With Leon Best sidelined for the rest of the season and Shola being forced to miss the game, it certainly left Alan Pardew with few striking options on the day. On another day Kevin Nolan may have been asked to play off a striker, something he has done several times for Newcastle. Sadly though Kevin is currently serving a suspension and wasn’t available for selection.
Nile got his chance to impress at Villa Park and started the game up top with Peter Lovenkrands. Now I don’t wish to single out Nile for criticism for Sunday because in reality there were several poor performances on the day, including the man who he partnered up front.
I was very interested to see how the London born player would perform in truth. Alan Pardew has made it public knowledge that he has been unimpressed with the teenagers attitude at times. We have all heard about Nile’s bad time keeping and the Newcastle boss has had no problem questioning Ranger’s desire at times.
With all this in mind I think that Sunday was a great chance for Nile to prove that his ability is one thing we shouldn’t be concerned about. Unfortunately it wasn’t a chance he was able to take with both hands and I say it was unfortunate for Nile just because he rarely starts senior games, you have to take your chances when they come.
Ranger was always going to be up against it, facing a very strong Villa defence. James Collins and Richard Dunne may not be the most nimble but they are both big, strong defenders. Dunne had Nile in his back pocket all afternoon and the striker rarely caused the Republic Of Ireland international any problems. One thing Nile has over Dunne is pace, but he just didn’t use that to his advantage.
Giving my honest feedback of Ranger on the day, I thought he looked out of his depth, lazy and at times uninterested. I do however find it incredibly unfair to judge a player based on one game. As I said earlier Nile isn’t a usual starter for Pardew and in all fairness lacks experience in the top flight and probably a bit of match fitness too.
I have spoken to many people about Nile Ranger and opinion has always been divided. You speak to some people who think he’s wonderful and will be a massive player for Newcastle United, where others think he’s over hyped and overrated.
It does sound as if the lad has had more than one chance to sort out his lifestyle and his attitude. I think it’s quite right that he hasn’t started more games if he isn’t applying himself in training and hasn’t got the decency to arrive on time every morning. These are problems that he must iron out now, if indeed they are still an issue.
In my opinion he has potential to be a very gifted footballer if he knuckles down and willing is to work for it. I think he is very sharp around the edges and needs polishing up, but just look at Andy Carroll. Andy looked very raw at times, but credit to him because he obviously listened to the coaches and worked on his game. Look at him now, England international who has just cost £35 million to buy.
With Andy gone could Nile continue to develop and be the next big thing or is he just not cut out for it? One thing is for sure we need a couple of quality strikers in the summer. In fact we need to add a few bodies in various positions if we are to move forward.
I won’t write Mr Ranger off just yet, but I think he has an awful lot of work to do. What do you guys think? « Another one bites the dust! | Should Jose be dropped? »