Vying for No.9?

Posted on November 3rd, 2009 | 54 Comments |

So who fancies living up to this then?
So who fancies living up to this then?
Well here it is, the third and final chapter of my first term, first team player review. And not a moment too soon it would seem, to take the focus off Llambias’ less than convincing SSN interview.

The No.9 shirt is almost as synonymous with Newcastle United, as St James’ Park, the black and white stripes or that deed funny accent we’ve got. It’s been made partcularly special in this part of the world because it’s been worn by some of the best players this country has seen. The likes of Gallacher, Milburn, MacDonald, Cole, Shearer have graced that shirt and it will undoubtedly always be a big shirt to fill.

Ironic then, given that the No.9 shirt and the prestige it carries with it is currently up for grabs, that we have a group of strikers who fall somewhat short of the standards we’ve come to expect from our centre-floorboards, and that none of them look like earning that honour just yet…..

So how far short have they fallen so far? –

Shola Ameobi – What can you say about this young (?) man that hasn’t already been said a million times. An undoubted talent, with plenty of awkward and unpredictable ability but one which needs a rocket up it’s ar*e to perform. In the past, he has had to make do with sitting and waiting in the wings as the big names and big earners kept him out. And when called upon, he usually did enough to encourage us. But given longer periods to impress, his laidback and nonchalant approach was not appreciated by the Toon faithful. However, this season started differently and while tormenting Championship defences he couldn’t seem to stop scoring, that was until he got knacked. Come back soon Shola, we love you really……..
rating so far – 8/10

Andy Carroll – Gangly, awkward and seems to spend a lot of the match on his backside. But he’s a trier and for every utterance I make at games about his ineffectual displays, he answers me swiftly by smashing home a volley within minutes. So he’s picking up that knack, we hoped he had, of scoring goals. If he could improve his hold-up play and lead the line more effectively, he could be a big player in the future. My only worry is that we just play to his main strength, his heading (although you wouldn’t think it, if you’d been at the Doncaster game)……..
rating so far – 7/10

Peter Lovenkrands – Made an impact with his pace when we signed him last year, when we were crying out for something different, and scored a couple of decent goals. Didn’t seem that keen to stick around following relegation but with no other prospects on the horizon, and following an offer of a contract, he signed back up for us. So far, I think it’s only fair to say, he’s been a bit of a let-down, ……..
rating so far – 5/10

Marlon Harewood – Big, strong, fast, and an appetite for some action. No, it’s not Ashley in his favourite restaurant. I’m talking about Marlon, or at least I should be. After bundling home his debut goal against QPR at St James’, his loan spell from Villa couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. However, amid rumours of a fallout with staff and given his lacklustre approach, his horrendous touch and inability to use the pace and strength he obviously has to his advantage, he’s just yet another striker proving to be a major disappointment. If you don’t wanna be here Marlon, we can fetch you a taxi to the airport……..
rating so far – 4/10

Nile Ranger – Perhaps, at least in my eyes, the one with the most obvious potential to be able to do that famous No.9 shirt justice. Everytime I see this lad, he impresses me and I only wish Hughton would let us see more of him from the start. His maturity and composure is beyond his years but he still has that youthful enthusiasm and with his strength and height, he is a genuine threat all of the time. All he needs now is to score……….
rating so far – 8/10

So once again, I’ve rambled, enough of my reviews.

What do you lot think?

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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54 Responses

  1. This is exactly what I was wondering the other day. Come the impending day of our promotion, who will have the shirt, or who do we need to bring in who is worthy of it?

    Martins never filled Shearer’s boots, can anyone? I doubt it, but they should have some real class about them.

  2. bit harsh on Carrol, especially after the terrific game he had vs sheff united.
    led the line like a pro, and even got back to help out at the back near the end too.
    i think you’re right though, Ranger looks like the most likely candidate, but he needs more games under his belt, and some goals wouldnt hurt either.

  3. Chris F – aye, in my match report, I did say it was the best game he’d had in a Newcastle shirt.

  4. Does Nolan qualify for mid or attack?
    Him being top scorer & playing mostly ‘in the hole’, an attackers position?

  5. Are you sure that Robledo was ever a number nine, Bowburn? I know that Milburn had to hand it to Vic Keeble once when he moved to outside right, but I’m not sure if Robledo was a ‘9’. It’s significance is overestimated nowadays anyway. It comes from the days of one centre forward and two inside forwards.

  6. worky – maybe you’re right, perhaps a faux pas on my part.

    CLiNT FLiCK – good shout, I’d toyed with the idea originally but kept him as a midfielder. I was going to do the same with Ryan Taylor and Geremi for def-mid.

