Whatever happened to the superstars?

Posted on July 11th, 2010 | 138 Comments |

Martins - One of our former stars.
Martins - One of our former stars.
It’s been a turbulent 12 months for Newcastle United, but after a season in the second tier we can now once again, ahem, look forward to the regular visits of Manchester United, Chelsea and all the rest.

It took some luck, some balls of steel, a bit of skill and many more factors to click into place all at once for us to secure promotion, but in the end it was very much a case of mission accomplished as Newcastle pretty much blew the rest of the Championship away.

Newcastle are back in the big time, back where it can be argued that a club with infrastructure and fanbase we have belongs, and we also have the chance to get back at those players who left us, the ones who got asked to shape up or ship out after that 6-1 pre-season defeat to Leyton Orient last season. That is not to say that I blame them for leaving, not one bit in fact, and I believe that those players leaving was the catalyst behind this new found team spirit that we keep hearing about. Having said that, it’s still always nice to get one over on your old colleagues, even Jose Enrique admitted recently he would be itching to do just that. So with that in mind, just what have they been up to whilst Newcastle have been away? Do we have anything to worry about from our former players?

Personally, I haven’t really been paying too much attention to the Sky Premier League whilst we have been out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I have watched some games, but not with the same interest and intensity as I would if it involved Newcastle. Put simply, bollocks to the rest of them from my perspective. As a result of that though, I haven’t really been watching how our former players have been doing, which is what I am going to focus on now.

Obafemi Martins – I’m going to start with Oba as he was the inspiration for this artcle. Basically, he jetted off to Wolfsburg last summer for a fee of around £9 million where he made 22 appearances, mainly from the subs bench, scoring 6 goals in the process.

We wouldn’t have to worry about facing him next season anyway, but he has moved clubs again, this time to Rubin Kazan of Russia for a fee of around £6 million. Not a bad player for us, but if he could grow a football brain then he would be dangerous. Still, no problem for us next season anyway.

Michael Owen – The player that will have the most hatred directed at him by the fans, and has only recently decided to publicly say how terrible he felt after we got relegated. Tough luck son, you could have pulled your finger out a bit more in your time with us to stop it happening in the first place.

Anyhoo, Owen ended up at Manchester United and picked up at Old Trafford where he left off at St James’ Park. Injuries and lack of first team chances have hindered him as he only made 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring 9 goals. He could be a danger to us, if he is fit.

Damien Duff – One of those who was happy to stay and fight, and even started off the Championship season with us. Then he left, and started to bang on about his “Newcastle hell”. Let me tell you something ‘Duffer’, you didn’t end up being exactly what was written on the tin yourself, did you?

For Fulham though he was largely excellent in his 42 appearances last season, including that stunning cup run all the way to the Europa League final. He scored 9 goals and looked like the Duff we thought we had signed from Chelsea all those years back. If he plays like he can, then he will be a threat this season.

Sebastien Bassong – Who? That was the reaction when we signed him for £500,000 from Metz. He was an unknown that we took a gamble on, and it was a gamble that we won, a rare occurance for a Newcastle fan! He moved on to Tottenham for fee of around £10 million where he is now part of a Champions League squad.

I have absolutely no ill feeling towards Bassong, although the hefty fee that he genreated for the club probably forms part of the reson for that. Once he broke into our first team it was only a matter of time before he headed off to a team that was punching their weight rather than drastically underperforming. He made 38 appearances last season and will be tough opponent to face if we come across him this season.

Habib Beye – Sunday Monday, Habib Beye. Tuesday Wednesday, Habib Beye, and so. Beye was undoubtedly a crowd favourite at St James’ Park, and was also quite an able right-back to boot. Still, he was cited as a poisonous dressing room influence by some players after he left for Aston Villa.

Aston Villa, a new nemesis! I never knew they had such strong feelings about us, feelings that were demonstrated at Villa Park on the day we were relegated, which will make it even sweeter if we can beat them and Habib Beye’s bench warming arse when they come to SJP for our first home game of the season. I say bench warming as the now third choice right back at Villa Park only managed 6 appearances last season. How are those splinters, Habib? If he plays against us (unlikely) then he could be a tough opponent.

That is my summisation of how our former first team players have got on since they left us. Some have flourished, like Duff and Bassong whilst others have floundered, like Beye and Martins. Would I have some of them back? Probably, but it’s unlikely to happen so it’s pointless for me to theorise about it.

What do you think?

