Fringe player focus – Haris Vuckic

Haris set for the top?
Well our last article on this series showed that Shane Ferguson is regarded by our readers as the future of Newcastle United, with somewhere in the region of 98% of voters declaring him too good to let go.

I have always been a fan of the lad, but was surprised by the level of faith in shown in him across the board from our fans. He is obviously a real talent.

This time we are looking at Haris Vuckic. The vast majority of readers will be aware of the lad and may have heard about his “highly rated” tag, but some may not know much about him so I’ll try and clear it up for you now. Here goes.

This Slovenia international midfielder could well be going places. Signing for the Toon in January 2009, he made his reserves debut in February of that year from the bench against Blackburn – scoring the winning goal. Despite having hardly any top flight experience the 6’3″ attacking player has already been linked with moves to sides such as Real Madrid and AC Milan on a number of occasions. But why?

Well, his first club in his homeland – NK Domzale thought he was such a talent that they defied the Slovenian FA by playing him under age at just 15 years old – and promptly earned themselves a fine as a result. Newcastle snapped him up promptly afterwards and he went on to win a youth tournament in Bosnia with our U18’S. Not only that, but he took the ‘golden boot’ and player of the tournament award for good measure too.

Former youth coach Richard Money once had this to say about him: “He’s got everything really; great size, good athlete, change of pace and he’s very clever and creative with the ball. I think that given the right environment and the right development then he’s got a big future ahead of him.”

A couple of years ago this club probably would not have made the right environment for him to grow, however it now seems there is a real structure falling into place that is allowing the younger lads to actually get a bit of first team football under their belts – provided they are good enough.

So what is his style of play? Well, he is forward thinking and direct. At his height and 12 stone 4 pounds, he is well equipped to deal with burly defenders trying to bully him off the ball. He is not exactly the fastest, but is by no means slow either. I would not describe Haris as the most ‘showboat’ type of player either. He is not full of flicks and tricks. Don’t get me wrong, the lad has skill in abundance. It is just not in your face. His skill in passing by opposition players is based on subtlety, little drops of the shoulder and tricks when necessary built on a formula involving vision, positional understanding and efficient passing. In short, the lad does not need lots of pace or an abundance of tricks because he is so damn intelligent. He grasps the concept of the game beautifully.

I have heard people begin to whisper that Vuckic does not seem to be making the expected step up and he may miss the boat if he does not seize his chance soon. That is madness! He only turned 19 in August. To date he has made 9 appearances for the 1st team, 5 from the bench. However last season he was an 18 year old boy, the year before that he was….well you get the picture. He’s still very young.

In response to those questioning his future – I bet you he will double his appearances for this club by the end of this season with ease and score too. The only reason he has not added to his appearances this season is due to a hand injury that put him out of action for 6 weeks. He had already played for us this season against Scunthorpe in the Carling Cup and made an appearance in the Premier League as a late sub in the win against Fulham – only for the aforementioned injury to cut his game shorter than it already was.

Indeed, this pre-season Haris Vuckic was arguably one of our very top performers. He scored against Leeds and Colombus Crew, demonstrating his attacking prowess with good finishes on top of strong performances. He is valued highly by our current coaching set up – Alan Pardew handed him a five and a half year deal almost as soon as he took over at the club.

Haris made his comeback from injury last Thursday by coming off the bench for his country’s U21 side in a 1-1 draw against Sweden. His side came from behind to salvage a result there and Vuckic is largely credited with being the driving force behind the comeback.

That is welcome news. I am struggling to remember a time when we had so much healthy competition for a place in the Newcastle United midfield and no doubt, Vuckic will be fighting the other lads for a chance to claim a regular slice of the action now he is back from injury. He gives us a different option.

We just about have it all in midfield now – players that between them have intelligence, pace, skill, vision, accurate passes, goals, assists, crosses and defensive tenacity. That gives the club scope for change. The ability to adapt to changing conditions against teams with varying styles and formations – and Haris Vuckic offers his own uniques attributes that can help our cause when he is called upon.

As I have mentioned , the young potential star has intelligence, positional awareness, a good strong accurate shot, subtle skills, neat passes and a will to take the game to the opposition. He is a left footer that is comfortable on his right (defenders will find that difficult) and is a commanding presence on his day. He fits the bill for the technical, continental style of play it seems the club is moving towards. On the negative side – a lad his size should really be better in the air and his tackling could improve. However, he is on the right lines and with a bit of first team experience this season I can see him really kicking on. It will be difficult as the competition he has for a place is fierce…

Personally, I can see Haris playing just off the main strike occasionally too. He would do well up there as he can finish and has the presence. He can also link up the play. I feel this article is perhaps a little biased as I firmly believe this lad will be a very good player in the future – but what do you readers think?

As always we will put this one to a vote and welcome you to share your thoughts on the matter. So, over to you.

[poll id=”43″]

About Shamrock

Like everyone here, support Newcastle United. Not the easiest side to feel good about at times, but it's our side!

29 thoughts on “Fringe player focus – Haris Vuckic

  1. At last – online – 3 days off because of Blackberry’s crash – looks like RIM monitor and control all internet surfing too – very naughty – outside of their remit imo.

    Just off thread – I’m worried by VDV this weekend, if Spurs play a 4411 with VDV in the hole, and Bale and Lennon out wide, the FBs will have a hard time as it stands (I’d play Santon) then VDV will take up a posn 3 to 4 yards in front of Saylor – Saylor will move out (like the fool he is) and we will get raped. I expect a torrid time – our MF are going to have to turn into superheroes to get a result.

