Latest Robert outburst could be his last

Last updated : 21 December 2004 By Craig Hope (website editor)

Laurent Robert has once again aired his distaste with regards to his current situation on Tyneside and potential future with the club.

This isn’t the first time the Frenchman has let his feelings be known.  As January nears you feel his next outburst could indeed be his last.

It was interesting to note an interview with Graeme Souness before the Liverpool game.  When asked about the respective fitness of Kluivert and Robert he answered, ‘Patrick hasn’t trained much this week because of his injury and Laurent hasn’t trained much either’.  Read what you may into this statement, the general word in the Toon is that Robert merely declared himself injured and didn’t train as a result – something that Souness’ comment and the manner in which he delivered it appear to support.

Souness has quite obviously made his mind up about Robert – he doesn’t fancy him.  Results however have not improved.  The steelier look we displayed during late September and early October has disintegrated and we now appear void of spirit, desire, invention (the list goes on). 

Robert has remained a peripheral figure, a 60th minute introduction becoming the norm for the ex-PSG man.  I can honestly say that I have never witnessed a player receive such a raucous welcome only to be booed minutes later.  Following his introduction against Portsmouth and subsequent cheer, Robert was quite rightly booed for an outrageous display of laziness moments later when he appeared motionless as the ball travelled towards him only for a Portsmouth defender to win possession.

It appears of late that we can’t live with him yet can’t live without him.  When he starts he’s anonymous, when he doesn’t we lack width and miss his delivery from set pieces.

Ultimately I believe he will be sold before the end of the season.  It will be a sorry end for a player who has offered much excitement and entertainment since his arrival three and a half years ago.  Had Sir Bobby not been sacked then Robert would almost certainly have started more games.

I believe that Souness has given up on the Reunion islander without a fight; he doesn’t appear to want to get the best out of Robert.  To Robert’s credit however he has reiterated his desire to remain at St.James Park.  This wish may well fall on deaf ears with January looming and Souness looking to generate funds to strengthen elsewhere. 

The Scot will of course be judged upon results in the long term, in the short term he has to decide whether to use the Frenchman to reverse our dwindling fortunes or allow Robert to sit out the remainder of his Tyneside days warming the substitute’s bench.