Joe Kinnear didn’t get many (any?) things right in his two spells at Newcastle United but he did make one decent move, even if it was by accident…
In December 2008, Charles N’Zogbia publicly announced his desire to leave Newcastle during the January 2009 transfer window, the French winger saying:
“After four years at Newcastle, I want to reach a higher level of ambition. I don’t think that is possible here.”
His time at St James Park had seen regular reports of him telling the media back in France that he wanted a better club than Newcastle United, a bigger stage for his talents, but no clubs ever came in for him.
He was a player with definitely some talent but nowhere near what he imagined to be the case, plus his attitude/character was shocking.
No club made any offer for N’Zogbia and with only 24 hours of the January transfer window to go, Newcastle lost 2-1 at Manchester City and Joe Kinnear referred in his post-match comments to Charles ‘Insomnia’!
N’Zogbia wasn’t happy and instantly issued his own statement which stated he would not play for Newcastle United while Joe Kinnear was still manager.
The very next day (30 January 2009) with only hours of the transfer window remaining, Charles N’Zogbia got his wish of the size of club/platform he deserved when he signed for Real Madrid…sorry, Wigan Athletic, for £6m.
The 2010/11 season saw Charles N’Zogbia have a real one-off season where he knuckled down and managed an impressive nine Premier League goals for Wigan.
On the back of this he managed to get a move to an even bigger club when Barcelona…sorry, Aston Villa, paid an amazing £9.5m for him.
Signing a five year contract and agreeing massive wages, Charles N’Zogbia has paid back Aston Villa with four goals in four and a half years, spread over 80 Premier League appearances.
One-time Newcastle target Remi Garde obviously doesn’t suffer fools gladly though and as well as disciplining and dropping Jack Grealish, the new Villa boss has quickly realised what his countryman Charles N’Zogbia is all about.
“Charles could have given more to the team in the first two or three weeks after I came.
“Charles is not the worst person I have ever met. I am just here to try to pick up the players I feel are the most committed for this very difficult task we have.
“I am not saying Charles is a bad person. Sometimes it doesn’t work between players and clubs, players and managers.”
“It’s a situation I need to change and clear…if you spend a lot of money on players who aren’t playing it will be very bad news for the team and everyone at the football club. I’m blaming nobody.”