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Best Will Only Get Better At Newcastle United

6:40 pm, Monday, February 1st, 2010 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

Magpies  manager Chris Hughton is confident that today’s arrival from Coventry City, Leon Best, can develop into a better player at Newcastle United.

Leon Best – new arrival at Newcastle today

Leon started his career at Southampton, who have had an excellent youth policy these last several years, and one we hope Newcastle can soon emulate.

Leon is still young, having turned 23 only last September, and he was a surprise signing by Newcastle today.

Leon made his international debut for Ireland last May against Nigeria, and so far has 4 caps for his country – with hopefully many more still to come.

Leon has 10 goals this season, just one short of Kevin Nolan, so he has been hitting the back of the net quite frequently, and of course Leon was the Coca Cola Championship Player for September.

Chris Hughton spoke about his new recruit this afternoon:

“What people forget is how young Leon is because he’s been around for a few years now,”

“He was one of a number of young players at Southampton who came through together and showed a lot of promise.”

“He is a good age, at 23, and certainly has his best years ahead of him.” “He has a lot of development left in him and we hope to see that here at Newcastle.”

“This season has also been his best in terms of goals and he’s into double figures.” “I think he will bring more options in attack and I’m delighted to complete the deal.”

We hope the lad turns out to be an excellent signing for us, and we have been impressed with the way the coaches and staff have lined up their targets in this transfer window.

Obviously they had done their homework before January arrived, and while we were turned back by our first two targets in Beckford and Killgallon – the club still managed to bring in some good players – and we think we now have stronger and certainly bigger squad than in December.

That was the goal of this transfer window, after all.

Now it’s got be all out for promotion for the rest of the season, starting against Cardiff City at home on Friday night.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Leon Best · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MacToon // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Is he gonna be our new Andy Cole? I hope so.

    I just worry that he’s not better than what we already have and could stop the likes of Ranger’s development. Hope I’m wrong.

    Funny how Hughton prefers to try untested youngters rather than play people like LuaLua….

  • 2 Oba // Feb 1, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    What a lot of people are forgetting is that yes, these signings are good for us now, but what about if/when we get promoted. I can’t see many of the signings or current squad being able to step up and keep us in the division.

    We’ll need some investment when/if we go up that’s for sure.

  • 3 Toon1978 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    Must admit Best aint got the (best) scoring record but its another number, we cannpt attract quality but we have quantity to hopefully get us up. I hope Best bangs them in for us good luck to the new lads there gonna need it for the rocky road ahead.

  • 4 tdt // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    GK: Harper, Krul
    LB: Enrique, Annholt
    CB: Collo, S.Taylor, Williamson, Kadar
    RB: Simpson, Hall
    LM: Jonas, Lua Lua
    DM: Smith, Gutherie, Butt
    AM: Barton, Nolan, Vuckic
    RM: Routledge, R.Taylor
    ST: Best, Lovenkrands, Ameobi, Carroll, Ranger.

    Most CCC managers/fans would give their left nut for that squad. We have cover for every position, and decent cover at that.

    We should look to extend Annholts loan deal to the end of the season so we can retain that great cover.

    We can have a really creative team, if we play with Jonas and Routledge on both flanks.

    Ed, why dont you write an article entitled “Mr Hughton, two wings are better than one”, or words to that effect? Simple tactics, why play a CM at LM when you have two out-and-out wingers in the matchday squad?

    My team for Friday’s match:

    Subs: Krul, Kadar, Hall, R.Taylor, Gutherie, Carroll and Ranger.

    If Nolan isnt performing put Gutherie on in his place after 60mins. The same applies for the the strikers, as there are two back-ups on the bench.

    Two wingers with a diamond midfield formation is the way forward.

  • 5 geordielad880 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Best will turn out to be a good signing, seen plenty of the lad, and he is improving, and his scoring record is getting better, i think he will be even better at newcastle, and it isnt exactly a huge gamble at the price

  • 6 Charlie // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    i think best is going to be good and good enough to cut it in the prem in time, with ranger and lovenkrands thats 3 prem strikers, just creative in the centre needed now

  • 7 Toon1978 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM


    You hit the nail on the head about two wing better than one. Why the hell CH put Guthrie on the wings i will never ever know. Its unfair on the lad because you can see he is uncomfortable there and he plays terrible on the flanks, an ameatur could do better. Butt needs to be dropped and Guthrie needs pushed inside along side Smith.







