Viana complains again

Last updated : 15 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The midfielder still seems to be far more concerned about playing for Portugal in Euro 2004 than earning his rumoured £16,000 per week wages at St James’ Park, so it’s difficult to have too much sympathy for him, particularly as he has done little to suggest he merits a place in the starting line-up.

With first-team opportunities hard to come by Viana seems to expect that the club will do him a favour and loan him back to Sporting Lisbon.

That may be good for his international career but it would be of little benefit to the club unless they want to put him in the shop window to try and offload him in the summer.

Everyone already knows Viana can cut it in the Portuguese league, but if he is serious about being a success in the Premiership, surely he would be better off staying put, playing in the reserves and making the most of his opportunities from the bench and as cover for injuries in the first team.

An ever-growing number of footballers seem to think that their clubs owe them something other than the vast salaries they are contracted to pay them. Given the relatively small amount of time they have to spend at work and the privileged lifestyle that their job affords them, surely it is the players who owe the clubs and the supporters.

Hugo should keep quiet and get on with the task of finally proving to United’s supporters and Sir Bobby that he is the world-class footballer we keep hearing he is.

Here’s what Viana told The Journal about his proposed loan move:

"I had a conversation with Sir Bobby Robson and asked him about the possibility of loaning me to another team because 2004 is such an important year for me.

"He told me he would get back to me within a week after he had talked about the situation with the chairman.

"A few days later the club asked me to come to St James's Park for a meeting. They told me there was a possibility that I could go out on loan. I was delighted. Sporting was the club interested in signing me.

"It was discussed with my agent and everything was authorised by the chairman. But Sir Bobby then asked me to come and see him and told me I couldn't go.

"Suddenly I was too valuable to him and I couldn't understand it. I was prepared to take a 60 per cent pay cut and it seemed Newcastle could not lose.

"Euro 2004 is slipping away from me. The national coach has made it clear that selection depends upon current form.

"I am not playing at all so what are my chances of making Euro 2004?

"I hope the people of Newcastle do not feel I am being in any way disrespectful or disloyal by asking for a loan move but I think it would benefit everyone.

"I just wish the manager would reconsider his decision - perhaps he will find that the fans are on my side.

"I want to win things with United but for the next four months it is better for everyone if I go somewhere where I can play.

"All I am asking is for the club to be a bit more sensitive. Newcastle is a massive club and it is still the right club for me. I have never doubted that."