Slapped wrists for Robert

Last updated : 21 September 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Frenchman was quoted in The Journal criticising Sir Bobby’s team selection and tactics, although he later denied speaking to any English journalists.

As a result Freddy Shepherd has decided to issue Robert with a stern warning, which the winger seems to have heeded as he has now decided to shut his notorious website.

Writing in the programme for Saturday’s game with Bolton Wanderers, Shepherd said: "We all want to see Laurent Robert showing what he can do on the field and putting what happened last week firmly behind him.

"Laurent spoke out in the press and said certain things that should never have been said. He has now been severely censured with a letter from me.

"I have told him clearly that what he did was unprofessional and disrespectful towards his manager and colleagues and that there must be no repeat. I want this to be the end of the matter. We must put it behind us and move forward.

"He is a great player and he was a huge investment for Newcastle. He has shown he has the ability and it is now up to him to show it again. The manager, coaches and other players cannot do any more."

Meanwhile Robert’s agent, Pape Diouf, told the Evening Chronicle: "Laurent knows that the first thing he has to do is to start playing like he did when he first joined Newcastle in the summer of 2001.

"And he also knows that his website has got him into trouble in the past and he will now pull the plug on it. He's upset at the situation he finds himself in.”

It was about time that the club took some action against the errant Frenchman and now we must wait and see how he reacts.

A return to the form he showed in his first six months with us is what needs to happen, but it has now reached the point where there is only one realistic outcome if he fails to manage that.