  7. BBM I agree Ranger looks like a No9 in the making I really like Carroll but I dont think he will be a No9 or Shola the last 2 would make a CCC No9 but im hoping we will be back in the EPL next season.

  8. Suppose Ranger`s the closest to a future n0 9#.
    But he is still quite young, not the finished product as some describe it, to play him regularly in the first team would probably be a mistake.
    Needs to bulk up, tends to get pushed off the ball, but has many of the skills needed and could have a great future at the club, unless of course Ashley believes he could cash in on him.
    Harewood, Dont think so, a bull !
    Lovenkrands, play him on the wing.
    Shola, never going to be able to fill the shirt, but would keep him , can surprise at times and needs a good run to either prove himself or not.
    Carroll, big ungainly  looking, also lacks pace, however puts himself about like an old time center forward,upsetting defenders, his airial game is his best asset and he has an eye for goal, though can`.t see him filling the shirt either .
    Conclusion – we need a quality striker to fill the role.

  9. worky will love when we get more sports direct signs in and around the club wont u m8 >>sports direct @st james park :lol:

  10. caroll reminds me a lot like shearer the way he puts himself aboot with a better midfeild who knows

  11. bowburnmag says:

    “worky – maybe you’re right, perhaps a faux pas on my part.”

    Deb’s dad was Robledo radged apparently. Maybe she’ll know for certain? I don’t think so though, unless it was just for a very short time or on the odd occaision perhaps?

  12. bowburn, i guess, strictly, he’s a MF’er, but he’s definitely been more of an attacker this term, hasn’t he?
    Good write up btw, as were the others in this series.

  13. The only thing Carroll has in common with Shearer is work rate. There isn’t many a player out there who has the eye for goal that Shearer does, nor could we buy him.

    Ranger doesn’t deserve the shirt at all. He’s 19 and has only featured in a handful of games. Just because he has potential (and frankly no first team goals, despite how good his all round play is) doesn’t for a minute mean we should give him it. Give him 2-3 seasons then maybe.

    I wouldn’t give it to any of these strikers. I’d wait, for as long as it takes, until we have found or bought a true out and out striker destined to get many great goals and lead the front line by example. It isn’t over estimated, it means a lot to the club.

  14. In regard to Robledo, in the day whoever played the centre forward position always wore No9#
    Just as whoever played, right half wore 4#, left wing 11# etc. etc.
    In the case where both Millburn and Robledo played together, which they  quite often did, Jackie got 9# and George got 10#

  15. Maybe someone should do a piece on who should/could come in in jan?
    Based on who’s possible rather than pipe-dreams like.

  16. By the way lads does it not concern any of you the lack of service from midfield? The absence of frankly any player able enough to put a decent cross into the box is frightening to say the least. Jonas now, for me, has nothing to contribute. He’s lost even the ability to beat people, so i’ve given up on him to be honest.

    R. Taylor either over hits them or under hits them, and that’s without being able to beat a man. I don’t need to start about Geremi.

  17. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    November 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm
    Maybe someone should do a piece on who should/could come in in jan?
    Based on who’s possible rather than pipe-dreams like.<<< byron moore from crewe  ian shelby from gates heed  and we might get mike drewry from whitley bay :lol:<

  18. Aaaaaand one other thing (I shoulda done one post really…), does anybody look at recently departed players and wonder how the hell we’ve got rid of them and turn up where we are? Milner, Given, Faye, N’Zogbia, Beye, Bassong, Duff, Martins, Rozehnal, Carr, Emre, Onyewu, Parker. That’s going maybe a little far back, but the point is ALL these players are good enough for top flight teams!

    It’s that which just proves to me, yet again, that ever since Robson was sacked, the only thing we’ve ever needed was a top manager given time.

  19. Maybe the idea of retiring the no.9 shirt after Shearer wasn’t such a bad one, maybe Shearer could un-retire it, if he saw anyone that deserved it playing for us?
    He’s a hard act to replace.

  20. Carr is captain of a Premiership team!

    Onyewu is playing for AC BLOODY MILAN!!

    Jesus wept honestly it amazes me. Sorry bout the trilogy of posts lads haha.

    Batty what I meant was in the context of, the players to be fair should never have been in question, just the manager hasn’t been suitable or given enough time/slack to really sustain success.

    First on our shopping list for after we’ve secured Premiership status should undoubtedly be a manager with a PROVEN TRACK RECORD, an UNDERSTANDING OF THE REGION, and from then we can give him time, sit back, and watch the glory days return. Simples.

