Plan B for the kids should have been Plan A all along!

Time to learn at Boro
Time to learn at Boro
Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson have both departed United recently, and there are set to be more departures as players like James Tavernier follow suit.

Now if you’re an advocate of youth, don’t panic. These switches are only temporary and will give these lads an opportunity to get some game time playing at a decent level which is what they need.

Of course they were getting that here, perhaps through necessity rather than anything else, but it didn’t work and now the club have had to alter their plans to ensure Premier League safety is assured first and foremost. The plan backfired and the kids couldn’t cut it often enough to make a real difference and now we’ve turned to older, experienced, heads in the interim.

This is not to say that these temporary switches signal the end of these younger lads at NUFC. Far from it in fact. These loan switches should have been part of the plan all along for me but with United keen to develop their own players the young lads were afforded playing time for us instead of another club.

It didn’t work. Sure there were some good performances from some of the younger lads and some have impressed enough to be considered part of the first team setup already. Players like Gael Bigirimana have played both domestically and continentally and have rarely let us down. Others though have been inconsistent and shown flashes of brilliance and frustration in equal measure.

I’m unsure whether the failure to strengthen in the summer forced our hand into playing the youngsters or if it was part of the plan all along. Publically of course it was always part of the plan as Alan Pardew revealed he was happy with the squad, but privately I’ll bet he wasn’t so enthusiastic and those positive words at the start of the season were mainly for morale purposes.

What should have happened is that players like Ferguson and Sammy should have been loaned out to teams in the Championship at the start of the season giving them ample opportunity to play competitive games at a decent level and cut their teeth in professional football in an environment that isn’t as demanding as the one at United.

I hear people saying “if they’re good enough they’re old enough” in relation to some of our younger players, and that is true to an extent. But all players need to learn and it’s not often you get a young lad who can go into the first team at a young age and flourish. Those examples are rare and even some of the brightest talents in England have been farmed at other clubs before making an impact at their own club.

This is the way I hope we do it from now on. It’s a valiant effort trying to “grow you own” for want of a better way of putting it, but at the end of the day it’s unfair on everyone involved to keep persisting with players when they just aren’t ready. Dare I say it but being thrown into a higher level so early on could actually do more harm than good?

The Championship is an ideal playground for some of our better kids to learn their trade. Any lower than that and you have to wonder if they have the ability to make it at the very top level anyway. I suggest this is the path we now tread with younger players as ultimately it will benefit everyone and will give us a chance to assess whether these youngsters can actually make the step up without being thrust into it right from the word go.

What do you think?

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

51 thoughts on “Plan B for the kids should have been Plan A all along!

  1. Good read Toonsy and I agree with you, they should have been loaned out this season, as it’s clear they weren’t ready for the Prem, its no coincidence that Bigi was the only one near ready and I believe that was because he had the benefit of regular 1st team footie last season.
    But I honestly believe that Pards had no choice but to keep them here as he knew we would need to use them as we didn’t have the squad we needed.


  2. Sammy tavernier fergy and abeid are gona be big players in afewyears! Christ I wish armchair managers knew that it takes time to develop a young player and in their mind its not all about nufc!and have all the armchair managers realised that young players only get a handfull of gametime due to what it says in their contract! This aint fantasy football you know!


  3. Surely we never would have expected our reserves to cope in the premier league. That is effectively the situation we found ourselves in. The results were predictable. Playing the odd youngster was the intention no doubt but have to throw them in en block was always going to end in tears. Pardew of course to maintain morale among those young players had to say he was happy with the squad but he would privately have known that we were in trouble if there were injuries. To have long term injuries to all the main players was the worst case scenario. Bingo!


  4. I dont think we should over complicate it.

    We didn’t buy when we should have, and injuries dictated that the kids were playing in the Prem too early.

    I do think however, that a couple of them won’t come back.

    Loaning them out not only gives them the experience but makes them valuable and attractive to the clubs to which they are on loan.

    It’s a much better development tool than the reserves and showcases their talents when it comes time to cash in on them.

