Leon Best Could Get The Job Done On Tyneside


We have been quite impressed with Leon Best since he’s been given his chance in the Newcastle first team.

Leon Best – in action on Saturday

And on Saturday Leon really scored two good opportunist goals, but one of them was wrongly ruled out because of offside.

All Leon seems to need is an extended run in the first team, as he seems to know his way around that penalty area, and the goal he did score on Saturday was really well taken, as he beat three Arsenal defenders to that loose ball before plonking it home.

And Leon also had an assist when he was brought down for that first penalty, so he could well have had two goals and an assist on Saturday – which is not too bad at all.

In 7 appearances this season for Newcastle,  Leon now has 4 goals to his name.

And he seems confident enough that he can do the job for Newcastle, since we lost that young striker last Monday, and we know a lot of the players were just sick of hearing the name of Andy Carroll all last week.

And just think, next Saturday, the lads will all be able to show us what can happen when they play with guts and glory for the full 90 minutes (plus injury time),  instead of  for just 45 minutes, which they did on Saturday.

Leon talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:

“It was a hard job, but it shows what Newcastle is about.” “We have Northern Rock on our shirts, you saw the Northern Rock right there – that was us against Arsenal and we showed them what we can do.”

“People may wonder if I can fill the void left by Andy Carroll.” “I’ve been the underdog a lot of times in my life and come out on top. I just need to keep doing that. If I keep scoring it’s good but it’s about the team.”

There are also rumors around that Andy Carroll may be ruled out for the rest of the season, and we never really thought that Newcastle ever got to the bottom of what was wrong with Andy’s thigh – and we never did hear the results from that specialist in Sweden.

And we don’t yet know how serious Leon’s hamstring injury is,  although he has been withdrawn from the Ireland side for the mid-week game,  and we also hear that young Nile Ranger has been withdrawn from the England U20 side too  – presumably in case he gets injured.

But if Nile plays like he did on Saturday in those last 17 minutes,  the 19 year-old will soon be playing for the England U21 side – that’s almost a cast iron certainty.

And Nile may also get his first start in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon at Blackburn, and that in itself will be worth seeing.

And with all the injuries Newcastle now have,  we are back in our old familiar position at the very top of the Premier League Injury table with 8 injuries.

Comments welcome.



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98 comments so far

  • toonyoyo

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #1

    hope he can step up but we still need someone in soon as possible again plenty of talk but nothing happening

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  • giimps

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Gotta admit I slated best first half, second half he seemed to be looking along the line for to stop being offside.
    Slightly scruffy goal but reacted quickly and the one earlier should have stood.

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  • NUFCmagpie

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #3

    He reminds me of Darren Bent Whenever I see him play. Definitely has quality and hopefully can keep it goin without changing clubs as often as bent…

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  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #4

    Just wrote this on the other story before i seen this new story on besty….crazy

    Yall see besty’s interview, maybe i have a soft spot for the underdawg, perhaps thats why im a newcastle supporter to begin with, but this lad is really growing on me. He is the type of player newcastle need. He will never leave tyneside unless the club doesnt resign him. He is loyal, good natured, and a fighter. Probably doesn’t have the most skill in the world, probably isnt the fastest in the world, but the kid knows how to put the ball in the onion bag. Anybody who scores a brace against arsenal has to be worth something.(yes i counted the goal he was called offsides for but we know it was a good goal.) I just really like besty and i think he reflects newcastle as a whole, underdawgs with alot of heart that makes up for some of the shortcomings. Gonna get me a besty strip, give that lad the #9 shirt. He is sitting on 4 prem league goals (should be 5) in only like 5 starts and 3 or 4 cameo’s. Pretty good return this season. I think he will hit double digits before the season is done and i would like to see him pair up with ranger. I thinbk Ranger is better then Judas was at his age, and i think when its all said and done Ranger will be a better player and have a better career. Ranger is so strong and quick and holds the ball up well, he just needs more time on the pitch, and once he gets that first goal look out, he will go on a goal scoring rampage….

    Things look and feel so much better on tyneside then last week, Andy who? he isnt even gonna play for the rest of the season and when he comes back who says he will be the same player, plus he is injury prone. Not to mention, Liverpool arent gonna use him like we did. We put balls in the box from all over the pitch to him. Liverpool wont play like that, they will keep the ball on the floor and try to play pretty and Andy can’t play like that. Truth be told, Joey Barton should get half his wages cuz most of the goals he scored were from perfect crosses from barton that Tim Krul could even put in the onion bag….lol

    Howay the lads! Ed keep up the good work mate, love this blog it has been my home away from home for the better part of 3 years now since i discovered it. Thanks mate….

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  • toonyoyo

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #5

    reading on other less reliable sites ewerthon is poised to sign anyone confirm ?

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  • chuck

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Comment #6

    Yeah, Best is improving by the game.
    I had advocated giving him more starts, now guess we have no choice, so lets see how he developes.
    The guys a hard worker, covers a lotta ground, has good positional sense and is unselfish, he`s not bad in the air and has that strikers ability of being in the right spot.
    He` is also big enough to put himself about, but has`nt showed that part of his game yet, hopefully he can be the complete center forward.
    Cause we certainly need one at this stage of the season.

