Ranger The Best Footballing Forward At Newcastle

Malcolm Macdonald tends to be outspoken, but we’d rather hear the unvarnished truth from Malcolm, than political correctness tripe from Michael Owen.

Nile Ranger – best forward at Newcastle

One of the problems Newcastle fans had with Owen was that they never knew what he was really thinking.

When he was interviewed he would always say the politically correct thing – and he hardly ever let his guard down on what he really thought.

There’s no problems like that with Macdonald – who tells it like it is.

He has said today that he thinks Nile Ranger is probably the best footballing forward at the Newcastle club right now, and wonders why he’s not starting. In fact it looks like Nile will be sent out on loan next season.

Malcolm also doubts Andy Carroll will improve much next season, and thinks Leon Best should be put out of his misery, by selling him to a Championship club this summer.


People who say he’s a big, young lad who’s going to improve vastly over the summer are fooling themselves. The step up in class is going to be huge.

The assistance from the rest of the team is going to be diminished and he’s going to face a whole new set of problems.

The pressure will be severe and I don’t think he dealt well with pressure last season.

He’s got to stay on his feet, he gets knocked over too easily for such a big lad and needs to sort his balance out.


He did OK, but is he a forward? He has pace, and has become a bit of a fans’ favorite – but can he deal with the Premier League?

It’s all very well doing it in the Championship, the Premier League is completely different.

He should be given a chance but will have to keep earning it. When he’s not scoring goals he doesn’t offer much else.

He’s in there to score goals, and 20-25 is a good figure. Twelve gets you relegated.


Shola’s had more than a few chances to prove himself in the Premier League and I don’t feel he’s really done it.

I’m not sure he’s looked really up for it. He has all the attributes but you have to question if he’s really prepared to get out there and make a difference.

It’s all too easy to go out and be one of the 11, as a striker you have to stand up and make a difference.

He has been unfortunate with injuries but you have to stay fit if you want to be of any value.


I think he’s the best footballing forward at the club but there are reasons he’s not a regular that only he can overcome.

He should be playing but he’s not. You can’t question Chris Hughton, you have to question the player himself.

Why, with his skills, the best touch among the strikers, is he not in the team?

I know he’s only young, he’s just starting out in the game, but young players come through at his age. Is it his attitude, a lifestyle thing? Only he can say.


Even when he came from Coventry City, I had serious doubts about whether he was even good enough for the Championship.

To be fair, we haven’t seen an awful lot of him, because Carroll and Lovenkrands were keeping him out of the team.

But when he did get the odd chance he didn’t convince me.

My advice to Newcastle this summer would be to get a nice little deal sorted to get him back to the Championship, and put him out of his misery.

55 comments so far

  • Captain Beefheart

    May 29, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #1

    (See Mac’s previous Carl Cort predictions)

  • 02jiw22

    May 29, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #2

    i agree with sum of this about Best and Shola but Mac also said Shearer wasn’t worth 15m so his opinion is irrelevant to anything!

  • mattnufc

    May 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #3

    Ranger the best striker? Sorry, not at all. Maybe in the future but at the moment he is probably last in the pecking order.

    I have seen a Premier Ship side (cant rememeber which) have tried to get David Beckham on loan next season. It might sound ridiculous, but would he be a good signing for NUFC?

  • Howay The Lads

    May 29, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #4

    I see some of the points he’s making; Carroll does get knocked off the ball too easy; Lovenkrands doesn’t contribute much else if he doesn’t score; Ameobi never seems up for it; Ranger being so far down the pecking order; Best being crap.
    But he is overdoing the gap between Championship and low Premiership.

    He’s talking about 25 goals a season players – last season there were only two (Rooney & Drogba), so why do we need one to stay up?
    If all the Carroll, Lovenkrands, Ameobi, Nolan and one other can all add 6/7 goals next season and the defence can stay tight we’ll be more than comfortable come the last day of the season

  • richietoon

    May 29, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #5

    The same Supermac that used to write in his newspaper column that Shearer was finished as a top class striker then a few years later he thought Shearer was the best……..great player Supermac but your opinions as a pundit over the years are just full of contradictions.
    Matt I think his wages would be to steep and can’t see posh wanting to live here even for a short time.

  • coxonfamily

    May 29, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #6

    Ok so “super mac” says:

    He’s in there to score goals, and 20-25 is a good figure. Twelve gets you relegated.


    well how many of them have over 12?

    Aston Villa’s best has 13 goals, they finished 6th

    Everton’s best has 13 goals, they finished 8th

    West Ham’s best has just 10, they finished above relegation

    Birmingham & Wigans best only had 10 each, guess what… they finished 9th and 16th above relegation….

    …I could go on but I think most of us can see what “Super Mac” cant.

    Seriously thanks for what you did on the playing field Malcolm but I really wish your connection with Newcastle ended their.

