Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Old Boy Lee Deserves Our Ful Respect

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Old Boy Lee Deserves Our Ful Respect

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

Tonight we welcome a dear friend to our home - with a fleeting acquaintance hanging about in the shadows.

However, we have no intention of being decent hosts.

Anybody and everybody can depart without a leaving gift to warm their journey back from whence they came.

Lee Clark threatens Newcastle United's ambitions to out-survive Liverpool over a marathon and claim the Premiership's fourth Champions League place.

Louis Saha threatens his own club Fulham's joyous ride up the mountain as he pouts and poses upon a big-money move to Manchester United.

Regardless of all, Fulham - upstarts themselves being a point ahead of Newcastle - must be put to the buck just as they were down in the smoke after the gift of a two-goal start.

Clark is well loved by his fellow Geordies who will be delighted to salute his loyal service upon him putting his foot back on St James' Park turf for the first time since he left seven years and many false dawns ago.

He has never returned to play since a controversial move to Sunderland ended in dark rumblings about Judas from the red and whites, though many is the time he has sat in his private box as a Newcastle supporter.

Being a good pro, however, Lee has scored twice in his last two appearances against Newcastle - the first time last season cost three points, this term thankfully not so.

His pre-match acceptance is assured, though once the 90 minutes have begun and warfare declared it will be on the backburner.

Saha, once on loan with United, is the hottest property of the January sales, having scored a hatful of goals this season to alert the predatory Sir Alex Ferguson.

He was a young man finding his way early in 1999 when he wore black and white stripes and scored twice - against Coventry at home in the league and memorably the winner at Blackburn in an FA Cup fifth round replay.

Now he has secured his status he's inevitably to depart Fulham and at the moment the famed dressing-room spirit has been soured by the reluctance of their top gun to remain one of them. …

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