Best Will Give The Newcastle Attack Some Speed

We seem to be overloaded with strikers – with Leon best being the 5th striker who will fight it out for two starting positions through the end of the season.

Leon Best – has good speed

Newly signed Best does offer Newcastle a different option – since he has good speed, and unlike Nile Ranger, who is also quick – he is a lot more experienced.

With Wayne Routledge also packing some pace and skill on the right wing, Hughton has admitted that adding some pace was what management wanted to do in the January transfer window:

“I think what we wanted is different types of strikers. We know we’re going into the business end of the season and have to be able to compete on all fronts,”

“He’s (Best) different: he’s got a bit of power and a bit of pace. He’s a lad that has played in this division and is used to it. More importantly he’s got lots of potential.”

“He’s 23 and that is a very good age. We feel that there’s a lot more to come from Leon and that we can bring out the best in him.”

We have to admit being surprised by the signing of  Best yesterday, since the lad was never on the radar screen until he was signed, but that also shows good work behind the scenes by the Newcastle club.

We think the club did their homework before the January window opened, and we will need to do the same thing in the summer, if we do get promoted,  which we don’t think is a sure bet at all, given our insipid performance last time out.

And of course, one thing that Newcastle fans are still disappointed at,  is not signing Victor Moses, when it looked like last Friday night he was so close to coming to Newcastle.

Chris continued:

“Everyone knows we were interested in Victor and we tried to sign him but he decided to go to Wigan,”

“Sometimes you can’t affect what happens. Every club has players that they target but don’t get.”

“There’s so much business being done, you need to have other options and that’s what we had.”

The news reported was that Wigan’s bid was at least £500K more than the Newcastle bid, and met Crustal Palace’s £2.5M valuation of the player, so that was why he joined Wigan.

That’s what is upsetting to Newcastle fans – another 500K and we could have had the exciting teenager – presumably.

But that’s water under the Tyne Bridge now – and we have the squad whose job it is to get this club back in the Premier League.

And that effort continues on Friday night against Cardiff City at St. James’ Park.

We hope (pray) we can get all 3 points in that game.

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • lesh

    Feb 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #1

    Ed…… “the five strikers will fight it out for two starting positions through the end of the season”.

    Why doesn’t CH change his tactics in some games an play an attacknig 4-3-3 thereby playing to the strengths of all of the players we’ve got?

  • komfort

    Feb 2, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #2

    it’s shameful we couldn’t compete with wigan for young moses…….no doubt it’s something to do with the wages again !….

  • Whumpie

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #3

    It’s not about the £500k, it’s about value for money. £2m was pushing it; £2.5 was just not worth it.

    I say we trust CH’s judgement on this one. Best could easily prove to be another Bassong-style coup. Hopefully with a bit more loyalty, eh.

    I’m really excited about our options going forward. Like most people I’ve been frustrated and even bored at times at our approach – but unlike some I understand why it’s like that and appreciate that it’s put us at the top of the table.

    But with Jonas and Routledge on the wings, letting Guthrie come inside (he does anyway) , Van Arsol pinging ’em in and, (although it rankles), Barton coming back, I think we’ve got some serious attacking options in the middle now.

    Exciting stuff!

  • Aza9

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #4

    Moses wanted to go to Wigan, regardless of whether we matched their bid he still would have ended up there. How would wages have a bearing on it? Considering we never even discussed personal terms with the lad. Its not written in stone that we will be a Premier League club next season so obviously it is more attractive for him to go the bigger stage while the opportunity was there.

    Regarding pace in the side, we have it all over the pitch apart from in the middle of the park, the sooner Joey is back the better! Hughtons tactics of trying to play through the middle doesn’t work with slow CM’s, i hope he will shake things up and grow some balls!

  • Whumpie

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #5

    Komfort – there’s no shame in not being drawn into daft bids like some drunk on eBay at midnight. He is NOT Wayne Rooney – just a striker showing a lot of potential who’s had some good shop-window performances recently.

    If CH and co think Best fits the bill, then we have to trust that because they’re privvy to a lot more information (not to mention having met the players) than we are.

    If guesses are anything like accurate, Best cost a quarter of Moses’ fee. Moses is going to have to be pretty exceptional to justify that.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #6

    Aza9 – I think Guthrie will come good once he’s allowed back into the middle. He and Barton can fight it out (alas, probably literally) for that position.

    I’m biased, but I’m hoping that Guthrie (who’s a clever lad without ego issues) can find the understanding with our wingers that can get behind defences.

    It’s going to be great to watch…

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #7

    5 strikers for 2 positions ?????????????

    Hang on CH is in charge mate, thats 5 strikers for 1 place and Nolan behind!

  • Darling27

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Agreed!!! Guthrie is much better in the middle of the park.

  • komfort

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #9


    …..regarding the bid/price paid for this young player with huge potential …. 2.5mil could be chicken feed if he turns out anything like andy cole + we’d have a star in the making bedded in and ready for next seasons relegation fight.

    …dont forget the fatman love a gamble.

  • Davies

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #10

    Time to give Nolan a bit of a rest I’d say. Get two up front, (from Carroll, Ranger, Ameobi and Best) and stick Lovenkrands in the hole behind them. Jonas and Routelidge on the wings and Smith holding in the centre. Pick any back four you want really. At the moment it would have to be van Aanholt, Colo, Williamson and Taylor/Hall/Simpson (if he’s not still knackered).

    That’s got goals written all over it.

    Guthrie or Barton could then come on for a switch to 4-4-2 to bolster the midfield and help protect a lead whilst still offering plenty of attack.

    For this league, we have an outstanding team and so many options in the squad. This window has been pretty impressive really.

  • Aza9

    Feb 2, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #11

    I agree aswell Guthrie is far more effective in the middle and is good at spreading play to the wingers and has a better eye than Nolan for finding our forwards. Although Hughton will not drop Nolan even though he is worn out at the moment and Smith has to be there for covering the back four and leadership.

  • Whumpie

    Feb 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #12

    I think Smith may need a rest, but we do need the leadership that he provides. And yes, Butt may have some faults, but he’s the best backup we have for that role.

    Who you play up front should come down to the opposition and the weaknesses of their individual defenders. No point putting Carroll and Shola up against huge centre-backs; you need a small, quick one in there. Likewise, if they’ve got a really agile CB, you need someone like Carroll who can just lean on them and get past anyway.

    So nice to have options again! I just hope fans give these guys time to gel; it won’t happen overnight.

  • Sav

    Feb 3, 2010 at 3:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Its some consolation, and a gesture for justice that at a near-deserted DW stadium, a miserable 5,519 watched a black and white clad Notts County put Moses’ new team out of the cup 0 – 2 tonight.

    Starring toon old boys Bramble, Caldwell and Chas Insomnia, Whelan’s Wigan were given the coup de grace by the League one side.

    Dave Whelan should have remembered that old adage about being nice to folks on the way up….


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