Solano Move would have been a Step Backwards

Last updated : 23 February 2005 By Craig Hope (website editor)

Has BBC interview and Cup success bought him some time?
Souness’ admission has surprised many Geordies. When Sir Bobby Robson sold the Peruvian over a year ago to Aston Villa for £1.5 million there was much disdain amongst supporters. They argued that we had become a selling club and many planned to wave white handkerchiefs as a sign of their disapproval at the next home game.

The slightly built winger has since went onto enjoy relative success at
Villa Park and has become popular amongst team-mates and supporters alike.

But, would Solano’s return have been a step in the right direction for Newcastle United?

I believe that the decision to sell Solano, on a footballing basis, was justified. His form had dipped and his physical contribution was often criticised. However, having sold the midfielder the subsequent decision not to replace him was ludicrous. Two sales, Solano and Woodgate, and the failure to find suitable replacements were what ultimately cost Sir Bobby his managerial position.

Graeme Souness has unfortunately been the fall guy of this mis-management. The Scot has acted to atone for our defensive short comings with the purchase of Boumsong, and if last night’s phone-in is anything to go by then he is also pursuing a right sided player with his condemnation of Laurent Robert suggesting he is also in the market for a left sided midfielder.

This news, following his previous statement that the use of wingers is a ‘dinosaur’ concept, is positive. That we should make a move for Solano I feel is not. It would represent a backwards step. In my mind Solano is not in the ilk of the ‘modern day winger’ that Souness talks about whilst highlighting Ljunberg, Pires and Giggs as examples. Solano’s defensive qualities, whilst better than Robert’s, were far from great with the winger often pulling out of challenges much to the annoyance of the Toon Army.

In reality the return of Solano to Newcastle United would only serve to highlight our lack of progress. If any positive is to be drawn from the admission it is that with Solano remaining an ever popular figure on Tyneside then perhaps Graeme Souness may have bought himself a little bit of time to continue his St.James’ Park redevelopment. The Scot is in desperate need of some leeway from a Toon Army that are growing increasingly disillusioned with his handling of the club.