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Own goals? - 01/03/2004

Own goals?
Should he have played?
   Lomano Lua Lua
   Lee Bowyer
   Nikos Dabizas
   Sir Bobby Robson
   Newcastle United

Newcastle find themselves in fourth place in the Premiership – for me, that’s success. It’s absolutely no disgrace to trail the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd, and Abramovich’s Chelsea. I guess some fans demand more, and I agree that the club must look to challenge the above – and to follow Boro’s example and lift some silverware. But right here and now, with the respective resources of those Premiership clubs above us, you can’t knock Newcastle.

Having said that, some of the mistakes made by the club in recent weeks have been hard to believe. I’m not talking about the Solano transfer – that wasn’t a mistake, but a footballing judgement made by Sir Bobby. What I do consider to be two big mistakes were the Bowyer UEFA ban fiasco, and the fact that Lua Lua was allowed to play against the club. A question that’s been put to me by a few fans….”Would this have happened at Man Utd or Arsenal?” All I can say is that I guess not.

I don’t know the full circumstances behind Newcastle’s handling of the Lee Bowyer ban, so it would be unfair of me to say anything more than some administrator at the club has ‘underperformed’. As for Lua Lua’s playing against the club, again, there seems to be two stories doing the rounds. Did Sir Bobby allow him to play or not? But irrespective – someone did! How many players come back to haunt their ex-clubs? Especially one’s with a point to prove! Lua Lua was professional on the pitch, although his celebration may upset people he shouldn’t be falling out with – the fans! If Nicos Dabizas wasn’t allowed to face the club – and his move is effectively permanent, then I find it hard to believe that Lua was allowed to play.

I note that the boys at criticised the club for allowing the ‘Geordie Dancer’ to perform on the pitch. At this moment in time they have a point, he invites people to laugh at him, and in the present climate we could have done without that.

But lets not lose perspective, the season is far from lost, we have a lot to play for and everyone should put the past mistakes behind them and move forward.

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