Well, its a football free weekend for the Toon, the FA Cup juggernaut trundles on, with Newcastle left in an Arsenal inspired wake... So, news has been a bit thin on the ground this week, with one exception - Charles N'Zogbia has said that he's "homesick" and wants to leave the Toon.
This bad news for a couple of reasons - the first is that ever since he came to us from Le Harve he's been one of our best performers. Always whole hearted, quick (both on foot and in the head) and adaptable playing either left wing or left back. Secondly, its bad news because if this "Keegan Second Coming" (copyright Evening Chronicle) is going to stand a chance of working then we'll need wingers. To me, Milner and Charlie Zog will fit the bill perfectly.
After reading a bit more into the story (which has surfaced a couple of times) it transpires that he's actually homesick for London and not France... Odd that, seeing as Spurs keep being quoted as being interested in him.... Now I may be being cynical but to me London isn't that much easier to get to Harfluer from than Newcastle is. So, another money (or agent) inspired move is on the cards.
I could understand it if he'd been treated badly by the club, but he has just signed a new contract at the start of the season (presumably with improved terms), he plays most weeks, he's a favorite with the fans (Zog on the Tyne chant is testament to that) and he's just starting to break into the French national side. So why do we have trouble hanging onto players? Is it geography? Unlikely. Lack of funds? Almost certainly not. The absence of European football will be having an effect, and this may be the cause. However, I'd guess its more to do with the economics that are involved in a transfer - a dollop of money to an agent, a dollop to the player and hey presto contract broken.
As an aside - why do the Toon have such difficulty with French players? NUFC.com have pointed this out some time ago - but Goma, Boumsong, Bernard, Distin, Guivarc'h, Robert have all been either complete wasters or do well for a while and then implode. The finest example of this was David Ginola - wonderful player - when he could be bothered. Re-built his career at the Toon and then upped sticks for Spurs (hummm... maybe a theme here) and left in a galic huff when Kenny Dogleash arrived.
So I really hope that Charlie Zog decides to stay in Newcastle - for one thing if he does move one of my favorite bits of football trivia this year will not be as relevant.... "Which tennis grand slam finalist has a cousin that plays for the Toon?" I wonder if he and Charlie have had a go on the courts on Nuns Moor Road - like I did as a kid??