Seven former Newcastle players who blasted the club

General view outside St James' Park

Here are seven former Newcastle United stars who have been highly critical of the club since departing St James' Park.

Obafemi Martins

The man who inherited Alan Shearer's legendary number 9 shirt at Newcastle United was Nigerian international forward Obafemi Martins, who signed for the club in the summer of 2006.

However, after scoring 28 Premier League goals for the Magpies, Martins departed upon relegation to the Championship at the culmination of the 2008-09 campaign, telling the Sunday Mirror, 'I was left with no option but to leave Newcastle. The place had become a total shambles...the people supposedly running the club didn’t seem capable of making a decision.'

Obafemi Martins playing for Newcastle United

Michael Owen

The ex-Liverpool striker returned to England after a one-year spell in Spain with Real Madrid, joining Newcastle in the summer of 2006 for a club-record transfer fee. Despite bagging 26 league goals for the St James' Park side, Owen was not a success on Tyneside and after injuries and poor performances he, like Martins, left after relegation.

New signing Michael Owen waves to the huge number of Newcastle fans that have turned up to welcome him

The France 98 World Cup star angered Newcastle fans when he signed for Manchester United in 2009, by saying that (as reported in the Guardian), he prefers, 'Playing less often in a top team than every game in a poor team. Been there [and] didn't enjoy it.'

Jose Enrique

In July 2011, the left-back blasted Newcastle's sense of ambition and questioned the transfer decisions after the team's main players - Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan - were sold, leading Enrique to tweet (reported by the Guardian), 'This club will never again fight to be among the top six again with this policy.'

Jose Enrique - Liverpool

Just one month later, and it was Enrique who was next to be sold, as the former Spain under-21 player was re-united with Carroll, signing for Liverpool ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.

Patrick Kluivert

'There is only one man responsible for the fact that I did not become a big hit in Newcastle, his name is Alan Shearer'. Those were the words of Patrick Kluivert, as per SkySports, when the former Ajax, Barcelona and AC Milan star reflected on his poor spell at St James' Park in 2004-05.

Kluivert, who claimed that he always wanted to play in England, continued his critique of the Magpies by saying 'Newcastle United was not the right choice, there is always chaos at that club.'

Patrick Kluivert inside the stadium before the game

Craig Bellamy

As with Kluivert, forward Craig Bellamy also had his run-ins with Newcastle's hero Alan Shearer - including an infamous text message incident. Bellamy, who did not stray too far from controversy during his playing career, criticised the club and its loyal fans by suggesting that they expect too much.

The Daily Mail reported that Bellamy believed Newcastle, and their supporters, '...always expect more..have this idea that they should be bigger than Liverpool or just as big as Liverpool or Manchester United - they aren't.'

Newcastle United's Craig Bellamy celebrates

Shay Given

The goalkeeper played more than 350 league games for Newcastle between 1997 and 2009, but his time at St James' Park was somewhat tarnished by the manner of his departure.

After joining Manchester City in January 2009, Given explained how unhappy he was during the latter stages of his twelve years at the club, as reported in the Metro, by saying, 'They made me do things I didn’t want to do...It has not been enjoyable going into training. Maybe it’s myself just being selfish, but I think I deserved a little bit better than that.’

Shay Given - Republic of Ireland

Albert Luque

Another failed forward unsuccessful in following the footsteps of Alan Shearer, Spanish striker Albert Luque spent two years on Tyneside, scoring just one league goal in the process.

Luque has since reflected unfavourably on his time as a Newcastle player, by saying, 'The two years I spent there were the two worst on a personal level.. it is an experience that I would not repeat.' (As referenced on The Newcastle United Blog).

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