Keegan Inspires Young Tozer And Others At Newcastle

An excellent article from Miles Starforth today in the Sunderland Echo, where Miles has held an interview with one of our very top young stars, 18 year-old Ben Tozer.


Ben Tozer – loves it at Newcastle,  just loves it

Ben was one of our  first signings in January, and he performed so very well for the Reserves through the end of the season, and it’s probably a bit of an understatement to say he looks like a really good prospect for the future.

And the Plymouth-born 18 year-old seems so very keen to return to pre-season training next week, so he can start working with Kevin Keegan again and getting more tips from the gaffer.

The 18-year-old was signed from Swindon Town in early January in a deal that’s probably going to cost us around £1M to his former club Swindon Town, but he’ll be more than worth that.

It seems like Kevin has taken a very keen interest in all our youngsters, and seems only too willing to embrace the youth strategy that was initiated at the club, before he arrived back.

Hopefully some of these great youngsters we have, will shortly start pushing for a first team place.

It was noticeable last season that Kevin attended almost every single Reserve team game, both home and away, and that in itself is just a great message to the youngsters.

Kevin is showing quite clearly by his actions, that he is following the development of all the youngsters at the club.

Just terrific man management from Kevin Keegan.

And Tozer says Kevin’s individual help and encouragement has meant a lot to him these last several months:

“I speak to Kevin Keegan pretty much on a daily basis, and he’s a really nice bloke.”

“He’s always very positive and keen to know how I’m doing.”

“He’s also got lots of good ideas, which he passes on to the players.”

Before he arrived on Tyneside, Tozer played a handful of first-team games for Swindon Town, and he has obviously been tagged as a player with tremendous potential at the club, and at 6’1″ he is probably still growing.

Ben can play at either center-back or left-back, and he may even be sent out for 6 months on loan to a Championship side next season, to accelerate his football development, and maybe center-back will become his best position as he develops further.

Tozer continued:

“I’m glad to get back to Newcastle for pre-season training – I love it,”

“I’m only six months into my (four-year contract) with Newcastle, but I’m pleased with my progress.”

“Obviously, I want to play in the first team, hopefully this season, but a lot will depend on which players we sign.”

“I’ve been happy playing in the reserves – it’s all a learning curve for me. I was really pleased that we won the Northumberland Cup – there is a lot of local rivalry on Tyneside.”

“I’ve been playing center back in the reserves, although if they want me to play at left-back that’s fine, too.”

“I’m working hard at getting fitter and stronger – there’s already a difference in me, and I think I’ll be stronger again this year.”

Ben is just a fantastic lad, and as you can see from his comments, is just over the moon to be at the Newcastle club, and has such a positive attitude.

It gives us all a lift when you hear what Ben thinks of the club, and he’s not even a Geordie, although he probably was one in a former life.

Yes, that would explain it. 😀

Comments welcome.

145 comments so far

  • Albert Stigys

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #1

    Kadar, Tozer and Edgar all look very good centre backs.

    Good news for the toon!

  • Yahya Ahmad

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Kadar looks better and I soon or later, I would like to see Ben Tozer, Fabio Zamblera and Tamas Kadar in the first team squad!

  • Chris

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #3

    Sounds a cracking lad with his feet on the ground. It’s good to see that Keegan is talking to the younger players on a regular basis, that must fill them with confidence.
    Hope Aaron Spear signs soon, can’t understand the hold up. Get the lad signed Mr. Wise! 🙂

  • Andrew Whitaker

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #4

    Great to hear when the young lads are settling in well and not getting home sick or anything. Certainly seems like a great signing for the future. Good article Ed, although I wonder how much research you do into the sunderland echo wen your in america! good work though.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #5

    Why do people want to see Zamblera play in he first team, hes only played about 30 mins of reserve football!

  • Yahya Ahmad

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #6

    I cant wait for new defenders to come!

  • Albert Stigys

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #7

    Agree with Tom_Toon about Zamblera. Simply because he has been ridiculously touted as an Italian wonderkid, does not mean he should be a first teamer. Wesley N’go Baheng, before his injury looked far better.

  • Matthew

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #8

    The original interview was done with Plymouth’s local paper the Herald, thieving Mackem.

