Newcastle have swiftly and successfully returned to the Premier League, and thus will likely be looking for worthy personnel reinforcements this summer. Indeed, everybody loves a good signing; the excitement, the expectation, the optimism. But sometimes they don’t go quite as planned.
So let’s swim through a sewer of squalor and s**t to ‘celebrate’ three of the worst signings to don the famous black and white stripes (there are clearly many more, but there’s only room for three, so please add your own personal ‘heroes’):
Titus Bramble/Jean-Alain Boumsong: yeah, yeah, they’re two separate autonomous beings, but I make the rules, ok? Plus, they both deserve a place and, for a brief while, they played together as part of a particularly pitiable defence, so I lumped the two together if that’s alright by you. Bramble signed for Newcastle from Ipswich for £5million in 2002, tipped as a potential England international. He actually notched up a considerable stay at St James’ Park – five seasons – and occasionally put in a solid display. However, this was far outweighed by his myriad mistakes, switching off, losing concentration and not engaging brain to feet before making a hashed clearance or a mistimed tackle.
Hence he became an epithet for ‘calamity’ and his bemused face and hands on hip stance became a frustratingly regular sight. He was duly released in 2007. His infamous partnership with Boumsong confounded this defensive dystopia. Boumsong cost a hefty £8million from Rangers in 2005. He started steadily enough, but the once promising Auxerre luminary soon limply flopped, duly justifying the price tag. Responsible for shipping a number of goals and seemingly forgetting any defensive positioning, he was soon shipped off to Turin – Juventus surprisingly paying over £3million for his ‘services’. Together B&B formed a chuckle brother’s style defence; ‘oh dear’, ‘oh dear, oh dear’, ‘oh dear, oh dear, oh dear’.
Stephane Guivarc’h: For expectation dashed, Stephane deserves a place. He arrived at St James’ in 1998 for £3.5million, boasting a World Cup winner’s medal and an impressive goal haul in Ligue 1. Signed by the incumbent Kenny Dalglish, great things were expected, however he firmly failed at Newcastle; playing only four times (four times!) he cut a frustrating figure and was swiftly sold to Rangers by new manager Ruud Gullit.
Marcelino: Signed in 1999 by Gullit for nearly £6million, Marcelino was a truly exasperating player. Much was expected of the highly-rated Spanish defender when he signed from Real Mallorca. However, with his buttocks constantly stuck on the sidelines or treatment table, he was an utter waste of money and only made 17 league appearances in three seasons. When he did play he was meagre, but his speciality was picking up injury, after injury, after injury, after injury…you get the idea. He remained sat flaccidly on club payroll, appearing for the reserves, picking up a nice wage and another injury for three seasons before finally being released in 2003.
There we go then, we successfully fought our way through some filthy sewer water, and past floating faeces, to proudly present three of Newcastle’s worst signings. There are, of course, many, many, more so do add you own. Some that probably also deserve a place for different reasons include; Owen (£16million, £16 MILLION, SIXTEEN F**KIN’ MILLION) Fumaca, Xisco, Andreas Andersson, Albert Luque, etcetera, etcetera…
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