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  • moonraker

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #7

    Best is crap at PL level; he’ll never score many goals. Keep playing Ranger and the goals will come for him, he just needs a bit of luck and the confidence will follow. He will be a better player than AC in 6 months!!

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #8

    i like best a lot, his cameo in the plymouth game at the end of the last season proved he could be a good player for us as i remember, he come on and rattled the bar from 25 yards, played qaulity

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  • Toonkistan

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #9

    Ed i suggest you kindly stop mentioning Carroll in each post of yours 😛

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  • Geordie-Gerrard7

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #10

    i bet tiote will score again on sat, aswell as ranger

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  • Sgt. Heagerty

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #11

    I remember not so long ago, everybody was calling besty a bust, i kept saying the lad just needed some time on the pitch and some support from the toon army. I also said he just needed to get 1 goal to get his confidence back and he would be good. Hate to say i told you so, but if he can keep up his form he is starting to look like another good piece of business done by Chrissy. Thats the one area im concerned about with Pardew. His tactics are solid and man managing seems good but Chrissy was a genius in finding good players for small fees which until we get financialy solid is what we have to survive on. What was the fee for besty like 1.5 mil. If thats the case i’d say he has already earned that back if you look at the money we spent on scrubs like micheal owen and what we got in return….

    Hwtl and keep it up besty….

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  • Howay The Lads

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Best seems to be great at bringing the ball down with is chest and holding it for a few seconds. If we can get him to work on beating his man and staying onside! then we’d have a player easily fit to grace the EPL – even if it was as first choice back-up to better players.

    In the second half I was particularly impressed with his movement and he WAS staying onside!

    Keep doing that and he should definitely be in our squad next season

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  • jackdnufc

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #13

    toonyoyo-

    Nothing anywhere near concrete on Ewerthon but ESPN etc are starting to pick up on the story now. You would imagine given the circumstances that we are onto him. We should definitely be signing him till the end of the season with an option to extend at the end.

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  • burnsie

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #14

    Best IS a good finisher, anyone can see that from his five (yes FIVE) goals so far. all well hit, clean, hard strikes. only just turned 24, he could easily get ten goals a season at the moment if he a starter, maybe fifteen a season in a year/two years. i really mean that too!

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  • toonfan09

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #15

    heard that andy carroll has same sort of problems that woodgate had which means could be a long term issue just rumours on the grape vine like nothing cert

    im pleased with best people who actually watch im properly will see he has actually got better footwork and on ball movement than carroll

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  • lou9brasil

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Has Andy Carroll gone? Would never have guessed based on the fact that ed has managed to mention it in every update he has provided ha ha… Seriously though he was good but not exactly zinedine zidane and going on reports of his injury being a lot more serious than first thought good bit of business for us, don’t know how Best will het on for the rest of the season but as long as he keeps banging in the goals ( whether they be from 3 yards or 30 yards) then I’ll be a happy man… Howay the lads!!!

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  • carrollsinger

    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #17

    4 goals in 7 games that’s not bad from a so called player who don’t score many goals his first real run in the team carry on lad and he could reach 10-12 goals by the end of the season

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  • magpieboom_6

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #18

    I hope Leon keeps it up. We need that kind of production to continue. 4 goals in 7 games is a great run so far.

    He still may be a 2nd or 3rd rate PL striker that lacks some skills of the upper echelon strikers, but scoring goals makes people forget that. People can make a living in front of goal banging home rebounds and junk and those still count.

    We still need another body in the squad that can do damage with runs to balls played in behind the opposition back line and someone that can beat defenders, with pace, 1 v 1 around the penalty area.

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  • G

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #19

    With regard to Ewerthon, I would only sign him on a pay-as-you-play basis to be honest. It’s not that I don’t rate him, but for some reason Brazilian players can be brilliant until 26 / 27 then seem finished, its like Dog years for them for some reason, sometimes 26 in Brazil can be like 38 in a European player. Good player like, and if nowt else he would give us another option, and hopefully prevent us from signing Aliadiere.

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  • boater

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #20

    Cracking hat trick on his first SJP league start of the season (like someone else.. erm I forget his name) followed by a great second half showing against the arsenal,, aye 2 goals to be honest plus won us a penalty.

    I think he could quietly grow into the role of a no-nonsense, clinical finisher. He has a great build and body shape for a centre forward – making him potentially more agile then either Carroll, ranger or shola – and still young.

    I just hope he, and the rest of the team start where they left off against 4rsen4l,,, power, determination and a furious tempo.

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  • magpieboom_6

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Comment #21

    And in my 3rd paragraphy above, I was referring to Ewerthon, if he’s healthy.

