Can Kuqi come good for the Toon?

Posted on April 21st, 2011 | 22 Comments |

Like a swan, only more Yugoslavian.  And taller.
Like a swan, only more Yugoslavian. And taller.
The 34 year old Yugoslavian has barely had a sniff of a football, but can he do a job for us?

I’m probably in the minority when I say that Shefki should get more than 3 minute cameos here and there, but I was also in the minority when I backed Leon Best and look how he turned out for us. Of course, the 34 year old Finn doesn’t exactly have age on his side but he made more of an impact in front of goal in his 5 minutes on the pitch at Villa Park than young Nile Ranger made all game.

After being haunted by the turmoil of his youth and later seeing a tragedy strike his close friend, and fellow footballer, Besian Idrizaj who unfortunately passed away aged 22 after a heart attack. Kuqi’s face is weathered by age and experience, but the question still remains: can he do the Newcastle United shirt a service?

Alan Pardew has mentioned that Kuqi’s personality would be perfect to wear the famous number 9 but also concedes age and lack of ability would ensure he never wears the famous shirt and to an extent, I agree. Shefki Kuqi has spent most of his footballing life in the Championship with occasional spells in the Premier League and he has never and will never set the footballing world on fire.

Let’s backtrack a bit. What is ‘doing a job’ to a fan of Newcastle United? Usually it refers to fringe players who simply can’t hold down a place in the starting XI and sometimes those players impress us. Leon Best was a fringe player until he showed us all what he is capable of doing and reminded us that sometimes, a striker can be onside, even when the linesman thinks he’s not.

Kuqi is a Leon Best-esque character and make no mistake. Neither players are likely to dribble the length of the pitch and delicately chip the ball over the keeper, but both know where the net is and know where they need to be to slot the ball home by any means necessary.

He also adds a very different style of play to our game; the man is an absolute battering ram. He bullies defenders and forces mistakes, opening up the goal for whichever tired legs have the strength to take on that shot. Think of how a certain number 9 used to do it and you’ll see what I mean, only Kuqi is a bit more clever about his game.

After everything that the Yugoslavian born player has been through, he can carry the weight of the world on his shoulders and has proved it. The fact is, it doesn’t matter what number he wears – to us a player wearing the number worn by Alan Shearer, Jackie Milburn and countless others is the biggest testimony and honour to a players ability, but to Shefki, simply playing for Newcastle is honour enough.

The future at Newcastle United may indeed be bright with the likes of Dan Gosling, Hatem Ben Arfa and Europe’s once top talent Haris Vuckic all preparing for first team action but when Shefki decides his playing days are over and his boots are long since hung up, I wouldn’t mind him in a coaching position if that’s his desire. Much like Sol Campbell, he has enough experience in the game to direct the youngsters and he has already been supposedly working his magic with some of the younger lads with a guiding hand and some friendly words.

A player of his age and experience can only do good things behind the scenes and I’m sure that will continue until his contract runs out in the summer.

Can he pop up in the last 5 games with a goal or two? Of course he can, if he’s given the time to settle into the flow of the game and if he doesn’t make the impact he probably dreams of at the Cathedral on the Hill? Well, he always has a budding career in the music industry.

NUFCBlog Author: Thump Some say his bones are black and white but that is yet to be medically proven. Currently writes for a few different publications and likes to assert his imaginary authority on nobody in particular. Beware: eats children. Thump has written 36 articles on this blog.

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22 Responses

  1. It would be nice to see him given some more time on the pitch, you know he would give 100% and thats the main thing. I think he has had a positive effect on the dressing room, you could see a glimpse of that from jonas’ goal v wolves.

  2. I’ll play Ranger and Shola up front in the first half and then Kuqi on for Ameobi after the hour mark or straight after halftime. Knowing Ameobi’s lack of a real contribution Kuqi should play from the start, but I believe Ameobi has just that bit more ‘talent’ than him.

  3. I wouldn’t judge him too much in terms of goals. He’s a big lad who can hold the ball up, create a bit of mayhem with his physical presence and create an oppotunity for others to score. A Kosovan / Albanian / Finnish Emile Heskey in other words.

    Nicely written and interesting piece BTW, Thump.

  4. I agree, to be fair whats the worst he can do? and we have nobody else so give him a chance!

    the way our team is set up, with nolan pushing forward and barton cutting inside to fill in the gap we need a player who can hold up the ball and bring the team into play. Carroll done this superbly and hence some of the excellent team performances this season.

    i was all for ranger being given more of a chance but he was totally out of his depth at villa (he seemed very weak against Dunn) and with Ameobi only having enough ‘energy’ for about 20 mins per game, im surprised shefki hasn’t had more game time.

    some players whom have come to the toon with very low expectations from the fans have turned out rather well, like Gallagher and Sibierski. with his size and strength in both boxs (and he seems very keen to play) i would like to see him start against Blackpool with Ameobi and Nolan pushing up in support. Plus Ameobi seems to have his best games for Newcastle when we are not relying on him as the main focus up front.

  5. workyticket says:

    April 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    A Kosovan / Albanian / Finnish Emile Heskey in other words

    haha i do belive you have hit the nail on the head!

  6. Nicely thought out and written piece Thump,
    i completely agree that he should be given more game time, and it might just pay off, hey what have we got to lose

  7. Against Liverpool i would let him start with one game plan , take out the long haired lanky tw@t , not that i am bitter like . Shefki would win that battle though and the deserter knows it . So rant over !!!

