Newcastle Need More Youngsters Coming Through

Lee Clark as Reserve Team manager has an important job at Newcastle because Sam has already said he will use the reserve team to get players ready for the first team. He will use the team to give senior players a game in cases where they haven’t played for a while.

It is also a vehicle in the development of the young players coming through the club, which according to Sam has to be improved at Newcastle

Let’s take a look at what Lee told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle yesterday.


Lee Clark – now has an important youth development role at Newcastle

This is what Clark told Lee Ryder of the Evening Chronicle yesterday:

“The focus is to get players ready for the first team.”“We need to provide the manager with players who will be ready once they get called up so they can slot in quickly.”

“The manager may need to use some of the youngsters, and we want to make sure they are ready when they get called up.”

Sam Allardyce has already criticized the lack of youth coming through at Newcastle even though we thought the youth set-up was doing well and the team reached the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup these last two years. However, there are few of those players who seem to finally make the grade at Newcastle.

The latest young player to leave of course is Paul Huntington, who surprisingly went to Leeds United last Friday. We also reported yesterday of the concern Sir Trevor Brooking has about the influx of foreign players into the Premiership, which is said to make it more difficult for the youngsters to experience first team football in England.

Clark went on:

“If they don’t stay here we want to make sure they move on to another club in the Football League like Paul Huntington did at Leeds.” “It breaks my heart to see players drift out of the game or into non-league football.”

“We want to make sure they go to the Championship from here or at least the Football League.” “We want them to make a living out of the game after they have been at the club.”

“That’s why we want to get the lads at a level where they are good enough to compete in the first team.”

The reserve team and youth team this season will be under a little pressure from manager Sam Allardyce, as he wants to see more players making the grade at Newcastle. Sam told the Sunday Times in mid-August:

“Our academy here just let the whole of their final year go without signing even one of them as a professional,” “It means the young boys we’ve been getting aren’t good enough, and obviously that’s a concern.”

“We have to do better in terms of development.”

“I’m concentrating on the first team at the moment, because that has to be my priority, but in the near future we’ll have to look at the kids’ set-up.”

Yes, we know he’s talking about the youth team, but the good ones move up quickly to the reserve team and that’s when Lee Clark takes over. We do have two very good prospects out on loan – Andy Carroll (Preston) and Tim Krul (Falkirk) and both look very good at 19 years old and they are getting what they need for the next 6 months, which is games.

We also have some good youngsters coming through with defenders like Alex Francis, Darren Lough and Mark Doninger all shining in front of Sam Allardyce already this season. As far as forwards, we have Jonny Godsmark, Frank Danquah and Kazenga LuaLua all looking promising. By the way, recent rumors that LuaLua has left the club are completely unfounded.

We’ll need to keep our feet on the ground with the youngsters and the reserve team, but we’ll also be looking for at least one coming through this season. However, with the strong first team squad Sam has now developed that will not be easy. We think Darren Lough looked like an excellent young player when he played for the first team in pre-season. His second half performance against Juventus at left-back was outstanding, so we’ll give him a mention and pick him as one to look out for.

Comments always welcome.

17 comments so far

  • George

    Sep 6, 2007 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #1

    A few weeks ago i posted a comment about the amount of foreigners in our game and added a comment made at the time by Sir Bobby Charlton also about the lack of opportunities for home grown youngsters. Now it seems that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but is it too late.
    Our national side has suffered for years due to lack of talent coming through. Not that youngsters are not there, but because managers are buying cheaper imports to fill a position quicker than bring on a youngster.
    If you look back, Man Utd were the last team to bring on youngsters the way all teams did, and look how successful they were, but then, even Alec Ferguson started buying from abroad and his supply of youngsters has virtually dried up.
    Under Keegan and his no reserve team policy, we suffered for years after because of no youngsters there to come through.
    Big Sam has bought a lot of foriegn players, however, i do not here the cries of “were is the brit in the team”, just like has been targeted at Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and now Man City.
    Just looking at these clubs. Foriegn managers who buy foriegn players. But SA has used the same ploy as at Bolton buy cheap from abroad. Thats fine but long term????
    Why have the Department of Employment not stepped in on this point. Other football clubs in europe have a strict policy on the number of imports allowed in each team, so why cant we protect our national league the same.
    It seems to me imported managers are to blame as are imported owners.
    So now we have the question, “what about home grown youngsters getting a chance”. At NUFC we are not blessed with a good amount of good youngsters and the ones we do how are they going to get a chance as the figures do not add up. Once SA has all players fit and well, what is the pecking order going to be, and how far down the order are the youngsters going to be. Back to square one unless a manager has the courage of his convictions and says enough is enough, i care about the english game and i am going to play english home grown players.
    Untill such time we will just have to keep learning other languages.
    These are not just my thoughts. These are the thoughts and feelings from top pros and managers in the game who are starting to realise the damage that has been done.
    I want NUFc to be known as Newcastle United, not as Newcastle United Nations.

