Nile Ranger has picked up a reputation for himself during his time at NUFC although, unfortunately, it’s perhaps not the reputation we’d all like him to have.
The 20-year-old has shown glimpses of his ability on the pitch and has shown that he can rough up some of the best defenders in the league. I remember last season against Liverpool, the 3-1 at St James’ Park, it was his introduction that changed the game.
The thing is, I look back on that and often wonder just how good he can be. He has pace to burn and has strength in abundance, but it’s his off-field antics which have proved to be the biggest talking points when it should be his football that does the talking for him.
In a week where the domestic game has ground to a halt thanks to yet another international break, Nile Ranger has not been short in his own personal list of fixtures. He was in court earlier in the week on a drink driving charge and yesterday he was back in the dock where he denied four counts of assault and one of being drunk and disorderly. He was supposed to back again today but the magistrates decided to bundle all of the charges together.
That means that Ranger will be back in court on January 13th where he will answer the drunk and disorderly charge before being committed to crown court for the four assault charges which will mean another guaranteed date in court in the future.
See what I mean? A little bit about football and a lot about his off-field antics.
For some fans the attitude of Ranger has gone too far. They want him out of the club and I can see their point to be honest. I mean it’s not like this is the first or second time he has been in trouble for this, that or the other is it?
However is there a way back for Ranger? It seems that way according to Alan Pardew who has gone on record, not for the first time, and recognised Ranger’s talent.
“This is a guy who has got real talent and he needs to understand that there is a professionalism that comes with his football. I think he does understand that now,” he told the Chronicle.
So what do we do with him? Do we give him yet another chance as fans? Get behind him, support him? Or do we just throw him to one side knowing that the form book suggests that he is likely to balls up again?
I know he is young and young people can make mistakes, but part of growing up is learning from them and becoming a better person because of them. I’ve done it, you’ve probably done it. It’s part of life. Having said that we have other youngsters who we hardly hear a peep out of that are in the same position as Ranger was. they didn’t suddenly turn all “G” (street for gangster) once they hit the fringe of the first team. Look at Sammy.
I can’t help but feel that there is more to come from Nile Ranger, and I don’t mean more court cases. Instead I refer to his on pitch activities this time. He has ability and if he can get his head down, wake up, and realise that he is in a fortunate position then perhaps he can start t show it to us fans on a regular basis.
That’s both sides of the argument pretty much covered there. One side arguing for Ranger and one against him. What do you think though?