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  • jackdnufc

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #22

    G-

    I think a pay-as-you-play contract would be ideal but he obviously has enough quality about him to do well in both Spain and Germany and, therefore, I would expect quite a few clubs to be interested. A p-a-y-p contract, I do not think, will be enough to secure his services especially if other clubs offer more security.

    If he really wants to play in the Premiership then the option to extend at the end of the season should be enough to spur him on to play well at the club for the remainder of the season Plus it would maintain the benefit of getting rid of him if he does not do well similarly to a p-a-y-p contract.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #23

    Sgt. Heagerty comment 4 – Great post mate I agree on everything you said except perhaps giving Best the number 9 so soon. Best has impressed me and shows he’s an intelligent player with his runs and movment on and off the ball. As you said he’s not lacking confidence and is really committed to making his time here a success. If he plays consistently he will come good I feel. Best and Ranger is not a bad pairing and I think it will work really well for us. Those two up front for now and Ben Arfa, Gosling, Barton, Nolan, Gutierrez and Ireland supplying them with great balls to feed off from. It looks really exciting and if we invest well in the summer and keep hold of the likes of Tiote then I think we will make the top 6 next season.

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #24

    g i guess you are excusing, pele, socrates,rivaldo,cafu,romario and bebeto from that statement there who all played football at a very high level past 30

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  • alka

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #25

    Pleased to see that bestie (injured) and Ranger have been withdrawn from the internationals because until we can get another forward into the fold we need to wrap these two in cotton wool

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #26

    also lucio and maicon are around the 30 mark and are still arguably the best in the world in their positions

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  • G

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #27

    jackdnufc – valid points
    lewman – didn’t say it was exclusive, but often the case.

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  • davybtoon

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #28

    ive said all along that if best got the games in are team he will get the goals, as ppl hav stated he is only 24 and jus shows what u can do if the manager believes in you 4 in 7 pl games(should be 5 in 7) is a great return and i agree him n ranger could be great together, n if he keeps goin the way he is goin id give him a new 5 year deal along with simpson who i feel is fast becomin the best rb in the pl

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #29

    and juan is up there too

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #30

    i know what you mean with ronaldo and ronaldinho though g

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  • Thump

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #31

    I’ve always said to have faith in Best. Given a canny run in the first ream you’ll see him come good.

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  • Tiote4PM

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Comment #32

    Besty – clearly popular with the team and will always try. Can score as he has shown against WH and Arsenal. No doubt.

    Is is a box player and not great in the air. Will score 3-7 more goals this season.

    However, is not a striker who could lead the line. Cannot shrug off defenders and wont score 15+ goals a season.

    Like the lad, but he is a 1 million pound player for a reason.

    Not negative – accurate.

    HWTL

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  • Davies

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #33

    Moonraker: Let’s not get carried away with Ranger, he’s got masses of potential, but at the moment, it’s very much unfulfilled. To say he’s better than Best is a bit daft, given the figures.

    Best now has 4 (5) EPL goals to his name. Ranger?

    Let the lad develop. Remember, he’s still only 19 and has a lot to learn. Hopefully it won’t be long now.

    On a lighter note, does anyone else think that Lovenkrands and Ranger would actually be pretty scary to play against?

    We’ll soon see.

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  • jackdnufc

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #34

    I think perhaps a bigger concern would be whether he can hack the Premiership as Brazilian footballers typically do poorly when they play their trade over here.

    Don’t think we need to worry about this too much though saying as we really need another striker and anybody who has anything like his experience in any top leagues, like the ones he has proved himself in, can only be a positive addition. I think the welcoming nature of our squad, currently, helps significantly too.

    I would also suggest that already having Jose, Colo, and Jonas, who are more used to the ‘type’ of football he plays and cultures he has lived in, should help him adapt quickly to the Toon and the league in equal measure (in theory).

    A definite addition saying he is on a free.

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  • Thump

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #35

    @davybtoon: you flip flop more than a pair of middle aged woman’s beach footwear. I’ve hardly seen you say anything positive about Best or Simpson for that matter.

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #36

    ranger is more skillful than best but routledge is more skillful than malouda and we all know who we would prefer over routs and malouda and it wouldnt be that little englishman.

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  • lewman

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #37

    simpson thump is probably one of the top 5 rb’s in the league at the moment imo.

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  • Tiote4PM

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #38

    Davies – I play CB on a Saturday a an average level. Would bully those two all day!

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  • gorskino10

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #39

    Ratio wise he is doing good, i mean he has more goals this season than Ameobi who has played like triple as many games, problem i see with Best is that he is still far too raw even at like 24 or whatever his age is, he doesnt have the best work ethic for the team and tbh all his goals have been taps ins which most strikers can score he is yet to make a goal or make a goal for someone else, he HEAVILLY relies on people handing it to him on a plate, i mean good strikers can score every type of goals even the tap in’s Best can only do the tapins he cannot head that well which for his height he should and cannot make a goal from nothing or take a few players on to score.

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  • chuck

    Feb 7, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #40

    Lewman
    It`s obvious with all those thirty plus Brasilians, your point is errrmmm……… nonsense !

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