Kazenga LuaLua Has Earned His Chance at Newcastle

There’s no doubt that Kazenga LuaLua impressed watching Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear on Tuesday night, when the youngsters defeated Oldham 2-1 in the 3rd round of the FA Youth Cup, and of course LuaLua scored both Newcastle goals.

Kazenga LuaLua – impressed on Tuesday night

Newcastle fans are well aware of Kazenga, who has appeared 5 times for the Newcastle first team, as a winger, and has looked an impressive youngster each time, with considerable skill.

With Newcastle so desperately short of central midfielders, there are some reports today that Kazenga could be on the bench at Portsmouth on Sunday, and if Butt or Guthrie get injured or are withdrawn, then Joe may slot LuaLua in central midfield.

If either Butt or Guthrie don’t make the game Joe may even risk starting Kazenga on Sunday, although that would be a gamble.

The youngster can play wide but he can also play in the center, and with his considerable skill, he could surprise a lot of us in the position. But it also shows how threadbare the Newcastle squad is when we may have to put an untested youngster in such an important position in the Newcastle side.

But that takes nothing away from the 18 year-old, who is one of our most impressive youngsters coming through the ranks, and we have lots of those right now.

We’ll look to see what team Joe lines up on Sunday, and we hope Butt and Guthrie can play, and we’ll look to see if Kazenga makes the bench, because if he does, don’t be surprised if he’s given a run-out sometime in the second half.

The youngster has certainly earned his chance, that’s for sure.

Comments welcome.

35 comments so far

  • Patrick

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #1

    If there will be a Guthrie+LuaLua combination in central midfield on Sunday, that would be incredibly fantastic. Sadly, it does not seem to be possible at all.

  • Tom4Nufc

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #2

    Has to be given a game time soon, also if Joe has said he wants to attack from the start, put him infront of Butt, who breaks down every attack for us with his aimless long balls or mis directed passes.

  • Tom4Nufc

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #3

    I hope it is Patrick!

  • steve

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #4

    get him in the team – we need to ensure we put at least one of the talented youngsters in the team if only to show that its possible to break through and give the others encouragement – sadly I dont think JK will and I’d imagine the best of our youngsteres will eventually leave

  • Chris F

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #5

    hangon a sec there, the kid has promise and potential, but he’s untried really in the league.

    throwing him into a starting role in central midfield against the likes of bouba diop etc would be a bit bloody risky to say the least, especially considering he’s a winger.

    some people on here are all too eager to see our kids thrown to the wolves and sadly, it’s probably the same people who then call for the kids to be shown the door when they don’t immediately look the part.

    look at carroll and even xisco, barely given a chance by some of our ‘fans’ and already written off.

    if these kids are to be given a chance, they should never be thrown in at the deep end, it’s far too risky a strategy.

  • Tom4Nufc

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #6

    Chris F, I completely understand why you have that opinion, and I do agree with you on what you say, though I am of the opinion that LuaLua has been waiting in the wings for such a long time, he has to be given a start sooner or later otherwise it may end up being too late for him to breakthrough.

    Look at Rooney at Everton, he was given a chance and was of an unknown quality but he proved himself, I feel now is the time for LuaLua just to be given a chance, though thats just my opinion.

  • selly no skill

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #7

    owen was playing 4 england at 17.why is it such a risk at newcastle to play younger kids.

  • JoshNUFC91

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #8

    can he do any worse than those currently in the team? it would take some one especially sh!t to do so

  • Shearbliss

    Dec 12, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #9

    Chris F has a point. I think in the Prem there are certain times and positions to start kids. For example, on the wing start lua lua as in the center mid position could be too physical against som teams.
    I feel unless a kid has exceptional talent positions like, Goalkeeper, Center back, and center mid should be done by more experience players.
    All be it to play with some one experience but should allow the kids to ease into the prem, hopefully in a winning team!

  • Bill F (Original)

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #10

    The kid is probably dying to play, I’d put money on him not letting us down. As I have already said if he is good enough then he is old enough.

  • Ryan Peacock

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #11

    kazenga, a good talent in the making! give him AT LEAST a place on the bench on sunday!

  • Ian

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #12

    He proved himself ages ago, he should have been in the first team before now.