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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138 Responses

  1. scotwilsonecho

    They definitely bid for Erding. They’ve talked to Sporting about Djalo but whether agent’s claims that a bid was made are true I’m not sure. about 1 hour ago via web

    That is from Scott Wilson’s Twitter page, just in cast the Scott Wilson bit didn’t give it away ;)

  2. I would love to see Martins back at the toon any day of the week :D.

  3. to be honest,i dont really care who left etc,the problem is this squad we have now are not good enough.
    the so called team spirit will soon be extinguished with a few hidings be dished out against us,team spirit is one thing,but when that spirit is outweighed by actual footballing ability then we’re bang in trouble.
    could we stay up this season it’s possible for sure,but only by the skin of our teeth and maybe we’ll have to go until the last day to achieve it.
    i may sound negative,but i’m just being honest,we may even be embarrassed this season by our neighbours down the road,with fat boys inevitable meddling could also do for us,and have us the laughing stock of the country again.oh yes it could be more painful times ahead,if i think like this then anything else will be a bonus.

  4. I agree with ya Trojan 69,Who ever left newcastle united last season was for best.I Couldnt stand Owen,Duff aand many others being over paid for doing jack all.Whatever this season happpens,The blame is on MIKE ASHLEY FOR GOOD OR BAD !

  5. Ciaran – Do I rate Djalo? Well I don’t know if he could handle PL football, that is my only concern. I think he is too lightweight but he does have pace which could get him away from that a little.

    I would prefer Erdinc personally as I think that the French and German league are the most similar to the PL in terms of style of play and strength neede etc.

  6. gazza,if your reading this blog,keep your fishing rod,chicken,can of lager,dressing gown at the ready because when yeston gets the sack,ashley will be calling on you lol.

  7. But the question is, Is Any of your players can handle PL Football ?,Under pressure we do silly things and errors are maded…….. I hope we can play top class football,Attacking and flowing football ! None of this long balls when nothing gooing right.Maybe we should expert nowt this season.

  8. i would hang fire on the free flowing football wish for the new season at least, Ciaran :lol:

  9. Fair assessment of those who left, though i fail to see where Beye could have been a poisinous dressing romm influence after leaving the club ?
    You guys have to get over the fact players dont neccessarily spend their lives at the same club and it’s not always personal, just business !
    And what about N`Zogbia, probably the best of those who left, on a good young side at Wigan and also had an excellent season.
    Why is it most players who have left the club seem to have had better seasons than at anytime here ?
    Hell i would like to see Beye return for a season, better than what we have, probably got another good year left.

  10. I only included those players who spent the whole of “that” season with us, which is why Given and Milner also didn’t get a mention.

    The poisonous influence bit is something I remember being said at the time he left.

  11. Now Milner , thats another story, Martin O`N. is looking to make a killing by selling him to Citeh for around £25M.
    Cant see it both he and Barry between them ar not worth half that amount and both were exposed as mediocrities during there time in S/Africa.
    Milner lacked ideas as usual continually running into traffick, wheras Barry`s lack of pace was made obvious.
    would`nt be surprised to see Onuoha go the other way in a reduced price package for Milner, obviously MO`N. is no fool.

  12. Thing with Milner is, take his penalties out of it and that is half(ish) of his goals gone. He doesn’t look so impressive when that is taken into consideration.

  13. Milnerc couldnt cross a ball at newcastle nor can he now,my nan is legless and can cross the ball then him.

  14. TOONSY enjoyed the read v.much as said better than reading sunday piff in rags.

    on free flowing play/long ball in the ccc you have to mix it imo swansea,n/forrest ect did try the free flowing only stuff only it didnt in the end work, toon and w.b.a.mixed it hence up they went,dont like the long ball game but just stoke ect use it in the pl but they have that type of player,just have to wait to see what tatics we use

  15. toonsy, u said that owen only recently said how bad he felt when newcastle went down, where is the article for this because i cant find it anywhere, even on skysports.

  16. Tummy – It was tucked away in an article where he was talking about himself again. Something to do with Man Utd pre-season i think?

    Hang on, I’ll have a look.

  17. Screw those ‘superstars’ – Got some good fees in, except for MO the Ho obviously… those sales triggered a new philosophy at NUFC which has been long required – young, hungry players rather than expensive has-beens – long may it continue!

    Hope Hugton can continue to demonstrate his player evaluation nous and get us good bargains.