    Well, time to make sure the fridge is full.


  5. Good read Toonsy . I would agree that bringing the young lads in too early can be damageing to they’re confidence should they fail . Because of our situation early season we were guilty of playing too many young ones at a time ,and it was unfair of Pards to say they ain’t good enough after they gave poor showings imo. We all know they need time in the championship honeing they’re skills before we can truely judge them . It’s no surprise Bigi is so accomplished as he learned his trade with regular 1st team time at Coventry, plus the guys obviously got talent. As for our loanees ,the one I’m unsure of is Sammi ,not sure he’s got a football brain but maybe that can be worked on in his loan spell.

    Off to do more decorating but back later for kick off ,it is 3pm isn’t it? 😕


  6. @2

    Tav has shown nothing to suggest he’ll be a ‘big player’. He’ll go on loan as an advert to league 1 and 2 clubs (much like Inman). Not convinced he’ll even make it as a pro

    Sammy has shown plenty of raw talent (skill, pace, decent shot) buts lacks consistency and the decision-making that comes with experience. He has a chance as a winger/wide forward where he can best utilise his skillset.. Lets see how he gets on at Boro

    Abeid and Fergie have also shown flashes of promise. Time will tell whether or not they develop into Prem-standard players. Personally, I’d guess that neither will make it but it’s not out of the Q.

    Good luck to ’em all


  7. Great news.
    Championship helped some of our players develop immensely. It turned Carroll from an average youngster to an aerial machine. It also helped players like Colo toughen up for the English physicality and frantic pace.
    Sammi and Fergie could especially benefit so it’s great to see them head out. If they can cope with the physical nature of the Championship then that at least won’t be an issue anymore in the PL.


  8. i think the idea that they have played much and failed this season is misconcieved

    sammy started one prem game, fergie four, vuckic and tav havn’t started any prem games, the brighton game was poor but there were a number of good performances in the european games

    the main issue in our first half of the season was playing a utility player like perch at centreback due to injury, lot of the youngsters have been unavailable due to injury also


  9. solanos trumpet, carroll scored one goal for preston, didn’t play a lot , think he fell out with one of the coaches but can’t remember exactly


  10. M i think tav will make it as a professional as he has moved up through the leagues on loan well, but may find the championship his level, maybe step up to a prem club later in his career


  11. A great move for all involved, at least sporting wise. The player gets a chance to develop at his own pace, while the club can watch from afar and check the progress of the player involved. If the loaning club take over the salary of the player it is even better, but I could imagine there is some sort of split agreement, otherwise our bairns wouldn’t end up anywhere on loan.

    A further gain is the fact that the player going out on loan should really shake his heed and think, well I better buck up my ideas and put the effort in, otherwise I’m gonna fall by the wayside. If that isn’t a main motivation then I don’t know what is.
    The negative side is that some blokes mentally probably think they have reached the zenith of there careers playing for NUFC in europe against a poor Greek side, and it’s all down hill from here.

    Only the strong will survive and make it. I’d be curious as to the number of toon loanees who have came back to the club and “made a name for themselves” 🙄

    The list of players who “didn’t make it” is obviously a lot longer than the list of the ones that did, but here I’ll start the ball rolling … of course the term “to make it” is all relevant. …

    1. Andy Carroll
    2. Shola Ameobi
    3. Tim Krul
    4. Fraser Foster


  12. Would love to see what Vukic can achieve if the lad steers free from injury. Fingers crossed for him.


  13. “Swansea went to St James’ Park and won comfortably in November but their chances of winning on Saturday probably rely on how much celebrating they have done since winning the League Cup last weekend – it would be understandable if they had partied long and hard since winning their first major trophy though.” 👿 Typical Lawro. Surely their chances of winning also depend on if we turn up and play like we have recently.


