Step forward Shola, Lovenkrands and Ranger.

Is Leon doing his Best?

Best out for season.
It’s been confirmed today, by NUFC no less, that Leon Best will be out of action for the rest of the season.

Best has been struggling with an ankle injury and had been administered injections in the hope that he would be able to be coaxed through a few more games, but it appears that is not a viable option and Best will undergo an ankle operation in London on Friday after being assessed by the medical staff at the club.

It’s a cruel blow for Best who was just starting to change opinions on Tyneside and proved that he has a canny knack of being in the right place at the right time to find the back of the net. With six goals in ten games since the departure of Judas Andy, it’s safe to say that Best has stepped up to the plate after he was given the chance by Alan Pardew.

Fair play to him. Chris Hughton was all set to send Bestie out on loan apparently but his sacking changed the game, and when Alan Pardew gave in to Best’s begging for a chance he came in and justified his inclusion. Few would argue that there isn’t any better strikers out there, but could we really have asked for more from him? I don’t think so. Carroll scored six in ten games near the start of the season and people fizzed over him, yet Best still has his critics. Funny that…..

Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilt milk, and it won’t bring Best back anyway, so instead we have to look at who will be tasked with scoring the goals in the final six or so weeks of the season. Step forward Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Nile Ranger, Shefki Kuqi and maybe Phil Airey for good measure.

Those lads are tasked with scoring us the goals in the final few games of the season, and looking at that I’m thankful that we are all but safe.

It’s perhaps a bit harsh to be down on the likes of Ameobi and Lovenkrands after the way that they both performed at the weekend, but the problem is that I have absolutely zero confidence in them putting in the same kind of performance again. Consistantly inconsistant would be the best way of describing the pair.

Nile Ranger has yet to score despite a whole host of promising appearances from the substitutes bench, whilst Shefki Kuqi is here to pretty much make up the numbers and will continue in his role of prowling the sidelines. One would hope that he doesn’t stay there too long as he may set up a kebab shop at the corner of Gallowgate. I’d like that.

Then there is Phil Airey who has been prolific for the reserves this season and has scored nine goals in 12 appearances. Being honest, he is a bit lightweight for the Premier League, but that is just me as a fan looking at him. He could well be deceptively strong, but I think any talk of starts is far too premature before anyone mentions it.

However, an appearance from the bench here and there could be a good option and will only benefit the player in the long run. Alan Pardew has already told Airey that he will be training properly with the first team from now until the end of the season so perhaps, like Shane Ferguson, Airey can convince Pardew to give him a few minutes on the pitch.

It’s a blow to lose Best, but others will step up to the plate I’m sure. Luckily that plate isn’t quite as big as it was and we only need a point or three to guarantee safety.

Get well soon Leon.

57 thoughts on “Step forward Shola, Lovenkrands and Ranger.

  1. The Legend of Best ends for the season πŸ™

    Kuqi is gonna score at St James’ before the end of the season, I feel it in my bones.


  2. It’s Ok, Raylor will step up to the plate πŸ™„

    The fecking dinner plate πŸ‘Ώ

    Bet he likes Mince 😈


  3. How many scousers are at the club? 4?

    Nolan, Joey, Guthrie and Raylor…anyone I haven’t thought of?


  4. Imagine if we’d lost Bestie and we’d lost the wolves game…we’re so bloody unlucky with injuries, but as long as we stay up-and we should, then shola and loven now have the chance to prove they can do a job for next year…and if not, could be on their way.


  5. Yep, Guthrie’s a Salopian, not a scouse by any stretch. (Hate that term, but there ya go.)

    If we can just get one more win on Sunday then the last 6 games will be perfectly set for us to finally take a good look at Ranger and Airey. I think Saturday showed that we can get goals, from all kinds of sources.

    So – shame about Best, but the timing could be worse.


  6. Whumpie
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    “Yep, Guthrie’s a Salopian”

    Does he speak klingon? 😯


  7. I’m just hoping Shola can stay fit and put a string of performances together. He’s had some long-overdue praise in the press since Saturday, but needs to shake the (very accurate) “consistently inconsistent” label.


  8. Above the bindippers would be just fantastic, especially given AC’s betrayal. The only thing to make it sweeter would be for him to fail to score for them this season.

    Bitter? Me??



  9. Moreno if we do that we’ll probably be in Europe…

    …For finishing above Liverpool anyways πŸ˜†


  10. Pleased for Barton. If he can do a good job as skipper I think his rehabilitation into being a human being will be complete. I’ll be so pleased to have been proven utterly wrong. :mrgreen:


  11. agreed Whumpie, I’m glad you’ve been proved utterly wrong too! It was our only real sticking point to be honest… clearly my blind faith in sub-human scumbags has paid off! Good on ya Joey son!


