It will be 19 year-old Nile Ranger or 30 year-old Peter Lovenkrands who will start tomorrow, if Shola Ameobi, as expected, isn’t fit to line up alongside Andy Carroll against Fulham FC tomorrow afternoon.
Nile Ranger – could get first start in Premier League tomorrow
If Ameobi doesn’t start it’s going to be a tough decision between the two for Chris Hughton to make – does he bring in a player with vast raw potential but not much experience in Nile Ranger, or does he go with the experienced Peter Lovenkrands, who has only 5 appearances for Newcastle so far this season?
Nile Ranger replaced Ameobi at half-time in the midweek defeat against Blackburn and did OK, and he will need to wait to see if he did enough to earn a starting place tomorrow afternoon.
But Newcastle are a different club than they used to be when Peter would have been played as it was tough for the youngsters to break through too quickly at Newcastle, but under Chris Hughton that is no longer the case and Chris gives the youngsters their chance – when it’s been deserved.
Hughton has told the Shields Gazette today that he would not be afraid to start the 19 year-old tomorrow:
“Nile’s had to be patient – as have others,” “The reason we played Nile was because Blackburn are quite a big and aggressive team. They’re very good on set plays, and Nile has awareness to his game.”
“The reason he came on against Blackburn was because he could affect their back three or five.” “I wouldn’t be afraid to start him. When I look at the options I’ve got, it’s him or Peter Lovenkrands.”
“Peter hasn’t managed to get the amount of football that he would have wanted.”
Ameobi’s return to the starting eleven, along with that of Danny Simpson, coincided with a three game run of Newcastle wins, and Shola proved he could well play alongside Andy Carroll.
And it could well be that Chris prefers the physical presence of Nile, to the deft and classy touches of Peter Lovenkrands, although we would expect both players to play at some time tomorrow afternoon.
Peter needs a chance this season to show what he can do, and he’s played very well for the side since he arrived a year last January, and he’s already got 20 goals.
We don’t expect Shola to start tomorrow because he’s carrying a slight injury, and Chris talked about the local 28 year-old striker today:
“We took him off because it was tight,”
We also expected Cheick Tiote to miss the game because we had thought he picked up his 5th yellow card on Wednesday evening, but after checking up on it, we were wrong (what – again?) – but thank goodness – it was only his 4th yellow card.
Thanks to our readers for pointing out we had made another mistake – nothing like making something worse than it already is.
But it’s good to know Cheick will be playing tomorrow, because he will be really motivated to play extra well after giving away the cheap goal against Blackburn.