  14. Personally I think it’s great news, if they are loaned to the right club – ie they will get more game time at the loan club than us and aren’t just there to warm that teams bench.
    I think Sammi and Fergie have went to the type of club I’d like to see them at. Sammi will get games for Boro and likewise Fergie at Bham but importantly it will be at the right competitive level for this season of their career. No disrespect to the Scotish League but I don’t think the same could be said for Abied. He may get games but I’m not sure the level of competition will fully test him, and that’s the way these lad will improve.
    Personally, I’d look to send these boys back out on loan next season as well, and I’d offer them to newly relegated clubs or clubs who have a chance of promotion or play-offs. Young players develop better if they win or draw more games than they loose IMO.


  15. steven taylor was at wycombe for a while when tony adams was managing there, he waxed lyrical about what he learned from him


  16. As I’ve said before I am glad to see the youngsters get game time in a more competitive environment. Can only benefit the team.
    Sharpy on last thread
    Cheers mate, studying history but hope to hear from Dundee and Aberdeen.


  17. you have to send the kids out on loan if only to see if they can step up to the mark it worked well for wiltshire for the gunners,sturidge ect ect,if they are good enough it will come through.i see some are saying if l/pool put 5 past swansea we should score a couple,dont forget swansea made 7/9 changes in that game once again showing some of there kids were not up to it, there in tells a storey imo


  18. Lawro was a good centre half, but is a waste of time when it comes to punditry and coaching.

    He should be sent out on loan so he can learn his trade 😳 😳 😳 we see it all the time that a good/great player doesn’t neccessarily make a good/great manager/pundit. Lawrence falls into that category perfectly, jobs for the boys as usual. He should be punditing on the same bench as Rodney Marsh .. 👿 👿 👿 👿


  19. 1. Andy Carroll
    2. Shola Ameobi
    3. Tim Krul
    4. Fraser Foster
    5. Steven Tayor

    the toon list is growing, thanks alanthedog363 🙂


  20. Ice
    Those players were loaned to PL clubs though, PL clubs won’t touch our youngsters with a barge pole. Whilst happy to see them get game time in the NPC I can’t help feeling that it won’t make them PL players. Next season I expect us to be challenging for a euro place and whilst we do that we loan youngsters to mid-lower PL teams.


  21. [email protected], studying the history of NUFC ? Great choice matey. 😀

    History was one of my favourite subjects at school and I was thinking about studying it too……or geography, that’s why I ended up in….err….engineering 🙄


  22. Got to give Pardew credit for his man management at the club, the young players need to realize the privileged position they are in and quickly, Ranger and McLean at sunderland are 2 glaring examples of this, and having watched the 2 episodes of Aylesbury Young Offenders institute I can see how hard it is these days to get kids back on the right track, I know its an extreme comparison but watching the Prison Officers laying down their life choices in front of them was an eye opener.
    Maybe Ranger was too set in his ways, but the message has certainly been sent by Pardew and hopefully Ferguson and co will get back to being the prospects they were.


  23. Andymag, to make it these days the players need to have the skills foremost, but the mental toughness to buckle down and the desire to succeed. That is what sorts out the men from the boys. It’s tricky really, would you consider “success” as earning 4k pounds a week and playing at Boro and sitting occassionally on the bench at the toon ? Coupled with the fact that you know the manager is going to spend a couple of million on a foreign import who is going to go straight into the team ahead of you ?

    Sounds like some tough decisions to be made, and a decidedly high level of maturity is needed for an 18 – 22 year old. Only the strong survive 🙁


  24. Andy – Dundee and Aberdeen as well as Stirling! – sounds like you need an agent mate 😎
    History though mate? – surely that’s a thing of the past now isn’t it?! 🙄 😳 (sorry mate, I’m working on my dad jokes 😉 )

    Speaking of loan deals, how much do we think Curtis Good has benefit from his loan move this season at Bradford?!. Regular football, mid-top table position and great cup run. That’s what I mean about getting the loan team right for the player.

    Just watching Sky Sports Saturday and a stat table shown for the last 6 games. We sit 5th only behind Man U, Arsenal, Spurs and Man C. That’s more like it now isn’t it 😀


  25. MM
    Nice one 😉
    It is definitely difficult to succeed for a youngster these days, especially if your English.


  26. Piers Morgan
    “Newcastle have been improving recently but like Ant and Dec’s careers they are slowly going down hill 2-0 Swansea” what a d1ck.


