Best Will Only Get Better At Newcastle United

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.

56 comments so far

  • MacToon

    Feb 1, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #1

    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….

  • Oba

    Feb 1, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #2

    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.

  • Toon1978

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #3

    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.

  • tdt

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #4

    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.

  • geordielad880

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #5

    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

  • Charlie

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #6

    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

  • Toon1978

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #7


    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.

  • Toon1978

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #8

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

  • Charlie

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Comment #9

    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

  • Toon1978

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #10

    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.

  • Charlie

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #11

    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!!

  • Toon1978

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #12


    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.

  • Charlie

    Feb 1, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #13

    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

  • Toon-Army

    Feb 1, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #14
    goal no.5 is leon best. what a beaut!!! +)

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 1, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #15

    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.

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #16

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

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #17

    Is Erik Huskelupp ours?

  • dave 1961

    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #18

    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.

  • SirAlan

    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #19

    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..

  • Strauss

    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    Comment #20

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

  • Suthey

    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #21

    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

  • Bovinicus

    Feb 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #22

    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.

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #23

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

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #24


    R.Taylor—Williamson—-Colo–Van Aanholt




  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #25

    Beauty line up yaa?

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #26

    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.

  • Oba

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #27

    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.

  • Toonmania

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #28

    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

  • batty

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #29

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

  • Toonmania

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #30

    what by retiring?? lol!!

  • Tim

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Comment #31

    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.

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM

    Comment #32


    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.

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #33


    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.

  • baro

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #34



    —————————-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

  • Mac

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #35

    baro,are u pissed?

  • Tim

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM

    Comment #36

    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 🙂

  • Tim

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #37

    For Cardiff

    Harper (obviously)

    Simpson – Colo – Will – Ana

    Routy- Guthrie – Nolan – Jonas

    Carrol – Best

  • NewcastleMole

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #38


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

    Simão is a DM

  • tdt

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #39

    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.

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 1, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #40

    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.


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