Date: 23rd November 2006 at 10:53am
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Albert Luque cost £10 million from Deportivo La Coruna back in August 2005, and we’d have been better off giving the money to Children In Need.

The 28-year-old is another Marcelino, a mercenary from the sunny shores of Espania, who picks up his inflated wages and gives a million reasons why he is struggling on Tyneside.

Yes we’ve heard the stories of interest from French club Bordeaux and Spanish sides Real Betis, Real Madrid, Mollorca, Barcelona and Valencia. But as Freddy Shepherd said: ‘Point them in my direction, because I haven’t had a sniff from anyone’.

But Glenn Roeder is held over a barrel. He has no strikers available, and allegedly Luque is a striker, and the manager hopes Thursday’s UEFA Cup home clash with Spanish Primera Liga side Celta Vigo will allow Luque the chance to turn his season around.

In other words … we have no-one else!

Roeder: ‘I would never give up on a player and I haven’t given on Albert – that would be poor management.

‘He must be frustrated at how it’s gone here after what he achieved in Spain, but in the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a big improvement in him.

‘I’ve not found him to be a bad pro, he is a decent enough lad and he is now working really hard in training.

‘As a manager, you’re always looking for games that might give players an edge and get their juices flowing.

‘For Albert, this is one against a side who used to be local rivals. I’m sure he’s thinking ‘I’d love to play against them’.

‘Maybe this is the one performance that can make it all fall into place for him.’