    Nile Ranger should also have had a few short tries of the premiership to get a feel for the quality he has to aim for, if he settled straight in, then keep him in.

  • Silence of the Llambias

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #13

    This kid is outstanding. He could be like a very expensive new signing in midfield.
    Fortune favours the brave. Got to give it a try sometime, do it Joe, save yourself. Agree also that Ranger should get a taste soon.
    If this starts happening it will cheer us all up.

  • Simon

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #14

    how old was rooney when he got a chance? everton put youngans in all the time and theres obviously arsenal.

    we need to show grit and fight and a youngan who has come through the ranks may just want to prove himself a bit more than butt whos ageing and his contract is nearly up and could well leave in jan.

    lets get some perspective. we need these youngsters, which is another reason why we should consider selling harper, so we dont lose any of the youth goalkeepers.

  • Chris F

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #15

    look, i’m not saying ‘never play him’ i’m saying there is a time and a place, and i’m not sure throwing him into centre mid vs a physical side like pompey is a great idea.

    i’ve seen him play a few times for the reserves, but not for about a year so maybe he has bulked up a bit but when i saw him he got eased off the ball a bit too easily, so i’m not sure a CM role would be a great idea.

    like Shearbliss says, the central spine of a team is not really a place to try untested players in unless theyre clearly fantastic.

    centre forwards can get away with making mistakes more than most positions, as they are so far from their own goal, central mids on the other hand have a lot more responsibility in terms of protecting their defence.

    by all means play lua lua on the wing. hell i’d be happy to see him start on the right, jonas left, with guthrie and n’zogbia in the midfield, but throw lualua straight into the middle, a position he isn’t even overly familiar with?

    suicidal is the word i’d use.

  • Sav

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #16

    ChrisF what do you think it is – coming on here with your common sense!?

    The kid was just 18 this week. Put him on if we are either 2 goals up or chasing the game – either way its less pressure. But the fact is, FatAsh’s lack of investment has left us shorn of midfield talent although, like LB, it has been an obvious weakness for ages. We aren’t even being linked with any. And the LBs we are linked with are all dodgy.
    By talking up Kazenga as a possible starter we are just letting the owner off the hook once more. And this kid isn’t even one of Wise’s youth imports, having been at the club prior to that.

    Am I the only person bothered that of the 5 important first-teamers whose contracts are up, Steve Harper is the only one JFK is now talking about ‘we mustn’t lose him’? Harper is a great guy but probably the most expendable of all our lapsed deal players. No doubt a fans softening-up process as prelude to cashing-in on Tim Krul for 2 million.

  • pedropete

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #17

    i would start him but put him on the left and play N’Zogbia in the center mid

  • Chris F

    Dec 12, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #18

    exactly Sav, as i said earlier, if he started and played badly, you could guarantee that there’d be plenty of people on here calling for him to be sold in january because he ‘isn’t good enough’

    some times these comments make me laugh, other times they make me despair.

  • Nickies Butt 1000

    Dec 12, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #19

    Put him in front of Butt who is obviously past it. Kazenga could be something that were missing in our first team

  • listie

    Dec 12, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #20

    Give him ago he has done well recently, I also believe that Ranger should be given a chance, he is on fire at the moment

  • Shearbliss

    Dec 12, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #21

    I dont know if you lot even watch Prem these days but alot of youngstars are not making the grade! With the exception of Man Utd who could afford to let a few on the pitch because of there star studded team but look at the against AAborg on wed!
    OK lua lua is a good player but remember do we want results or do we want to bring up the youth.
    Ed this would be a good debate for the fans. When I said before that Glen Roader tried to bring through the academy at the highest level we all complained and booed him off the pitch! As i have said that team we watched 2 years ago would have been established know under GR. Under GR Huntington, Edgar, Patterson, Krul,Trosi were all coming through we do not know how they would have been know.
    NUFC fans are not that pahcant! We want results yesterday.
    To all you blogers what do you want your team to be.
    GR tried our academy to a limited succes (eg did not get relegated and made it to 1/4 in UEFA cup) fantastic experience for our youth!
    BS brought in experience Geremi,Casapa,Rozental etc, Absolutly SHOCKING!
    I for one WISH we stayed with GR. I could honestly see his vision and add martins with the crop we had 2 years ago I for onw wanted it to work. But yet again the mob had there say and here we are again.
    IF we go down I hope alot of those in the past would except responsibility for some of the mess we are currently in.
    So it is youngstars (MA) or signings( Sugar Daddy)

  • Richard

    Dec 12, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #22

    I agree with Nickies Butt 1000.