  21. Is this number 9 shirt stuff relative? We may not have a striker who looks like he’ll set the PL on fire like Shearer did but we’re not in the PL (and for all we know we may not be for some time). Until he was injured, Shola looked like he might set the fizzy pop alight with goals though. If he comes back in the same form then there’s no reason why he couldn’t – in terms of %age goals per game – be the best striker in the Championship. Maybe that’s worthy of the number 9.

    Just a theory.

  22. You don’t mean ‘kowtow’s to the vociferous Geordies’ whether they’re right or wrong, when you say: ‘understands the region’, do you.
    Uh oh!

  23. andyNUFC says: >First on our shopping list for after we’ve secured Premiership status should undoubtedly be a manager with a PROVEN TRACK RECORD, an UNDERSTANDING OF THE REGION, and from then we can give him time, sit back, and watch the glory days return. Simples.
    Who do you think would fit the bill ??
    Batty Worky may get used to the sports direct.con as it is here to stay for a few years yet. oh and rodders was on .com yesterday for a while but I just got him as he was going to the match

  24. Aye Batty cheers i’m a retard. So an understanding of the region, what is it? Just simply put it’s to know what makes the fans tick.

    Leaving Shearer out against the mackems. Renaming St. James Park. Sacking Robson.

    Public relations with the fans. Knowing we love attacking football. It’s just small things.

    We complain about the “cockney mafia” so I thought in respect, an understanding of the fans would be a welcome feature in somebody at the club.

    And who would I get? Roy Hodgson maybe? He could be tempted by a bigger budget and the size of us. Just basically any manager with an out and out unquestionable proven track record.

  25. But andy, there’s no point getting a manager with a proven track record if we the fans can just usurp his power cos we believe we know better than him.

  26. Andy, the whole idea is supposed to be that it’s the manager who knows about football, not the fans; that’s why he’s there. They should be left to get on with their job.

  27. batty ;)
    Andy Roys seems like an honest, decent fella and a good manager. I have allways liked Curbishley and Oneill but as I have said before while Big Al is about I dont think they would get the time needed. But on the brighter side after big Al has a shot I dont see any other real Geordie Heros that we will have to have

  28. “We complain about the “cockney mafia” so I thought in respect, an understanding of the fans would be a welcome feature in somebody at the club.

    And who would I get? Roy Hodgson maybe? ”

    Andy, Roy Hodgson is closer to being a Londoner than Mike Ashley, so how would that address complaints about the ‘Cockney Mafia’ ?

  29. Clint > I’m guessing Dave concurs with andy then, i digress then.
    Clint > But andy, there’s no point getting a manager with a proven track record if we the fans can just usurp his power cos we believe we know better than him
    I think to an extent all fans are like that, it just seems to be the Geordie fans are more so ;)

  30. I knew Rod must be posting on one of the sites. Pity he can’t reveal his true identity.

    I miss ‘im. The crazy horse.

  31. Every football fan thinks they’re a manager, everyone has an opinion.
    This blog and others like it, is evidence of that.

    Good football and/or good results is what counts. A manager will not get grief unless he fails on both of those fronts.

    It helps to be professional, charismatic and respectful too.

     * chants ‘Keegan, Keegan’ in his head.

  32. Dave, i was meaning: oh, bugger, i give up. :)
    You’re right mate, but i think we must get a bit more realistic, if only so as we don’t gan mental.

  33. *We need a manager like Keegan… Knows the fans, loves the club and is prepared to hang around during tough times.
    I guess we have all  seen how “someone who has an understanding of the area” works out…  
    As far as the number nine shirt goes…. No one deserves it yet, there are plently of contenders at the moment but none have proven themselves yet. I reckon if you ask any of them, if they deserve it, they would say no…

    * I was being sarcastic

  34. I hope there aren’t any demos on saturday during the game.  After supporters can do what they want if they’ve nowt better to do but not during the game.

    I still think this explanation from Llambias won’t be good enough for some but that’s football fans for you. 

    I’ve been hankering for a billionaire arab for about 12 months now but it would appear were not that lucky so were stuck with what we have.

    The best way of Ashley selling is by getting promoted and to do that we will have to be behind the players every game.  Oh and Ashley will have to spend a few quid too.

    That by the way is the only way he will get some peace this season – By spending money in January.

    Fickle football fans you know….

  35. kevin keegan never respected newcastle he has been at newcastle near 3-4 times and every time he has walked out and we have nearly been relegated every time and his time here he did it he is over rated and its about time hughton got the job he left a great team like totenham and came to newcastle his only downfall is he is falling in to the long ball trap trying to compete with over4 championship teams

  36. Alan smith is still listed as a forward and with the effort he is putting in this season as Captain he is the only player deserving of No9…