  27. Andymag, Piers Morgan is neck and neck with Lawro when it comes to being a crouton. You need to start reading more up market web pages mate 🙂 Things will pick up once you start at the Uni and start mixing with the intelligentia 🙂


  28. I think it is a massive step up for these academy products to become premier league players. It’s not just a case of, have we nurtured them properly, a lot of them are simply not at the standard required and will never make it.


  29. Sharpy17, Curtis Good has one medal at least, even though it’s a losers medal 😉 By all accounts he accquitted himself well at Bradford, and once he makes the full Aussie international squad he’ll hopefully come along in leaps and bounds (no pun intended). Definitely one for the future, I mean the lad also needs to have the mental resilience to cope with being away from family friends and loved ones at an early age. Good luck to the lad I say, he’s “made it” already in my eyes.


  30. Andy – Piers Morgan has made a career out of being a smarmy bellend and seems to thrive on people disliking him so says stupid stuff like that.
    I bet if you asked him what the Swansea v Newcastle score at 7 or 8pm tonight he wouldn’t have a clue. I’ll take that prediction with a small pinch of salt mate.


  31. Hi all,

    On the Cisse offside controversy, do any of the stat crunchers have a bead on how much he was offside when he first arrived? Or even how much he’s been offside historically?

    Where do you stat-heads come up with your numbers, anyway? Is it whoscored or some other site? thanks!


  32. Andymag, you got my back big man :-). It boils my pinkle when blokes just post a load of cack on the web… 👿 👿 👿 👿


  33. Andymag, you said it mate. I have a well defined bullshit deflector, and when I see the names Piers Morgan and Mark Lawrenson the bullshit deflector goes on high alert. Neither of them have anything at all to say which is of interest 😆


  34. munich mag, the shola loan is pushing it a bit, it was about 7-8 years after he made he’s debut for us, it was more akin to alan smiths loan to mk dons than to improve his progression


  35. Well I thought there may have been a celebratory post up here from Toonsy, on the news of our gangsta trippin’ chum Mr Ranger’s departure. 😐

    …ah well, just a few words from me then.


    Now you can focus all your energy on ‘thug life’.
    Hopefully you’ll be locked up within 12 months, unless some mofo pops a cap in yo ass.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    I’m outta here…. 😎


  36. MM – I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s made it, but he’s certainly passed this stage of his development with flying colours.

    Andy – I think our young players have to walk before they can run. If you consider Tom Cleverly at Man U, he was on loan at Leicester and Watford before going to Wigan and having EPL experience with them and is now at 23yrs old a big part of Sir Alex first team squad plans.
    If we can get our boys at teams like Boro, Bham, Bburn, Bolton maybe even Wolves (who’s squad I think is probably better than their current league position) and play well, then I think that would be a great step in these players development.
    Not every player will fall into the ‘if they’re good enough, they’re old enough’, some players will need more time and energy invested in them to fulfil they’re true potential and others like Ranger may never fulfil their full potential regardless of how much time they are given. That’s why we need a good youth system in place so those staff can make the right decisions about these lads careers.


  37. saw that from piers morgan, aye we are in decline, or maybe he’s had his head up his arse and not noticed last month

    to me he sums up what is wrong with the british press, i’d be amazed if he wasn’t involved in the phone hacking shite, he’s the sort of rat i’d associate


  38. alanthedog363, you’re dead right regarding Shola, although I just added him to the list to try and make the list of toon loanees who have “made it” a bit longer 😉

    Having said that, the whole concept of loaning players has only really came to the fore in the last 5 years or so. In years gone by loans were went about in a completely different way, nowadays loans are demeaning the reserve leagues to a certain degree.

    btw Chelsea have a bunch of players out on loan, there are at least 2 in the Bundesliga at the moment, plus Lukaku or whatever his name is at WBA. Adebayor the season before last springs to mind, his goals helping them to the top end of the league. Sturridge ditto at Bolton…


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