Leon Best Can Become A Newcastle Hero


After Leon Best scored his great goal on Tuesday night, you could just tell he was absolutely delighted and he got a tremendous reception from the Newcastle fans behind the goal – and Leon was absolutely thrilled.

Leon Best – after scoring with great header on Tuesday

Newcastle’s Assistant manger John Carver, who we hope will sign a long-term contract with the club soon, has talked about Leon today:

“He hasn’t got a Shearer or Cole record at the moment, but he’s made a great start to Premier League life with five in seven at Newcastle and at this club.”

“It’s a starting point that can be built on and, if we keep creating the chances and he keeps taking them, it’s going to be great for him.” “He’s 24, and what a great age to be.”

“I was banging on Chris Hughton’s door to get Besty on loan this season because I rate him so highly.” “He didn’t want to come to Sheff United because he felt he’d been on loan already in his career and wanted to knuckle down and carve out a career.”

“It couldn’t have worked out better because now I’m working with him day-in day-out.”

Best has proved a few of his doubters wrong, including us, after his fantastic hat-trick against West Ham and his excellent second half performance against Arsenal.

He had a great game on Tuesday night, where he really looked the part in a black and white shirt,  as he won header after header against the Birmingham defense, and scored with a great effort.

John  Carver seems to understand Leon a bit as he continued:

“He’s very much his own man and doesn’t take much notice of what’s in the papers or what people will say – he’s very, very strong like that.” “He’s focused on his own game and he’s got a fresh start.” “He’s got a big opportunity for a young player and it’s a case of how far he takes it.”

“For all the strikers it is a massive opportunity now – especially Leon, Nile and Peter.” “I said to Besty what a big chance this is for him, and he knows that.” “He’s scored again against decent opposition on Tuesday.”

“I told him again last night ‘it’s in your hands’ in terms of establishing himself as a mainstay striker at Newcastle.”

Those are good words from John, and of course Leon will have to try to play his normal game too, because you can try too hard in games.

But it’s clear the 24 year-old knows he now has a massive opportunity to keep knocking those goals in this season, and if he can do that and help Newcastle to a great run-in to the season, he will become a big favorite on Tyneside.

And that’s always something worth striving for!

Comments welcome.



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67 comments so far

  • daneevz

    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #1

    keep pluggin away he just needs bit mo experience but is youngish so potential to improve. been decent this season

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  • GeordieGerman

    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #2

    Hope by the end of the season to have at least 10 of the Best.

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  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #3

    Hope scores a ton but I have my doubts. We need to spend wisely & well in the summer need CF, MF & LB. We may need 2 LB’s as I have a real bad feeling that Enrique will leave.

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  • Doocey

    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #4

    A big change in peoples opinions from a month ago or so.
    I was one of few Newcastle United fans that said he could score goals for the club, and was good enough for the Premier League – funny what 5 goals in 6 games can do for public opinion eh?

    I’m not having a dig at anyone here, but just glad that I was right about Leon, he can score goals for NUFC.

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  • boater

    Feb 17, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #5

    We could maybe finish 7th realistically, with Best or – more likely – Nolan pipping Carroll’s 11 tally.

    If we can keep up this form, I can see a small cluster – liverpool, mackems, bolton and us. Only 2 points behind the mackems – surely that’s the aim to get above them.

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  • aaronjd

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Speaking of John Carver, where is he on match days? I’m yet to spot him.

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  • faustino

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #7

    This clearly underlines the issue of how important it is to have a strong long term coaching staff, as opposed to trophy signings.

    A team made of up of players developed to be a great team is of far greater worth than a team of great players hastily thrown together.

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  • stevep

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #8

    5 in 7 which should have been 6 but for a blind linesman – good return and he’s scored in every other game, tend to forget he’s only 24 and in his 1st season in the prem, could come really good for us if he can keep it up

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  • Toon1978

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Comment #9

    Sometimes i feel as though Best struggles with his positional sense through the game and he lacks confidence when on the ball. There was a few times against Birmingham when he was on the ball where he could have taken it himself but he let the ball go to one of his own players like Barton for instance to easily. Rather then take the ball and look for a better option he releases the ball to his nearest team mate who then goes on to lose the ball. And there has been a few occasions where he has missed total sitters and there has also been occasions where he has been horrendous for most of the game only to pop up with a goal. Very Ameobi like lol. I do hope he bags us more goals and gets better and better. He is still a young player and has time on his side.

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  • boater

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #10

    I was saying yesterday, Best’s scoring rate tells us how well the team is playing – and also how Carroll was slightly flattered by the goals to games ratio.

