Faith for the future?

Impressive Home Debut For Sammy
Chances are without Johnny Heitinga trying to take a lump out of Sylvain Marveaux we may not have seen him come off at all.

Worrying as it was to see, to the surprise of many people it was not Hatem Ben Arfa who replaced him.

Instead the opportunity fell the way of young Sammy Ameobi, given nearly a full half in front of the home crowd in a testing game to show what he was made of, and by all accounts he didn’t let us down.

As a character I personally like the lad a lot. He seems a really good lad with the right attitude and he has an experienced and loyal brother there to keep his feet firmly on the ground. On more than one occasion this past year I have thought the likes of Nile Ranger could do with taking a leaf out of his book.

As a player however, I still had my doubts up until Saturday. Any time I have seen him, although it was clear to see he had potential, he looked as raw as I have ever seen a player looking to break into the first team set up.

He had all the qualities to be a very good player in the future no doubt but every one of those qualities needed improvement as far as I could see before I would even consider throwing him in the deep end and I was expecting a poor performance if I’m honest against a good Everton side with quality players on the wings.

Near the end of the game he did show a glimpse of inexperience in not heading to the corner flag and ended up giving the ball back to Tim Howard instead of leaving it roll away and the clock tick down, but in fairness to the lad that is literally all I could say in terms of picking holes in his performance.

I was really impressed with how Sammy played on Saturday. He took at number of runs at Tony Hibbert at vital times, taking the pressure off and more than that, caused Everton allsorts of problems at a period in the game where the last thing they wanted to be doing was defending.

His pace clearly scared the life out of Hibbert and Sammy identified as much straight away, taking every opportunity to take him on, not only taking the pressure off but winning us a couple of throw ins and corners deep into enemy territory, giving a clearly jaded defence a much needed breather in the final third of the game especially.

I was really impressed with one run in particular, when he carried the ball all of fifty yards, fainting inside then out of Hibbert, changing pace twice before digging out a top quality cross when it looked like he had run out of pitch to run into.

From a defensive point of view he showed surprising maturity in always tracking back and giving Ryan Taylor a hand when Everton were really looking to push for the equaliser and was a great out ball along with Hatem Ben Arfa in mounting counter attacks when Everton were short at the back.

I fully expect Alan Pardew to give him some credit for the performance publicly in the coming days and it is well deserved. He done an awful lot to dispel some of the concerns I had about him on Saturday and showed that if required he can come in and do a good job and not be a liability, and now of course Stuart Pearce has drafted him into the England U21 setup which will only serve to improve the lad further.

For the rest of the youngsters looking to take a step up and figure this season, namely the likes of Shane Ferguson, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic and maybe James Tavernier, it showed once more that Pardew is a keen supporter of giving youth a chance and if they show the right attitude and dedication to improve they will get their opportunity to shine.

As far as Sammy is concerned I think his performance against Everton will do him the world of good confidence wise and he has done himself no harm at all in terms of being considered in future as an impact sub.

If he keeps it up he has a bright future on Tyneside and in the short term only adds to the strength and depth we are starting to see in our squad and is yet another player who will keep the first-team players on their toes.

29 thoughts on “Faith for the future?

  1. We do have some cracking youngsters coming through but I don’t think all of them will make the grade in the long run. Promising starts from some, but how often do players start off like that only to fizzle out. Francis Jeffers anyone? How about Danny Cadamateri?

    Mind you it seems as though Pardew (or should that still be Pardwho? after a 14 game, once in 60 years streak of results 🙄 ) values the youth so with more playing time we stand more chance of seeing what they are really like whether it be here ir on loan somewhere instead of becoming stale in the youth/reserves.

    Dave/Rich/Ice – You have mail, but its not good news 🙁


  2. On Sammy. I saw him in pre-season live and thought then he was a belter. No fear and will run all day and causes defenders no end of problems. The ball is glued to his feet at times.

    Admittedly I was in Gallowgate at the weekend but I saw Sammy do son outrageous stuff with the ball. He is still learning though which will only help him.


  3. I like Sammy. Seems very raw though, yes. I think he’ll learn a lot this year playing with the senior teams and hopefully will learn from the creativity of Ben Arfa or Cabaye. Slow down a little, look for a good pass, let the forwards catch up with him ::P and then deliver a good ball after pulling a couple of defenders away.
    Also can’t wait to see Vuckic get a run of games. I really thought he’d make a name for himself this season after his great pre-season. Soon though, with the injuries we’re having, we might see him coming off the bench for 20 minutes or so.
    Good signs. Faith for the future, surely 🙂


  4. tavernier has been class at carlise …….i bet he gets loaned to a championship side now they have see him in lg1.(if there is a space) hopefully the other handfull of fringe kids can find a place. sammie would be great to go on loan this or next season!


