Time To Trust The Young Guns?

Who Can Make The Step Up To First Team Level?

Who Can Make The Step Up To First Team Level?
It has been confirmed by club sources that there will be a reserve and academy overhaul in the summer with investment planned to replace those who leave with a higher standard of talented youngsters from both home and abroad.

Whilst most will have their eyes firmly fixed on the latest big names linked over the summer, the news of investment at development level came as music to my ears and something I will be keeping a close eye on as I see it as pivotal in Newcastle’s, or any clubs progression.

Being a club with aspirations to be consistently among the top teams in the Premier League, to play in Europe and possibly win a domestic cup over the next few years, squad depth, and quality in that depth is absolutely vital in being able to push on in cup competitions without league form suffering.

During the 90’s, Manchester Utd and Arsenal were built on the philosophy of a strong three tier system, containing players who can make the step up when called upon over the course of a season and more so do a good job instead of filling in through necessity.

Newcastle have shown they have a number of talented youngsters at reserve and academy level, some of which have gone on loan this season and by all accounts are performing admirably for their respective loan clubs, but who can make the step up?

We have a few first team back-up players out of contract and heading for pastures new come the summer, and as I said in my previous article, signing proven quality as back-up can prove to be extremely difficult. With that in mind, would we be better served putting trust in some of our promising youth as back-up?

It may be something that is in fact in the works, with a lot of the more stand-out youngsters being sent on loan to gain first team experience until the end of the season, and all goes well they will be all but ready to take the next step in their career and become reliable back-up for the first team.

If some can, it would be a massive plus in terms of Newcastle being able to offer proven names better wages, both those already at the club and potential signings, rather than having to offer someone who’s back-up at best better money just because they’ve played Championship football.

It’s obviously a risk, but a calculated one. The coaching staff at first team and development level know these lads through and through, and will know who has the potential to make the step up, and personally I would rather see them be given the opportunity than signing someone in their mid-twenties who may be no better than the back-up player they replace.

Obviously some experienced signings need to be made for the club to progress to the next level and consistently push for Europe and domestic cups as well as continue to fly high in the league, but if we are to invest time, effort and money in the reserves and academy, is it not a waste to constantly be bringing in players to jump ahead of them in the line?

Of the youngsters at the club currently I believe there are definitely some who could do a good job as back-up, and sending them on loan to Championship and League One is great for gaining some experience, but at the end of the day, the only way we will ever know if they are capable of playing Premier League football is by giving them the opportunity to prove their worth at that level.

As I said, it would be a risk for the first season, but a calculated one, and personally I would much rather see us bring the likes of Remie Streete through and buy someone of Jan Vertonghens quality, than stunting Streete’s development by signing say someone like Adrian Mariappa, and then because of his higher wage demands maybe not having the budget to sign a Vertonghen but instead having to sign someone of slightly lower quality.

It’s all about personal preference and level of faith in our current youth I supppose. Some would choose experience over youth. Personally, I think there are more than a handful who deserve the chance to prove themselves and would rather see them get the opportunity and replaced at development level with quality youth prospects.

This, in my opinion, will give us the foundations of a three tier system which can rival the best clubs in the country in the future. One full to the brim with talented young players rather than having a number of players as first team back-up who are in their mid-twenties and realistically will never be top six standard players. The one thing you get with youth above experience is the potential of improvement year on year.

Obviously experience can be invaluable depending on the quality of player and is not to be underestimated or dismissed, but as I said, my personal preference would be geared toward giving the youth a chance and clearing out some deadwood, in-turn freeing up wages and having a higher budget for proven quality first team signings.

Very Interested in what others think.. Should we put our faith in our youth and clear out some of our current back-up? Or is experience despite limited talent a safer bet as back-up for our first team? Finally, who out of our younger players do you think could make the step up to first team level? Albeit as back-up.

All comments and insight appreciated as always.

33 thoughts on “Time To Trust The Young Guns?

  1. Great article! Would love to see some of our youth players get a chance and I firmly belive if your good enough your old enough, I would trust Pardew and the coaching staff in terms of player development. Pardew was talking up Adam Campbell ( who he called Ginger ) and Remi Street during the week as our brightest prospects. Add them to Vuckic Adeid Fergie and Sammi who I have high hopes for we should a decent stream of talent coming through.

    And Im not expecting those 6 players i have mention to be the next messi’s or all make it but just have high hopes for them .