  • Hadrian

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #9

    dont think edgar is going to make it tbh 🙁
    might see kadar and tozer off the subs bench in a first team match next season , but im expecting lua lua & carrol to be the ones breaking through this year .
    both have really impressed me , not sure what happened to carrol on his loan spell cos everytime ive watched him for the toon and reserves he’s done a great job , lua lua is defo a keegan type of player aswell , think that lad can be a star .

  • micepie

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    Comment #10

    Has anyone mentioned yet that if you go on to the official site and the first team squad that there are blank spaces created for a mf and defender? Obviously the mf will be Gutierrez but is there a planned df on the way?

    This is probably old hat already on here, but just thought I’d add it anyway.

  • Ross G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Zamblera is arguably the worst of our recent aquasitions in order from my own experience of seeing them:
    1. Kadar- he is better with the ball, modern CB
    2. Tozer
    3. Baheng
    4. Zamblera
    5. Soderberg

    Mind you there are others alread here. Matty Grieve is a massive CB who looked really good jus turned 18. The Northern Ireland under 18 captain Paddy McLaughlin also looks good in CM for the younger Academy lot.

  • dacvid toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #12

    sign vadim demidov from rosenborg please.he,s great.cb or dm.outstanding talent.

  • Ross G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #13

    MICEPIE – think about it mate the website would not know before us, and they are the gaps left by Stephen Carr and Rozenhal in Defence, and the Midfield is where Emre was, good try though

  • 51times

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #14

    It’s Zamblera not Zambrela.

  • The Entertainers

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #15

    Its great seeing so many promising youngsters coming through.

    I cant remember a time when we had so many promise. Would probably go back to the Clark, Elliot, Watson era. But we seem to have alot more these days.

    Hope to see a break through next season, whether that be at SJP or else where on loan.

    Good luck lads

  • Ross G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #16

    Personally although im happy we are after young players I would like to see us add some foreign flair in strikers, and wingers ith CM too. Defenders seem to be our sole strategy. There are some amazing young players about that we could get for cheap we need to take advantage more predominantly like Liverpool. They seem to take on new youngsters ever day.

  • geordiekk

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #17

    its just the spaces left by departing players i think

  • Albert Stigys

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #18

    From what I’ve seen of the reserves, Tamas Kadar and Kazenga Lualua look top class. Tamas is as solid as a rock, and Kazenga is similar to N’Zogbia, but with that extra bit of pace. (Not that Zog is slow!) NUFC are doing extremely well in nurturing our young talent IMO.

  • Dirk

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #19

    i think edgar deserves a shot at first team b4 we start introducin tozer and kadar. hes always looked good when hes played first team and should b given his chance this season.

  • Mad_Magpie

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #20

    Foreign players with great technical ability coming in is good. However, I still feel that we need an English spine and need to take the potential 6 plus 5 rule into account. Aaron Spear and Ben Tozer are still a few years away from the first team, especially the former.
    Our academy just hasn’t produced in recent years other than Taylor and Carrol. Where is the next Waddle or Beardsley? It’s all well and good nicking players from foreign academys but the supporters don’t have the same connection with them if they’re not local. You know it means the world to a local player to pull on the B&W shirt.
    English clubs ask too much for quality English players though (Bent, Barry among others) so looking to the football league may not be the worst thing we could do.

  • Tjodalf

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #21

    Someone mentioned Vadim Demidov from Rosenborg here, and I must say, he is an extraordinary talent. He is the new Albert. Attacking CB with all the right attributes. He also can chip in with a goal, and should come quite cheap from the Norwegian side even though he plays on the first team.

  • Neil Snowdon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #22

    Dear Ed,

    The sun is sinking slowly in the west here and a most hectic 48 hours will soon be over! On behalf of the vast majority of Toon bloggers can I thank you for your efforts. They are much appreciated this side of the pond! I can’t be bothered going back to see who it was that initiated the Aimar hare, but the fact it produced mayhem shows how popular a source your/our site is. Occasionally, you’ll err, don’t we all! Some of the proof reading by contributors leaves a little to be desired. But we’re not sitting English GCSE.

    Off topic. Gutierrez shouldn’t be another Luque. That one always had a smell about it. The club shafted us and Souness gambled on Luque’s record a season earlier. We received an unfit, overweight, out of form player at an exhorbitant price!
    Spiderman is fit, certainly in good trim, good enough for an outing in the National team and probably will cost us a reasonable amount.

