Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Latest Football News and Opinions From 90 Minutes Online

I'm an egotistical footballer, get me outta here!

I wanted to come up with a better headline than that, but N'Zogbia doesn't exactly lend itself to quirky puns. It is the French winger’s unusual name however, that has ignited a war of words in what is one of the bizzarest and most transparent attempts to desert a club yet.


Despite signing a 5 year deal at Newcastle Utd in September 2007, Charles N'Zogbia has made it no secret for the last year that he is keen to ply his trade elsewhere. The first rumblings of discontent came a year ago after Kevin Keegan took the reigns. In a typical defensively minded Keegan-esque move, winger N'Zogbia found himself being played out of position at left back and he made his feelings of displeasure clear to his new boss who stated last February that "We'll look at it in the summer as the signs are he is not happy here."




Summertime then and Keegan only had to look as far as the back pages of his newspaper to see that Charlie-horse was still making it abundantly clear where he saw his future lying as he is reported to have said "I have dreamed about playing for Arsenal ever since I was a little kid. I would be delighted to join the Gunners.They are a big club that everybody knows about, but Tottenham are an interesting proposition as well. The end of last season, when I did not play very much, made me want to move." Not exactly keeping his cards close to his chest. The excuse for wanting to go had changed, but the principle remained the same.


Much to N'Zogbia's dismay, Arsene Wenger didn't rush to his chequebook and snap him up, but, undeterred, Charlie-baby redoubled his efforts at the start of this transfer window, reportedly stating "I'm at a turning point in my career. My agents are talking with Tottenham and Villa and, from what they've told me, Arsenal could also be in the frame. I have a preference for the Gunners but they are three great clubs." Not exactly endearing yourself to me (Villa Supporter) or any Spurs fans there Charlie-boy.


He went on: "I've been here for four years. It's a club who have allowed me to discover the France youth team, and I thank them for that, but at some point you have to know how to aim higher, I've spoken to my bosses at the club. They know what my aims are and what I want to continue to progress. As soon as a big club knocks on the door with a good offer, I don't think they'll prevent me leaving." Oooo, Newcastle not a 'big' club huh, that little nugget can't have gone down well on Tyneside.


His preference to stay in England was highlighted when he explained that "a return to France is not unforeseeable. Personally I have always said that my priority is to remain in England. It's a league which I take pleasure from and which suits me well." Ah, that's nice.


All was quiet on the transfer front, so an increasingly agitated N'Zogbia re-cast the net when he issued a 'come and get me' plea to French champions Lyon, telling a reporter that "it is up to them to approach Newcastle and me. I am waiting for Lyon to make a move! Ligue 1 for me is an unknown. Therefore, in some respects, it is attractive. The club want to sell some players, so why not me? We will see if I get the green light."


Hussshhhh. That's the sound of Lyon not leaping into action. Now suddenly we're on the verge of the transfer window shutting and with no exit looming, a desperate N'Zogbia has resorted to pouncing on a simple name mispronunciation in order to justify a strike and instigate a move away.


In the post match interview following the Man City game, Kinnear was running down his lengthy injury list, when he muttered "Insomnia, er N'Zogbia, Charles". Ok, so the meely mouthed Cockney Irishman butchered his name, so what, end of story. Oh no, N'Zogbia and his agent read a more malevolent subtext.


Charlie-bear reacted with the following outburst, "First of all I wish to apologise to the fans for wanting to leave the club, however, having been insulted by Joe Kinnear, I will never play for him again while he remains Newcastle manager. The club are aware there are offers on the table and they should accept one of them."


His agent elaborated and embellished somewhat when he later added "I don't think any person would be happy with this situation. Joe Kinnear insulted Charles at a press conference so now the direction of Charles is not very simple. It is hard not to react when you boss calls you mad. He has said it is a mistake, but he has not made any mistake regarding other players names. When you respect somebody you don't make this sort of mistake in a public situation. It is clear what he meant. If he meant it as a joke, it is a good joke for Kinnear but to Charles, it is not. I don't know if he will play for Newcastle again, he is refusing to play for Joe Kinnear. He doesn't want to leave but Joe Kinnear wants him to leave, that is not the same thing."


All in all, a sad, pathetic attempt from N'Zogbia to make a mountain out of a molehill and extricate himself from his contract with Newcastle Utd. If he follows through on his words, then that is tantamount to going on strike and his agents closing remarks claiming that he is being forced out of the club are absurd given the weight of evidence N'Zogbia has provided to the contrary with his constant stream of quotes appealing to other clubs to sign him.


It has got to be one of the lamest excuses for leaving a club yet, up there with David Unsworth's departure from Villa a few weeks after signing for them when he sidled up to John Gregory at his first training session and bemoaned the fact that his family were unhappy in the area and 'Hollywood' Danny Murphy wanting to exit Charlton and go somewhere more glamorous, because his wife wasn't being invited to enough movie premieres. If you can think of any other laughably poor footballer excuses for packing their bags, please feel free to add them below.

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