  18. Alright lads, heavy weekend so this is my first chance to get on. Everyone all good aye? I see nowt too eventful has happened regarding us bar the quotes from Djalo’s agent that we’re apparently bidding with Spurs. If so, hopefully they pull out, or honestly, we’ll probably lose that war.

    As for the superstar’s you’ve mentioned Toonsy, Martins was very hit and miss, far more miss, had no footballing brain and only tried when he could be bothered. Duff “wanted to stay and help” until the first offer came in, as did Beye. Owen is a rotten little creature and Bassong was always looking to bugger off, just another moaner. All in all, i’m genuinly glad they’re gone, maybe with the exception of Bassong. I’d have liked to have kept him, but if they dont want to be here, show them the door.

  19. new philosophy at newcastle young hungry players?who like kevin nolan,alan smith,joey barton etc,some philosophy.that perch kid was only bought to prop up the plodders in the first team,he’s only cover for the mediocre first team ffs.

  20. Tummy – When your posting a link make sure there is a space at the start of, or just press ‘return’ twice and put it on a new line. That way it becomes clickable :)

    Burnley would be a good move for Forster though. I would have preferred him to go back to Norwich though as he would be more aware of his surroundings and could pick up where he left off last season.

  21. For once,i gonna disagree with the title of this article.

    They ain’t superstars. Just “Supposedly” big “infamous” players. ;)

  22. yes toonsy i’ll give you that,but in all honesty people like alan smith should have been shown the door,argubly barton also,so far the’ve brought sod all to the table.
    my main gripe with new philosophies,the arenal model,the villa model,the everton model,where are we now the burnley model?imo there is no philosophy,no new plan no new direction at newcastle.
    all i can see is a club that is being run as a dictatorship,with ashley at the top as a cult of personality,similar to north korea.all the decisions being made at the club are for the benefit of mike ashley,and mike ashley alone.where people are being employed by the club,not through ability or skill,the only qualification being your either a mate of ashley’s or you toe the party line.derek llambias being a casing point,there will be more disasters around the corner,stand on me.

  23. Well,if they are superstars,then our current players are unsung heroes. :lol:

  24. TROJAN – I agree to a point, but lets not forget that Ashley wanted to sack Barton, get rid of him, but Keegan said no, he wanted to keep him.

    If the decision benefits Ashley then they will also benefit the club, long term. He wont want to lose money and the only way he can do that is by clearing up the mess that has been made by him, Shepherd and every fecker else who has their slice of the pie over the last 10 years.

    If it means a few seasons of surviving on a budget then so be it. The quicker the club is in a position for him to cut and run and get all his money back, the quicker he will be out.

  25. toonsy,understand what your saying,but imo ashley just wants to be king s**t,he even turns up at the training ground with his managers coat on,he probably have a go at that next knowing him.

  26. if ashley is looking to cut back on wages,look no futher than alan smith 60 grand a week for what?we could get two lads on 30 grand a week each to do a better job than him,even improving the squad by one.now that would be more sensible imo.

  27. we could even have four up in coming lads on 15 grand a week if we got rid of the chocolate fire guard smith.

  28. Trojan as I have said many a time Re Smith I do like him but who is going to take him and we cant just say your he weakest link goodbye he has a contract, Same can be said in a way of Barton again I like him and think we will see the best of him this year but again who would take him ?

  29. Tis true Dave. I mean look at it from another perspective, which other club would pay 60k a week for a playe who has spent last season in the second tier?

    If the playes don’t want to move there is nowt anyone can do about it.

  30. Funny thing was I watched an interview of Smith the other day he was asked what his most memorible moment in footie was and he said getting promoted with us, I thought it would have been owt to do with Leeds. In the same interviews Steve Harper was asked who he supported as a youngun can anyone guess ??

  31. Nah, I read it somewhere ages and ages ago. Surprised me and all, glory hunter Harper :lol:

  32. newcastle team for 2011/2012 premier league season


    Maicon Lucio Pique Lahm

    Xavi Sneijder Schwiensteiger


    Villa Forlan

    Subs: Hislop, Babayaro, Dabizas, Boumsong, Bowyer, Luque, Ameobi.

    Reserves: Robben, Torres, Gerrard, Muller, Mertesacker, Gourcuff, Van Persie, Iniesta, Pedro, Shabalala, Peter Ramage.