    S.Talyor looks to be out a while and it will be tough to choose who to put in a centre back, a nice little problem.

  • 8 Toon1978 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    LOL i would play Guthrie in a normal 442 formation though .

  • 9 Charlie // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    guthrie looks quite good in the centre but ruins our whole game on the wing just drifts the whole time and i think he could work with smith keep nolan on the bench he needs a rest+ hes playing awfully

  • 10 Toon1978 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Nolan has been poor of late i must admit but he has been one of our best players along with Enrique until recently. I wouldn’t drop him just yet it would be unfair on the lad.

  • 11 Charlie // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    if we keep him pushed foward vehind striker it isnt too bad but when he drops back he is awful, any player just walsk around him i dont think i have seen him or butt win a clean tackle all season!!

  • 12 Toon1978 // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:53 PM


    Yeah he is poor when dropping back therefore i would drop him in behind the front two as Nolan has a nack of being at the right place at the right time. If he continues to play poorly then i would say drop Nolan and put Guthrie behind the front two. The one thing CH needs to drum into the players is to play down the wings make the pitch big and use it all, get to the by line and whip balls in for the big men. We have pace down the right and pace down the left but they need to beat the first man when croosing the ball in. Unfortunately Jonas lets himself down in the last third alough he has improved of late.

  • 13 Charlie // Feb 1, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    i just think that if we drop nolan then it would prove to other players that hughton has balls and you aint gonna get in the team cause of your name and age

  • 14 Toon-Army // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:07 PM
    goal no.5 is leon best. what a beaut!!! +)

  • 15 Geordiedoonsooth // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    I would have liked to see us sign a creative midfield player but beggars can’t ge choosers as they say. We should be glad we got as many players in as we did. I can’t see us keeping Annholt after the month he looks real quality. Not sure about the rest we’ve bought.

  • 16 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    When is Haris Vuckic coming back? Is he in training.

  • 17 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Is Erik Huskelupp ours?

  • 18 dave 1961 // Feb 1, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    i had a bad feeling when Hughton was made manager, and nothing that has happened up to now has given me the slightest hope, i think all the recent signings have been poor, but i will give them a chance to shine, if we fail after the start we had Hughton, Ashley and his gimp should be publicly beheaded on the pitch on the final day.

  • 19 SirAlan // Feb 1, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    I see No reason in Buying Best and giving him a 3yr 6month contract ,…..Waste of money as he wont CUT it in the Premiership..

  • 20 Strauss // Feb 1, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Best will develop and improve, still young fits into the policy, no worries…

  • 21 Suthey // Feb 1, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    SirAlan –

    Good job he is playing in the championship then and not in the prem if you dont rekon he will cut it,

    I rekon hughton has done mint this window, he has spent 3 million or so on ppl who will do well in this league, that is no money wat so ever. And guess what lol there all young and mite even be good prem players, dimonds in the rough, but if not then so what nee money was spent on them

  • 22 Bovinicus // Feb 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Strongest line up should be

    Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique

    Routledge Gutierrez


    Best Lovenkrands

    Please stop playing Butt and Smith together, it’s a train wreck.

  • 23 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    A article from yesterday. Walshall youngster 18 year old Sean Geddes who rejected manchester when 16! And we want him i suppose.

  • 24 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:08 PM


    R.Taylor—Williamson—-Colo–Van Aanholt




  • 25 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Beauty line up yaa?

  • 26 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    We can use this lineup at Cardiff on Friday. The only thing is No one will tell me if Haris Vuckic is fit yet. Hope he is. By the way Leon Best is good player you will see. He is a faster version of VIduka, and more powerfuller.

  • 27 Oba // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    No, swap Guthrie and Nolan around, Nolan can’t play CM, he needs to be further up the field.

