The Best case scenario

Posted on July 20th, 2011 | 13 Comments |

Has Leon Best earnt another season at Newvastle United?
Another season?
Newcastle United striker Leon Best shows a good attitude towards fighting for his place in the squad and this humble author feels he deserves another season at the club.

Leon Best’s career has been a mixed affair in terms of his goals to games ratios. Between 2004 and 2007 – up until he was 20 years old – he didn’t really do much to attract attention at all with just 5 goals in 43 games, but his loan move from Southampton to Yeovil produced 10 goals in 15 games. He then had a poor spell at Southampton and Coventry, netting just 17 times in 86 games.

After that he managed a fair 10 in 29 during his last season at Coventry before he moved to Newcastle where he didn’t score in 13 games for us during his first season at the club. However, last season he scored 6 goals in 12 games, which is a pretty good return for any striker.

During his career he has been loaned out many times, started from the subs bench a fair number of times and never looks as if he’s had much time to settle. I’m sure that hasn’t helped his over all hit rate of 48 in 198. That’s approximately 1 goal every 4 games, which – incidentally – is comparable with the career strike rates of Daniel Sturridge, Shane Long and Carlton Cole to name a few strikers that Newcastle have been allegedly interested in this summer (although I accept that lot of Best’s football has been played at a lower level than those players I mention).

Yet there have been (unconfirmed) rumours that Best has been transfer-listed by Newcastle.

So am I making an argument to keep him? Well, to a certain extent yes. Or, to be more accurate, I think he should be the last of last season’s strikers to be moved on. Best is still only 24 and whilst I accept that last season may have just been lucky or a one-off or whatever, I’d be inclined to give him another season to see how he does, even if it’s just as a squad player.

Best himself is well aware of his situation at Newcastle and said:

I have been in this position time and time again. I have to look back at last season for confidence.

I think people know I can do it in the Premier League now and it’s about fighting for my position.

There’s a new striker in who I already get on very well with and I would be delighted to play alongside him, or fight him for a place.

Competition for places brings the best out of a team – I have always believed that.

That’s a good attitude he’s got there. I’m prepared to accept that he may not in fact have what it takes but I’d like to see him get another season with the club to find out. His recent form – which is obviously the best indicator of how a player is doing – is pretty good and I think that earns him a reprieve from the transfer list.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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13 Responses

  1. I think he is second to none in our striker list as well as he’s quite popular in our squad. IMO, no point why we should sell him.

  2. we need to keep him for the simple fact we have no one else!

    hes a squad player and championship level but we need him as its looking more and more likely we wont get anyone else in

    hes decent but lacks pace which i think is crucial for the type of striker he is in the premiership and there are questions again like alot of players at nufc about his fitness and durability

  3. I think its right in saying the squad isnt big enough to let him go, and also the few chances he got last season he didnt do too badly, even if three of his six goals did come against a poor west ham side. Personally i would let it be known to him that this season he has to produce, or face the fact top flight football may not be for him.

  4. I find it bizarre at best (no pun) that he has been used by us so little.

    yes he has had injury problems, very few in our squad havent, but how can the lad ever prove he is up to the job without being given the chance?

    I would pick him every time over Forest Hall’s #1 gangster Ranger….

  5. I think your right, anyone can see that if he’s fit he should definitely be on that pitch before “home boy”

  6. I agree Best is the only one of our four strikers from last season I would like to see given more time. Ranger needs a slap from Kiltchko to get him some reality rehab and make the kid realise the oppertunity hes pissing away. Shola is and always has been garbage – Loverman should only be kept as a squad player as hes probably the most versatile. Dont get me wrong in an ideal world we would have signed two or three strikers and moved on last seasons crop but as each day passes the chances are dwindling.

  7. What the Hell.

    There are no Rumours linking palyers to NUFC.

    where as stoke city are signing players left right and center, look at wolves even.

  8. Aye,
    keep Best!

    With the right encouragement & played regularly in the right position (second striker) he could be canny. He’s powerful & reasonably adept.
    A decent age & has a good attitude.

    Ranger’s from Highgate btw, not Forest Hill.


  9. Best is definately worth keeping. When you look at what`s available in the transfer market their is not a lot in terms of strikers. What`s the point in buying somebody like Shane Long and paying something like 8M. I think Best is every bit as good as long and we`d be lucky to get 3m if we sold Best. IMO Best is the superior striker that we have at the club at the moment and is only 25 he gets my vote every time!

  10. New £4.8m Newcastle signing Yohan Cabaye was initially refused entry to the United States after being accused of not paying for some dentistry work completed there while he was playing for Lille.

  11. Indian mag,
    no way doris day!

    Honestly, is that true?


    What are the American authorities on?

  12. @9 – Clint he lives in Forest Hall, 3 doors down from my lasses cousin, I’ve seen his “gangsta” Range Rover on the drive everytime I’ve been round ;-)