ‘I’m out’

  20. I agree with what you are saying Lesh,we will see how it pans out…I just hope they don’t get advice from that miserable vinegar tit’s off the D.Den :)

  21. Sirjason,

    I’d hardly say that the Den mob represent professional advice but there’s one thing for sure, they’ll not act without taking it!

    As you say, we’ve just got to watch with interest and hope for the best. 

  22. Agreed Fella…I imagine Mike will sell once we are promoted (hopefully)anyway,just hope more assets aren’t stripped in January.

  23. The club will be damned if they do and damned if they don’t now.

    If the club hadn’t spoken in the matchday programme at some point then NUST would have been writting another open letter stating that they haven’t learnt their lessons and their silence is deafening ect…

    I really am quite annoyed at the timing of this pointless letter.  For the first time in about 15 yrs were not getting any negative press, things are running smoothly and then they do this!

    If I was a cynic I would think they wanted to surround the club with negativity for their own gains.

    They should just shut up, forget this ridiculous notion of owning the club, back the players and hope we get promoted so someone with the wear withall to own us buys us.

  24. Yeah, Robert on his day was a pleasure to watch, though I would venture to guess he`s perhaps lost a step or two at thirty four.
    He frustrated the hell out of Sir bobby, who finally just gave up on him ever tracking back, but knowing he was capable of turning a game around consented to let him play in an attacking mode only.
    To have a Rober in the left and a Nobby on the right with Speed and Dyer and Sherah and Bellamy, not a bad line up, especially when one looks at what we have to-day.
    Ah well !

  25. I don’t understand how the NUST think slagging off Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias constantly, including repeatedly calling them liars, is going to promote goodwill, and persuade Ashley to sell them the club under favourable terms. The only explainations could be that they are completely radged and hence not equipped to run a major football club, or, they are trying to blackmail Ashley by persuading supporters to bring both himself and  the club to it’s knees until he will sell to anyone at any price, or, both.

  26. isn,t it funny that a few wins start to make people forget what,s happening at the club.
    because we are winning owl head decides to make another patronising statement,put your grievences to one side and support the team.
    owlhead that,s why 42,000 turned up you utter turd,makes me sick the ammount of people who are going in to bat for that fat piece of worm ridden filth m**e a****y.
    if it,s not the players or mr chris i,m a yes man hughton,the willie mcfaul of the noughties,someone is always speaking up for that prick.
    yes we have had a good start to the season,in my opinion it has been more through good fortune than playing teams off the park.
    in reality we are a p*** poor team that if we do get promoted,could,nt win a game in the premier league without significant investment.
    will this be forthcoming?history dictates that under a****y probably not,so ladies and gentleman the future looks bleak under this rotten regime.
    what we are seeing at the moment is classic owlhead and a****y behaviour,they are totally fair weather in their approach.
    these two s***s are only interested in this club,when it,s not costing them anything and when we are winning a few games.
    is it just me or does anybody else think that promotion wouldn,t be an emancipation or salvation,or rather the start of more humiliation and heartache to come.
    i fear for the future of this football club under these two clowns,i,m not a big fan of the supporters trust,but somebody has to speak out against owlheads latest pearls of wisdom.
    does anyone know if  baader meinhof are thinking of starting up again because a****y is definatley a pig.

  27. stevep – Try Fluid in between the ground and Eldon Square shopping centre, next to the chinesse arch. Ive seen plenty of families on there before a match.

  28. Micky Toon – He could take a free kick, but his contribution to the team as a whole was limited.
    He did get 28 assists in his first 3 seasons in the league for us so to claim his contribution was limited is slightly exaggerated, his problem was that he fell out with Souness which finished him off here, same goes for Bellamy.
    The fans got on Roberts back because he wasn’t a grafter, you would think after watching players like Butt, Smith and co who offer plenty of graft but not much ability the fans had wished they stayed off the back of the lazy winger who scored 19 goals with 28 assists in the league in his first 3 years here as well as several more in the cups, that’s without backing the gobshite managers decision after he put the poison down for the pair of them.
    Shame he’s past his best now, bringing him back would be as embarrassing as Roeder bringing Pav back.

  29. Instead of writing him an open letter they could have discussed it with him when he offered to meet up a few weeks ago.

  30. Sign him up.
    if we are considering sol why not robert. he is younger.
    There is a danger he would look out of place when compared to the talentless likes of guthrie, butt and geremi.
    People round me gave guthrie a standing ovation last week i thought he was atrocious. Pancrate did more in five minutes than guthrie did the whole game

  31. Talentless is not what I would call either Geremi or Butt, lost a step perhaps, now Guthrie is a different matter.
    Both of those guys on their day were pretty impressive players, as for Robert, see my remarks above.
    As for Mickey Toon, obvious with a statement like  the one concerning Robert,      has proven himself to be as ignorant  about the game as I thought he was.

  32. I think signing Robert would be a step backwards , he was a great player last time but would get in the way of the development of younger players if brought back . The guy had talent and pace but at 34 how much pace has he got now . As for Sol campbel please god no , he is a mercenary  allways looking for the big payday and with Taylor & Colo in the middle thier is no need to sign a player long past his best . Lets get Kilgallon in then we would have along with Kadar  enough quality and cover to get us to the end of the season and promotion .

  33. better than jonas and that pantuiev……some shi..t like that but my nig..ga have skills dog man remember man city’s volleys

  34. Though i liked robert , its grafters you need in the championship not luxuries, if you could call him that now.