Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Feeling out in Cold

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Feeling out in Cold

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Laurent Robert fears his hopes of staying at St James's Park for the remainder of his career will prevent him from adding to his prized collection of international caps.

The Newcastle winger will aim to extend his recent run of outstanding form when the Magpies head to Charlton this afternoon but, although he has established himself as one of Premiership football's most potent attacking forces of late, Robert continues to be overlooked by Jacques Santini.

The 28-year-old has had no contact from the French coach since arriving on Tyneside in a pounds 9.5m move from Paris-Saint Germain in 2001, despite receiving some glowing personal references from the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Sylvain Wiltord.

But, although a player who has represented his country on nine occasions remains hopeful of forcing his way into Santini's squad ahead of next summer's European Championship finals, he believes he does not receive the same kind of recognition as his London-based compatriots.

"Maybe it's too cold (for Santini) in Newcastle," joked Robert who, having registered eight goals already this season, stands behind only Alan Shearer in United's first-team scoring charts. "Maybe I would have to play in London (to win a recall).

"In France., people don't really talk about my performances here.

"I have been at Newcastle for three years and he (Santini) has never seen me or even talked about coming here. Obviously, I would like him to do that.

"I have spoken to Henry, Pires and Wiltord and they said I should be in the squad, that I should be given a chance. They have recommend me but I have had no contact from the French Football Federation. I don't know why.

"I have been thinking about Euro 2004 and I want to get into that team. I hope the manager is taking notice of my performances and I will be given another chance to represent France. Hopefully those two goals I scored last weekend will make more people talk about me and help me to get picked for a friendly. …

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