What To Do About Peter Beardsley?

This is a difficult one for me. Peter Beardsley is one of my all-time favourite Newcastle United players. He is one of the true Geordie legends. That will never be in doubt. But as a football coach who has been put in charge of many of our younger players there are a number of serious questions. Beardsley was appointed coach of the Academy side in March, 2009.

It’s difficult to find much information about that season but I recall a fairly dismal season. In July 2010 Beardo was appointed Reserve team Manager.

The story of Reserve team football in England is a complicated one and I won’t get into too much detail here but suffice to say we have never been particularly successful at this level during the time in which Peter Beardsley has been Reserve team manager. Currently we sit sixth out of 12 clubs in U-23 League Division Two with 3 wins a draw and 2 losses.

At the top of the table are the reserve teams of 3 Premier league clubs, Swansea, West Brom, and West Ham in that order. Wolves and lowly Blackburn Rovers come next! To add a further comparison the 2010-2011 league winners were Blackburn Rovers reserves!

For many years now our owner Mike Ashley has spoken of the merits of rebuilding the entire club from the academy to the senior team.



Are we achieving that with a coaching staff that includes Peter Beardsley? Why is he actually back at the club given he has no real history of coaching at lower league level? Has Rafa allowed him to remain out of respect for his playing days at the club?

Does anyone in the management group at the club pay attention to how the Reserve side under Beardsley performs? What type of review is Beardsley subject to at the end of each season and what level of performance is expected of the Reserves?

Have we got the ambition to build an U-23 side strong enough to win this division? These are all questions I would dearly love to have answers to. I think we must continue to ask questions of the club until we see success at every level.

About GeordieTwo

Long suffering Newcastle United supporter living in Canada. Retired a few years back. Living in beautiful British Columbia. Suffered through this dismal season and had lost hope until Rafa came along. Now looking forward to a quick return to the Prem!

45 thoughts on “What To Do About Peter Beardsley?

  1. You’re onto a hiding to nothing G2 writing an article in international week.

    I think Beardsley has a difficult job as anybody that shows any talent gets loaned out.

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  2. Also, back in the day didn’t some of the first team used to get run outs with the reserves to keep their fitness up and get match practice? That doesn’t seem to happen now.

    I think I remember Liverpool would buy players and they would spend months in the reserves to get used to the Liverpool way. Sometimes they would be quite expensive signings as well.

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  3. Did any of you read that Shearer had retired because a 17 year old Steven Taylor was getting the better of him in training? The story was from Dean Saunders and Football365 are questioning the truth of it. In fact they are suggesting it is a load of made up bollocks. This is what they say:

    “Dean Saunders is certainly carving out a reputation as a fine story-teller of late, isn’t he? After not making light of a man’s crippling alcohol addiction whatsoever recently, the pundit is back, and he is talking to talkSPORT again.

    “Steven Taylor, who was a young 17 or 18-year-old came to train with us,” begins Saunders, discussing his time as a coach at Newcastle in 2006.

    “He started rag-dolling Alan [Shearer] in training and out-strengthening him, so Alan retired.

    “Graeme offered him another contract and said listen, don’t play much, just sort the dressing room out and keep everybody in order.

    “Alan said ‘no, I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I know when my legs have gone and if I’m getting out-strengthened by a young lad then it’s time to pack it in.’

    “He didn’t play for money, he was offered a contract, a massive contract to not even play and he said ‘no I couldn’t live with myself, I can’t get beaten up by a young lad.’”
    A few things, Dean:

    1) Steven Taylor was not a “young 17 or 18-year-old” in 2006. He was 20.

    2) Taylor probably did “come to train” with the first team, considering he was a regular member of the squad by then.

    3) “Out-strengthening” isn’t a thing. Nor is “out-strengthened”.

    Aside from that, the story sounds pretty watertight. Of course Shearer retired because a regular first-team player got the best of him in training a few times. It was nothing to do with the last of a number of serious knee injuries he suffered just months before he quit.”

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  4. Does anybody really care what Saunders says. He was assistant to our worst manager in modern times and not a very good footballer. Or too bright!

    The chron’s serialising the Hardy book Tunnel of Love. Todays bit is the Barcelona game and he does it remarkably well. Great read.

    G2 – what Beardsley does with the kids has never stood up to much scrutiny. Great player, flop coach?

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  5. I’m Not buying Taylor getting the better of big Al one bit.
    Good read G2, Thanks. I think it’s gonna take yonks for the club to get back up off it’s knees after 9 years of neglect. Rafa has one helluva job on all over the shop, still Rome and all that .

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  6. Beardsley’s task is to prepare players from the Academy to join the first team and then either make it or sell them on. He’s had a few knocking on the door, though I’m not convinced he’s particularly good at his job, despite being an absolute legend as a player.