    Barton said some really interesting stuff – any player coming into this dressing room has to fit in with the ethic and tactics of the overall side, meaning goals would be scored by pretty much any half-decent finisher in this team. It’s interchangeable in other words, and something that we’ve never really had.

    We are no longer relying on individuals to turn a game in our favour. It’s exciting to think what would happen with a real top, top finisher with intelligent movement – but then again, maybe that’s the point, this system relies on the self-sacrifice you wouldn’t get from Bent or Defoe, etc.

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  • liam85

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #11

    Keep it up Best. We have faith in you!!!! 😀

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  • Malaysia-RASHID

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #12

    to me, i be honest, i trust him will score because i trust CH, CH make good buying like Best Williamson, Perch, wayne..

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  • boater

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #13

    Toon1978 – True, Best is FAR from producing 90 mins of expert target man play. But he can play awful for 89 mins and get a goal for all I care.

    He can only improve at 24, and if he scores whilst doing that then what price would it cost to find a replacement?

    If he goes on to get even 3 or 4 more goals this season from 10 starts – that would put him on 9 in 17. More than 1 in 2 – and you’d have to pay min. 15mil for that in the summer from an incoming striker.

    Wonder what he’s worth now? 3-4mil to someone like birmingham, west ham or stoke I reckon.

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  • dave 1961

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #14

    i will not say anything about this but
    google bigmaq toolbar
    no more links needed but not sure if it works outside uk, but cost you nothing to try

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  • ash1001

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #15

    Yeh, all credit to Best, hes come into the team, not under the best of circumstances and hes done pretty good – long may it continue. But at the same time overall the situation is just bit worrying, the club come along and ask fro season ticket money by 28th Feb with 11 games to go WHY. it was May/June before MA took over, then you hear rumblings from the likes of Enrique and still no contract signing by Joey, and only words from DLl who we do not trust. Have hardly missed a match in the last 55years, but for the first time am wondering whether to renew,, love the toon dearly but am still asking myself whats going on. Does anyone else feel the same

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  • crabby

    Feb 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #16

    imo, BEST is improving and full of potential, has a lot of passion to play for us, i like him a lot. I wish him every best (and i wonder if he’ll score more goals than AC at the end of this season).

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  • Preston_toon

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #17

    I swear CH will be like seeeeeeeee I told you so. No one believed me but look at him now

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  • Toon1978

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #18

    Boater

    I agree mate, if he does nothing for 89 minutes and popped up with a goal every game i would be happy with that lol, after all he should have had two against Arsenal.

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  • free giveaways

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #19

    Hope he carries on scoring. His confidence must be sky high.

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  • hadthetshirt

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #20

    It’s good to hear the input JC is having.Hopefully that will be long term as Ed mentioned.Lets hope he gets the best out of the “Lone”Ranger too.

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  • Zangwill_Ho

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #21

    Keep it up best!!!!!!best of the best hope u can do this!Best

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  • free giveaways

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #22

    I’ve been reading some well informed north east based journalist’s views on twitter and it seems Jose is definitely going in the summer. The “wait until we’re safe” line is just a smokescreen and he definitely wants to go.

    What are we ever going to achieve by selling our best players? Will we only have relegation battles and mid-table mediocrity to look forward to with Ashley?

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  • Overseas Newcastle - Cheik out Tiotes back pocket

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #23

    a thnk beasty wil cme good to us lyke, he’s neee youknowwho, bt hs the potentiaoil to be beter thn him!

    bt hey, wat do i knooo

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  • dublin mag steve

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #24

    i wonder if im right in thinking that liverpool bought the striker with the 2nd best goal per game average at our club big andy had 11 for the season best has 5 already and he hasnt bursted any women or broke any of our players jaws in savage attacks kevin nolan even has an extra room in his gaffe. ok ok ok ok ok i know its early days but this could turn out to be a really really good deal for our club.

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  • kakaobi

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #25

    Jose wants to leave he will not sign a new contact so we might as well get what we can for him, in 12 months time we’ll get nothing.

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  • hadthetshirt

    Feb 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Comment #26

    @ dublin mag steve
    I agree but the timing was so wrong,with no back up plan.No disrespect to Kuqi but we should have at least had a striker on loan even if number 9 had stayed.Ashley loves to gamble and that is probably the biggest one he took.Lets hope it doesn’t backfire.
    As for Best nice to see him scoring,as none of our strikers could hit a barn door against blackburn.

