With several young players playing their part in the Darlington game, it makes me wonder if at some point during these season Alan Pardew will give them a chance in the first team.
Whether that’s in the Premier League, Carling Cup or FA Cup is a question that remains waiting to be answered, but we have some youngsters who look likely to become a bigger part of our squad in the near future. I thought I’d take a look at those who are ‘knocking on the door’ of the forst team having made their way up through the youth ranks at St James’ Park. I’ll start with the scorer of the second goal at Darlington….
Sammy Ameobi: Sammy followed on from his Premier League debut at Chelsea during the back end of the season. During that game the Nigerian international displayed energy, pace and carried the ball well during the time that he was on the pitch. The goal against Darlington was his first senior goal for the club.
Ameobi took that strike with his weaker foot and what a great strike it was. To fire in a shot with a foot he is not as confident with shows that he is not afraid to have a go at goal regardless. Sammy did have a great deal of time to take that shot, something that he will not have if he begins to play in the Premier League, but the best way forward for him is to keep playing well in pre-season with a view to perhaps introducing towards the end of league games if the circumstances allow.
Shane Ferguson: Shane Ferguson made his way into Alan Pardew’s side last season and demonstrated that you don’t have to be big to be a defender. The Northern Ireland international was a bright spark in a thundercloud during the Stoke away game. He fired crosses into the box and the pace that he used showed that he had the ability to advance forward.
Ferguson’s efforts were rewarded in May as he was offered a new five year contract. With the talk of Enrique possibly leaving us Ferguson can possibly take over his position if he does leave. The only concern that I have is that Ferguson is a left-winger as well, but he has demonstrated that he can play at left-back very effectively.
Ferguson started the game at Darlington and unfortunately he had to be withdrawn at half-time with an injury concern. Alan Pardew came out after the game and stated that he was very concerned with Ferguson. Commenting on the Northern Irishman’s injury and Danny Guthrie’s injury he said “They both look serious”. This is not the news many of us want to hear, I hope that it’s not as serious as first thought as it would be a great shame to lose young Fergie to injury.
Haris Vuckic: Haris made an impression in last season’s pre-season by netting his first senior goal for the Toon against Carlisle. Although Vuckic did not get much of a chance to showcase his talents he did appear in the Carling Cup against Accrington and Chelsea and also made himself known in the Carling Cup defeat by Arsenal where he was named Man of the Match.
The Slovenian international faded into obscurity during the remainder of last season due to injury, which is a concern as it seems to happen frequently to the big Slovenian. He has also been rewarded with a five year contract suggesting that he is viewed as a player for the future.
Vuckic did play against Darlington but there has been mixed reviews about his performance. He certainly may play a role in the Carling Cup again this year and other similar fixtures.
These players may play a bigger role for Newcastle in the future and the forthcoming season which is something to be excited about. Although two of them may find their chances limited to the Carling Cup and reserve games if they show the right work ethic and skill then they have a bright future ahead of them. Shane Ferguson may find himself heavily involved in the first-team this year and I hope that when they find out the extent of his injury I hope it’s not as serious as first-thought.
To the future generation of NUFC youngsters!