North East UK news The inside story of Laurent Robert's infamous Newcastle press room punch-up PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - John Gibson was right at the centre of what of the most bizarre moments seen at Newcastle press conference
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It's just a couple of days before New Year's Eve 2002, and Newcastle United sit fourth in the table having seen off Spurs 2-1 at St James' Park. Fans left the ground, as the players did, in good spirits after a fine way to see out the year, but one star Magpie was angry. United's French winger Laurent Robert created all the wrong headlines and in an unprecedented turn of events, stormed the press room in the depths of the ground to have it out with a journalist who had written an article on him in the days before the game. This story forms one of several told in the latest episode of Gibbo's Corner - United Behind the Headlines. "At the end of this game," Gibbo told host Andrew Musgrove, "we've all filed into the press room and are waiting for Sir Bobby Robson to do his press conference. "All of a sudden the door bursts open and Laurent Robert still in his full kit, sweat rolling off him comes storming in with his eyes bulging. "It was obvious he had just come straight up the tunnel and instead of turning left into the dressing room, he's turned right and come into the press room. "He makes a beeline for a colleague of mine and had him pinned up against the wall - he was obviously going to plonk him one. "Luckily for Robert - and more so for the journalist - a couple of players had spotted him and thought 'whoops, I know what Laurent is going to do' and so had chased him in before dragging him off this journalist." LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE BY CLICKING HERE It was unprecedented and given the result and Newcastle's standing in the league table, and totally unexpected - but that's not where the drama ended. Moments later Sir Bobby Robson walked in and took his seat, ready to take questions on the game in which Alan Shearer and Gary Speed scored. The manager was oblivious to what had just happened but then inadvertently, according to Gibbo, threw in the belief Robert had gone after the wrong journalist. After being told by other members of the press - and who Robert had gone after, Gibbo recalls Sir Bobby responded: "It's a case of mistaken identity.
News source = PremierLeague-News.Com
." Gibbo continues: "I'm sitting at the back and just went 'what!' - Sir Bobby went on to explain that I had written something in the Chronicle about the pros and cons of Robert. "One of the journalists asks Bobby if Laurent had taken objection to this which he replied: 'well probably he did but I thought it was a very balanced piece because I've had this out with Robert myself about what he does and doesn't do but he's seen this article and wanted to smack Gibbo, but he got the wrong guy.' "So the next day, I'm actually the headline! I was flabbergasted," Gibbo continued. "By the Monday, people have got to Robert and said 'you were going to hit the wrong bloke' - he said 'no, I got the right one'." Gibbo was a great friend of Sir Bobby - spending time with the Newcastle United legend when he was in charge of Porto and keeping in regular contact throughout his career and of course when he returned to Tyneside in 1999. On Robert, Gibbo reckons the Frenchman didn't quite reach his true potential. "He could have been one of the greats - he was often compared to David Ginola because he was French and of course he came from PSG too. "He was one of the talents like Hatem Ben Arfa - when you think of what they may have been after seeing glimpses of them on their day. "We talk about how we want players who are different - that is the joy of Allan Saint-Maximin, he does things that no other player can do. "Other players are predictable - he is unpredictable, and Ginola was that and to a lesser extent Robert and Ben Arfa. "You saw unpredictability in Robert and that is why Sir Bobby persevered with him - because he was worth doing so, especially on a good day." You can listen to the full episode of Fibbo's Corner by clicking here.
'I am furious with him' - The Newcastle favourite who will retire knowing he should have done better
Sir Alex Ferguson 'considered' leaving Manchester United for Newcastle due to the fans
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com