  12. Just seen a Villa fan post this on Twitter;

    Nolan, Tiote, Best, Ben Arfa, Ireland, Enrique, Smith & Gosling out for Sunday! Villa have a full squad. Must win! #avfc #nufc #bethe12thman

    God I hate them πŸ‘Ώ


  13. Whumpie – Thank you :mrgreen:

    Win on Sunday? Back to back victories? Champions League? πŸ˜• πŸ˜• πŸ˜•


  14. Dan – I just like the fact that they’re having to scrabble around for scraps of hope like that.

    I hope we pummel the fekkers, frankly. I fancy Saylor to score. And I intend to say that for every game this season until he does πŸ™‚


  15. I only see Nolan’s absence as a biggie in that list, especially with Ireland not allowed to play. Who do we put in there? I don’t think it’s a good idea to muck about with the formation too much. Stoke springs to mind.

    So the irony is that we have far too many central, attacking midfielders in the squad… and none of them available. πŸ‘Ώ



  16. I reckon Saylor is probably gutted jonas curled one into the bottom corner instead of passing to him, as he had charged from onebox to the other.

    I think that whole move summed him up pretty perfectly. Can make the odd great block in the box which will win him plaudits, then bursts up field leaving a gaping hole in the back. It’s his usual tactic to be honest, this was one of the only times it actually worked!


  17. Moreno – That’s been part of the problem with Saylor for years now. It’s great seeing the London born local lad πŸ™„ barracking forward, but it does leave gaping holes at the back…….

    Now the fact that Colo and Willo were both there meant it was safer to do that, but often that isn’t the case.


  18. Barton – covering RW because we loaned out the only RW we had.
    Guthrie – covering DM for naughty Tiote
    Ireland – can’t play against his leash-holders
    Nolan – naughty boy
    Vukic – …injured? Or just not very good recently?
    Gosling – crocked
    Lua Lua – crocked and on loan
    Benny – crocked (for now…)


    Doesn’t Michael Richardson play in that position? Perhaps he’s another one due a blooding…


  19. I think Dan’s right. Barton to the middle, Raylor out wide. It could work… 😯

    (Ok, Toonsy, do yer stuff…)


  20. If Jose’s back then Moreno’s option seems pretty good, although it means moving more players around. Fergie is proving to be quite a find.


  21. If Raylor plays and contributes anything of note that is positive then I’ll chop my own cock off and club myself to death with it.

    I’m still waiting for these set pieces that he is supposed to be “good” at πŸ™„


  22. I tink we have to play Barton in the middle this weekend or else we will be to weak there:




    Thought I would love to see Jonas on the right and fergie on the left. Not sure why Jonas never plays on the right


  23. It’s funny we’ve gone from having no one to take set-pieces vs Everton to having three vs Villa.

    My 4-4-2 came this morning and it’s all about Liverpool, with Daglish and Judas’s face smeared over the front πŸ‘Ώ


  24. I now hope we play Raylor,
    The bashing he has had off toonsy, he is bound to put in the best shift of his career!! πŸ˜‰


  25. Dan – the pikey shite is everywhere. Downloaded FIFA ’11 onto my phone last night, set up the inevitable Toon vs Mackems match, and who’s the default striker? And the fekker scored. Even with someone as utterly cack-handed as me dictating his movements the gobshite finds the net. 😯


  26. I don’t think I’ll get over the whole thing until we see some serious firepower coming in with that Β£35m. Enough to make his valuation look ludicrous. Then I’ll be ok with it.


  27. Moreno – I sincerely hope so. Everyone has a pet-hate player, and it’s no secret whose Toonsy’s is. He has put in one or two good shifts… in 3 years…

    Ok, Toonsy, starting to see yer point here. πŸ˜†


  28. BTW, Toonsy – if you think you can club yourself to death with it you’re either boasting or have a very thin skull… 😯


  29. I vaguely remember Raylor putting a cracker into the top corner from a free kick this season. Or did I dream that?


  30. Whumpie πŸ˜†

    I’ve just begrudgingly read his interview and he’s saying how it was a dream come true to wear the no.9 for us bla bla bla then I just looked at Daglish’s face and got bored…


  31. Let Colo fill in for Nolan and bring in Saylor at the back.Colo has looked good going forward and has shown some good telling passes.


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