  2. We defo need to start letting our youth players get first team football and if not then loan them out to Championship og League clubs, and should we get to play football outside of britain next year we defo need to let the youngster play in the league cup, fa and such, instead of playing our same starting XI for like 50 games in a row. Think we have been too reluctant in recent years to play youth, maybe because we havent had too many stand-out youth players or maybe because of coaching staff choosing vets, take your pick. I do however see no reason not to let players like Campbell and Streete at least figure in friendlies this summer and see how the perform. Defo agree with the pharagraph stating we should promote Streete rather than buy players like Mariappa, because we need a developing CB in and around the first team next year now that Kadar is being shipped out. But I cannot judge Streete meself having only heard about his perfomances, so I couldnt say if he should be promoted or have 1-2 years more to develope.

    Also how about this for a thought – Vuckic being groomed as replacement for Guthrie in the CM pecking order for next season???


  3. I’m not convinced about young Ameobi. Think he’s a Championship player. Would like to see Ferguson and Vuckic play 1st team football regularly for us next season, with Campbell, Dummett, Streete and Abeid all on loan in either the Prem or higher level of the Championship to see what they are made of.

    As for the artcile – Completely agree. Progressing youth is a cost effective and sensible way to assist any club in achieving success. It would also mean a core of the players actually care about their team – which means hunger and drive will never be an issue in our teams.

    Definitely the way forward.


  4. Agree with you in this Keith. For more or less the same reasons. We are no longer going to go out and buy a player at the top o his game and age like we did with Shearer etc. And any player we get now if he is going to be back up he will not come if there are other offers n if he’s ambitious. So that will leave us with average players like what we already have. I mean 1 central def, 1 left or right back, 1 winger aside I don’t think there is any other player out there in our range that if we buy will definately move into a first eleven spot.

    So instead of getting average proven players (which we still need to do to a certain extent) we have to have better youth squad players with 2-3 of them able to move into match squad every season. Maybe that’s a bit lot but would be good wouldn’t it. And the rest that don’t make it we loan out and sell for a million or so like what Man Utd does. All we need to do is find a dumb receiving club like how Man Utd has Scumderland 🙂


  5. I should stop writing bloody long comments. Hope it makes sense to others reading it.

    Also on a further note….I remember long time ago when Keegan first took over he abolished the youth team (or was that the reserve team). Although to his credit it was because the extra training sessions was screwing up the only field we had and it was before the new training facilities. Not sure if I remember the facts right though. But like your article says Arsenal and man Utd were building based on youth and we dd the opposite back then. Out of necessity I guess but sad nonetheless


  6. Strategically, I think we’re going to see a big shift from the club now, although an unexpected European place may change it a bit.
    I don’t think we’ll see many – or any – 1st-teamers bought except as replacements. This emphasis on the academy is likely to be instead of that approach, which was fine while we needed to stabilise prem status, but won’t get you into the CL while solvent. If we’re in Europe, it does mean you need a handful of extra top-quality players for depth, so perhaps they’ll continue for another season.
    From what I can gather, they’re looking to ‘widen the funnel’ by upping the capacity of the youth system, dropping more talent in at the top so we get more 1st-teamers out of the bottom. For me, that’s much more satisfying than just buying the talent in. It’s also likely to see more local lads in black and white, which I’m all for.
    So yes – I definitely agree with the article. But the quality of the output from the system gets higher with the number of bodies you pour in, so I only think we can “trust in the youth” if that funnel is pretty huge!


  7. Brilliant article keith. It’s easy to forget about the reserves. I agree with Shamrock in that Fergie and Vuckic are our closest to 1st team and are already fan favourites. I’d class fergie as a winger though rather than a full back.

    A quick mention for danny simpson on derby day. I actually think he played quite well defensively, apart from their spat mclean was kept quiet for most of the game. Well done to danny but i still see him as ‘ever-so-slightly better than average’ If we want to get to europe and stay there i think we need an overhall of our players. We’ve got a spine that’s ready for europe and in my opinion we need to replace-

    -Williamson (plus another centre halve)
    – *SHOCK*Gutierrez 😯

    All of them are very good ‘middle-of-the-table’ premier league standard footballers. They’re just not good enough to take us forward. I disagree when people call Simmo and Williamson championship standard, I just think they’re not good enough for europe. 😕


  8. i think he would rather ignore a good reserve or youth lad and go 4 negative move like move perch around as cover for most positions, personally id like to see the young guns get a chance but as this season goes the stakes are high so wouldnt use the kids yet. pre season and cup nxt season is the time just like how krul was used.


