Leon Best Can Still Be Success At Newcastle

Leon Best’s form in front  of goal, since he was signed from Coventry City, has given both the player and his manager some problems.

Leon Best – yet to score for Newcastle

The fact we still need a proven striker for next season, when we already have Best, Ameobi, Carroll, Lovenkrands and young Ranger vying for the striker positions, suggests that Best was not a good buy.

If Best had come on loan as Marlon Harewood did, then we wouldn’t extend his loan deal or buy him in the summer, just as the club is very unlikely to buy Fitz Hall.

Since we brought in a striker in January,  surely he should have been good enough, but Best has not set Newcastle on fire, with his scoring. In 11 appearances for the club, he’s yet to score.

Leon does look a decent footballer, but strikers have to score goals – that’s their number one job.

Chris has talked about Best today:

“There is no doubting Leon’s ability – we see that in training – but it is a difficult time for him.”

“When you are a striker joining a new club, first you want to play games and more importantly you want to score goals.”

“The unfortunate thing for Leon is he has seen the form of the other strikers around him, which has resulted in his opportunities being limited.”

“My way of looking at it is I would rather have him at the club than not have him.”  “Of course he also applies pressure on that striking group.”

“He is a player who has scored goals in the Championship, it is just unfortunate for him he has been among a group of strikers in good form.”

“Since he has been here, he has been a very valuable member of the squad – but of course he wants to be playing and he wants to be scoring goals. His time will come.”

“Leon is a player we still want for next season. We see his abilities; he had scored ten goals for Coventry before he came and has had no problems settling in to the club.”

“The area he wants to be doing well in is scoring goals, and at the moment that has not gone as well as he would have liked, but I still have a lot of faith in him.”

Conventional wisdom suggests Leon needs more time at Newcastle, just like Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, to name just two, didn’t look so good when they first arrived.

As we said, the lad does look a good player and he’s been a little unlucky not to get off the mark on Tyneside, and Chris will be trying to ensure Leon gets a goal before the end of the season.

And since he was signed for around £600K and is still only 23, he can be sold in a year or two if he doesn’t make it at Newcastle, and the club will at least get their money back.

That’s one advantage of buying younger players, because they generally retain their sell-on value.

Leon started his career at Southampton is 2004, and spent loan periods at Sheffield Wednesday, QPR, Bournemouth and Yeovil before moving to Coventry in 2007.

He played 16 times for Southampton with 4 goals and 101 times for Coventry with 23 goals.

He has played 169 first class games and scored 45 goals to date.

We’ll need to give Leon more time, that’s all, before we can make up our minds on the player.

Comments welcome.

19 comments so far

  • cooldj

    Apr 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #1

    I disagree.

  • The Entertainers

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #2

    I agree……..

    I have doubts about Best, even when we signed him. But i’m willing to give CH the benefit of the doubt, if not Best. Thats because CH has proved me wrong many times this season and has won me over since the start of the campaign.

    Whether Best will make it or not, the amount of time hes had is certianly not enough to judge him outright! Would love to secure the CCC soon and then see him givne the chance.

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #3


  • wsquare

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #4

    doubt it.

  • BT7MAG

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Ed, just wondering where you got the 600k fee? I thought it was somewhere around 2m, but perhaps I’m wrong…

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #6

    3 words sum up Best: NOT GOOD ENOUGH & that’s in the championship

  • Toon Sweden77

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #7

    Hope that Best will prove me/us wrong but I was surprised that he was signed when we all was screaming for Nile Ranger to be given moore chances. Above that we still has Xisco on our books.

    But to be honest, even though I have fate in Chris, I dont think Best will make it in the premier league.

  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #8

    Totally unnecessary signing. As you say Ed, if we had to have him, why not just come on loan.

    For the same money we could have had Moses (quality player) and all Best has done is halt Ranger’s progress.

    Coventry fans are relieved Best went as it stopped them playing route one all the time.

  • The-Ciaran8

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #9

    How many Times have we seen i Striker go 15 Games without Scoring,

    Then score and look like a totally new player

    Confidance Is an Important factor in football he needs it.

    I say we play him after weve got 96 points.

    Also RANGER

  • Bucks mag

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #10

    Not a good enough striker. Try him on the wing. Against Cardiff and Swansea he put in a good assist.

  • Gary

    Apr 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #11

    I’m afraid it was a disastrous deal to buy Best. It was because we didn’t get Beckford.

    Best is way out of his depth and simply not good enough for Newcastle, even in the Championship, never mind next season.

    Coventry were delighted to get rid of him (I was told by a very high-flying source at CCFC) and that he was a lazy and selfish player.

    We need to spend something in the region of £40m + to even stay in the Premiership or we will become another WBA going up and down alternately.

    I don’t think many of our problems from last year have gone, it’s just they were hidden in the Championship. After all, we still have Llambias!


    Apr 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #12

    gary yr qlueless!

  • Spoonman

    Apr 13, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #13

    You say in the article multiple times that he looks like a decent footballer, how?

    His first touch is poor and he can’t score. Even Coventry fans call him a donkey.

    He has played his entire career outside of the top divisions and his record is close to 1 in 4. That is poor.

    And 23 is not that young for a footballer. He was a dreadful signing, and most sources have the fee at more than double the 600k mentioned here.

  • duncandisorderly

    Apr 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #14

    let’s face it – he was bought as an insurance policy that, with hindsight, we didn’t need. He has got himself into some decent positions and come close to scoring but my issue with him is that he is lazy. he doesn’t make any effort to move for the ball or make openings for others, and when he loses it, he wanders about aimlessly waiting for it to be put on a plate in front of him again. The best forwards, in my opinion, are the ones who defend from the front and fight to win the ball back – remember Shearer, Ian Wright, Ian Rush, Rooney – they all did/do that and it makes all the difference to the effectiveness of the team as a whole. Best is too damn lazy to work hard for the team and for that reason alone we should get rid as soon as we can

  • Darling27

    Apr 13, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #15

    Ranger is a much better player!!! When we’ve sewn up the title i’d rather see him get a run out instead of Best.


    Apr 13, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #16

    Think he will come good as soon as he gets his 1st goal

  • Ray Ransom

    Apr 13, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #17

    As Best cost Coventry £1.1m set by tribunal, and is aged under 24, compensation would have been at least £1.5m had he left at the end of the season, as he’s far more experienced and an international player now. It would have taken a fee of £2m+ for Coventry to let their leading scorer leave in January. So conjecture Newcastle bought him for £600,ooo is way off the mark. And yes, Coventry fans were glad to see the back of him, he’s lazy, stroppy and not a team player. Fans who only listen to games on the radio could be forgiven for thinking his name is Bestoffside.

  • Gary

    Apr 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    Comment #18

    Dear JimmyBob33,

    I’m afraid you need to look more close to home with regards to being clueless!

    No offense.


  • Solanos biggest fan

    Apr 14, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    Comment #19

    As opposed to mud slinging… lets get back to the topic in hand…

    On one hand, there is the argument that Best should have scored in a free flowing Mag team like ours by now, this is the side of it that I lean to.. Its going to be harder next season, for sure.

    On the other hand, last season, my family and i were having the same sort of arguments about Gutierrez, a year on, he has fitted in and has made a joint top 11 assists… and at times has looked brilliant (i know, in a lower league) which is more like what i expected from him from last season, given his flamboyant style and his international pedigree. I am now glad we didnt get rid of him LOL… when previously I was calling for his head… or maybe even just his shirt. Hopefully he can build on this next season.


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