Random Premier League Chancers: David N'Gog

Random Premier League Chancers: David N'Gog
By Mikey Traynor

Welcome to ‘Random Premier League Chancers’, a weekly look at some of the strangest characters to have ever lined out in the English Premier League.

Typically transfers that didn’t work out and were quickly erased from the memories of most supporters, these men were the guys who’s name you heard a few times in Match Of The Day, then never heard from ever again.

This week we are taking a look at one of those Liverpool signings who come in from abroad with bags of potential, but ended up as one of those names that people normally follow with "Jesus, I forgot he existed", it's David N'Gog.

David N'Gog made his entry to the world of professional football in June 2006 after signing pro forms as a 17 year old. With an impressive goalscoring record for France at youth level with 11 goals in 13 games for the U16s, and then 6 goals in 6 games for the U19s, many thought PSG had stolen a march on the rest of the nation when they snapped him up. Those people were wrong.

There is very little information on David NGog's time with PSG, because he didn't really do anything, he played well for PSG at a pre-season tournament in the Emirates Stadium, but thats about it. In and out of the reserves, he made a total of 18 first team appearances, scoring a single goal, and then there is this picture of him awkwardly trying to control a football.

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Whatever he did in Paris, it was enough to convince Rafa Benitez to give to go-ahead to sign N'Gog for £1.5m, which the Spanish manager heralded as a bargain as he said:

Liverpool scouts are finding players like N'Gog, players with quality who are not a high price.

So David made the switch to Liverpool where he would learn from Fernando Torres in training and provide cover if the Spaniard needed a rest, which, unfortunately for him, wasn't often in that 08/09 season. Fittingly, it was as a replacement for Torres against Aston Villa that N'Gog made his Premier League debut, and his first goal came in the group stages of the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven, so his time at Anfield started well.

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But it wasn't "start as you mean to go on" for David NGog as the Frenchman failed to make any sort of impact in the substitute appearances and cup games he participated in for the remainder of his first season in England. His first Premier League goal came against Portsmouth in March, and he added another against Sunderland in April, but that was it.

The 09/10 season began and again N'Gog was a squad member, his pre-season form not enough to convince Benitez to give him more playing time. The odd goal here and there such as the 4th in a 4-0 win against Stoke doing little to convince the Anfield faithful that he should be in the team, but suddenly David NGog made himself a cult hero by scoring the second goal in a 2-0 win against Manchester United, after Jamie Carragher absolutely destroyed Nani up the other end of the pitch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnX0hunASXs

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This was undoubtedly the highlight of his career, as he later confirmed himself by saying the following:

This was a fantastic moment for me and the team and I would say it's my best moment in football.

David NGog would finish the season with four league goals. A 100% improvement on the previous year, but still pretty shit.

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Roy Hodgson was now in charge of Liverpool, and at the start of the 10/11 season when N'Gog turned and blasted a shot into the top corner at Arsenal, many thought he would finally kick on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU3qvf1BgGs

Again, those people were wrong. After the Arsenal game, N'Gog never kicked on and once again found himself relegated to cup-team duty. To be fair to him, he had a decent record in the Europa League and the Carling Cup, but by the end of the 10/11 season his record stood at 9 league goals in 63 appearances, and he was deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield.

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The substitutes role didn't suit him, so when Bolton Wanderers came calling in August 2011 and offered him a chance to shine as a starter in the Premier League, he couldn't say no. Neither could Liverpool when they raced to the bank to cash a £4m cheque, somehow making a £2.5 profit on N'Gog, as Bolton were a tad desperate.

David NGog scored 3 goals in the 11/12 season as Bolton Wanderers were relegated to the Championship.

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His most prolific season in English football would follow, with a mediocre 8 goals as Bolton became the mid-table Championship club they are today, and it didn't get any better for David, as he followed that up with 3 goals in 17 appearances the following year.

Despite never managing more than 8 goals in a single season so far in his career, the football Gods smiled down upon David N'Gog as he was somehow offered a return to the Premier League with Swansea City.

Was this the break David had been waiting for?

No. He made 3 appearances, scoring 0 goals, and then he moved back to France to join Stade de Reims as a free agent.

Clearly not suited to English football, N'Gog has found his feet again in France. So far this season he has bagged 10 league goals for Reims, and some of them are quite good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWtxEbXN3kk

It hasn't all been plain sailing, as in September a rumour started that N'Gog was missing, and nobody knew where he was, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding as he just had a virus. Nothing dodgy about that at all.

He now starts week-in, week-out for his club, and they appear to be getting the best out of him, so maybe it will all end happily ever after for David NGog, but one thing is for sure, he will always be remembered as a random Premier League chancer.

Liverpool fans will be left with the memory of his goal against Manchester United, but the rest of us are left with a load of crap compilations on YouTube, like this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOvit2ajsRM

See also: Random Premier League Chancers: Pascal Cygan
See also: Random Premier League Chancers: Afonso Alves
See also: Random Premier League Chancers: Albert Luque

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