Nobby is Sir Bobby’s number one

Last updated : 28 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The former England manager has had more success than most with signing South American players, notably Ronaldo twice, so he knows what he’s talking about.

"I don't think there's been a more consistent South American in this country since Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa," Sir Bobby told the Journal.

"Gus Poyet is the only modern-day player who comes close to Nobby in terms of adapting to the English game and making such an impact at the highest level.

"Many South Americans come here and fail to make the grade and it is not easy to adjust to a different way of playing and a different climate.

"But over the years Nobby has been magnificent for Newcastle United. There is always speculation linking him with a move but I can honestly say that I am not aware of any firm bid. I'm happy about that but it surprises me because he is one of a kind and a valuable asset.

"He is an incredibly consistent performer even though he's of such slight build. Nobby's not a big fella but he copes with the rigours of the English game incredibly well and that's thanks to his technical ability.

"For a small player he's not bad in the air and I know how much our strikers enjoy playing alongside him."

Nobody could claim that this has been Nobby’s best season for us, but his overall contribution since his arrival in 1998 has been excellent and Kieron Dyer and Alan Shearer always look to be better players when he’s on the pitch.