If the performance of Shane Ferguson at Chelsea is anything to go by, this 19 year-old Northern Ireland International will soon be pressing Jose Enrique for the left back position at Newcastle.
Shane Ferguson – up and coming youngster at Newcastle
The Derry-born player has probably now moved ahead of Tamas Kadar as the player who would come in for Jose, if he was injured, and certainly he was Newcastle’s star man at Chelsea, only just behind two goal hero Shola Ameobi, who had one of those games of his where he looks unplayable. Of course with Shola it doesn’t happen often enough.
It’s only recently that Chris has moved Shane from the left wing spot to left back, and he looked a promising attacking left back at Chelsea, and of course set up the first goal for Nile Ranger.
Peter Beardsley’s job at Newcastle is to bring through the youngsters, and he talked today after last night’s 0-0 draw against Aston Villa at Benton:
“The one thing I always ask is to ‘give me your best’, and I think all five of the first-team players – six if you include Shane Ferguson, who is very much on the fringe – did that.”
“It’s not always about the winning, it’s about how you play, and your attitude to the game.” “Chris Hughton now knows he’s got a few young players he can call upon, as he did with Fergie in the last round of the Carling Cup.”
“From that point of view, it’s a plus, and we’ll move forward.” “That’s our job – get them in the first team. What Fergie did at Chelsea surpassed our expectations, and proves, if needed, he can play there again.”
“He’s probably our next recognised left-back after Enrique, and to be fair to the manager, he didn’t want to take any chances with him at Chelsea.” “It worked out both ways as they got the result.”
There’s no doubt that Shane will get a start at left back against Arsenal in the 4th round of the Carling Cup in 3 weeks time at St. James’ Park, and another accomplished performance in that game will raise his profile even further at Newcastle.
And for the first time since he signed in the summer of 2007, Spanish left-back Jose Enrique could be pushed for his position at Newcastle. Of course Shane can also play on the left wing and may be used there by Chris in the future.
With Ben Arfa out for the rest of the season Chris will look for more wingers and if Kazenga LuaLua continues to do well and score goals at Brighton, he could well be brought back to Newcastle in January to help the Magpies for the rest of the season.
One thing that’s apparent now at the Newcastle club, is that the Youth Policy is already producing some really good young players at the Tyneside club, and unlike times in the past – they will be given their chance under Chris Hughton.