Peter Beardsley says that after watching Seydou Doumbia train, his first mental image was – ‘Tino Asprilla’.
With the first team presumably having time off after the West Brom win, it appears that Doumbia trained with the kids and fringe players on Sunday and Monday, ahead of his first appearance last night for the reserves.
The debut/game was ruined by a sending off for Jamie Sterry after only 10 minutes, so hard to judge in a rearguard action exactly what the possibilities will be with the loan striker from AS Roma, an anonymous 45 minutes before he was subbed at the break.
Beardsley though said the highlight of last night was a moment when Seydou Doumbia actually didn’t even touch the ball, referring to Newcastle kicking off and Doumbia going to play the ball but instead choosing a step over.
Cynics will of course point to the fact that these days anything to do with Newcastle is always great in Peter Beardsley’s eyes, no room for negatives as a fully paid up member of Mike Ashley’s long-term staff.
However, if Doumbia can achieve even a fraction of what Tino Asprilla gave Newcastle in his first few months, then the loan deal will have been well worth it.
Those outside the north east like to claim that Tino helped Newcastle to lose the league in 1995/96 but the opposite was true, as he undoubtedly helped the team pick up points they otherwise wouldn’t have done.
No time more so than on his debut, Asprilla more or less stepping off the plane with snow falling around him, then next thing you knew he came on at Middlesbrough with United a goal down and dazzled both us and the opposition. The Columbia making both goals as he twisted Boro inside out and gave Newcastle a 2-1 win and all three points.
When Seydou Doumbia makes his proper debut for the first team, here’s hoping for some similar magic and especially, goals. His track record (AS Roma aside) of scoring goals in lesser leagues and the Champions League is there for all to see, so at full fitness he can surely be an asset.
Peter Beardsley speaking to the official club website:
“Having had him with us yesterday and today, the first thing I thought was ‘Tino Asprilla’.
“When we kicked off, he stepped over the ball and it was funny for me because obviously I used to play with Tino…as stupid as it sounds, that was the highlight of the game for me, when he stepped over the ball!
“The crowd almost went one way and the ball went the other. Class.
“He’ll love it, he can’t speak a lot of English but he is a smiley, happy person and he obviously wants to be here.
“Hopefully, if needed, he will get the chance to score a few goals.”