Admittedly, it was never going to be easy replacing Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle, but boy oh boy, new boss Graeme Souness didn’t help himself.
The date was January 2005 when Souness made one of the dodgiest decisions of his managerial career in signing defender Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Newcastle United were experiencing something of a blip in their history. The great Sir Bobby had departed and Graeme Souness, the world’s most miserable man, was elected the saviour to take the club forwards. His first move? Recruit £8million-rated Frenchman Jean-Alain Boumsong, of course.
Well, well, well. What can we possibly say about this move? Might as well start off with the basics.
The Guardian referred to the 800,000,000 pennies spent on the defender as an “extraordinary sum”. Not in the sense that they had pulled off a real transfer coup – oh no. But in the sense that they had just frittered away a silly amount of cash on a player who had moved to Rangers on a Bosman-free just months before.
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Then there was the fact that he just wasn’t all that good.
Despite kicking off his Newcastle career pretty promisingly, and for that we will give him credit, it all came crashing down fairly rapidly, as basic defensive errors became an all-too-common feature in his game. Need we remind you of the Liverpool match in which he botched the most basic of clearances before rugby tackling Peter Crouch to the ground in the area in an attempt to make amends?
No? Well, here it is anyway (plus a few others).
As you can tell, he wasn’t the best.
Newcastle fans, what are your standout memories of Boumsong? Just how bad was he? Let us know in the comments below…
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