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  7. Interesting thread G2. I find it difficult to judge Beard because he constantly has his best players loaned out or seconded to the first team to make up the numbers.

    Another way to judge him is to look at the players that have come through him and made it to the first team set up. Currently I can only think of Dummett and Aaron’s, with the likes of Armstrong then Roberts and Sterry on the outer fringe. So, as it stands maybe 1.5 to 2 players in the first team squad? Is that good enough? I’m not convinced but I don’t know what the numbers look like at other clubs in the PL and top 6 of the Championship. Another question is, what sort of youth players have we been recruiting? Has the best young talent been snapped up by sides with better youth set ups and more prestige – and have we been bottom feeders in the pool of talent? If so, maybe he has always been on a hyding to nothing…

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  8. Kimtoon: I put that rebuttal of the Saunders/Shearer/Taylor story on here because quite often this type of thing gets repeated and accepted as fact. Saunders does the rounds as a speaker now and did another story on Brian Clough that the same website checked. It turned out that Saunders had massively embellished what happened when the other people there were consulted with Clough’s former assistant calling it a downright lie.

    I bet you that it will be accepted as fact in the years to come that Steven Taylor caused Shearer’s retirement unless Big Al comes out to contradict it. These things tend to take on a life of their own.

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  9. Sham: I also mentioned the issue about it being hard to judge Beardsley because players going out on loan limit his choices in the U21. Now that I have thought about it though, other teams do the same thing and still finish higher than us and we are in the second tier of the reserves which cannot be good. It has to be a combination of bad recruitment and bad coaching wouldn’t you think? We have high hopes for the current crop of loanees but that is no different from the past and very few have gone on to be even fringe players.

    Look at Sammy and Vuckic. Touted as possible stars but after numerous loans and being coached by several other coaches, they are still “prospects” at 23 or 24. Hopefully, this new group will buck the trend but most likely we will end up with one first team player from the lot of them. Probably Armstrong.

    I am not sure what we can do about it. A shakeup is probably necessary because as it stands it ain’t working. It is probably tough luck for Beardsley as as you say he is on a hiding to nothing and can only work with what he is given.

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  10. Kimtoon: sorry, that story on Clough was fact checked by The Guardian and repeated by Football365. That a well respected national newspaper said he was full of sh!t only makes it more likely that he is full of sh!t. They get paid quite a lot of money to do these after dinner speeches and I am sure that their memories get clouded and they embellish and make stuff up so their stories are more interesting or funny. As I said, after they have been repeated a few times they become “fact”.

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  11. Blaming Beardsley indirectly for the fact that Armstrong probably won’t make it is a bit harsh.
    If Armstrong were good enough then he would be in the first team squad, obviously he isn’t if we are to trust our Champions League winning coach. There again he did choose Selz over Darlow for a real long time, and is protecting Diame to the hilt, so he is obviously prone to error.
    Arma will go the way of the rest of the “Academy starlets” … just not quite good enough to make it…
    Beardo will continue to enjoy a canny job at the toon, trying his best but not really getting anywhere…

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  12. Leave Peter alone.. 😆
    Hes a legend, he may be doing a good job when all things are considered. Losing players through loans, players not having their contracts extended, giving new players on trial who ideally need to play.

    Its hard to judge a manager in the reserves/u23’s.
    Has anyone said he isnt doing a good job?

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  13. Gashley, if I was working under those conditions I’d quit 😂😂😂😂 …… not….

    Are his teams anywhere top of the league ? Football is a results orientated business ?

    Armstrong and Woodman could be looked on as partial sucesses, while Hayden we paid big money for. The rest ?

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  14. Gash, Geordie2 is just envious cos Beardsley has a cushty job at the toon, and even when he fails he still has a great get out of jail card in his defence 😁😁

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  15. I am shocked that Rooney decided he should play himself in mid-field and didn’t use the game against Malta to pad his stats. I am not really sure if you can include the watered down qualifiers when comparing stats over time as I am sure the modern strikers benefit. Lucas Podolski has 48 goals in 129 games for Germany FFS.

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  16. MM: I know you will give me grief but when you look at the goals Armstrong is scoring he really does look like a young Michael Owen the way he sits on the shoulder of the last man and then bursts away. I have no idea how it will pan out but he is still young and has scored in every level he has played at. We are due a good player from the Academy and they did extend his contract so they are showing some faith in him. If he was still at SJP he would be stuck behind Gayle which is the reason for his current loan as he is playing at the same level just might get more games.

    I wouldn’t say Rafa is PRONE to errors, but he is not perfect either.

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  17. Honestly ! The role of reserve and youth team coaches isn’t results driven its to bring on and develop players by challenging them eg playing them out of position, adopting different formations and where necessary accommodating short term trial-lists etc.