    On the other thread we celebrate we have the most defensive clearances in the league – while its something decent to cling onto – its also worrying as it means plenty of chances are created instead of being snubbes out earlier.

    If Saylor gets through this game without making a tit of himself, I’m going to barge Booby aside and show my arse in Fenwicks window ( next to Snow White at Christmas)


  2. “Snow White and the Chocolate Starfish” that’s one story that certainly won’t have a happy ending. πŸ˜†


  3. Good article tho Shamrock. I do like these.

    Hopefully this time next season Haris will have moved out of the fringe’s and cemented his place in the matchday squad.


  4. welcome back Stardust was missing your positivity. πŸ˜†

    As to Haris I think he will be a big part of the setup. Exactly where is the problem. Can’t see him subbing Tiote or Cabaye, and until we have our best 11 sorted out difficult to see where he fits in. Great to have on the bench atm.


  5. Nobby – I seen that, pretty funny. However, it does beg the question – why the hell were you researching the origins of trifle in the first place? πŸ˜†


  6. Shamrock another fine article mate,
    I hope this year is finally the yr that Harris breaks into the first team.
    I agree with what Money had to say about him, it just seems that everytime it looked like he was going to get a chance something happened.


  7. I think should the likes of Ben Arfa or Cabaye gets injured/sold i think this kid would the perfect replacement when the time comes.


  8. I haven’t seen enough of HV to really give an opinion. But from the fact that a load of people rate him down the porcie arms… he must be mint!! πŸ˜‰


  9. great read. Yet again might i add!

    I agree that slowly but surely he will start getting more game time and its the right was to do it. Slowly introducing players into first team. We are really have some great young player with loads of potential don’t we? vuckic sammy fergie , you could even throw krul into that list. Wonder who be the next player to start making a claim for a place in the squad. Promising times ahead i hope πŸ™‚


  10. Cheers for the positive feedback guys. Judging by the poll this kid is a real prospect… Like the majority of you have said so far, a place on the bench this season should be Haris’ target with a view to pushing on from next season onwards. PLenty of time yet and lots of learning.

    Like Prem says, our midfield is looking so good at the moment it’s hard to see where we can afford to give him a run and like Big Dave points out – he has had a few little niggling set backs with injuries. That said, the injuries are not repeat ones so i’m not worried about that.

    Johno Toon – Our youth set up is really looking mint at the minute. Makes ideas for these articles a tad easier! Really great sign for the club’s future πŸ˜€


  11. Assuming the current team remanins unchanged then the bench could be,

    Harper; Santon; Abied; Vukic; HBA: Fergie; Sammi

    looks good to me


  12. Alnwick
    Tavernier Streete Kadar Moyo
    S.Ameobi Richardson Abeid Ferguson

    I would say that is our best reserve team and not a bad one at that! I would say the majority of them have a great chance of making it at a good level.

    Not so sure on Airey now πŸ˜•


  13. Dan – at least 5 of those ARE ready for the first team (or should I say 1st team football). They absolutely need it in order to develop. By the end of the season I hope to see Vuckic, Abeid and Tavernier in (and out of ) the team


  14. I was just going to say what Dave said at 10 πŸ˜†

    Every time he edges near the first team it seems as though something gets in the way. Every time I saw him in pre-season and in the cups he’s impressed me. Im not the only who feels that way either as he was starting to get league time aswell, but then he broke his hand

    I just think people get on his back a little because he has been here so long and we haven’t seen a lot of him. Its true like, but its also ignorant as it disregards the broken leg and the broken ankle that he has suffered.

    This kid will go far imo


  15. hope he comes good, carn’t really say whether he will or not but he should get more chances this season to show a bit more of what he could do πŸ˜€


  16. completely off topic I know but whilst browsing I saw this….sound familiar?

    Redknapp admits to Parker problem

    Tottenham Hotspur, 14:03, October 13, 2011

    Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has admitted that he found it difficult to persuade the board to sign Scott Parker in the summer.

    Last season’s player of the year arrived in the summer from West Ham but with a lack of a sell on value for the 31-year-old and high wages, Redknapp has admitted he found it hard to sell the Β£5m transfer to the board.
    “It wasn’t a deal that the club were crazy about, and I could see their point of view. Scott had a four-year contract at West Ham and he was on big money, by our standards.
    “Tottenham don’t pay the wages that Chelsea or Manchester City do, so there would be quite a gap.
    “There was a feeling that bringing in Scott, 31 years of age and with no sell-on value, could be a problem. I argued that it was what he could give us this year and next that could make the difference. Daniel [Levy, Tottenham chairman] backed me on that.” saw the comparisons with our club….


  17. @25. I think ‘arry sometimes cries poorer than he is. Telling it this way makes it seem like he was the one who fought for Parker, which may or may not be true.

    Still, I wonder how much he’ll rate him in 3 years when he’s 34 and still on huge wages. Nolan/Barton spring to mind for me


  18. I think Vuckic is an even better prospect than Ferguson. Tremendous size and good passing ability. Smart around goal. His main problem is the fairly extensive number of injuries he has already had. He must keep injury free for an long run of games to let Pardew see him in action. Would love to see us try playing him in a 4-3-2-1 in behind Ba with Ben Arfa, or at home even a 4-2-3-1 against weaker teams with Ben Arfa and Marveaux. Another good article Stardust. Keep it up.


  19. Good point MDS. Parker probably has a couple of good years left. I actually always liked him with Newcastle even though he did love to run in circles with the ball too much (Tiote likes to do this as well, but he is bigger and stronger so gets away with it more often). I think Parker was underappreciated with us. Pardew would have loved to have him now. Never gives up as with the 5-0 game against us when most of his teammates had packed it in.


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