  33. what do you mean? i rank him among the greatest! As do i rank my subs among the greatest, already in the hall of fame, and i have pictures of all of them in my bedroom on the wall, i will never forget these legends of football :D

  34. If you have pictures of Ramage on your wall it must be one fecking ugly room :lol:

  35. replace the word ‘ugly’ with beautiful and you will be correct, my wallpaper is yellow and black stripes with a special peter ramage shrine in the middle of it :D

  36. tummy – There are peaks and troughs throughout the day.

    Icedog – And that way it will hopefully remain ;)

  37. TOONSY just thinking dont mind a bit of neddle,but theres big dave giving people the neddle all the time and getting payed for it,not fair ;)

  38. :lol:

    Does my head in aswell mate. Certain people have it on the agenda to piss people off. I don’t mind wind ups/banter and such, it’s all part of the fun. But when it becomes a persistant pain in the arse from the same indviduals then it has to end.

  39. Spain, 3-1. If I can get that result I finish 6th in my prediction game thingy. Out of nearly 1000 people that aint too shabby :D

  40. Right, had my scran :D

    In a strange way I want Holland to win just to show the world that there is more to football than pretty little passes.

  41. still waiting for my food seems everyone in england is waiting for home delivery :(

  42. I just hope tomorrow is like last Monday and we can get another player in at least. We got Perch but it still feels like we are standing still whilst time is moving on.

  43. was hopeing big dave had spy in training camp over there to see a player sneaking in,hes let me down again

  44. :lol:

    Time will tell I guess. Still time, and the players that we have apprently bid for give me a bit of hope.

  45. How can he have a medical if his leg is knacked? Unless they just don’t look at his leg? And what about this 14 day appeal thing Everton can lodge?

  46. Icedog – I can’t see Bolton needing both, although the NOTW reckons we have dropped out of the race for Wilshere ;)

  47. thats it toonsy knock my end in,not saying him but imo we need flair,guile,pace,in midfield,he was as close as we could get for nowt

  48. TROJAN – Stick in a 3yr fixed bond. Reckon it will be safe enough that you wont need to touch it.

    *Leon Best hat-trick against Man Yooooooooo*

  49. “Arse”,”Bare” and “Fenwicks window” would spring to mind if it did happen!

  50. These Spaniards need to stop surrounding the ref. If they are going to do it, do it properly and stick the nut on him.

    Yes Webby, you SHOULD have given that goal against Fulham. May the ball cross the goal line and you somehow miss it. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke. Twat!

  51. toon1892 – Absolutely, which make this nugget that I found on Twitter even more amusing!

    For those asking: Sp telly think Webb a disgrace, biased and should “never ref a game again”

  52. Anyone else read the article in the mail which say that gosling has chosen us not
    Bolton. It will be a sad indictment of how far our stock has fallen if we get outbid by
    the likes of Bolton

  53. Raffo – Depends mate, wait and see I guess. I think people are getting a bit too carried away with Gosling. We have Guthrie who, IMO, is just as good and is improving.

  54. Sure is wadds, just hope ur predictions right or I won’t be able to listen to your nuggets anymore!!!

    There’s also slot of bitterness toward us deluded Geordies, I just don’t get why Bolton fans don’t like us. Crazy

  55. What are Bolton fans saying? Hopefully I can find some on my next trip to the Reebok ;)

  56. Not very much mate, was from the espn soccernet link from newsnow, just the article itself havin little digs. I hope gosling does ce but Guthrie is a great player in the making and I have advocated him playing cm for a while so it may not be wise to risk his development

  57. Anyone like ravey old skool stuff? Just finished another mix if anyone wants to d/l it?

  58. Well I think we shall se tomorrow! I’m intrigued with these links to strikers and de guzman though we wondered if anything would happen whilst they are away.

  59. According to the twitter thingy
    Gosling is wanting to talk to us again before deciding???

  60. The Daily Mail say Gosling is signing for us tomorrow.

    He isn’t coming.

  61. Oh aye? I’ve not got into that Twitter thing. Who is tweeting that? He’s just gona go back and forth and play us off eachother to get his best deal

  62. @Freddieboswell7
    Hearing Dan Gosling wants to talk with Newcastle again before taking 24 hours to decide on future.

  63. Icedog – My Dad loves all that music. I was brought up on Kenny Rogers :lol:


  64. Raffo – I’m just fulfilling demand brother. You know how it is :lol:

    Icedog – I had Kenny Rogers and Country music of my old man and The Drifters of my mam. I hated it at the time but quite like it all now in fairness.

