Is Any Current Striker Worth The Number 9 Shirt?

News today that Chris Hughton has deliberately kept the Newcastle number 9 shirt available, and wants one of our strikers to earn it, presumably for next season.

Nile Ranger – may become good enough for number 9 shirt

But our question is whether any of the 5 strikers we currently have are good enough – we have our doubts.

Certainly the last man to wear the number 9 shirt – Oba Martins – wasn’t good enough – because he simply didn’t score enough goals.

This is what Chris said about the shirt today:

“It’s one of the most iconic shirts around and it’s something I’ve done deliberately. What we have is a lot of strikers here and I’m quite sure that every single one of them would have wanted to wear the number nine.

“It’s been a decision – and my decision – and it’s a bit of everything. When I came to this club I was made aware – not that I didn’t already know – what the number nine meant to this club and it’s a combination of a few things.”

“For some, I think it can be a heavy number to carry, a burden if you like, and wearing it is an achievement which I want somebody to grow into. I want somebody to earn the right to be Newcastle’s number nine.”

“It’s a combination of a lot of things, but it’s been my decision.”

Hughton seems confident that one of his current strikers can become worthy of the shirt – but we have our doubts.

Leon  Best of course is already saying that he would just love to don the number 9 shirt at Newcastle.

That shirt has been worn in the past by Newcastle greats such as Alan Shearer, Malcolm MacDonald, Jackie Milburn and Hughie Gallagher.

Oh the memories.

Hughton continued:

“I certainly don’t anticipate years going past without a number nine at this club. In saying that, what I don’t want to suggest is that the strikers we’ve got here aren’t worthy of that position or that number.”

“It certainly isn’t that. That would give people the wrong thoughts of how I think about them. Each of them has a real strong value to this football club and that’s why they’re all here.”

We have to think the lad who may wear the number 9 shirt in the future is 18 year-old Nile Ranger, but he’s got a ways to go yet, while he keeps maturing and improving his game.

If Chris is to allocate the shirt next season, probably Leon Best will be the favorite get it – but we still need to see what he’s made of when he wears the very famous black and white stripes of Newcastle.

A hat-trick tonight would certainly help his cause. 😀

What do you think about this?

Let us know.

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19 comments so far

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #1


    not at the moment and the ONLY one out of the 5 to excite me is Ranger.
    However even he is far from ready to wear the N.o 9.

  • Doha Mag

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #2

    Not seen much of Best so too early to make a jugement but a goal or two tonight and several more while gaining promotion may tempt me to give him the famous shirt.

    Still hoping young Ranger will continue to show promise and make the No-9 shirt his own for many years to come.

  • NUFC-0809-Oh Dear

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #3

    Young and Inexperienced, not had a run in the team yet, sure he banged them in in the reserves but needs to prove himself in the first team.

    In my opinion he is not good enough or consistant enough, tends to drift in and out of games and sometimes lacks interest.

    Sure, quality player but getting towards the end of his career and I dont see him been given the shirt when it could go directly to someone younger.

    Never, never achieved his potential and, in my opinion, he is just about at his level in this league but looks average for a no.9

    The shirt could well be his for the taking, we will have to see how he performs and see if he continues his early season scoring.

  • Matt

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #4

    Ranger, in my opinion, is the only one with a) a long term future at the club (with the possible exception of Carroll) and b) potentialy worthy of the no.9 shirt.

    I don’t mind if he doesn’t bang goals in because he could be the new Heskey but much, much better.

  • Roy Cropper

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #5

    5 fowards the n0 9 up for grabs & none of them want it ???!!!! – looks like we’ve gotta bunch of cowards running the front line.

    for god’s sake will one of you show some backbone.

  • JEM

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #6

    News from the Faroe Islands, Newcastle United have signed Jóhan Símun Edmundsson on a free transfer from B68 in the Faroe Islands.

    He is a real prospect at 18 years. Position attacking midfield, winger and forward.

    He has signed a contract till the summer.

  • Steved

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #7

    @Roy Cropper
    I think you possible need to let Leon Best play at least one game before you tar him with that brush!

  • Edd Case

    Feb 5, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #8

    Ranger or Best.

    Unless come the summer, someone of real quality is signed (yeah right).

  • Roy Cropper

    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #9

    steved – if newcastle had signed me as a foward & the no 9 shirt was available then i’d snatch their hands off bang the goals in & show how good i am , just like paul goddard , david kelly , imre varadi , micky quinn , andy cole ect ect did in the same division – thats my point.

    perhaps best knows he’ll never be able to live up to those former no 9’s & prefers the no 20.

  • ToonTex

    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #10

    The next player to wear “9” is not at our club currently.

  • BeeGuy

    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #11

    To date this year, all the strikers have been handicapped by less than optimal service from the right side. If Routledge and Jonas can widen the pitch, we will get a much better idea on who can find the insides of the post rather than going just wide or just over from having to shoot from inside a crowd of opposition jerseys . Time should work this out for CH.

  • Ericles

    Feb 5, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #12

    NO!!! Nobody ready yet – whether they are here or yet to arrive.

  • Pons Aelius

    Feb 5, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #13

    Carroll – isn’t looking like he’s ever going to score often enough.
    Lovenkrands – Looks like a championship number 9 but nothing more.
    Shola – No. He’s not even allowed to look at the number 9 shirt. But I have to admit he’s deserved a pat on the back for his efforts this season.
    Ranger – He’s frustrating. He has all the attributes needed but just doesn’t score. So not yet.
    Best – Perhaps. He’s got the name to go with the shirt, but time will tell.

  • chuck

    Feb 5, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #14

    Hey it`s up for grabs may the best man win, pun intended.

  • Wigaz

    Feb 5, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #15

    The only player who could of worn the shirt after shearer imo was Ashton. Such as shame what happened to him! life is funny imagine he’d came to us who know’s he may have never got that bad injury & became a legend to the join that famous toon no 9 lists and starred for England. We need to invest in a number 9 when/If we go up. However the most important thing is getting rid of fatty & getting owners who will back the manager. That will remain to be seen but i hope for all our sakes it happens. Out of our current crop of strikers agreed Ed only ranger looks like having the potential to fill that shirt someday.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #16

    ok.. this is controversial but…. as the only forward who isn’t either a ‘big man’ or the ‘fast tricky one’, i’d give it to Loven on a temporary basis, on the grounds that he gets goals, and gets in the right places, and works for the team when he’s on the pitch. He will do this for the rest of this season, and i reckon one season in the prem, then by that time a successor will emerge, or be signed.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #17

    hes the most ‘all round’ forward we have i meant to add that lol

  • chuck

    Feb 5, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Comment #18

    The famous no 9`s Hughey Gallagher, Jackie,
    and Sherah.
    Like no other teams had great no 9`s ?
    Up until they changed from the old 2-3-5 formation everyone playing in the centre forward position wore a no. 9# shirt.
    No. 11# was the highest no, worn by the left winger.
    No 1
    7 ——-8———9 —– 10———-11—–

    In actual fact worked more like
    —————– 5———————-
    7——————9 ——————11—
    a 3-4-3 where the no`s 8 & 10 played a fetch and carry role, providing both an attacink and defensive roll.

  • Markaccus

    Feb 6, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #19

    i think the no 9 thing is more relevant to when the squad system came in. Nufc kept no 9 for an iconic striker


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