Nile Ranger Continues To Impress At Newcastle


One thing that is clear this season is that 19 year-old Nile Ranger has stormed back into the reckoning for first team action at Newcastle.

Nile Ranger – after scoring equalizer at Chelsea

Nile has already appeared 33 times for Newcastle with 3 goals, but when Leon Best arrived from Coventry  in January,  he didn’t see much first team action, but he has been doing very well in training, which is just one reason that Chris Hughton has decided not to send him out on loan, at least not yet.

And the striker positions at Newcastle have increased in terms of competition this season, with Xisco having returned to the club from his loan spell at Spanish club Racing Santander, but Nile still made the bench and a late appearance in the 2-2 draw with Wigan on Saturday.

That was Nile’s first league appearance of the season,  although he’s played the full games in the Carling Cup wins at Accrington Stanley and Chelsea, and played well in both those games.

Ranger talked about his ambition today to the Newcastle Journal:

“My ambition this season was to be the club’s top goalscorer,” “But failing that, to get a few Premier League games under my belt and try and pin a place down in the first team.”

“I got back for pre-season and got my head down and worked hard. Since then I’ve got a couple of reserve games and League Cup games where I played well.”

“I’m on the fringes but I’m not too sure where I stand. I’m just waiting for my chance really and it is up to me to take it when it comes.”

“Hopefully I’ll get a few more games under my belt this season, like I did in the Championship last season. The team is strong and I’ll just have to wait my turn. I don’t want anybody to get injured but I’ll be ready if I’m called upon.”

Ranger has not been helped in getting games in the first team, by Hughton’s preference this season to play 4-5-1 in most games, both home and away, so only a single striker is deployed, although Chris did change to 4-4-2 on Saturday, but had to leave out captain Kevin Nolan to do that.

Nile continued:

“Only time will tell if I can play up front together with (first-choice) Andy Carroll,”   “But we have played together in the Championship and we did all right.”

“I always feel like I’m getting better,”  “Playing with the first-team players is helping me become stronger.”

Whether Nile is sent out on loan this season probably depends on whether the lads can keep in the Carling Cup, when Newcastle play Arsenal in the 4th round next Wednesday night. As long as Newcastle are in the Carling we cannot see Nile being sent out on loan.

And if he keeps improving he could get many more substitute appearances in the league this season, which will help his development a lot.

Certainly Nile continues to look a good bet as a future striker at Newcastle.

Comments welcome.



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11 comments so far

  • CT

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #1

    With Carrol`s mind obviously on other things, start Nile upfront with Shola or as a replacement for Rout, he`s quick enough and has ability.

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  • G

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #2

    A mate told me last night that NR was off to join Calderwood at the Heebies? Sounds like a bit of 2 + 2 = 5 to me?

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  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #3

    “Nile has already appeared 33 times for Newcastle with 3 goals” That will have the scouts out in force.

    But seriously, With all Carroll’s problems at the moment. I can’t see Chris sending Ranger out on loan. He may be needed.

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  • BeeGuy

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #4

    NUFC have some youngsters with a sense of where the goal is located. If I were CH, I’d be running them out vs. Arsenal & Chelsea like ol’ devil Mick did with his lads vs. ManU last year.
    Ranger has a sense of scoring & a great touch. He needs time against the best so he (& other upcoming lads) can dominate the lesser opposition.

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  • Davies

    Oct 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #5

    Is it just me, or is 3 in 33 not the best goals to games ratio for a striker?

    I like the lad, i really do, and I know he’s highly thought of, but he’s in danger of becoming Hesky if he doesn’t start banging them in for the first team.

    Also, I actually thought he looked quite good going down the right against Chelsea. Maybe with a little more time on the wing we have a some competition to get Routelidge to up his game? Worked for Kuyt….

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  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 20, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #6

    Davies, It’s bloody hard to get goals when you’re getting a 6 minutes cameo.

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  • N.Ireland Mag

    Oct 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #7

    Well Davies, to be fair to the lad he’s only started something like 9 games out of those 33 appearances! lol

    But I take your point. Ranger has looked dangerous on the right and I agree that CH should give him some match time out there as the right wing position is definitely up for grabs.

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  • GeordieGerman

    Oct 20, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #8

    May look a bit more impressive when it was goals to minutes played.

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  • Mag 48

    Oct 20, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #9

    Afford him the same chance that Perch seems to be given

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  • Brutooon

    Oct 21, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    Comment #10

    most of his 33 apperance come like 15-20 mins in the end.

    i hope by next season he and carroll would be first team partnership. good for nufc and england future

    At least we got Ameobi, so that Nile Ranger would avoid Ameobi’s mistake

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  • Sav

    Oct 21, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #11

    I’m having to admit it, but Shola has been consistently good (two words not normally used in the same sentence with Shola) this season. He has scored some vital goals and seems to be managing to stay fit (which helps) and long may it continue. I also have been advocating starting Ranger on the right. One good thing about this is he gets across, sometimes unseen by defenders, to the back post whenever the left-winger makes a cross.
    But if Carroll gets time and Shola gets a knock (always a probability) Ranger will be leading the line. He can’t go out on loan.

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