Can Leon Best Keep Scoring Goals For Newcastle?


This year Leon Best has come in from the cold at Newcastle, and even looks like  a good player on Tyneside.

Leon Best – in action against Wigan

When Leon was bought from Coventry for around £1.5M (?), on the very last day of last year’s January transfer window, he was a shock choice to most Newcastle fans, and did not make a good start to his career on Tyneside.

At that time Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands were in red hot form,  and Leon didn’t start many games at all.

Best played 13 times last season, but didn’t manage to score one goal, and then in pre-season last summer, he did score a couple of good opportunist goals, but was then injured – and disappeared again.

But it was when Andy Carroll was injured late last year, that Leon Best was brought in from the cold, and he demonstrated just what he can do, when he hit a fabulous hat-trick for Newcastle, as they took  West Ham apart 5-0,  at St. James’ Park in early January.

And then last Saturday, after having a poor first half like most other Newcastle players, Leon scored his 4th goal for Newcastle in 7 appearances this season, and had another goal wrongly disallowed for offside, but in both cases showed what an opportunistic striker he can be.

Leon now has a great chance in the next few games, to show that he can indeed do a job on Tyneside, and he talked about his chance today:

“I knew I had been written off but that’s what happens if you don’t produce straight away.” “You’re put to the back of the queue and slowly forgotten about.”

“For the fans I was not here any more, for me, I just knew I if I was given a chance that I could take it.”    “I don’t think I was given a good chance, that’s my view. They say you get a chance for 15 minutes, but that’s not being given a chance.”

“There’s a difference when you are given three or four game on the trot and you feel fit and sharp. That’s a chance. If you’re thrown in after not playing for months, that’s not a chance.”

“I was made aware that the fans were not keen on me playing afterwards and there were a few groans when my name was read out against West Ham. I knew there were no great hopes from the fans on me. When I did find out, I had the hat-trick to my name.”

“Now I’m playing, scoring and delighted. In hindsight maybe I pushed myself too hard to get back and impress. It was never really right. When I did get my hat-trick, it was such a relief. It just shows you there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”

There’s no doubt that the hat-trick against West Ham was a personal triumph for the 24 year-old, as most Newcastle fans had written him off, but he roared back that night big time.

And we now know this lad can play a bit, and it would be just great if  the former Southampton trainee can make a good career for himself at the Newcastle club.

Leon added:

“Andy Carroll goes for £35m, Shola is out injured, I suppose there is a bit of pressure on me. But the weight is off my shoulders.”

I feel like I am wanted and it is a proper chance for me. If that’s the way it has happened then that is fine by me.”

“I would have loved to have played alongside Andy, but I was probably the one person who had something to gain from him going.”

We were told by Kevin Nolan and the other players before the West Ham game, that Leon was a good lad, and that he had worked his socks off in the year he’s been on Tyneside to  overcome all his injuries.

And that revelation seemed to open the door for both Leon and the fans – and the Nottingham-born player took his chance with both feet and a great hat-trick that night – it was a night to remember for Leon.

Now we need some goals from Leon in the next few games, with Andy gone forever, and Shola out injured for a few weeks, and hopefully Leon can start this afternoon at Blackburn Rovers.

If he can get the goals while Shola is out, Leon can still have a more than decent career on Tyneside.

Comments welcome.



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22 comments so far

  • xXl NUFC lXx

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #1

    1st woho 😉

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  • nicolnj

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #2

    doub!! second

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  • Burni

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #3

    Dont wanna be the guy to say told u so but I said WELL before he was given a chance to give him just that and a LOT of people on here slagged him off and still do! His first 2 paragraphs sum up the reality of being in someone elses shadow in football. I just hope he can keep it up, always rated this kid

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  • Corned Beef

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #4

    Pardon?

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  • IrishMagpie

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #5

    I think Best could be a big player for us, the more game time he gets, the sharper and better he’ll get. He’s got a bit of pace, good passing and laying the ball off for others and with a little more luck he’d have 2 more goals to his name this year ( the wrongly dissallowed one against Arsenal and he hit the underside of the bar from a tight angle a few weeks ago too ).

    He has a great oppertunity now until the end of the season, i rate him as the no. 1 striker at the club at the minute and think even when Shola is fit Best should be ahead of him in the pecking order.

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  • boater

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #6

    He’s doing a lot of talking all of a sudden. Keep schtum and get on with it mate, when you’ve finished the season on 10 goals we can have the ‘told you so’ debate.

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  • ginkoh

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #7

    No doubt, he’s the good lads and he’s fighter. But he has plenty of room to improve to be PRM striker. hopefully he can do that. HWTL !

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  • boater

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #8

    Irishmagpie,

    but shola give us more shape, stretches the pitch and provides a decent outlet by holding the ball up well. Arguably in the last 2 months or whatever, best has looked the better finisher aye, but this current team excels when we press and hold a high line – it’s still the hughton tactic going back to the turn of last year.

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  • supermacnumber9

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #9

    “The next four or five games are very important.” – whatever else you think of pardew you can’t say he is not a top football analyst

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  • supermacnumber9

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #10

    a shame that hughton didn’t get the WBA job

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  • toonyoyo

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #11

    still undecided about the lad but he is the best we have at the moment bit worried that if he bangs in a few more fat ash will decide we dont need to spend millions on a striker

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  • Overseas Newcastle - Cheik out Tiotes back pocket

    Feb 12, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #12

    Leon the beast Best 😀

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  • brownrob

    Feb 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #13

    I had a dream last night…

    Leon Best scored 2 goals 🙂

    4 goals in 6/7 starts isn’t bad!

    If he gets 10 goals this season he will have done well

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  • john_cena163

    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #14

    Looks lyk v gona win 3-1, sum1 to score a hat-trick

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  • Nufc-83

    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #15

    boater your an idiot!!!

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  • john_cena163

    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #16

    That was the result i got playn fifa 11 against blackburn. Hope da result cums out true.

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  • ganiyu

    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #17

    newcastle united needs a creative striker like tevez.
    Leon and the rest are ordinary poachers.i strongly believe that nile ranger is some thing close if u watch him closely with the one two and skills

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  • howay man

    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #18

    Elmander and Gervinho will be a hell of a strikeforce next season

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  • Jamma

    Feb 12, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #19

    I like the sound of Gervinho + Ranger.

    For some reason I really want Ranger to do well, he causes alsorts of problems and it’s great to watch. Please Nile just work on your finishing – I hope when he gets his first goal his confidence skyrockets and he becomes a goal machine!

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  • superclivemendonca

    Feb 12, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #20

    I see much potential in Leon. He plays just on the edge of being off side, yes he will stray offside sometimes but also he will get clean through a few times.
    He has an impressive leap, can head the ball and is very quick. His first touch at times leaves a bit to be deired but againsy Arsenal he scored 2 good goals (1 wrongly chalked off) and won a penalty. Still some people in the crowd were giving him grief.
    As with all the lads in black and white, give them a chance to show what they can do before you write them off.

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  • Phil K

    Feb 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #21

    “Good player at Newcastle” is stretching things a bit, but it’s in his own hands.
    He went from hero with a hat trick against a woeful West ham to LESS than zero in an abysmal performance at Stevenage (he wasn’t alone in that) he hasn’t shown much since, but was decent – good even – in the 2nd half v Arsenal.

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