    Oh and R.Taylor is crap, he’s bad enough at RM but RB he’s even worse. S.Taylor would be a better choice.

  • 28 Toonmania // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    i think the team is good enough to get us upto the prem, but as others have said not sure if they are good enough to stay there but lets not run before we can walk, and if we do go up i would like to see a new young manager brought in someone like darren ferguson we need soeone with a bit of gumption someone who is not afraid of dropping players if there not performing no matter what there name is

  • 29 batty // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    toonmania aye and maybe his dad could do us a few favors

  • 30 Toonmania // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    what by retiring?? lol!!

  • 31 Tim // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    i know its in the minority but why are people saying that newcastle sould get rid of hughton? Its crazy. He is a new manager and we couldnt have asked for any more from him so far. He has stableised the team and has them top of the league. We could have crumbled as many had predicted when we dropped into this league but we didnt. The team are as united as they have been in years and the players are playing for the club-not themselves. CH has acted quickly in this transfer window to bring in the players who he thought were right, ok admittedly we missed out on a couple but i am not gunna shoot the new lads down until they have shown us what they are about. Ok we may not have a team that will challenge in the premiership at the moment but we are in the championship as it stands and we can jump that hurdle when it arrives. I have faith in him and so should all of you.

  • 32 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM


    You might think Ryan Taylor is crap right now. But when Shola Ameobi is fit, their partnership is excellent. He crosses and Ameobi does what he has got to do.

  • 33 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 10:54 PM


    All we needed to finish this window was Victor Moses, or Erik Huskelupp + Per Ciljan Skjelbred.

    Why the fuk will we not go and bid for Per Ciljan Skjelbred, he is a Newcastle supporter all life long, and last year rejected some premier league teams to join us, but appearantly we didn’t go after him.

  • 34 baro // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:04 PM



    —————————-Miguel Veloso———


    Diogo 10-15 million from Olympiakos
    Skjelbred 5 million from Rosenberg
    Rodallega 7-10 million from Wigan
    Miguel Veloso 8-12 million from Sporting
    Simao 3-5 million from Panathinaikos
    Torosidis 7-8 million from OLympiakos
    Dominic Adiyiah loan from AC milan
    SOtiris Ninis 5-10

  • 35 Mac // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    baro,are u pissed?

  • 36 Tim // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    yea they would have all been good signings but you have to remember that hughton had to work with what he was given but fat mike. you cant blame him for those players not coming. he tried his best and declared an interest but the chairman didnt cough up the cash at the end of the day so there was nothing he could do.

    Regarding Skjelbred, I dont think he has been a target under hughton-keegan defo. and i know he said no to sunderland in the summer but you cant expect us to bid for him just because of that. Im sure the scouts are aware of this player but you have to trust their PROFESSIONAL judgement-we are just fans. you have to remember that there are many players out there that could fill that gap and im sure if the mangement thought he was a viable option they would have made enquiries. CH is not stupid nor is anyone in the backroom staff. AS for your prem team…some of the names are a bit greek influenced lol but i would be happy to see a few of them in black and white. Lets just concentrate on putting forward our ideas for team selection for Cardiff 🙂

  • 37 Tim // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    For Cardiff

    Harper (obviously)

    Simpson – Colo – Will – Ana

    Routy- Guthrie – Nolan – Jonas

    Carrol – Best

  • 38 NewcastleMole // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:37 PM


    i like the fact uv pissed all that money away yet kept Routledge

    Simão is a DM

  • 39 tdt // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    CH has been very good this season, no doubt about that. He has also made some very necessary signings in this window that we were all screaming out for in December. His only downfall so far in his managerial career is that he has been too defence-minded. However this is not supprising as his is defensive coach.

    If CH can learn to be more attacking with his tactics when appropriate (ie when leceister went down to 10 men, put jonas on for butt?) he can be a very successful manager for us.

    I hope (and think) that ashley will sell up to someone in the summer after promotion, as this will make him much more money than when we’re in CCC – simple business sense. So, he obviously has told CH to get us back to the PL at the cheapest price possible – also simple business sense from his perspective. Once up, sell, get money back, bugger off.


