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Good Bye Rob - 07/02/2002

   Robert Lee
   Newcastle United
   Derby County

So it’s an end of an era as Rob Lee leaves Newcastle. I’m sorry, but not surprised to see my mate go. I heard that Warren’s been on the phone to him and now he’s finally got his wish and can share a drink or two in the hotel! (Rob get him a drink in!)

I know that Rob wants to play for at least another couple of seasons and this contract enables him to do that. Newcastle have now got a strong squad and with JJ also moving in, it wasn’t going to get any easier for the ‘ageing playmaker’. He’ll do well for Derby, they’ve a number of youngsters and quite a few foreigners down there – I think with Wal, as I mentioned last week, they’ll provide a steadying influence and it’s a good move by one of my old bosses. Rob’s transfer to Newcastle has frequently been mentioned as one of the best bits of the clubs best transfers, and I’d agree. Keegan took his talent and moulded an England international out him. What’s more, his role within the team changed and he adapted so well to the challenges of the time. Starting on the wing, he moved to an attacking midfielder, and in later years dropped back deeper. For me, his attacking role from the centre of the pitch was his most spectacular period. Running with the ball and onto passes, his shooting form distance was explosive. I think it’s fair to say that his peak coincided with that of the Keegan team. Rob can now be classed as being one of the most complete midfielders in the history of the club.

One thing’s for sure, I’m looking forward to the 13th of April when Newcastle visit Derby, there’ll be two players out on the park with something to prove, and I think the Newcastle lads would like to remind them of what they left behind!

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