Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Hell's Kitchen to Head Waiter

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From Hell's Kitchen to Head Waiter

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

He's a kid from the tough side of the track who is now being invited to all the swanky restaurants.

Charles N'Zogbia is supposed to be only a waiter ( a teenager waiting for an opportunity in a big world.

However, this season the French boy from Le Havre has scored five goals and on Saturday created the winner that catapulted Newcastle thankfully through to the quarter-finals of the Cup.

While another matchstick man Kieron Dyer had plenty still to do, and did it magnificently, it was N'Zogbia who muscled into possession, drew defenders towards him, and played in Dyer, fractionally onside thanks to a sleeping Jim Brennan.

Dyer didn't panic and blast but ran and placed a perfect shot past Bartosz Bialkowski.

After three months staring into an abyss Kieron so fully deserved his glory, the moment captured in his sudden explosion of delight which saw him jump the advertising boards to throw himself into the arms of a grateful Toon Army.

That an apologetic referee Martin Atkinson had to yellow card Dyer for his display of relief at a black tunnel bursting into sunlight is one of the stupidities of football's strait-jacketed legal framework.

Kieron was terrific on his comeback and did superbly well to last until a quarter of an hour from the end after being thrust into immediate action by the absence of skipper and talisman Alan Shearer.

He offered something different to Shearer and Michael Owen, the big guns, coming short to receive the ball and use his pace. He obviously likes to play with Nobby Solano and early on the pair tormented a Southampton side always ready to get eight or nine men behind the ball.

However, over 90 minutes it was N'Zogbia who, lungs bursting and dander up, sickened the Saints to death.

N'Zogbia played like Ryan Giggs in his pomp when the Welshman ran the left flank for Manchester United and David Beckham the right.

As do all good wingers who are not fancy dans, N'Zogbia worked back as enthusiastically as he broke forward. He adequately covered the one-paced Robbie Elliott to dig him out of a hole on occasions and, engine running, could still get forward to torment and create. …

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