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  • Toon1978

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #27

    Does not matter what any player is capable of, loyalty is worth a lot more. Not 12 months ago Enrique was spouting off how much he loved the North east now however he is spouting that he is looking for a move. Thats fair enough Mr Enrique, jog on pal because you are full of sh1te like 90% of the other Footballers around today. Enrique is not bigger than the club nobody is. Players heads are turned to easily and i would hate it if he went to Liverpool. They have already taken one of our best players, talk about rubbing salt into sore wounds. However if he where to leave i believe we could get around 15 to 18 million for him adding to the coffers in the summer window thats providing Cashley releases the money.

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  • coolcatcarter89

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #28

    C’mon Leon, another 2 or 3 in these home games! Let’s hope Bolton sustain more injuries or suspensions this weekend, particularly to the back 4, they’re already without 2 of their regular defense. Don’t mess with the Best, ‘cos the Best don’t mess!! 😀

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  • jimmymagpie

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #29

    I told you all on Monday on this site, that Enrique’s agent was already in talks with Liverpool regarding his move in the summer. Another badly kept secret, just like the Carroll business in January, which I told you about at the beginning of the transfer window. Hughton’s dismissal started Jose’s unrest, and when Carroll was sold that made his mind up. He’s as good as gone, so think about who replaces him. Barton also isn’t certain to stay, as he himself said today, pay peanuts and you get monkeys. He knows that the club won’t get top players in the summer because of the club’s lousy reputation, and the crap salary structure. Gervinho is also going to Liverpool in the close season, and the’ve already agreed a £10m fee. Liverpool are also trying to lumber us with waste of space Joe Cole as part of the Enrique deal, but the good news is he won’t come because of the crap wages on offer. All of the above is common knowledge within the game, so if you know anyone with connections, just ask them, and they will confirm what I’ve said.

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  • dave 1961

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #30

    Lads I have led you to water I’m sure you can drink yourselves.

    Google BIGMAQ

    this is not a joke.

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  • free giveaways

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #31

    Toon1978 ;
    We’ll get nowhere near £15 – 18m for Jose. He’ll have one year left on his contract in the summer. We’ll probably get around £8m. If he’d had a long contract we might have been able to get £15.

    Jose has no emotional attachment to the club, he’s from Valencia. The only players we could say were totally loyal to Newcastle over the last 10 years are Alan Shearer and Steven Taylor.

    I’d like to see us get Patrick Van Aanholt in the summer.

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  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #32

    If we sell Enrique for £15m it’s good biz as long as we use the money to get good replacements. No one is bigger than NUFC including Fat Ashley he may own the club but it belongs to the Geordies. One thing I’ll give him at least we didn’t lose £26m last year like the SMB’s

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  • alkinou

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #33

    free giveaways
    and what about Harper and Ameobi?

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  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #34

    Van Aaholt would do me as a good replacement for Enrique

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  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #35

    alkinou well said

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  • free giveaways

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #36

    alkinou;

    Yes sorry I forgot about Harper. Ameobi to a certain extent, although he was close to leaving a couple of times and nearly joined Stoke but I think an injury prevented him from signing for them.

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  • Oleg G

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #37

    free giveaways // Feb 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    1.5 Years is a long time. First, who knows what place we will finish next year (or even this one).
    Second, who knows what kind of players will come in. Also, don’t forget that other teams will not wait for the end of the contract, if they need a player in his position and with his qualities, they are going to pay (specially the big clubs who like things being done their way).

    I still cannot believe that he said those words in the article that Ed posted (is that true?), it sounded like he is dissing his own club, why would he do that? He is a class act I think, don’t see how he can say that, specially in the middle of the season.

    Anyone, I think that 15M is totally possible.

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  • magpie6699

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #38

    free giveaways
    What about Steve Harper?
    And i take it you mean Steve ” I’m going if I don’t get a better contract” Taylor – he’s not been here long enough to be regarded as “totally loyal”.

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  • free giveaways

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #39

    Oleg ;

    He definitely said it to the Spanish media. If he hadn’t said it he would have come out and denied it today. No club will pay £15m for a player with one year left on his contract. You say a big club won’t wait, well look at the Charlie Adam situation, I’m sure he’ll end up at Liverpool.

    magpie6699;

    Yes I forgot to mention Harper. Taylor isn’t on massive money. His contract is within our wage structure. And he could have sat out his contract and got more money by joining a club on a bosman. Liverpool wanted to sign him. So i think he should be commended for his loyalty.

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  • Overseas Newcastle - Cheik out Tiotes back pocket

    Feb 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #40

    enrque w’on’t leve a thnk, daily sh!t r @ it agan i sy… is not even on the evning chronicle..

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