    We should look at a diamond in the middle.

    Jonas on the Right, Zog on the left.
    Butt/Guthrie in a Deeper defensive midfield role and LuaLua in a more attcking midfield role.

    Lineup vs Pompey:

    ————————LUA LUA————————


  • keith

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #23

    i think its time for a few of the younger players to start getting a chance , i agree with shearbliss i was quite disappointed when roeder left, i thought he had done a good job and deserved more time. He did have to try replace sherear and our first season without him was always going to be extremely hard but he done alright , he was quite prudent in the transfer market aswell

  • Richard

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #24

    I feel youth is a more sound investment than paying out all the cash we do for these players who cost us millions, they do no good and we flog them for about half the price after paying them a years’ ludicrous wages!

    Rozhenal, Boumsong, Carr, Geremi, Cacapa, to name a few recent ones!

  • JP...from The Rock

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #25

    I would rather let Forster go and KEEP TIM KRUL! After all the promise he showed to us all in the Uefa cup I wouldn’t even consider selling Krul. I would keep Krul and perhaps sell Harper or keep Harper on aswell and offload Forster which I think is well over-rated.

    KEEP KRUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shearbliss

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #26

    Also to add Keith MO was out for most of the season leaving Shola with a hip problem and Martins our only fit strikers! To add to that Duff was out most of the season so he had done remarkably well in those curcumstances.

  • Who is Derek Llambias?

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #27

    given the connections with Lua Lua’s and pompey I’d love to see it happen. Its the sort of thing that always seems to write its own headlines in football, for the good that is. Here’s hoping anyway

  • Ian

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #28

    Some sportsmen peak at different ages, the way football is run at the moment they are applying a set formula, if they did that in some other sports then Tyson would never have been world champion as they would have said he was to young, Jonathan Reay the top motorcycle rider would never have got a factory ride and wouldnt now be in the Worldsuperbikes and so on.

    I think there are two very important reasons for youngsters to play, one is in case they peak early and are of the standard already, the other is to avoid the Andy Carroll syndrome, superstar in his own head, even if they arent quite ready they need to see the standard they have to aim for to keep them eager to train.

    However i think Lua Lua is as good as any striker that we would be willing to pay for, in fact with our past budget I do not think we would buy a player of his quality especially in Jan.

  • Ian

    Dec 12, 2008 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #29

    replace striker with midfielder!! Wrong Lua lua

  • Chris F

    Dec 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #30

    i agree, he does deserve a chance, i don’t deny that, i just don’t think he should be played in central mid vs pompey lol!

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 12, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #31

    He should have been playing more last season too.

    We should have kept Troisi aswell, he is doing well in Turkey.

  • Elliott

    Dec 12, 2008 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #32

    I can’t for the life of me see JK playing Zogs, LuaLua and Jonas in the same midfield away from home but it would be interesting. Would be easier to risk if we had TWO dependable fullbacks.

    Although I’m not convinced of N’Zogbia in CM, personally I would play him there as although he has his faults in losing the ball, so do all our other available CMs. At least Zogs adds pace, penetration and power. If he stays in the team and improves game by game like the last 2 he could get back to how he was playing for Souness, which was exciting. I feel he might crack one in on Saturday.

    I’d also be interested to see Colo in midfield, apparently that’s where KK wanted to play him.

  • Piers

    Dec 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #33

    We should wait till we come home to start Lua Lua….but by all means put him on the bench!

  • Piers

    Dec 12, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #34

    Richard- yeah thats the only formation that would work….he is an attacking midfielder

  • brutooooon

    Dec 13, 2008 at 6:53 AM

    Comment #35

    we got good youngsters, but they rarely got a chance because every year is a relegation battle for us….

    If ranger,lua lua, tozer,kadar are in team like arsenal, they would already got games in their hand….


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