  9. plus we have a super player being kept out the team at the minute by average players, that shouldnt be the case if your good enough your good enough! no excuses saying oh he doesnt understand this or that i think the foriegn lads understand well and good! and are signed for their talents


  10. I’d love to see the youth step up and take the chance. In particular I would hate to see us buy designated back-up players when a youth player could fill this role. If the first team player gets injured or banned then they have their chance to shine.

    Unfortunately most fans are of the opinion that players are only good if they cost a lot and will not deem the club ambitous unless big.money is spent. The long term.welfare of the club gets thrown out of the window.

    I am happy to see that I am not alone in these views! Give the youth a chance or any future prospects or going to wonder why they would come here as history tells them a story.

    Great article.


  11. Keith – don’t know if you watched the programme about Messi on ITV4 last night but it was really good and proved that getting your youth policy right can pay dividends.
    I think Ajax was one of the first clubs to really invest in youth and as you say, Man Utd are a perfect example of a club that had a decade of success with a team made up mainly of players who came through their ranks.
    I’ve always been in favour of creating stars rather than spending a fortune on buying them in. We’ve had a couple come through in Taylor and Carroll recently and I think Sammy would have probably continued to feature this season had he not been injured.
    I’m not suggesting we can be the new Barca or that we can have a team like 90’s Man Utd but even if we can get 2-3 players through every couple of years then it’s worth the investment.
    We should be having a good clear out in the summer and I’d really like to see the likes of Tav, Streete, Fergie, Vukic, Sammy, Campbell and JJ Hooper feature more next season. I’m not saying first teamers but certainly move up the ranks and see them on the bench more often.


  12. I would prefer to see young players on the bench now, rather than players who have no future at the club eg Lovenkrans. This is not a criticism of Lovenkrans who has given good service, just that it is in the club’s interest to develop future prospects and to encourage them.


  13. Unless we buy this Clyne guy from C. Palace the only youth player at the moment who i can see being our next regular is Tavernier. maybe as the season progresses others will break through but just because of who he’d be up against competition wise Tav is your next breakthrough act!


  14. I agree about Tav. Personally would like to have seen him on the bench before now. There seems to be no competition for Simpson and that cannot be a good thing. Players should be fighting for their place.


  15. Keith good read mate, and im glad that they’re putting more work into the youguns, but I just hope that they don’t think that that will mean they don’t need to spend money on proven quality players.
    I can remember a while back that Boro had what a lot thought was the best academy, and we all know that that didn’t save them.
    It’s getting the blend right, but imo to bring a youngun into the 1st team they have to be surrounded by experienced 1st teamers, to look after them.


  16. a good read mate,cannot understand young fergie not getting a run out,even more bit part showing 😕


  17. how’s it going all, cheers for the comments 😉 seems most would like to see youth lads who are capable step up to replace some of our current back-up, think it’s definitely the way to go.

    personally think tavernier, streete, ferguson, abied, vuckic, sammy and possibly campbell and alnwick could all be trusted to come into the first team set-up and give us some extra squad depth as well as replace a few who need to go.

    think there’s even more who can benefit a lot over the next season by going on loan.. dummett, moyo, inman, knight, richardson and hooper all seem like good prospects from the little I have seen.

    obivously we need to add numbers as well as replace a few in the summer in terms of first team squad depth. just think youth is the way to go. as sharpy said, likes of man utd, ajax, barca and others all thrived on having strong youth set-ups. don’t expect us to take over the world over one summer going this route but think it would give us a great base and free up a lot of wages for proven signings, even help us be able to compete if we get in a bidding war for free agents like Douglas or Hoilett


  18. I don’t know all the young players in the club, but for me Vuckic, Ferguson and Abeid seems to have the level to increase their game time next year in the first team.
    Concerning young Ameobi, I’m very very doubtful, for me he seems really too limited technically for 20 year players to play in premier league. He has good space but he just goes straight.. but never know sometimes you seem some huge improvements of player in just 1 or 2 years.


  19. dave.. agree mate, right balance has to be found, don’t by any means suggest we lump these lads in at the deep end, have them starting games etc but as I said in the article, would rather see us bring someone like Streete through and sign a proven player than sign another Williamson for the sake of having back-up.

    the arsenal way to blood youth has always been fairly good imo, give them the carling cup games with a few experienced heads on the pitch with them, then if injuries start to pile up, show faith that they can step in and do a job, only way they’ll develop into Premier League players imo


  20. HBA39 & others.. agree on Sammy.. think Pardew chose attitude over ability in that case, brought him in a season too early. Do think he’s a bit raw technically and the injury will have set him back a bit, but he probably learned and developed a lot in his brief game time. Can only help the young lads playing with proven Premier League players.


