Leon Best Just Wanted A Chance And Took It Brilliantly

Alan Pardew admitted that Leon Best wasn’t due to start last night, until Shola Ameobi pulled his hamstring and reported that to the manager yesterday morning.

Leon Best – puts away his 3rd goal last night

And there had even been reports that the Ireland International would be sold to a Championship club in January, and in fact Pardew asked Leon recently why he should keep him at Newcastle, since he had no goals and no assists over the last 12 months.

A delighted Newcastle manager said after the game last night:

“Leon, who had been knocking on my door for the last two weeks telling me that he hasn’t really had an opportunity.””I spoke to him about ‘you’ve been here a year, there’s no assists, no goals. What is there for us to keep about you?’ and he kept telling me that he could do it and he’s proven that tonight.”

“He had an opportunity, somewhat fortunately because he wasn’t due to start.”    “He had a good cameo at Wigan, so he was certainly going to come on at some stage but Shola Ameobi pulled out this morning and I called him with the news about half past ten and he couldn’t wait, I could tell on the phone.”

“Brilliant night for him, he deserves it.” “He’s well liked in the dressing room and I think that gives you a head start at a big club when you’ve got that sort of character.”

“He did brilliant at  Nottingham Forest and he has a good record in the Championship, but of course, unproven at this level.”    “Like all strikers and players from the Championship there’s sometimes a snobbish opinion that they’re not going to be good enough and as Charlie Adams proved at Blackpool and Leon has tonight.

“There are players in that division who can play at this level if they have the belief.”

The Leon Best story in the last four days is like a fairy tale, and today Leon is the Toast of Tyneside – and deserves to be too.

He did a terrific job for the club last night when it really mattered, and now of course there’s no way this lad will be sold.

Well done, Leon Best.

Comments welcome.

37 comments so far

  • Junglist-Geordie

    Jan 6, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Comment #1

    I for one im really pleased that leon best got his hatrick and a good one at that he took them on like a true proffessional, he has taken some stick of the fans which i think was very undue i really hope now we can all get behind the lad and all nufc players for that matter unless they really dont give a f**k or want to leave, hopefully his confidence is now sky high well done leon the best comes to those that wait excuse the pun

  • jwheelie12

    Jan 6, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Comment #2

    any news on his injury?

  • AussieToon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Comment #3

    I will be interested to see a Carroll / Best partnership. Have a feeling it will be very effective and cause problems for teams.

    Impressed by Best’s finishing and composure.

  • Charlietoon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    Comment #4

    This may be the end of Ameobi. I think Best and Loven have both moved above him the pecking order.

  • chuck

    Jan 6, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Comment #5

    Well, justifies my earlier in the day plea to give Best an opportunity to prove he can play.
    I mentioned how in previous games, though not scoring, was a team player and worked hard.
    Well looks like one mans misfortune (Sholas injury) was anothers opportunity and he took it well.
    On saying that, have to say West Ham were awfull, especially defensively, cant see them avoiding the drop if they continue to play so badly.
    In fact it should have been at least seven nil.
    How one game can change so much, appears Pardew is going to hang onto Best for the time being.
    And there`s a possibility of a Carroll/Best line up, let`s see.

  • ardenTOON

    Jan 6, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    Comment #6

    charlietoon: rightly said mate.
    best would be the ideal partner for carroll as he’s got pace and loven proved he’s a fox in the box especially with that goal of his..adios ameobi

  • ardenTOON

    Jan 6, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Comment #7

    guys just a bit of trivia any other toon player or any other prem playa scored a hattrick ontheir debut?

  • hkgeordie

    Jan 6, 2011 at 3:47 AM

    Comment #8

    Was SuperMac’s hatrick against Liverpool his debut?

    Didn’t Best sign from Coventry – interesting that Pardew should have Forest in his mind as they were rumoured to be after him.

  • McGroin

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Alan Shearer did it against Arsenal with Southampton.

  • balubas1

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    Comment #10

    I’m not going to say “I told you so”.. not at all. But I have been one of the few that has NEVER given Best any stick, and have never stated that I want him out. He was always unproven, and some players just are harder to spot any talent in.. some players also don’t shine before they hit the big stage.

    Take Darren Bent for example… he don’t “look” a good player at all… if you compare him to Leon Best, Leon has the best physique by far.

    Leon didn’t only score a hattrick last night.. he scored them all with his weaker foot, and still his finishing was pin point accurate. He also won about 10 headers(?) against the West Hams CB’s and I think he lost 2.. whereas on lead to the 1st goal.

    I hope this will show you to give unproven players a fair chance and not to slate our own players.

    Remember that any premier league side with any ambition what so ever NEED 4 DECENT STRIKERS in the squad.

    Yes Ameobi might be losing his spot atm, but no need to slate him…. we should be happy we have him in the squad as he wins games for us occationally. Wigan not so long ago….

