Youth at Newcastle: good and bad

Posted on August 28th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Harris Vuckic: youth potential as Newcastle United.
Pardew: tall, nice Solvenian guy
Newcastle United’s youth squad has much promise, although recent events might indicate that Nile Ranger isn’t destined to be part of it.

If the stories in the press are true, it seems that Nile Ranger is once again in hot water and this time it’s a bit more serious than an ill-informed pose with an allegedly replica handgun.

Ranger has been arrested on suspicion of assault after a 33 year-old victim was found with a broken jaw in the Groat Market in Newcastle. Ranger is currently “helping police with their enquiries”, which is police talk for “being interrogated to see if he’ll ‘fess up” and if he’s charged and subsequently found guilty he could face prison.

There were rumours that Ranger had been transfer-listed earlier in this transfer window and I get the impression that both the manager and the boardroom hierarchy were running out of patience with his indiscipline and allegedly casual approach to training anyway, but this latest escapade could, I believe, see the end of his prospects as a professional footballer.

He’s not the first Newcastle player to get into trouble of course. Notably both Joey Barton and Andy Carroll have had their off-pitch controversy, but their on-pitch contributions seem to have persuaded various managers back them through their troubles, although I suspect that Alan Pardew will be reluctant to provide too much backing for Ranger.

Ranger might be lucky and find a club with a manager who can knock some sense into him and it’s possible that the glimmers of talent we’ve seen from the boy could be developed and exploited, but I doubt that will be at Newcastle United.

Contrast Ranger with Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi whose introduction to the pitch on Thursday’s game at Scunthorpe was – I think it’s fair to say – at least partly responsible for revitalising our performance. Vuckic and Ameobi seem to have the level heads absent in Nile Ranger too.

Alan Pardew had this to say about Haris Vuckic:

When I first arrived I remember the staff saying to me: ‘We’ve got a really good young player but he’s injured at the moment’.

This tall, nice, Slovenian guy kept passing me in the corridor and smiling. Haris is such a nice guy.

He’s a lovely boy who we’ve got big hopes for; he’s got tremendous technique. Haris needs to learn to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League but he’s only 19 and his potential is excellent. He’s got a really clever pass on him. It’s a pass about 85% of Premier League footballers couldn’t even see.

And when it comes to Sammy Ameobi, Pardew said:

We’re very excited about Sammy.

He’s going to be a big player and it helps that his big brother and his parents look after him very well.

After their performances last week I would be very surprised if they’re not both on the subs bench for today’s game against Fulham.

Then there’s also the likes of Abeid, Ferguson and Kadar who are all highly-rated youngsters. Amidst all the gripes about Ashley, transfer windows, spending and whatnot, I think one area where we have bags of potential is with the youth players at the club. There is much promise there for the future.

Although I doubt Nile Ranger forms part of that.

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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21 Responses


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    Eight Wins 24 points Fulham
    two draws 1 point each..
    Six Wins 18 points NUFC….

    Sounds like we need to stuff fulham this afternoon …

  2. I’ve always praised fatharse for his youth policy and it seems like riping times coming..surely we can’t expect every single youngsters from the academy to step up and claim a slot in the first team but of those who’ve been there, they’re showing some pure class skills, determination and work important note though, this doesn’t make me a fatharse lover..

  3. For me we should terminate Rangers contract or sell him. Hes a bad influence on the other younger members of the squad. He’s had his chance in the 1st team and he couldn’t hit a barn door. I’m all for giving people a second chance in life but he’s been in trouble too many times.

  4. I was very impressed with Vuckic on Thursday. He looked much older than his 19 years and had the composure and maturity of someone who had been playing in the premiership for some time. I see him being the natural understudy for Ben Arfa as he isn’t quick enough to be a winger but he can easily beat his man, pick a pass, link up play and has an eye for goal.

    Sadly, I think Sammy could become a flash in the pan, unfortunately, if he is on the left wing as we already have Jonas, Marveaux and Ferguson. Perhaps therefore he should play on the right wing.

    Ranger should be sacked, if he is found guilty. Having got rid of one violent ungrateful thug to QPR we don’t want this one hanging around the club. The club have given him many opportunities that rarely come to people of his age.

    I agree Hugh that whatever one thinks of Ashley he did say that he wanted to build up the academy and youth setup which is now starting to look quite impressive with the likes Abeid, Ferguson, Situ (hopefully), Tavernier, Lua Lua (hopefully), Airey and Kadar many of whom will be near ready for the first team soon.

  5. @Kamar
    I totally agree with everything you’ve said. However I do believe that Sameobi has a future he’s quick and direct and could be a fantastic impact sub for us this season.

  6. Gosling will be Barton’s replacement and Vuckic will be his back up? Sounds good to me.

    Hoping we smash Fulham today. A win and a clean sheet would be amazing, especially if we can reach our record of 3 games without conceding.

  7. While I agree with most of what’s been said on here so far regarding both that nugget ranger and some of the youngsters coming through, I don’t think we can praise the youth set up for abeid, he’s not been made the player he is by us at all, he’s simply not been here long enough. And we certainly can’t praise them for situ when we haven’t even bought him!

    I hope vukic and Sammy do come good, Sammy seems such a nice lad, just just shola, and we’ve been hearing about vukic for a while now. I’m still yet to be convinced on Ferguson and kadar though.

  8. Ugh, don’t remind me. :( Pieters and Nolan Roux and I will be happy!

    What is it with Pardew walking down the corridors smiling at our young footballers. First Enrique and now Vuckic.

  9. Phisix says:
    August 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

    “Ugh, don’t remind me. Pieters and Nolan Roux and I will be happy!”

    Divven’t worry Phisix, Llambias will “get them over the line” in the last few minutes.

  10. I know he’s a long way off before being ready but hopefully that JJ Hooper who we signed last week will come good as I doubt it’s easy to score a hat-trick on your debut against Chelsea U18’s. Will have to check on his progress. Whatever happened to that Aaron Spear who we signed from Plymouth?

  11. Harry says:
    August 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Whatever happened to that Aaron Spear who we signed from Plymouth?”

    Released by the club and currently playing in Iceland Harry.

  12. How much does Ranger get paid per week…? For what…?

    In any other field of work he’d have been sacked a long time ago.

    Who’s the real tool:
    – Ranger for his idiotic behavior?
    – Today’s money-driven game for tolerating such idiots for so long?
    – Us fans for paying ever inflated amounts of our hard-earned wages to watch people on more a week than many of us earn in a year?
    – a combination of the above…?

    Get rid.

  13. Just praying that Pieters cmes in. Not sure about Roux though given that he’s never played top flight football. Essentially his record is the same as Leon Best. What we need is someone to get us through this season. If we’d been looking to bring in a 23 year old goal scorer then £3m for Danny Graham and a season to settle would have been sensible.
    £10m for Crouch, we need to fill the gap.
    Today I’d have Vukic starting behind Best up front, allowing Jonas and Marveaux to get moving down the wings.

  14. Does anyone know any sites other than myp2p (which is offline) to watch today’s match?

  15. Sammy>

    One way to do it is to go on to and look down the middle column until you get to UKTV: None, Overseas TV ………

    It lists all channels round the world showing it.

    You can then look for streams of that particular channel via Google etc.

    Not as easy as myp2p but it works if you look hard enough. I’ll post any decent links I find also mate

  16. Cheers GD!
    I’ll have a look for one now then mate.

    Fingers crossed we hammer ’em today!

  17. Forget a left back. Ryan Taylor is way to usefull apart from the last ten minutes I wasn’t worried. Although the ref looked like he wanted fulham to walk the ball in. Seemed to give them all the help they needed.