Nile Ranger – Moving To Newcastle Completely Changed My Life


Nile Ranger has talked today about his murky past, and has said that moving to Newcastle United did him “loads of good and completely changed my life.”

Nile Ranger – great career ahead on Tyneside

Nile has talked about his murky past today:

“I started running with a gang in the area and things went too far,”  “We were convicted of a robbery. There was a weapon, but we didn’t use it.”

“They were cracking down on street crime, so I got sent down. I wasn’t with a professional club at the time, and I didn’t realise what I was risking.”

“Jail was rough, but it taught me a lot. The most important thing I learned is that I never want to go back. At Southampton I got two written warnings about my behaviour, just stupid things.”

“Then I was caught at the end of the season with kit that I’d taken. They kicked me out, they had no choice.”

Then Dennis Wise got involved and quietly brought Nile to Newcastle United in August of 2008. I have a friend in Southampton – my best man at my wedding Terry in fact – and he e-mailed me about Nile at the time.

So I knew quite a lot about the lad – the word on him was that he was a very good young player, but Southampton had wanted him out of the south coast club.

But there were very few reports on that signing  – in fact none that we could even find – since at that time, the earthquake at Newcastle with Kevin Keegan had started to erupt.

New players (Xisco, Gonzalez) were brought into the club without Kevin’s knowledge – and James Milner had just been sold to Aston Villa for £12M,  against the wishes of the Newcastle manager.

And of course it was Dennis Wise who seemed to be in charge of the transfers at Newcastle – and turned out to be a man who is now reviled on Tyneside.

Nile talked about coming to Newcastle:

“Coming up here did me loads of good,” “I was away from the old faces, the old problems. It completely changed my life.”

Since his arrival on Tyneside almost two years ago, Nile has received 12 England Under-19 caps, and has scored 6 goals, and he has already appeared for Newcastle 30 times with 7 starts and two goals this season, although he hasn’t played too much since Leon Best arrived in January.

Local lad 21 year-old Andy Carroll has shot to fame this year with 16 goals since the turn of the year, but we look to Nile Ranger to be just as successful next season at Newcastle.

But Chris Hughton will need to keep involving the 19 year-old for him to be as successful as we expect him to become on Tyneside next season – we are huge fans of this Highgate, London-born youngster.

And it could turn out to be the best thing Dennis Wise ever did for Newcastle.

Comments welcome.



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21 comments so far

  • Ericles

    May 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #1

    I hope that CH does to develop Nile at NUFC – along with some other young ones. But – will he?
    As much as I hope CH leads us into a reasonably successful season I still have reservations about his lack of adventurousness. I wantvisitors to come to St James an be entertain while their team loses.

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  • Doha Mag

    May 5, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #2

    Can’t see him playing much in the PL next season, so loan him out to a Championship side as he’ll be a PL star in a few years….

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  • stevep

    May 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #3

    he won’t get a chance in prem next season – he’s well down the pecking order behind loven, carroll, ameobi, best and even donaldson has seen more bench action than him in the latter part of season.
    good propspect but needs to concentrate on improving his game
    poss loaned out to a championship club next season

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  • peterktoon

    May 5, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #4

    I think if Chris H gets another striker ind the summer then Ranger should go out on a loan to a Championship club

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  • Newutd

    May 5, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #5

    Glad that the reports of bad behavior lately, seemingly are wrong. Typic rumors because of his past. He has moved to a coastal city and as far as I’m concerned, he’s doing good. Should come before both Best and Ameobi in the pecking order.

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  • G

    May 5, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #6

    I would go with Doha on that one. Even if we do want to involve him, he won’t get a regular gig in the Prem, but a full season in the fizzy pop would make him twice the player.

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  • Ericles

    May 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #7

    One is reminded of Zhidane’s words when he said coaches train natural skills out of players in order to fit them to their system. In other words route one soccer. Imagination and adventure must return to Geordie football – where are the days when Beardsley, Waddle and Gascgoine were in the England team and Bobby Robson managed them? This is not nostalgia – it is a plea for the type of player who should be wearing the black and white stripes again.

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  • Jamesthefirst

    May 5, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Comment #8

    I agree that CH needs to be more adventorous. It’s his only sticking point.

    He is too over cautious in my books. And that’s why the youngsters don’t get a chance.

    I remember us playing the bottom of the league team this season at home, and he played one up front.

    He has done a tremendous job don’t get me wrong. BUT the approach of sitting back and letting teams come onto us is a VERY DANGEROUS one to play in the PL.

    We won so many games this season because the opposition didn’t take their chances. PL strikers are more clinical.

    Love Nile Ranger and rate him even higher than Carroll but he has to sort his attitude out. Turning up at training hung over is not good enough.

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  • Captain Beefheart

    May 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #9

    @Newutd: ‘He has moved to a coastal city ..’

    Cullercoats is a suburban village, which lies a mile or so equidistant from nightlife in Whitley Bay or Tynemouth. Failing that it’s a 20 minute cab ride back into Newcastle, so hardly a deterrent to the wayward lad with too much spare time and money.

    CH picks the best XI regardless of age (remember van Aanholt was 19) so the stupid criticism of him not favouring youth players is unwarranted and unsubstantiated. Nile’s hold up play was good, but that’s not enough – he needs to hit the net. We have had too many strikers of late who have flattered to deceive including Xisco & Viana, presently Best is looking likely to join that group as well. After Shola’s injury Nile was needed this season, truth was he never really turned up to games and CH secured Harewood as cover instead.

    Nile has no-one to blame but himself, and the way his career path is going he’ll be lucky to get regular league 1 football. As for the way the team plays, I couldn’t disagree more with Ericles. The player needs to fit into the team, or find a team more suited to his style. It’s not route one, quite the opposite, this is total football.

