'Do not join Gabby Agbonlahor!' - Jeff Stelling passionately defends Newcastle from Sky Sports pundit claim

Jeff Stelling has defended Newcastle as a city after a series of disparaging comments from high profile pundits.
Jeff Stelling. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)Jeff Stelling. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Jeff Stelling. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor made headlines earlier in the week when he suggested that Newcastle United could struggle to attract fresh talent in the January transfer window because players don’t want to live in the north east.

That claim has drawn ire from several quarters, but his sentiments were stubbornly echoed by former Rangers striker Kris Boyd on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday – much to the displeasure of Stelling.

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The Hartlepool native fired back at the Scottish pundit: “What is wrong with going to the North East?

"This is Newcastle United! Kevin Keegan was happy enough to go there, wasn’t he? Alan Shearer was happy enough to go back!”

Boyd, who spent a largely unsuccessful spell with Middlesbrough during his own playing career, jokingly retorted: “I was there myself. I couldn’t get out quick enough.”

But Stelling pressed home the matter, adding: "Do not join the Gabby Agbonlahors of this world in criticising Newcastle. It’s a great place.”

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Boyd responded: "There’s no doubt about that, but it can be difficult to get people to go there. If you’re going to offer – and I’ll just put it out there – £100,00 to stay in London or £120,000 to go to Newcastle, they’ll still stay in London.”

Stelling was determined to have the last word, however, cheekily replying: "You’re in big big trouble, Boydy. Big big trouble.

“Newcastle fans, next time he’s on the train and he’s going through Newcastle, I will let you know. Go down to the station and give him a nice wave – but I bet you won’t be using that many fingers!”