    Loan players can leave a squad short staffed and weaker overnight. A bit of grown up thought is required here people.

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  18. Liamo,
    That sounds right and close to the old Ajax model. I’m not an expert but keep an eye on the younger teams at SJP and I’m not sure the model you mention actually is what they’re doing at the toon. Young Cal Roberts for example always always appears as a winger. I’ve never heard of him being tried anywhere else in the team.

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  19. Our youth academy is only now starting to compare with others, were we not well below most other clubs in so far as our set up and facilities are concerned for a long while?
    Parents are always going to encourage their kids to sign up with the clubs with the best facilities and opportunities on offer.

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  20. I hope John Carver get’s the Aston Villa job. He is a top manager for them and the team will fly up the table. I also think Steve McClaren might do well at Villa as well.

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  21. I would love it if Malta beat England today. Malta ? What ? Seriously ?
    England will hype themselves up today against a team equivalent of conference side and act all victorious. England are a joke.

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  22. Pedro was a true legend as a player, I think possibly my favourite player growing.

    As a manager, I think it’s a difficult one. Which club is bring through an abundance of academy players?.

    What would worry me more that Pedros management, is the fitness and development of these young players – when you look at the likes of Aarons, Mbabu, Satka and Vukic for example – are these young players getting damaged before the first team is ever a real possibility.
    I don’t imagine that is down to Pedro.

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  23. Sharpy, Rafa has bought in different medical staff so I’m hoping we’ll see less long term injuries and indeed the playing of players who aren’t ready to come back. Depth of squad in the first team in particular should see that that no longer happens.

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  24. Didn’t wee Keggy Keegan neglect the sprog and reserve teams in favour of the first team ?
    So now we have Beardsley developing the toon juniors because at the end of the day it isn’t results orientated … and no-one is moving on to the first team, or being sold to other premiership or championship teams. So what is the purpose at the end of the day ? I suppose we have a bunch of highly paid first teamers on loan elsewhe, a bunch of ageing academy starlets on loan elsewhere, a bunch of young academy starlets on loan elsewhere, all competing with highly paid foreign players who have been given squad numbers but are nowhere near the first team line up ! Sounds like the toon model is way out in front, good job we have a gazzilionaire owner who doesnt know much about what is happening at his investments !

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  25. Eric Sykes I won’t give you grief regarding Arma mate, my point is if he was good enough he’d have a squad number and would be knocking on the door.. He definitely has potential, but I reckon he won’t make it … for example there is no way he will achieve what Shola achieved at the toon… hat trick against the makkems, Shola slayer legend, goals in europe and also loads of goals in the prem. A Shola on fire would walk into the current toon team, Mitro wouldn’t get past him thats for sure.. much maligned but a toon legend..😉

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  26. Kimtoon:
    Sharpy, Rafa has bought in different medical staff so I’m hoping we’ll see less long term injuries and indeed the playing of players who aren’tready to come back. Depth of squad in the first team in particular should see that that no longer happens.

    Kim – it might not be soon enough to save Aaron’s or Mbabu I fear, who both have had their injuries already this season. Didn’t Abied have his fair share of injuries too?.

    I think it needs to start even younger though. The young kids getting taught nutrition and how to develop & look after their bodies so there is less risk of muscle injuries as there grow.

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  27. Sharpy: Aarons’ problems have been dodgy hamstrings in the past. The latest injury is a broken bone so there is absolutely no connection. If it was a recurrence I could understand where you are coming from but this has nothing to do with his history or the change in medical staff. I think broken bones are different to pulls, tears and ruptures in that they are unlikely to happen again and can be linked to a very specific incident such as being stepped on in Aaron’s case.

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  28. I would worry if Aarons’ injury was a stress fracture as you could say that was related to over training or pushing his body beyond what it could take. But this is an impact injury which is totally different. Now, if his hamstrings go again I will worry more and he has not had a sufficient period when he is free of that injury to prove it is not still a problem.

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  29. Dead right Eric – Pardew in particular had a real problem with players who had hamstring injuries. Several times he brought HBA and Aarons back way too soon. Bloke’s an idiot.

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  30. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: Aarons’ problems have been dodgy hamstrings in the past. The latest injury is a broken bone so there is absolutely no connection. If it was a recurrence I could understand where you are coming from but this has nothing to do with his history or the change in medical staff. I think broken bones are different to pulls, tears and ruptures in that they are unlikely to happen again and can be linked to a very specific incident such as being stepped on in Aaron’s case.

    Eric – his current spell on the side lines is a bone, but he has had numerous muscular injuries in the past – as have most that have come through our youth set up.
    I know that happens to a lot of young players, but I worry there isn’t the right education and supervision of our young players.