    Ashley has more long-term plans in mind. This is evident by the purchase of young players rather than old. CH may be selecting the likes of Best and Routledge, but its ashley who rubber stamps the deals. Maybe he plans on sticking around, fulfilling the young developement plan and “do an aston villa”, with the arsenal model as the ultimate goal. Villa would be half as good as they are today without their youth system, and arsenal would be the same.

    At the end of the day, a long term plan and consistent stabalility is the key to success – look at man u, arsenal and liverpool (to a lesser degree), long-term managers and strategic plans lead to success.

    I dont like the way ashley has reined over the worse times the toon have seen for many a year, but was his fate enevitable? Was the ever increasing debt going to result in this implosion regardless of ashley coming in? Is he the unfortuate muppet that bought a financially crippled club for Sheppard? I dont know, but one thing i do know, shouting “off with their heads” everytime sometime goes wrong will always end up in tears.

  • 40 Ed Harrison // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Tim – I don’t blame Chris one little bit – in fact I applaud him for working with Mike and Derek – and it’s a good job he has a lot of patience.
    But we do need a top performance Friday night – to get things back on track.
    Chris is low key and steady – and maybe exactly what we needed to get our club back on track.

  • 41 Ed Harrison // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    I don’t think Ashley will sell the club in the summer – why sell when he – with the great help of Chris and our other coaches – has got the club back on track.
    But we’ll see.

  • 42 tdt // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    That was what I was thinking Ed, he may sell because the fans generally hate him. However it would make sense in business terms for him to stick around after the summer, but then he would have to invest a significant ammount of money to keep us in the PL after that. Tough call.

  • 43 NewcastleMole // Feb 1, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Ashley will know he has to sell. Spent as little as possible to ensure promotion.

    If get promoted we’ll have a poor premiership squad with a hand full of players capable of playing in the top flight.

    Is he really going to risk investing more money in the club knowing a 2nd relegation will cripple the club.

    Then theres Hughton he’s done an job in the championship but in the majority of matches its obvious he lacks a plan b. Its also a shame to see us not annihilate a team 🙁

    Ashley has 1 chance to get out whether he does or not remains to be seen

  • 44 Tim // Feb 2, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    I fully agree ed. The last few away results have been disappointing but it happens to every team at one point and i believe that once we get that win again on the road, im possitive that we will march on in the rest of the season and win the league. There is no reason why we shouldnt.

    tdt- yes he is too defensive but you have to admit although it may seem boring to the fans who like attractive football, the defence has been crap for years, low on confidence, and always an achilles heel to our team. we had 2 clean sheets (i think last season)- this season, although i realise in a lower league, we have had around 15. I for one am not complaining. We have let in 16 league goals in 27 matches. This is the way to get promoted from this division. This is what we have needed for a long long time. I too favour attacking football; who doesnt? but if it is this way that Chris is taking us and succeeding, i cant complain. We can only hope that next season he can find his PL feet and hope those feet are slightly more attacking =].

  • 45 TheHeyman // Feb 2, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    My only problem is that we are not passing the ball quick enough, a bit slow and ponderous. We get out of jail because we have better players but struggle to punish the opposition. Two wingers will help and leave out the long punts to the big men.

  • 46 baro // Feb 2, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    Newcastle Mole

    Simao is DM or CB

    Remember COloccini was DM but we changed that and made it CB.

  • 47 NO.9 // Feb 2, 2010 at 3:06 AM

    hey guys…do any body else think that we will have to sell harper in the summer…I know he have been performing well..but I dont think that we can keep both krul and forster out for a long time…these 2 guys are the future..

  • 48 Charlietoon // Feb 2, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    I hope that Robbie Keane has an average 6 month loan at celtic. His value drops and we can get him next year. He’ll be used to the cold and the chance to be number 9 will motivate him

  • 49 The Entertainers // Feb 2, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    So we moved for our 3rd choice striker, i say 3rd there may even be others!