  5. sammy looked ok on saturday i agree with comments above very raw a long way from the finished article , on the whole though things look good with the young lads and for me vuckic stands out as the best . I think if the young lads are to improve then it will be if we get a few injuries or if they go out on loan and im not to keen on sending players out on loan , imo keep them local and be patient and if there good enough they will get there chance .


  6. The great thing about Sammy is the lack of fear, sometimes its part and parcel of being youthful but its something that we’ve been lacking in recent years. How many times last season did players pick up the ball and have a punt? Barton maybe once or twice a match? Hard as he was on the right. Nolan and our forwards looked to feed off the knock downs and go for tap ins/headers themselves. We were very one dimensional and as a result so easy to keep locked down, which was why Ben Arfa was such a revelation at the time, and sorely missed afterwards.

    Now we have players- Guthrie, Cabaye, Raylor, who have the quality and the fearlessness to go for a goal. We saw Shola go for goal against tottenham and what a goal that was. Sammy fits in with that, as we saw with his screamer against scunthorpe and he’s not afraid to take on his man.

    Only problem with all these good youth products is-do we loan them out to a CC side or keep them around in the hope that we can use them as impact players? I guess we’ll have to see what they can all do in the FA cup early rounds this year?


  7. Players under 21;

    Alnwick, Streete, Tavernier, Riley, Ferguson, Moyo, Abeid, Vuckic, S.Ameobi, JJ Hooper, Campbell.

    These are all players I feel have a very good chance of making it, not all of them will but I feel given a chance a lot of them will – Some obviously younger than others.


  8. Raffo, I fear for Airey. He’s had a lot of hamstring injuries and over the last year he hasn’t done an awful lot. I think he might go down the Kadar route and go off the radar.


  9. I agree theres alot of talent to come good, even if 50 – 75% of them come through then we are set up for a decent mid – long term future. We do need to allow them time to develop and Pardew seems to be working well.

    Good times for the Toon at the moment. I wonder what the Pardwho haters on .org are bleating on about him now?!


  10. M, yeah from what I’ve read he sounds decent, haven’t seen a lot of him though.

    Lee Toland is another one.


  11. I am always a big fan about youth development to progress but they will only progress if they get a chance… I would like NUFC to give the fringe and youth the chance to play in cup and FA cup games all the way long, as long as they can progress through the cup games. This way we will see different team as well as giving a chance to fringe/youth players to make up the step. but at the moment it is all raw products and lets put them in the field to mature into product….. but positive prospect so far all around the NUFC park. long may that continue


  12. HITMAN do you know how much toon charged everton fans for sitting up in the gods,i got a late ticket £30 for level 5 sir john stand?


  13. Have people seen Pardew’s post match interview? Haven’t seen it mentioned at all on here. It’s on

    “Haris Vuckic and Mehdi Abeid – there is a good possibility they’ll go out. They’ve done absolutely brilliant and they should be playing. (Shane) Ferguson too. Absolutely it’d be Championship, I wouldn’t go lower than that.

    “Sammy (Ameobi) is a bit different. He offers – especially with Obertan at the moment being injured – something different. We’ve got to see how bad Obertan’s infection is but Sammy isn’t going anywhere.”


  14. I think it’s a very good idea, all of them have a few players ahead of them for competition, and we saw the Championship do wonders for people like Colo and Enrique.

    Vuckic will only play if we play 4-5-1 so has Ben Arfa in front of him providing we even play that.
    Abeid has Tiote and Guthrie
    Fergie has Raylor/Santon/Jonas/Sammy/Marveaux

    Think it’s a good shout really, i’d love to see them smashing up the fizzy pop.


  15. SolanosTrumpet, even Carroll as well!

    I think one of the teams we might see a few go to is Portsmouth, they have a very limited squad and any one of the players mentioned to go out on loan would get a lot of game time with them.


  16. “He seems a really good lad with the right attitude and he has an experienced and loyal brother there to keep his feet firmly on the ground.”

    Ironic words in relation to Shola. At least he’s keeping *someone’s* feet on the ground hehe 😆


  17. a raw, youthful, talent: he will learn a lot from the french players with good technical skills

    lets hope he stays away from ranger.


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