  • Charlietoon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:21 AM

    Comment #11

    I’d not want to slate Ameobi as he does come up with the odd precious goal and has the occassional game where he is simply brilliant but I think the average quality of a squad is moving up and Shola has simply had his chance. I think in we Loven we have a small pacy striker that creates space, Leon a strong possibly very sharp striker he seems to be able to shoot quick and low with little time and Andy…well nuff said. I’d rather have a younger Loven a small and hard to catch striker as our next signing and to be honest I think we should try and offload Shola and Xisco ASAP.

    I wonder if we will see xisco in the cup

  • newcastle29

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    Comment #12

    Only man utd have scored more goals than us at home!

  • cupiddstunt

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:56 AM

    Comment #13

    balubas1 @#10 I though his left foot was his stronger foot,

    I thought he was relativly two footed but stronger on the left

  • Toonmania

    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    Comment #14

    Well i admit i haven’t been overly complimentry in the past about Best but after last night i think he has just about showed me how wrong i have been.
    Well done Leon if you’re read this i’m sorry for doubting you

  • StevieGee

    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #15

    Wikipedia says he’s a leftie.

    I’m pleased for Best. I commented on here after the Wigan game that I hoped he scored a hat trick against West Ham. Ha ha… Didn’t really expect him to but he did look sharp in his cameo as a sub for Shola.

    Last nights game was a perfect example of someone who really wanted to play for the club.

    He was winning long balls over the top and controlling them on his chest that he should never have won and on numerous occasions he was tracking back and putting in good tackles to break up West Ham attacks.

    He was in the right place at the right time to take his chances, and he took them all but his overall performance made it even more impressive.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #16

    HK Geordie @ 8

    Yes, Supermac scored 3 against Liverpool on his top flight debut for Newcastle at home first game of the 71/72 season. I know ’cause I was there – and he too was taken off injured as I recall.

    Still, he set an English transfer record at the time (£18ok) so it was the least we expected from the ex Luton Town one time full back. Say what you like about him, he could always score goals.

    Good game, btw, we won 3-2.

  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #17

    As I’ve said before he’s not the most skillful of players but always gives 100%, I for one am delighted by Best’s performance last night, hopefully this will get some of the people off his back

  • Irish-Toon

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #18

    Didn’t Micky Quinn score a hat trick on debut?

  • Spotlight Kid

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #19

    …as for Best, like many others on here, I am delighted for the lad. He was doing well in pre-season then picked up that nasty injury. Once one shot hits the back of the net the rest will surely follow. Equally delighted this might end the Keane rumours.

    An object lesson for all strikers – LB kept cool, kept his head, didn’t snatch at the chances and most importantly kept the ball on target!*

    *PS: Nile must take note, there’s no point in playing him if he can’t learn to hit the target. Awful miss last night, to add to the rest. Needs to go out on loan and get used to playing (and concentrating) for 90 minutes at a competitive level. He seems to be skipping around daydreaming sometimes.

  • jimmyxavi

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #20

    I love it how everyone now loves Leon Best, yet it was only yesterday everyone slated him saying he’s shit! Especially the comment by Charlietoon saying that they ar eboth above Aemobi – Very Fickle People!

    Give the squad a chance – they might just surprise you!

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #21

    Anyone else notice the absences of Alan Smith and Wayne Routledge from the squad last night, maybe because they are both being shipped out??

    Smith -> Leeds
    Routledge -> Liverpoo

    What do you think?

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #22

    Im glad Best stood up and put in a display like that.

    Obviously Hoots saw something in him when he signed him.

    I have to say, that on last night’s performance, Nile really needs to be sent out on loan to get some first team experience, shocking miss for the lad.

    I think Best and McLoven paired up well and seemed to have a good understanding with eachother.

    Well played lads.

  • NUFC_Richyg01

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #23

    Also more good news on SSN:

    “Harry Redknapp has confirmed a fee of £7million has been agreed with Birmingham for Robbie Keane. The Spurs boss has also ruled out the possibility of bringing in Andy Carroll, and claims there are no new developments in the club’s move for David Beckham.”

    Brillaint – No Robbie Keane and keeping Big Andy HWTL!

  • daneevz

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #24

    Leon Best Take A bow Son!! Fair play held his own and played well but there was a few personal superb perfomance lastnight that helped him to bag 3. J.Barton put in a admirable shift and was outstandin also have to mention coloccini was supberb really solid and grown leaps and bounds and deserves the title of argentine international. Also Jonas had a decent game after some stinkers. Well Done HWTHL

  • shearer4pm

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #25

    Liverpool are being linked with a January move for Newcastle United winger Wayne Routledge.

    The 25-year-old joined the Toon a year ago from Championship outfit QPR, and now Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is reportedly ready to make an offer for the player.

    An £8 million valuation is believed to have been placed on the player’s head by Alan Pardew, who has used the winger sparingly since his arrival at St James’ Park.