    I like the way CH has the team playing, it has echoes of the great Dutch teams of the 70s and 80s, and long may this style be developed at the club. Routledge’s goal against Plymouth was sublime, and is only possible when a team is playing cohesive football with the ball on the deck.

    I would like to see trophies again, and they aren’t won without ruthlessness and backbone. These qualities were sadly missing from KK’s entertainers, as well as a solid defence, who for all the money lavished on stars failed time and again to win silverware. It’s time we got real and set our stall out to win, rather than dream about it. In CH we have a chance, let’s not blow it again by whinging about being entertainers..

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  • G

    May 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #10

    Eloquently put Captain Beefheart. The most intelegently written post for quite some time on here.

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  • Jamesthefirst

    May 5, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #11

    @Captain Beefheart – very good post, but against bottom half teams at HOME do you not believe we should always be playing 2 up front?

    Or do you believe Carroll is good enough to play as a lone striker?

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  • Whumpie

    May 5, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #12

    Hear, hear Beefheart. I find it incredible that anyone on here has the gall to criticise the man who’s won the league by 11 points and broken every record on the way.

    As for the person who puts Ranger ahead of the man who scores by far the most goals per minute played (or game played) of any of our strikers… what the hell?

    One thing that’s not mentioned in the article is that Ranger has been injured for weeks now, and that could have as much to do with his absence as anything else. CH sees what’s going on, not us, so trust his judgement.

    I hope Nile comes good and learns to compliment his talent with knowledge and judgement. If I was Llambias I’d be pushing for every player to be contracted to sobriety throughout the season, unless given express permission by CH. Barton, Carroll, Ranger – all problems we’ve seen which would not have happened had they not been boozing when they should have been knocking back the wheat-grass juice!

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  • Newutd

    May 5, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #13

    To all of you guys criticizing people who comes with constructive criticism, get a grip. There should, and are room for exactly that. It’s not like we don’t love going up, or love what Hughton has done. Nobody is perfect though, and we can’t live in this dream world. People have every right to complain about Hughtons lack of adventurousness.

    Captain Beefheart. To play Pancrate, Best or Hall (who though did ok), when you can play talents who may have a great future in head of them, are just stupid. We can afford to play youngsters, it’s just that Hughton doesn’t dare. When we’ve already won the league, and are in the Championship…come on…
    And it’s not like we wouldn’t have been going up if we had used them now and then.

    About Van Aanholt, who else could play there? The left back was there for Van Aanholt to take. If he had begun mixing it up, he wouldn’t show lack of will to use youngsters, he would be stupid.

    Whumpie, even before Ranger was injured, he was cut from the squad. He definitely should play instead of Best. None of you guys know what’s going on with Ranger privately, so why all the complaining about it? These are just rumors going on between newcastle fans who has heard from “a friend” etc etc.

    And also, Beefheart, Ranger is 19, and we got to give him matches to develop skills that eventually leads him to get goals as well as the good play in general. There is 5 years between Best and Nile, so there really is no comparison.

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  • Jamesthefirst

    May 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #14

    My comments about Nile being better than Carroll is AT HIS AGE. Nile at 18 and now 19 is far better than Carroll was at that age.

    Nobody on here thought Carroll would have the kind of season he has had. He has been incredible for us. But he is older than Nile and all of a sudden it has clicked with him

    I’m just hoping Nile develops the same way.

    And still stand by my criticism of CH. Opposition made us better than we were in a lot of games. Bringing in Hall and not allowing Kadar a chance instead is stupid.

    CH has been excellent for us and just the manager we needed. I am just pointing out one area of his job where it is obvious that he needs to be a bit bolder in his approach some times. When it is clear the opposition are not as good as us, have a go at them CH and put them on the back foot. Instead of this 1 up front sit back for 60 minutes and soaking up pressure. We encourage too many teams to attack and it will cost us next season.

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  • Newutd

    May 5, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #15

    100% agree.

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  • The_Legend_Of_Jonas

    May 5, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #16

    I don’t really see it as CH being too cautious by not using our youngsters. Imagine of he had used them for the last third of the season and they lost us a few games.. We slipped down the league a few places, made the play offs and then failed to get out of the league. It would’ve ruined them and their careers..

    Hopefully we can cover them with more players next season and let the fringe youngsters go out on loan back to the fizzy pop.. In an ideal world anyway.

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  • Newutd

    May 5, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #17

    aah, the what if’s…

    Unlikely that we would have done so much worse with using a few of our youngsters in fitting matches.

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  • Brutooon

    May 6, 2010 at 1:39 AM

    Comment #18

    we need to gave more games for him next season, with Leon Best still staying with us…i dont see that ranger would get games

    loan him to a championship side that can guarantee first team football

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  • Jamesthefirst

    May 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #19

    I see the argument of playing youngsters separate from being Adventerous.

    When we are home against a team with a worse first 11 than ours I want to see 2 strikers playing and attack the team. Not this approach we saw at home against Scunthorpe of a 5 man midfield, one up front, and 3 strikers sitting on the bench.

    There is a time to be cautious and there is a time to take the initiative. But CH has yet to learn this. It is the ONLY fault in an otherwise excellent season.

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  • BeeGuy

    May 6, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #20

    CH was tasked with getting NUFC back to the PL. In my mind there was no room for him to take any sidebar action of trying out a few kids here and there. MA can not afford to be in any league but the PL, and the club must stay there. Once firmly established, then one can tinker.

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  • Newutd

    May 6, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #21

    There is a middleway to do things.

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