  • winaldo

    May 29, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #7

    yes i think supermac has got it spot on we had a better strikeforce when we got relagated.lots of players scored loads of goals in championship and then struggled in prem.im not a fan of carroll or shola

  • boater

    May 29, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #8

    We need a new striker/s yes. the logic that we got relegated with a better side is flawed. we also had a better side than anyone else in the bottom half of the table – but confidence was gone and we spiraled, the managerial dog’s dinner didn’t help either.

    we have team spirit now and a bit of grit which changes everything, having said that a quality addition or 2 up front is crucial and we all know it.

    carroll could go seriously either way, lovenkrands needs competition in the support slot, and shola will be injured for half the times.

    We need something else. no doubt about that.

  • Aussie Toon

    May 29, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #9

    yes much of what he has said is fundamentally flawed and we can all see that however i think he is being clever and perhaps indirectly persuading MA that we need more investment in the club.
    while i now dont trust his judgement, someone like MA may listen better than us

  • Aussie Toon

    May 29, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #10

    we need a player like darren bent, hes way out of reach right now but CH has pushed through some bargains. my only worry is that his choice in strikers isnt the best.. being a defensive coach does he have the understanding of attacking play needed. that has been a worry of mine for some time as we do tend to play a lot of route one football to my frustration which will be even k=less effective in the prem.

  • geordie_india

    May 29, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #11

    I dont know what to say. I am lil bit confused also. All i wanna say that i dont want one more relegation to affect ma club, it will destroy my club 🙁

  • ashleys wallets cobwebs

    May 29, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #12

    think he has a point about ranger not being in the team or at least closer , but i dont think its down to ranger himself i think it is ch and the coaching staff not wanting to rock the boat amongst the more experienced players , when certain players are fit they will play no matter who is playing well or not playing well , if you look back carroll only started every week once shola got injured and harewood went back to villa , stevie wonder could see carroll was more of a threat than both them 2 , also carroll ranger were up front in our best performance of the season by a mile , they look good together, we have to have pace next season yet we want to loan our only real pacey forward out on loan ? why ? and ive seen boyd for rangers on a few occasions , he needs a mobility scooter !

  • boater

    May 29, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #13

    @ashleys wallets cobwebs

    “stevie wonder could see carroll was more of a threat than both them 2” ,, you say that but shola averaged 2 in 3 starts this season which took us to the top of the league – and had vastly the greatest goals to game ratio of all our forwards.

    I think what you meant to say was “I don’t rate shola and therefore such pesky things as statistics will be overlooked”.

  • Thump

    May 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #14

    Getting a bit tired of Supermac pretending to be a pundit. Scoring 25 goals a season is all well and good but it means sweet F.A if you can’t defend against them (see: Sunderland and Darren Bent). I honestly hope the strikers come out next season and show him how wrong he can be.

  • Robby Bobson

    May 29, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #15

    The thing that gets me is when he says he dont think Carroll dealt with pressure last season.

    What is he on??

    Beginning of the season he werent scoring so there was pressure for him to score, then he starts scoring all over the place.

    Doncaster…he is all over the news for a fight, all eyes on him and he is thru rounds the goalie and scores.

    Hows that for handling pressure?!!!

  • Robby Bobson

    May 29, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #16

    However we do need another striker.

    Shola has shown his season that given half a chance he will put the ball away (coventry, forest), but the standard of keeping in the championship is way below the prem.

    The problem Hughton faces is that a striker with even a semi-decent goal scoring record in the premiership commands a ridiculous fee and its rare for cheap strikers to come from abroad and play well.

    Really we need goals from all over the pitch, something we didnt get when we got relegated, although we didnt get goals from a strikers either.

  • jimiley

    May 29, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #17

    Supermac is dead right. Ranger is the best footballing forward. He is not the best at scoring goals but he will be. The problem with Ranger and NUFC is that the manager prefers playing headball a la Stoke and Wimbledon instead of football and will do it even more next season when the team will be under more pressure. But thats not a criticism of CH because you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s hide. CH is playing to the team’s strengths and they are not on the floor…. at least they won’t be next season in the Prem when we will be glad to boot the ball to the opponents penalty area so that we are not overrun in midfield..

  • Tom Mo.

    May 29, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #18

    its cause nile actually has some sort of pace..

  • boater

    May 29, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #19

    If hughton could build a frankenstein’s monster with carroll’s desire, loven’s pace, shola’s ability to turn with the ball and ranger’s first touch we’d have a 25 goal striker but it would maybe look a bit funky.

  • baro

    May 29, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #20

    I really hope Nile gets a lot more chances upcoming season. Along with Haris Vuckic.s

  • geordielad880

    May 29, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #21

    hughton has already said ranger will be going out on loan next season, so he will get first team football. We really need to be loaning more youngsters, so they can gain experience, donaldson should have been out on loan last season, and ben tozer also

  • Howay The Lads

    May 29, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Comment #22

    Donaldson and Tozer aren’t good enough. I know you might think it’s a bit early to judge, but they just aren’t good enough.

    When young players come through, if they are good you can see it. Ranger, Vuckic, Kadar, Carroll all have it. When they are on the ball they don’t panic, they keep it until there is a better option.