    The Metro claims the Hodgson’s interest in Routledge has peaked after the Anfield outfit were priced out of a move for Charles N’Zogbia, and the Liverpool boss is keen to add width and pace in the transfer window.

    ok that is from caughtoffside.com but 8 MILLION. i’d carry him there. use that 8 million to get bentley. but to be honest i can see it being 3million tops. these sights are a joke lol

  • geoff777

    Jan 6, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #26

    So pleased for Leon Best.
    Lots of readers commenting on this blog spotted his talent pre-season and have been shouting for him to get a chance.

    Get in Leon …

    No need for Keane => Good news.
    Routledge to Liverpool => If the price is right.

    Spend the dosh on a top winger who can cross.

    The squad is three or four players short of being able to challenge for trophies and a European spot.

    The rest of the season could be great with HBA signing yesterday.
    An FA Cup run would be fantastic as we’re no longer looking over our shoulder in the league.
    There are a lot more than three teams worse than us.


  • Oleg G

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #27

    Just saw the Highlights (after not being able last night to connect to any links 🙁 (COL – crying out loud).

    Looks like that was one of those games. amazing.

    But being a pessimistic that I am…

    I think that against other teams (most of them at least) 3 of those goals would not be possible.

    number 1,2,3. Goal 4 and 5 we outplayed them, the first 3 were the defense mistake. What is good that we (Best hh…) knew to use the chances and score, sometimes we like to miss those (coz we like everything to be difficult and dramatical).

    Happy for the 4th goal, was beautiful, the whole fast pace passing, great stuff.

    And we outplayed them with “6”-0 it’s just that strikers usually don’t understand how things can be so easy and miss these situations (saw Nile do that already twice in the passed month).

    All in all, great game.

    an astonishing 134,301 out of 10. 🙂

  • Daniel Abela (Malta)

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #28

    Well done Leon Best…it is the first I will make a comment about him… and I will make it because he was given a chance, there no point making it when he is injured!!!!!

    You took your chance well done…more of the same.

    But the plaudits must go to Joey Barton…what a player and what a Pro!!! Since he said he stopped drinking, he is a differnet man and player.

    The best performance in a Newcastle Shirt for sure, not many are better than him right now.

    I just loved they way he was shouting at someone on the left hand side in the final minutes for lack of marking and how he was chasing if I am not mistaken Hines for about 50 meters in the 90th minute when we’re 5-0 up…thats being a pro.

    Well done guys

  • Rotonda heights

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #29

    The way Best and Loven dovetailed last night I’m not so sure AC should walk straight back in to the team.

    The last 2 matches without Carroll has seen us win twice and play an awful lot more football on the deck.

    I hope when AC comes back in, we won’t revert to just lumping and humping it again.

  • jesus was a geordie

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #30

    Good words from Pardew, aside from the fact Best never played for Forest of course…

  • G

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #31

    I was at that game last night, and Leon’s performance was brilliant, when he wasn’t scoring goals, he was up and down the pitch, in a manner not unlike a certain local sheet metal workers son. Even though Leon got the headlines though, I have to say that the player who impressed me most last night was Peter L, who looked dreadful against Wigan, but he was more than vindicated last night. Overall, the whole team were brilliant, and we simply took WHU apart from the kick off. Yes, we did take our foot off the gas for the last 10 mins, which is always a worry, but to be honest, West Ham let their heads drop after the 3rd goal and were never really going to get back into it. Well done boys, bring on the mackems, where hopefully our new former whipping boy, currently golden boy can bag another hat-trick.

  • JSYproject

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #32


    its nice to know we have either option tho, i wouldnt bench andy when theres loads of offers comin his way at the minute. wait till feb for that haha

  • keegan trio

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #33

    best may not be the best but he is defo better than shola

  • leedodd

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #34

    Well done Leon You were awsome my son !!!!! He Just Needed a Chance He doesn’t want to move again. Get Shot of Ranger he was Crap. Even Lovenkrands Did a Good Shift . All The Injurys are a Slight worry But we do have a strong enough team to Beat Stevenage of all teams even with Ranger and Xisco up front . Who the New Centre forward is we wait and see But we Know It wont be Robbie Keane !!!!

  • JSYproject

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #35

    now that other strikers are stepping up anyway we may not even need another forward.. might put money into other areas that need strengthened like left back and either wing… be good to see how leon does in his next few games. hes only 24 anyway plenty of time to progress, unlike shola!

  • Sav

    Jan 6, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #36

    I’ve seen Best play a few times for Ireland so, I hope to be proven wrong but I need to see Bestie do that against sterner opposition than a woeful hammers side before I’m convinced.
    I agree Loverman had a big part to play in Best’s big night. Good movement and awareness typified by his own score which was a little beauty.
    And Spotlight Kid, I remember Supermac’s debut, too. Great game. Walked home a foot taller. Didn’t see you there, though….

  • tcbelfast

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #37

    delighted for bestie last.to be honest didnt know an awful lot about this guy and would have been happy to off load in january.but give credit where its due he done fantastic.
    lets keep these guys as there gonna be invalueable as the season goes on and takes its toll on the other established players


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