Oh yes, the enigma… One minute he is on the fast route to first team success, the next he is an injury prone ‘nearly’ player who’s commitment to being a top level professional gets questioned.
I was in two minds about writing an article based on this lad so early in the season. On one hand it would have been nice to do this once he has actually played a couple of games in the first team, on the other it’s nice to get people’s opinions and test their ‘potential radar’ before they have seen it all in obvious ‘black and white’ so to speak. However we have not heard much about him since last season despite expecting relatively big things on his part – so lets have a look at him.
Tamás Kádár, born 14 March 1990 in Veszprém, Hungary is a centre back with the ability to play at left back too. That’s right, a left footer. Very useful to have in a squad. He began his career with the highly esteemed and well known side Zalaegerszegi TE in 2006, making 20 appearances for them at the age of 16. That season saw him burst onto the International scene with the U-17’s, making six appearances.
His first season was a solid one and his name began to prick up the ears of talent scouts from the other side of Europe. In the end it was Bolton Wanderers and ourselves that fancied the lad so much, that an offer of a trial was put on the table. Needless to say the Magpies won that particular battle and Kádár found himself being confirmed as a Toon player on the same day that Kevin Keegan was unveiled to the world as our new manager for his ill fated second spell in charge on 18th January 2008. Also joining up at the same time as this lad was Ben Tozer and Wesley Ngo Baheng. Both of whom failed to make the grade and left the club since.
At 6’2″ tall and about 13 stones 4 pounds, Tamás is a pretty big unit. In my opinion, it could be argued that he is maybe carrying a few too many pounds for a top line athlete actually but what do I know?! One thing is for sure, he is not the sort of defender that should be easily forced off the ball and he should fear nobody. Back to career milestones now…
In his first full season at the club, Kadar made a great impression for the reserves and earned call ups to the first team squad on two occasions – for the Liverpool game at home and an FA Cup match as well as making his Hungary senior side bow as a late sub in the win against Greece.
However his first injury setback came in January 2009 with a broken leg following a reserves clash with local ‘rivals’ if you will, Sunderland. The broken leg really was a ‘bad break’ for him, coming at a crucial stage in his development.The Hungarian defender battled on in typical Eastern European resolve however and made his first team debut in a victory against Huddersfield Town in the Carling Cup before making his League debut in a win against Leicester City in our Championship winning season. He would go on to make a total of 16 first team appearances in 2009-2010.
Our return to the Premiership would see Kádár make the first team squad 8 times during the first half of the season. His performance against Huddersfield was still in the back of Lee Clark’s mind, who loaned Tamás in January this year, however a fresh injury setback in the form of a bad hamstring tear meant our young centre back would only manage two appearances for the Terriers before being sent back to us licking his wounds.
This is where the controversy started. Our medical staff nursed him back to health and our fans’ beady eyes were cast on him for the pre-season friendlies, anticipating a string of strong performances and a real challenge to the more established players in his position. This can be summarised by taking a look at an article produced by Zoe Vicarage at the time, which you can see here. Toonsy had this to say about the lad at the time; “Personally I think Kadar has the best chance of making it out of the lot (the youngsters coming through). I’ve seen him have one bad game – at left back I’ll add – but the rest of the time he’s not let us down. Premier League is different gravy though so we’ll see.” After that we saw and heard nothing of the lad.
Lack of information coming out of the club meant a lot of us were scratching our heads wondering what was going on with him. Pardew did not appear to rate him as he was not selected for anything, not even the bench. Had the young man suddenly gotten himself a bad attitude? Was he not pulling his weight? Had Pardew and his staff simply noticed something about his game that was just not up to scratch?
Well, no is the answer to all that controversy. It could have been cleared up so easily with a bit of communication, but the truth is Tamás sufferd an injury setback in the form of a groin injury in the summer – laying him low again. A common thing to happen after a long time out on the sidelines.
In recent weeks Kádár has got himself fighting fit and put in some strong performances for a reserves side doing very well. He captained the side in the recent win against Liverpool and is now pretty much match fit, although he will obviously be lacking the first team match sharpness. Lets hear from the man himself;
“I’d been out for a long time – since January – until I did the pre-season, and then I got an injury again. But now I feel like I’m 100% and I’ll push to get back into the first team.I know it’s going to take a long time and it’s going to be hard to get into the backline but I think I’m in a good way and if I can play every week that’s the best I can do. I’m working very hard on the training ground, whether I’m training with the first team or the reserves.”
This might help answer Toonsy’s question in his latest article regarding squad depth in the centre-half position. James Perch did well against Forest, but he is simply not good enough to push on for the 1st team in the long term. Kadar just might be, so I’d give him run out against Blackburn tonight. Why? He is very good in the air, deceptively fast on the ground and quite assured in possession of the ball. All he needs is to work hard, keep his head down and the chances will come. Now he is over his latest bout of injuries, I can see the lad making match day squads and pushing on.
The question is, can Tamás Kádár fulfil his obvious potential and become a mainstay of the Newcastle United squad in the long term, or has his chance sailed him by? At 21 years old, time is beginning to creep up on him, he had a run in the Championship, but like Toonsy said – the Premier League is a different level all together. Steven Taylor was regularly strutting his stuff in the Premiership for us in the senior side at 17 years old…
So over to you readers for your vote and debate.