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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 17, 2007

Big Sam hands Toon captaincy to Geremi

Newcastle new boy Geremi has spoken of his pride at being handed the captain's armband as he prepares to lead his side out at St James's Park for the first time against Aston Villa. The Cameroon international joined the Magpies on a free transfer from Chelsea this summer and it did not take long for boss Sam Allardyce to single him out as captaincy potential. Geremi said: 'I was not expected to be made captain and when the manager gave me the armband in pre-season I thought it was just a test and it wasn't going to be permanent. 'But two days before the kick-off last week he called me in to see if I had the capability to be captain and I said it would not be a problem. 'I am under pressure because it is 50 years since a Newcastle captain lifted a major trophy. But I think we will challenge this season and cause a few surprises.' Geremi's big day is expected to be boosted by the return of Michael Owen from a thigh injury after the £17million man successfully negotiated a behind-closed-doors friendly against Gretna this week. With Turkish international Emre also back in full training after an ankle injury, Allardyce's injury problems are easing and make the loss of Kieron Dyer to West Ham easier to bear. Dyer completed his protracted move this week and Allardyce said: 'The issue is now over and from the club's point of view and Kieron's point of view it is a satisfying result. 'We've all got what we wanted and we move on and I wish him all the best. I hope he has a successful career from now on and of course he is closer now to his family.' Allardyce could also face losing Peruvian international Nobby Solano, who has reportedly cited personal reasons for his decision to seek a move down to London. But Allardyce added: 'Nobby has talked about his family situation and that's obviously something we have to try and resolve. 'But at the moment unlike Kieron where West Ham have come in with a big offer, nobody has come in for Nobby. So he stays with us and he really is not someone I would want to lose.'

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