    There training should be different to that of a fully developed footballer IMO. It might well be that’s the case, but I reckon they are more likely to be doing the same drills & following the same training programme as the seniors.

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  31. Sharpy: I am not disagreeing with you, just on this one particular case of Aarons’ broken foot. We have had years and years of muscle injuries and ruptured whatevers that put us at the top of days lost due to injury. Nobody seemed to have the answer and it was about time that something changed whether it be new medical staff, pitches or the tailoring fitness and nutrition to each player. It is really too early to judge whether things are better under Rafa but the initial signs are good, and for once we have the problem of a large squad being fit at the same time and all pushing for a few matchday positions with some inevitably missing out. I remember under Ugly John he often had a hard time putting out a team and would have to play players out of position or kids.

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  32. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: I am not disagreeing with you, just on this one particular case of Aarons’ broken foot. We have had years and years of muscle injuries and ruptured whatevers that put us at the top of days lost due to injury. Nobody seemed to have the answer and it was about time that something changed whether it be new medical staff, pitches or the tailoring fitness and nutrition to each player. It is really too early to judge whether things are better under Rafa but the initial signs are good, and for once we have the problem of a large squad being fit at the same time and all pushing for a few matchday positions with some inevitably missing out. I remember under Ugly John he often had a hard time putting out a team and would have to play players out of position or kids.

    Eric – that’s never you defending JC is it mate? 😳😂

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  33. Sharpy are we get new state of the art training facility’s paid by sports direct ?
    Surely that will help players recovering from injuries, training etc. I am not sure if replacing Beardsley would do the club any good. Andy Caroll is probably the last successful player to come out of our academy. Forrester the goal keeper I regret us losing. Taylor was good at times plagued by injuries. Dummett doing alright. Armstrong shows great potential, shame he wasn’t given a chance here this season.

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  34. I’d agree it’s hard to judge Beardo. I would say we haven’t been very good at the level he coaches at however. Many, many losses over the last few seasons. Do we bring in good enough youth players? Probably not given our lack of ability to bring in good enough senior players either, which led to a second relegation in 8 seasons if I recall correctly. Some have also commented on various blogs that Peter isn’t the sharpest tack in the box and can’t get his ideas across to the players very well. I would think there are better coaches available. Let him be what he should be, a former player who is a legend for that only. Thanks again for the comments everyone!

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  35. Georgio:
    What’s this then – Hibernation week?

    Internationals, the death nail of all things football. There was a time I looked forward to England games but now half the games , it’s minnows who are hardly a true test of the teams ability. Watching the celebration by Sturridge you would think he scored a world cup winner, all posturing and pointing at himself, effing embarrassing, none of them have done anything of note. As for Rooney , I would give him 5 out of 10 and that’s being kind, Henderson far more productive than him playing a part in both goals yesterday.

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  36. Watched the England match late. They were quite poor. Would have been destroyed by a good team on the basis of that performance. Not sure what Southgate’s chances are of keeping the job (probably zero). Rooney made some very poor passes. Not sure what he is anymore. Not a striker, not a midfielder. He has to go for the team to improve. Hard choices to be made. Sad to watch the decline of someone who was so good.

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  37. Entertainers match finished 2-2 with Shearer scoring first goal. Sounded like a canny match. Wish I could’ve seen it.

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  38. Aye it seems to be hibernation week Georgio mate. Really poor offerings from the internationals so far. England against Malta? What’s the point? It’s a farce that should be fixed as soon as possible. Get the minnows out.

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  39. Groucho: I have said most of what I want to say about Rooney. He was a good player who no longer has the skill and reflexes to be the star player on a team. It happens to all of us but football is a team game so sometimes it is not apparent to everybody. Think about golf and cricket. It is obvious when someones skills are on the wane – the scores reflect it. However, Rooney’s fanboys are still making a case that he is England’s best player and should be shoe-horned into the team in a position that he has only played about 10 times. He is sh!t at it and his club manager has said so. I know that might seem like I am cherry picking who to listen to but I would trust Mourinho’s judgement over Robbie Savage or even Shearer. Shearer. by the way. does not defend Wayne, he goes along with the editorial viewpoint of the Mirror to an extent but never says Wayne should play in midfield.

    Rooney’s reputation is such that the sponsors, his ex-player mates and a lot of the press allow him to get away with things that no other player would. We saw the same thing with Gerrard at Liverpool where it was obviously a bridge too far in his final couple of years (he has actually played sh!t in the US as well which tells you how bad he really was). That is not to say that Rooney hasn’t done well in the past although I think his recent performances have been terrible for club and country.

    Rooney is the last drunk at the party, overstaying his welcome.

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