Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Greek love

So, Nic the Greek has left us for pastures new - or, rather, blue. Having fallen out of favour despite the, er, occasional shortcomings of our regular back four, Nicos Dabizas decided to accept an offer from Leicester. Publicly he's had nothing but praise for the club, the manager and the fans, and I must admit to feeling a bit sorry to see him go. Though not the most accomplished defender in the world, and a little too prone to making costly errors and having rushes of blood to the head (a case in point: handling on the line in the fourth minute of last season's match at Blackburn - he was sent off, they scored the penalty and went on to win 5-2), he nevertheless gave his all for the cause whenever called upon, which is more than can be said of some players still with us.

His time at the club has been more up-and-down than most - signed by Kenny Dalglish in 1998, I have it on VERY good authority that he was told in no uncertain terms by Ruud Gullit on the training pitch in front of the rest of the squad that he'd never play for Newcastle again, only to return to the team under Sir Bobby. Finest hour? It HAS to be his winning goal against the Mackems in the Stadium of Shite in the 2001-2002 season (even though it was followed by several very ropey displays). I also gather he's a genuinely affable person, too - in his early days at the club, along with Georgiadis and Ketsbaia, he used to meet up regularly for coffee with a Greek friend of mine who at the time was studying at Newcastle University.

All the best for the future, Nic - I hope Leicester stay up, if only for your sake. But please don't score against us, as every other old boy seems to...

In other Toon-related news, after the Southampton game Sir Bobby was quoted as saying of man-of-the-match Dyer: "Kieron went to hospital on Monday and had a minor operation. He was in on the morning, out in the evening. It was all to do with constipation and a complication to do with his bowels. It was a very unpleasant problem." No surprise, then, that he was able to crap freely all over the Saints defence...

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