  • Bill F

    Sep 6, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #2

    George I am not sure but I believe that European rules do not allow us to have a limit on foreign players, same old thing we stick rigidly to EU law whilst other countries drive a coach and horses through it. I am all for recognising young talent but do not think it is a good thing to try and lock very young kids into an early training regime. I do not think any club should be signing them up before their teens. Obviously there may be exceptions. I commented on the Lua Lua rumour several blogs back and got the impression that everyone thought I was trying to start it, glad to see I was not dreaming. As for foreign players s I said yesterday they are basically mercenaries and will go usually to the highest bidders although they will normally commit to whoever they are with. It’s a bit like pre Garibaldi Italy

  • Marguerite

    Sep 6, 2007 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #3

    Like George I feel strongly about this and agree with his comments however, I am convinced it goes much deeper than this.

    To rectify what is wrong with the dearth of young English players coming through needs to be addressed as early as 5, 6 and 7.

    We need look no further than Holland, Spain, France etc., to know they are approaching this in an entirely different way and reaping the success from their more enlightened methods. At this young age they are encouraged to go out and express themselves and are not held back by over coaching in the formal sense. They are encouraged to gain technical skills and flair with the ball. As a result by the time they have reached the ages of 14 & 15 their ability on the ball is light years ahead of their English counterparts. I refuse to accept this is a ‘given’ to the Latin American people and not to the English. In my view it is the coaching that is wrong. Unfortunately, until this is addressed nothing will change. The foreign imports will continue to flood in and money from the English game will flood out.

    The premiership club’s academies are charged with being centres of excellence and these are failing too. Let’s face it, their No. 1 priority is to the club itself and kids of 15, 16 and 17 are being brought in from Europe and the African nations (Cesc Fabregas).

    Our own FA are the biggest culprits, they have spent obscene amounts of money on Wembley whilst the School of Excellence has been shelved with the land allocated standing idle with padlocks on the gates. Howard Wilkinson, before Brooking was spelling this out to us years ago.

    The government could play its part too in funding primary / junior schools. Perhaps they / the FA could put a levy on all transfers of foreign players coming into the English game of 0.5% or similar with that money being used to set up modern and forward thinking schools of excellence throughout the UK employing top notch coaches.

    Even if this were to happen it would be 15 years minimum before we would begin to reap the benefits

  • Andreas

    Sep 6, 2007 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Sounds great George! Get rid of/ban all (or most) foregin players from EPL and, voíla, the English national team will surely win the World Cup…or maybe not. It would mean a crap EPL with severe financial problems (i.e way less TV-money) and no better national team.

  • iain

    Sep 6, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #5

    troisi has looked good if even from the few short clips i have seen of him.

    hewas another in pre season who stood out albeit in easy paced games.

    he certainly looks like he has good technique and awareness two key atrributes you cant coach into young players imo.

    krul and carroll will probably break trough before troisi does though.

  • dragoner

    Sep 6, 2007 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #6

    personally i think you have to choose whether you want to have the best domestic league, or a high quality national side, there is NO WAY that if a restriction would be passed to limit the amount of foreign players we would still have the best domestic league, because lets face it, the majority of top class players in the premier league in all positions are foreign.

    I also believe the ridiculous over-pricing of British or English talent does not help the national team. Very few managers are going to sign expensive English players if they can buy a player of the same or better quality (often the case) for a cheaper price. Michael Carrick, Darren Bent, and Owen Hargreaves are all clear examples of this.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Sep 6, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #7

    We have some decent youngsters coming through the ranks but need to send them on loan on a regular basis to prepare them for PL football. Many will not make the grade, but we should be selling them off at a decent price to recover money to improve the academy.

    Expect this to happen as Ashley and Mort are business men and that means the NUFC Academy paying for itself over time……

    Limiting foreigners in PL will not work unless all European leagues follow and this won’t happen!

  • Marguerite

    Sep 6, 2007 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #8

    Iain – agree but unfortunately Troisi is Autralian and Krul is Dutch!!

    Dragoner – You have hit the nail on the head, but hell we INVENTED THE GAME.

    Why are our kids not being given the same opportunities/ chances?

    Sorry to seem heavy guys, but as you can guess I feel pretty strongly about this.

  • iain

    Sep 6, 2007 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #9

    er i did notice that.

    that wont stop them playing for nufc i dont give a monkeys about england.

    the one time we won the world cup im pretty sure we didnt need or have million pound+ academies.

    what you need is naturally talented players and a good manager.

    we live in a small country so logic dictates we will have a smaller pool of talent than bigger countries. deal with it. its what you do with the talent you have that counts.

    we have the biggest pool of u21 internationals ever playing in the pl and probably would of won the u21 euro championships had 2 of the best players bothered to turn up. and players like lennon been sent down from the full sqaud and allowed to play. how do players like lennon learn sitting on the bench when they could of learnt from the pressure situation of that competition.

    im 23 i cant ever remember us having such a pool of young talent this good. ffs spurs just payed leeds millions for a 16 yr old danny rose to play in their reserves.

    the problem imo is young kids playing in lower leagues suffer becuase proper football isnt played or encouraged, its all pretty much long ball. how does that prepare young players techniques for int class football. simple it doesnt.

    thats why in spain they have there b teams in the lower divisions because the football is the same. it would never work over here because the kids would just get kicked from piller to post for simply having talent and never be seen actually showing their skills. i bet theres laods of naturally talented players in the lower leagues but the majority of wont show through.