    It’s unfortunate, but Tozer and Donaldson aren’t gonna make it, they might just about be squad players in the future, but that’s if they’re lucky

  • baro

    May 29, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #23

    Does anybody know what position Donaldson is? He has played RB, CM, RM, STRIKER?

  • Turkish Magpie

    May 29, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #24

    Imagine that the fa puts a ban on transfers (buying and selling players) then i beleive a future team in say 2 years could be






  • Abhik

    May 29, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #25

    He is r8 only in case of Leon Best. He has nothing to offer @ NUFC. His other views are worthy 2 b trashed.

  • geordielad880

    May 29, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #26

    howay the lads:yeah i have to agree, from what i have seen from tozer and donaldson i dont think they will make the grade, first time i seen kadar play, you could tell he was upto it, its like cairney who plays for hull, i think he will end up been the next gerrard, stood out in a poor hull side when he played, i think he would be a top signing for us, although he has just signed a new contract with hull recently

  • baro

    May 29, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #27

    Turkish Magpie

    Excellent team with all youngsters, but by that 2 years time they will be beast. Haris Vuckic , Kadar, Samuel Adjei the Swede. And of course Tim Krul the Dutch.

  • baro

    May 29, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #28

    Turkish Magpie

    U watching USA vs Turkey? Its 2-1 now thanks to Clint Dempsey. 🙂

  • Newutd

    May 29, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #29

    HTL –

    I am not impressed by Tozer, but I still believe in Donaldson. He is in the England u19 squad for gods sake. He is also one of the first youngsters on the bench whenver Hughton lets himself go once in a while.

  • Turkish Magpie

    May 29, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #30

    baro i’m not i’m afraid, big eurovision fan ;D however i’ve just heard that theres been a Turkish guy on BGT and he did Turkish dancing (i can do that ;D) however i was aware of the score and i keep up to date with it


    May 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #31

    Yes finally, this kid should be starting, or at least coming on.
    Leon Best – Pile of sh*t.
    Andy Carrol – good player, should be starting.
    Peter Lovenkrands – fast, possible starter.
    Shola Ameobi – worse version of Emile Heskey.
    Nile Ranger – great touch and ability, although i haven’t really seen him when it comes to finishing, possible starter.

  • DeeJay

    May 29, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #32

    He seems to be saying the same about Ranger than others have intimated on here before – that his lifestyle/attitude is leaving Hughton no chance but to not play him.

    Do people not buy that? It seems very likely to me given his past.

    It’s therefore pretty unfair to blame Hughton for a decision that he has no make. If you want to lay blame, I’d be looking in Nile’s direction….

  • Howay The Lads

    May 29, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #33

    I think Donaldson could become a squad player for us, but he’s nervous on the ball and most of the game just seems to pass him by.

    If you’re going to make it at most clubs, you have to be a stand-out player in the youth squads otherwise better players will be bought to replace you. And Donaldson isn’t a stand-out player in the reserves

  • geordielad880

    May 29, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #34

    adjei wont make the grade, had a poor first touch, and gets caught offside all the time, doesnt have a good football brain.

  • baro

    May 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Comment #35


    Did you see Gabriel Obertan of Man United first couple of games. I thought why the hell is this guy in. I mean his first touches were horror than horrible. But now he is getting stronger, better dribbler and has a enhanced first touch. Samuel Adjei is still young. But a year older than Haris Vuckic. Samuel still has improvement to make. He is not a first team player yet. I think he still has a year or two or maybe three years to show what he has before Newcastle release him like they did the other youngsters earlier.

  • geordielad880

    May 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #36

    i would bet my life on it, the same with spear and shane ferguson, both will be alright, but not at premiership level, but time will tell

  • geordielad880

    May 29, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #37

    and yeah i seen obertan, he was still rusty when man utd signed him, had just come back from injury, but still dont rate him that highly.

  • banana strip

    May 29, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #38

    I think should sell :-

    And replace them with:-
    Kris Boyd
    Bradley Wright-Philips
    Ben Watson

    Harper Conceded too many goals this season and i think it’s time for him to move on and give young krul a chance to shine.

    Barton is just a pain in the ass, he will never change and he is injury prone.

    Nolan is the worst Central midfielder i have ever seen he will struggle in the premier league, so take the 4mill and ship him off.

    Carrol is very slow and will find it hard against top class defenders like terry Alex etc…sell him at good price and bring in Boyd on a free.

    Simpson is just crap and will find it hard against top clan wingers next season…sell the piece crap and bring in a proven premier league RB.

    S.Taylor is just rubbish i’d rather have zayate in the team then him so sell him to arseanal for a good price and bring in a prove PL CB.

    R.Taylor is the worst RB/RM i Have ever seen sell him!@@!@

    J.Enrique is slow and fat he will struggle and he is just not fit enough for English premier league…swap him for j.Samuel from Bolton he’s a class LB.

  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    May 29, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #39

    New utd- are you tom toon?

  • Howay The Lads

    May 29, 2010 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #40

    It’s too early to comment on Spear. He’s only 16 or something isn’t he.
    And Shane Ferguson is 50-50 in my opinion


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