  65. Toonsy, you didn’t reply to me when I told you what I thought of Sunderland on twitter. :D

  66. Anyone else notice that the only player who has had success with distance shots is Diego Forlan? Or is it just me?

  67. TOONSY thanks for that over 7mil hits i see,some must like it eh,saw the real drifters live in 1990 in aussie 2ft away kissed wor lass during act,didnt keep her like :(

  68. Icedog – I remember my old dear dragging me to see them when I was about 5. I never knew what was going on, but my mum seemed to like it :lol:

  69. Icedog – Euro champs, now world champs. I think it’s safe to say that they can get rid of the tag of underachievers now.

  70. “Hearing Dan Gosling wants to talk with Newcastle again before taking 24 hours to decide on future.”

    If that’s true, he probably wanys to come to us but got offered more elsewhere- giving us the chance to match or at least up our offer.

    Congrats to Spain- best team in the world the past couple of years and thoroughly outplayed the Germans and Dutch. Tournament played out as it probably should have.

  71. Nice to see Howard Webb was at his useless best again, what a tw–!
    118- Pointless he said he wanted to go to a club for football reasons not money! We do not ever want to fall in this trap again, he either wants to come or he can p— off.
    Also can people not remember how many chances Martins hit over the bar in the relegation season? He cost us a lot of points from 6 yards out!

  72. Newcastle United have Hi-jacked Dan Gosling deal,can only think he signs for them now.Was at Bolton this morning now at Newcastle.

    Jesus Christ that’s a turn around!

  73. It is, maybe fat boy is doing some fighting for the good of the club for a change!! Any other nuggets waddles?

  74. Bolton, west ham or us its a no brainer us all day long, all though we may be skint were better off than bolton n west ham, west ham may of offered 5.5mil for dorrans but they want to pay for him over 5 years, n if reports r true gosling has spoke wit 2 to 3 times already fink its a done deal gutted he won’t play to xmas though coz f injury

  75. I would expect someone in this week but able to have a kick about on Saturday at Carlisle.
    Looks like we a fighting for a midfielder to come in.
    Which to me means one will deffinately go!
    Don’t think gosling (if he does come in) will be the only midfielder that comes in the club

  76. Done deal I believe now.
    That’s according to various tweets os twits whatever it’s called

  77. Agreed waddles, smith or
    Nolan the likely lads and I for one am not bothered at all. I’d swap de guzman and gosling
    for Nolan and smudger any day, plus it’s massive cut in wages too and total profit as gps and guz are freebies. Interesting times

  78. I can’t wait to see Enrique play vs all the teams with players that left us.

    If anyone can remember he was class vs Villa (my hate team too) when Milner left for them and he always says about how a lot of the players wished they’d stayed but he doesn’t care about them now. I think he does have a passion when playing against them so be warned those that wronged us :D

  79. Waddles-who are you following on Twitter to find all this mate? I havent got that Twitter thing but i’ll get one and just follow everyone if its worth having for info?

  80. Waddles-nevermind mate, googled it and found this lads twitter. Do we know who he is? He seems to be throwing around alot of info and is claiming he has pics of Gosling at Bolton so he has to be involved in football journo one way or another. Either way he seems pretty certain that we’ve bagged Gosling.

  81. Freddieboswell7.
    Also local journo’s canny but I’m sure they are all mackums

  82. Well we’ll have to wait and see but the general feeling throughout the media is that we’ve wrapped it up, tomorrow will be interesting to see if the red tops suddenly change their tune again if he isn’t announced.

  83. I am going to stick my neck out and say we have him also i think he will do well for us. It’s also nice to see us building for the future, while not forgetting we have a vital season ahead of us.

  84. @119- Agreed in full- but if the guy wants to come to us, can’t blame him if he’s trying to get a few extra quid out of us first

  85. Raffo-A box to box midfielder but i’m sure he’s bagged a couple of goals at Everton aswell. Got one against Liverpool I think so they’ll love him for that. They’re clearly not happy that he’s walked on them nevermind the fact he’s walked out on a free, it will be quite the steal if we get him because him and Rodwell were regarded as to two massive English talents by the looks of things.

    Waddles-No idea regarding the striker like, but we need one. End of the day if Gosling does come in it’s for nowt so we’ve still got whatever cash we’re stumping up to spend on a forward.

  86. Knackered in the short term but potentially superb crude signing in the long term, Everton will be kicking themselves. Gosling and Rodwell seem two of the brightest young english players atm. Like to see it on the official website mind.