  • Punk Skunk

    Sep 6, 2007 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Hey guys, to be honest, i’m sick of hearing ‘foreigners’ & that they’re the ‘problem’!..When it’s obviously the way things are set up over here.
    …Surely a better system would be like the American ‘model’, college football,
    properly subsidized, & probably comprized of the 2 ‘lower’ leagues teams?..
    …Wouldn’t that mean: Kids playing football, teams surviving(people turning out to watch the kids coming thru), kids movin’ to ‘big’ clubs when ready & not having massive wages @ 16-18, & also, getting an education in the meantime, in case it doesn’t work out for them in football?..
    …Most of the players coming to Britain are ‘fellow Europeans’, & hey, it’s not like we can’t go where the hell we like to work etc.
    …As for our recent signings; At least we bought a couple of top British players in Smith & Barton. We also play Given, Harper, Carr, Milner, Taylor, Butt, Ameobi, Owen, Duff, Ramage et al. Have i missed anyone?..
    …Howy the Lads!..

  • Ryan

    Sep 6, 2007 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #11

    You say we need to look to the example of holland and spain but when was the last time they won a world cup or a european championship. They have produced good players undoubtedly but since when does that guarantee success? As for France yes they won recently and made it to the finals last year, but look at the average age of that squad, Makalele, Zidane, Henry, Thuram etc… They played with an experienced squad that knew how to get results but i certainly wouldn’t say that have a huge amount of youth players capable of becoming world class and winning them trophies.
    For me England has a squad capable of winning trophies but we haven’t in years and we now seem to be looking for excuses as to why. What we need is a good manager and tactician regardless of his nationality that knows were good enough to win it and the press to get behind the team as opposed to slandering. We have many promising youngsters coming up throughout the country and this argument just seems to be the flavor of the month. As for the stats that point to foreigners, thats just the advancement of the game and the premiership. English players that do break into premiership teams will be playing in the best league in the world and that can only be a good thing.

  • Hadji

    Sep 6, 2007 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #12

    I would’t like my team to be like Arsenal.I’m trying to figure it out about Arsenal’s starting 11 this season and it turns out that there isn’t any English players at the moment.
    Eboue(Ivorian or Ghanian)Not quite sure
    Sagna(French with Senegalese routs)
    Van Persie(Dutch)
    If i add Da Silva who’s gonna be a starter soon so young Bendtner can forget about playing as a starter and god knows when Hoyte is gonna cement his place in the starting 11.
    Do i want this?No thanks.

  • Hadji

    Sep 6, 2007 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #13

    You want a good National selector?
    Mclarren OUT
    Cappelo IN

  • dragoner

    Sep 6, 2007 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #14

    Hadji why does it matter where they are from? the fact is Arsenal have an amazing squad and will be immense in the future…i wouldn’t mind having more foreigners myself, and i hate to tell you, but if we are to make the massive jump from top 8 to top 4 we WILL need foreigners

  • Plymtoon

    Sep 7, 2007 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #15

    Imo we need a good manager and we can win things as a national team. We are lucky in one respect as i think big sam was the best english manager and should have got the england job. As far as getting a good manager is concerned the fa are at fault! We could have got Hiddink ffs and he would have come too! Now we have to beat his team to get to the world cup! He got australia to the finals! If he can do that god knows what he could have done with us???

  • Hadji

    Sep 7, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #16

    Dragoner…Yes i know we need them,and we need them a lot but still keep one or two in the starting 11 just to say that Newcastle is from England….What the hell are saying man…Ok let me ask you something..Why is AC Milan more popular than Inter?Cause in Milan at least 60% of the starting 11 are Italians and they are the current champions of Europe so don’t tell me that foreigners is a MUST to have in our team.If you like our team to be like Arsenal then you’re on the wrong page.Every top team such as Newcastle should have at least 3 English starters which is the case now having:Milner,Smith,Owen,Butt,Taylor.I counted 5 instead of 3 but never mind,you got my point.

  • dragoner

    Sep 7, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #17

    Hadji – “Every top team such as Newcastle should have at least 3 English starters”…why? give me a REAL reason

    AC Milan have many Italian players yes, all of which are WORLD CLASS, if the players are world class then it is not an issue, however you will have quite a task in finding enough world class English players in order to ensure that all Premier League Teams have at least 3 starters, the simple fact of the matter is there aren’t enough Terrys, Carricks, Gerrards and Owens for your view to EVER be realistic…. so yes foreigners ARE a must if you want to challenge Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool…and look at that, the ARSENALS too


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