Michael Owen’s knee could become embroiled in the diplomatic row between England and Russia over the extradition of a Russian spy for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. With the two countries currently enjoying a game of pass-the-diplomat, it seems those crafty Russians might have the upper hand.
Mystic Pies strikes again. The minute we start joking around about seeing Kieron Dyer move to West Ham for a reunion of the St James’s Park Amateur Boxing Club, and Alan Curbishley makes it be known that he is interested in completing the whole set of ex-Newcastle bad boys. Curbs is desperate for a replacement for unspeakably stupid Â£6 million winger Julien Faubert who is out for six months with a ruptured achilles tendon.
As you might imagine, since the raids on Newcastle, Rangers and Portsmouth the forums and blogs have been buzzing with jokes at their expense. Here is just a small selection. Feel free to add your own as a comment. 1 Anti-corruption police have raided Newcastle United. Apparently the Magpies have no defence.
Michael Owen scored his first Newcastle goal since 2005 in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge. Joey Barton also made his debut to rave reviews as the Magpies came from behind to see off Hartlepool. Of Barton, Allardyce said: “He was very good – but that’s him just taking it easy, really. He can be anything he wants to be as a footballer. He can be the very best if he wants to be.”
There are bound to be a few more twists to this year’s transfer season, especially if someone remembers where they put Carlos Tevez’s ownership papers, but new TV money and the arrival of more glory hunting billionaires means there’s been plenty of action.
Here’s what we think are the ten best deals done so far:
Last week we took a look back at the greatest ever foreign players to grace the Premiership, but you can be sure that for every Bergkamp there’s a Boogers who’s just as rememberedâ€¦but for all the wrong reasons.
Liverpool have apparently made a bid for Dutch U-21 star Ryan Babel. The Ajax forward is rated as the brightest young prospect in Dutch football by none other than Marco van Basten and has already been linked to Arsenal and Newcastle – whadyareckon?
Chelsea utility man Geremi is the latest player Sam Allardyce would like to spend some of Mike Ashley’s millions on [that’s on wages and signing-on fees before some smart arse points out he is available on a free transfer!] . The Cameroon international is known to be eager to find more regular first-team action than he has been getting at Stamford Bridge.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has revealed rumours of Craig Bellamy returning to St James’s Park had him reaching for the bottle. The retired Magpies striker said he needed a few drinks to calm him down after reading that Sam Allardyce was planning to sign the Welsh international.
Newcastle striker Oba Martins survived a terrifying ordeal in his native Nigeria this week, when the car he was driving was shot at by masked gunmen. His mate was hit and wounded, but Oba escaped unharmed.
The Professional Footballers’ Association must be used to stepping in to break up fights involving Joey Barton by now. But this time they have got themselves into a right old tussle over Barton’s proposed transfer from Manchester City to Newcastle United. The deal has reportedly stalled over a reported Â£300,000 owed to Barton.
Well they can’t take all the credit because Fame Academy helped, but singer-songwriter Griffin’s tribute to Mark Viduka has been rendered useless by the big Aussie’s move to St James’s Park. Middlesbrough fan Griffin is unlikely to rewrite the words of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah yet again with Magpies-themed lyrics. The line And from our team you can’t take Mark Viduka is clearly even less true than all the ones about Boro playing exciting football!
Newcastle Utd have agreed ‘in principle’ to sign big-boned Boro striker Mark Viduka. The Aussie, still only 31, has been offered an extended deal by Gareth Southgate but has yet to decide if he will stay at the Riversideâ€¦
Wigan have signed error-prone defender Titus Bramble on a three-year contract, thereby sealing their fate next season. Bramble joins on a free transfer and becomes Chris Hutchings’ first signing as Wigan manager – well Chris, things can only get better.
Pretty much everyone is reporting that West Ham are very close to agreeing a deal, reported to be in the region of Â£7m, with Newcastle United to sign Scott Parker. Tottenham apparently stuck their noses in at the 11th hour, as they are wont to do when any talented English player is involved, but it seems that the Irons will get their man.
Big Sam Allardyce doesn’t muck about, does he? Just one day after Allardyce was unveiled as Glenn Roeder’s successor at Newcastle United, five players were released by the club: Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, Olivier Bernard, Pavel Srnicek and loan signing Oguchi Onyewu have all been told their contracts will not be renewed.
Neil Warnock has decided to leave Bramall Lane after almost eight years in charge of the Blades. ‘I believe that this is the right time for me to go,’ said Warnock. [BBC Sport] Joey Barton arrested over Dabo training-ground incident, released on bail. [F365] Michel Platini wants even more match officials. The loon. [Guardian Unlimited] […]
And in other news, dog bites man. It has hardly come as a surprise, but Big Sam Allardyce has officially been confirmed as the new manager of Newcastle United. The former Bolton boss has signed a three-year deal at St James’ Park.