    1. Having a great season with a poor Coventry
    2. Right age
    3. British (ok technically Irish) will help him settle.
    4. Cheap

    1. Never shown consistancy
    2.Appears too similar to our other forwards.

    I’m not at all optimistic about the lad, however i would be more than happy for him to shove my words down my throat.

    I was hoping for a striker, a striker in the old fashioned sense of the word (Beckford / Boyd).

    I would even have taken McDonald form Celtic who i think is the best signing in the CCC.

    Shamed to even suggest it but our we now the 3rd stronest team in the N.E when it comes to spending power. Shamed or not i believe it to be true!

    We deserve better than bloody Ashley!

  • 50 lesh // Feb 2, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    There now, it’s done, the window closed.

    Hughton’s happy so all he’s got to do is get the players to meld and produce the results we hope for.

    Not a lot to ask eh?

  • 51 lesh // Feb 2, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    I do not apologise for Ashley and recognise that he has made some errors of judgement.

    But, for heck’s sake, do some folk not recognise that the club could have gone to the wall if it had continued to have been run on the Shepherd model?

    Does it not register that the club needed to tighten the finances and lower its debt levels and payroll costs to survive?

    Is it not appreciated that there was and is the need to work within sensible parameters and not over extend or borrow more than necessary?

    Ashley’s done and is doing those things and one thing’s for certain is that if and when we go up, we’ll be a much more attractive proposition to any prospective buyer. Isn’t that what the anti-Ashley crusaders want?

    Let’s just stop whinging and look forward, support the players and staff that are here. Doing that, I’m confident that the results you want, both on and off the field, short and long term, will be delivered.

    To the sceptics, I’d like to think that you can and will be positive. Is that a realistic possibility?

  • 52 Mark-o // Feb 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    I cant believe some of you lot! What do you want? Messi and Ronaldo?
    We are top of the league, lets not forget that. The performances have been below par fair enough, but top of the league none the less. The players we have brung in will be good enough to get us up and its then up to them to prove they are good enough for the prem. Its the same with every other promoted club.

    Now as i make my next point i have to point out that Ashley has to go. The mistakes he has made are unforgivable and, unless he secures Man Citeh type investment for next season, i never want to see his ugly face again.
    However, he deserves credit. He has reduced the wage bill hugely, backed the manager in the transfer window as much as he can without hurting his investment and got us a decent sponsorship deal fot the kit.

    Once the new lads have the chance to get used to the squad they are in we are looking like a decent side. Best needs a chance, hes 23 and, if given the service, will score goals for fun. He’s never had that at his previous clubs and he can only score if given the opportunities by his fellow players. Very few strikers can create goals from nothing. Thats why they are the ones playing for the top teams.

  • 53 Rotonda heights // Feb 2, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    How on earth will Best develop at Newcastle with our ”alleged” coaches, who were both defenders and have no techical skill training ability whatsoever.

    I’d really like to know if there is anybody like a Beardo or anyone knocking about who can actually show them some ball skills or passing and movement drills.

    Calderwood always preached this long ball c–p and was kicked out of Forest because of it.

    This window was a disaster apart from Van Arnholt who won’t be here 5 mins. The rest are all a motley crew of journeymen with no star quality whatsoever.

    For the combined money we spent on Simpson, Williamson, Best, Hall, Routledge and Best and if we had sold Carroll, we could have got some real class in Moses, Huskelupp and Skeljbred.
    3 playmakers and we still haven’t got one !!
    and please don’t say Barton, he’s had more money for non appearances than Owen by now.

  • 54 Mark-o // Feb 2, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    R.E. post 46

    Another season out on loan for foster. Krul will be happy enough to have another season or two as 2nd choice. Harpers got 3 years left in him tops.

  • 55 baro // Feb 2, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Harper is shit. He is 12-13 years older than Tim Krul and Krul is better. Harper just has leadership but Krul will save those shots you need. Krul can be the best in world in beaten those 13 years. He can get better and better.

  • 56 baro // Feb 2, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Charlie Toon

    Oh hell no Robbie Keane sucks at the moment. He gets injured a lot. Just not him.

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