    As Neil Young and I say :

    Long may you run, Ed!



  • Matthew

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #23

    The best thing the club can do for the likes of Tozer, Carroll, Lua Lua and Kadar is to send them out on loan for a season.

    They’re not good enough for the first team yet but are at a level of quality where they won’t really get challenged at reserve level.

    Send Krul back out too.

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #24

    Id say Lualua is good enough for the first team.

    Its hard to judge when young defenders are ready for the first team, thats why im not sure.


    Jul 3, 2008 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #25

    I dont think we should sign Inler at all we need a creative midfielder, Had we signed Modric then i would be all for another DM but we have lost Solano, Dyer and Emre over the last 2 seasons and we need some proper creativity in our midfield.

    Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay Affellay

    Please please Liverpool and Man Utd relieve Spurs of Keane and Berbatov, I would piss myself

  • Football Betting King

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #26

    This is a joke right? Bets headline ever: Keegan Inspires young Tozer… hahhahaha

    But seriously, if we want to compete with the other big clubs, this is exactly what we need to do. Wenger has been doing it for years at Arsenal, and Rafa Benitez has won 2 youth cups and a reserve league with his new band of young foreigners.

    Let’s hope it bears some fruit for the first team.

  • valle

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:14 PM

    Comment #27

    This interview is kinda old, i read at least 3-4 days ago…

  • Danny G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:26 PM

    Comment #28

    This is the young lad we need, Hes only 19 nd scored 15 first team goals already!

    I know it sounds cliche but he reminds me of young michael owen!

    Tom_Toon probably knows who he is…lol

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #29

    I know who Sulejmani is Chelsea want him, i think hes close to agreeing a deal with Ajax though.

    Can play AM, striker and winger, but in holland must play 4-3-3 so he plays on the wing of the front three. Ajax are rumours to have bid i think about £11mil.

  • Danny G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #30

    11 million? Bloody hell!

    We can let Ajax make him great and nick him in a few year…haha

    By the way Tom…is there anything you don’t know ;-)?

  • Tom

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #31

    I really don’t know what Ed keeps banging on about Edgar for, the fact is, the kid is just not good enough, anyone who watches the reserves like myself will be fully aware, that, although a good leader his positioning is poor and I’ve seen african dictators distribute funds better than this lad can distribute a football. Sorry but he will be gone this summer if not next

  • scott9

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #32

    i wish wen epople name teams on here for nxt season they wud stop putting owen in midfield in a 4 4 2 formation they only way he will play in midfiled is behind the front 2 in a 4 3 3 formation as he doesnt hav to defend as much and geremi n barton push in the middle u cudnt play with 2 in and out wingers then owen in midfiled in a 4 4 2 it just wudnt work as well and he wud not b happy playin in that position

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:39 PM

    Comment #33

    Yes, lots!

    I’ve never really seen Gutierrez for one, only briefly.


    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:43 PM

    Comment #34

    The only footage ive seen of Guttierez was on Sky sports news yesterday, a 10 second clip of a good solo goal, But his stats arent really impressive

    5 assists and 2 goals for a winger aint great.


    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:46 PM

    Comment #35

    Ive also been researching Jinky Jimmys form and in the last 3 seasons for us and Villa he has 30 assists and 12 goals.

    Not shabby for a player who cannot run, dribble, cross a ball or take a set piece.

  • Danny G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:50 PM

    Comment #36

    Me and you both Tom_Toon…

    To be honest i think it is meant to be Gutierrez general play which is meant to be impressive…

    I read on that Guilleme Ballague said he was a better version of Yossi Benayoun…which sounds impressive!

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #37

    So basically can do everything very well except from shoot and score then.


    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:53 PM

    Comment #38

    He can do them too.

  • Danny G

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #39

    Yeah basically :-/….Lets hope Mickey Owen and Oba are doing plenty of the scoring then!

    I don’t think Kev would agree to sign a player if he wasn’t better than what we had…I have a sneaky feeling we got Jonas instead of Arda!

  • Tom_Toon

    Jul 3, 2008 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #40

    Danny G – It was actually £14.2mil for Sulejmani,19528,11917_3644409,00.html


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