    I know it’s childish , but it still hurts

  8. Im a big fan of Lovenkrands, he gives us experience and pace, Ranger is quick, but his mind isnt developed yet, our best partnership is still shola and lovenkrands with the players available. Hope benny arfa gets some minutes against blackpool

  9. FlashJonas

    “Im a big fan of Lovenkrands, he gives us experience and pace”

    Experience and pace is good but GOALS would be better, he is a striker after all and he doesnt give us any!

  10. Nice one thump, great work mate.

    Ranger is only any use as ‘impact’ against tired legs for now.
    I’d hoy Shefki into a game with at least 20 minutes to go like.
    I do like Axel’s little scheme too. Maybe he could snap that scouser’s neck.

  11. A thought: instead of givinh Kuqi an end-game cameo, how about going Rs first and play him from the start? Given the chance, he’d rattle the opposition and then we could play Ireland up front. A complete change of approach

  12. Hey ! c`mon, you guys serious ?
    I mean you guy guys give the addage “grasping at straws” a whole new meaning, get real for Ch**st sake !

  13. one problem pardew always picks ranger as his sub replacement for either mclovin or ameobi,kuqi was brought in just to make up the numbers for strikers imo.pardew should really think about playing kuqi as ranger has had so many chances being brought on and hasn’t scored

  14. As for Guildenstern, he was`nt anything to write home about in his prime with Rangers, all of a sudden he`s a good player, no f***ing way.
    As for Ranger, he was exposed when Pardner started him, guy needs work and coaching, has no clue.
    Sure he looked good coming on for ten minutes and running around putting pressure on, but he`s not a starter.
    Look we got a few games left and we have no one to play up front, stick Nolan behind Shola with Barton Jonas and Ireland.
    And lets get Taylor back in the side instead of Williamson.

  15. Chuckles – I’m deadly serious. It seems like everybody I’ve spoken to or with about Kuqi all judge him before he’s given a chance – just like everybody did with Leon Best. When Leon came here in the CCC, he was absolutely slaughtered despite doing everything but score and I’m absolutely positive that Kuqi is in that exact same mould. He isn’t going to be sprinting the length of the pitch any time soon, but, like worky said, 20 minutes here and there? What’s the worst that could happen? He proves everybody wrong?

    I do agree with Loverman, though. I like what he brings to the side but he seems to lose his composure in front of goal, probably because he’s a bloody winger! So he likes to be played through the middle, does he? Ryan Taylor likes to think of himself as a defender but he’s so much better on the right mid, so that’s where you play him.

    Moving away from the strike force, did anybody else notice the Barton and Ireland link up play on Tuesday? Can’t wait to see those two causing havoc in the midfield :D

  16. Yes Guildenstern played primarily as a winger for both Rangers and Denmark, look he`s an ok player some of the time, but he came here as a stop gap, at least I hope that`s the case.
    Ans hey! i always thought Best would come good and gave him my support in these blogs, too bad he got injured at a critical time, both for the club and his own sake.
    Who knows what kinda season he could have had ?
    But Kuqi, c`mon Clint !
    Another guy i like is Ireland, saw him play some good football for Citeh and believe he would be an excellent signing, hey we need a bit of finesse in the side.
    And face it Newcastle fans appreciate a bit of skill and verve in the side, we are not Bolton or Stoke, we like a bit of entertainment, right ?

  17. different topic see harper and guthrie are out injured feel sorry for both harper finally has the number one spot after all those years and loses it to injury.Guthrie looks like he is out for the season starts to impress also goes out with injury hard luck stories indeed

  18. Their is another lad we could try up front , Phil Airey . Its like we all know Ranger is a good impact sub and still has a lot to learn and is by no means a finished article yet . Airey is banging the goals in for the development squad just the same as Ranger did ,so how about giving him a try maybe he is further in his development as a complete player than Ranger who’s attitude has been questioned .

  19. chuckles he cant be any worse than ameobi!!!!! and he is on par with the rest of our misfiring strike force! so we need to look at options and shefki can hold up the ball like a battering ram and bring the midfield into play so why not? we have to try as it is clearly not working for us upfront at the min

    i agree it was nice to see ireland making his debut,making good runs and linking up with the midfield with fresh ideas. he can be a fantastic player when fully fit and in the right frame of mind.

    with regards to williamson he is not the problem he and colo have a good partnership, not the best but good enough for a side on its first season back in the premiership. i feel they get absolutely nothing from simpson who is very weak and cant wait to hoof the ball away given half the chance he is a championship player at best i hope this area is addressed in the close season. i dont trust steven taylor who needs to improve and impress to earn a starting place again. his career has stalled since his injurys and the nonsense with his contract

    worryingly if giggs had scored his sitter against us it would have mirrored a few similar type of goals like bolton everton arsenal and wolves have scored against us were they work the ball down the flank and cut it back for an easy sidefoot home which seems to catch us out everytime!

  20. i don’t know about simpson being a championship player jury is still out on that but he has improved this season and can only get stronger.

  21. if you compare enrique to simpson ie distribution, strength in the air and on the ball his positional play he is a million miles away from that standard. i like simpson as he is committed player and gives 100% but sadly this is not enough as he is the week link in the back four and teams are targeting our right back

  22. Ranger is the best young prospect we have on toon right now,I heard Beardo n Shearer states that when he is complete he be awesome for us just needs work, toon till I DIED.