  21. From nufc.cock –

    Ryan Taylor has signed a two-year contract extension at Newcastle United.

    The 27-year-old, who can play in a variety of roles across defence and midfield, will now remain at the Sports Direct Arena until 30th June, 2015.


  22. I know it’s probably paper talk and well be linked with loads of players between now and the end of the summer, but there was a report today linking us with Jacob Butterfield, 21yrs for Barnsley who is on a free at the end of the season (he’s out for the rest of the season with a knee injury) so it must be true 🙄 😆
    But we were also linked with a midfielder from Napoli yesterday … again, probably paper talk.

    But it got me thinking a bit about our midfield and I think we are flush with players who are quite similar. I expect Smith to leave so I’m thinking of people like Cabaye, Guthrie, Gosling, Vukic, Abeid and Perch. I know Guthrie could leave at the end of the season, but with Raylor signing a new contract – should we be trying hard to keep Guthrie? if we should be looking to involve Vukic and Abeid more, does Gosling and Perch have a future with Newcastle and should we be looking to buy a back-up for Tiote?


  23. Would love to see fergie tav and vuckic all get more of a role next year 😀

    Why can they do guthries contract but they can raylors? 😕


  24. On subject, I’ve long said that youth development is important. It’s something ALL of the top top clubs take seriously and if you look at their first team squads you’ll see a few names that have been developed through the youth team.

    Man City – Richards, Hart
    Man Utd – Wellbeck, Cleverley
    Arsenal – Too many to mention
    Liverpool – Spearing, Carragher, Gerrard

    Chelsea are perhaps the only ones who don’t but they are also trying to change that.

    Not saying we should rely on it completely, but if we can get a player through the ranks into the first team every couple of years then it’s worth trying isn’t it?


  25. LST its BA i would like to tie down with a diff contract mate,real good strikers dont come along to often,more so the price we payed


  26. Toonsy – I agree. We also have Krul, Saylor and before being sold Carroll.

    I think the move in the summer (as mentioned in the article) is to cram the youth system even further in the hope that it increases the chances of more good players coming through.

    Love the way the club is conducting itself at the moment. I can only see good things happening in the future…as long as Pardew stops playing hoofball :mrgreen:


  27. i see the new nufc pic now… loan promising kids to a confrence team ie gateshead….. if they do well there they are in!!!! then on to a league team(if a club will take them). without a doubt tavernier is being groomed for 1st team next season. and vuckic n shane ferguson will be regular 1st teamers next season!!!!..shame about all the other young lads that are going in the summer.(i bet nufc will do their best to find them clubs)


  28. Fantastic news .. vamos MASH …. with MASH the news gets better and better … lets go lets go .. just a little further to go so that the remaining nonbelievers accept the name change (fact that we’ll always call it st james means it aint really a big problemo) and we’ll be flllllyyyyyyying … TOON TOON


  29. Its is very interesting for me as a Newcastle supporter to see such good young players come up. We need to put trust in the players and give them experience to such degree that they will evolve within our own ranks. The Arsenal way of giving them the carling cup with some experienced heads in the team and on the bench, I do believe that is the way to go. Let Smith go and some of the other fringe players that does not do anything but recieves vages. We have such good midfielders in Guthrie, Gosling, Vukic and Ferguson that it will cover the need we have. Yes we need to get more First team players. But I feel that we need to show the youth players we trust them. I would have one youth defender and one youth Midfielder on the bench together with experienced players that can play on several positions… This gives the youth experience just to be with the First Team and see the sorroundings. Talk to the experienced First team players.. Not speaking of how it would feel for them to be substituted in… We Need to show them that we trust them even when mistakes occur from them. They are here to get experience and make the future great…… Wonderful Season HWTL


  30. Not to mention all the wonderful players we have in the different squads. It is positive for the youth players to see their teammates, from academy come up and do well in the first team. Hooper, Alwik, Satka, Albeid, Taverner, Mayo and so on. There are so many great prospects in the team, that will benefit from the experience of first team. We need to get a few strong players like Mbiwa and Luuk De Jung. I am all for finding good players cheaply. But we need to get the stars for the youth to learn from, and still have the positions for youth to develop into…


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