Leon Best – A Player Being Remade On Tyneside

Leon Best has looked a very decent player for Newcastle in 2011, as he has finally been given his chance to show what he can do for the Newcastle United club.

Leon Best – scoring with great header at Birmingham

And he seems to be taking his chance, and has 5 goals in his first 10 appearances for the club this season (all this year), not too bad at all, and he’s also scored some good opportunist goals for the side.

And even on Saturday when he didn’t score,  he went so close at least twice in the first half, and one effort in particular was only inches wide of the post, and it would have been a great goal if he had some luck,  and the ball had gone in off the post.

But Newcastle had no luck again on Saturday, when everything seemed to conspire against them winning the game. 🙁

We have to say we were surprised at how good Leon looked in those first 35 minutes on Saturday, as Alan Pardew seems to be getting the very best of out Leon (sorry for the pun – I just couldn’t resist).

One of these days, the Nottingham-born player is  going to smash them in like he did against West Ham,  and possibly get another hat-trick.

But like any player learning the game,  he has to keep his form and his hunger up week in and week out, and he cannot disappear in games.

Alan Pardew seems to have been delighted not only at the way Leon has played this year, but also with his attitude, as the lad wants to learn and improve, and Pardew is said to be one of the best coaches of strikers around.

Well he says he is anyway. 😀

This is what Alan told the Evening Chronicle today:

“Leon Best had his best game for us so far against Bolton.” “He didn’t score, but he was terrific.”

“His movement was great and that made him better in my eyes than he was against West Ham when he got three.”

“If he keeps playing like that then it bodes well for him.” “He got the chances, but more importantly he created some of them himself. I was very pleased with him.”

Leon started his career at Southampton back in 2004, and has played at QPR, Sheffield Wednesday, Bournemouth and Yeovil on loan, before moving permanently to Coventry in 2007.

He joined Newcastle just over a year ago from Coventry City, and has played 23 times with 5 goals for the Magpies, and in his career so far, he has 196 first class club games with 47 goals, and has also played 7 times for Ireland.

Leon qualifies to play for Ireland through his mother, who was born in Bluebell, which is a small suburb of Dublin.

We hope Leon can keep improving,  and  of course it’s all now about how many goals he can score for Newcastle over the remainder of the season,  and he’s starting to look the part.

It’s just a massive opportunity for Leon Best right now, and the lad seems determined to take it – with both feet.

Comments welcome, but please respect other readers’ opinions.

38 comments so far

  • Thump

    Mar 1, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #1

    He’s a good lad and I’ve always said he’ll come good. In the CCC he did everything but score and in the friendlies he started finding some form before his injury. He has to improve parts of his game (too many offside calls) but all in all, I can’t fault him.

    Same old Leon, always scoring 😛

  • carlton nufc

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #2

    Is that in 10 starts edd if not how many I think leon will bag 10 premier league goals this season which is good going for his first year and missing the 1st 10-15 games

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #3

    Bet he’ll get another at least six before the end of the season.

    Six off the Best so to say. 😀

  • Billy1985

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #4

    coming good, had my doubts but compared to players we have had in the past he is a god send.

  • Sinner

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #5

    Got to say that Leon was impressive against Bolton last Saturday.Hopefully he will keep on improving!
    But if we want to push for Europa next season,we need a better striker who can score week in week out.

  • ganiyu

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #6

    Leon best is a squad player imo.
    Pls follow me on tweeter ganziboy2000

  • USGeordie

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #7

    Our style of play has changed a little in the past couple weeks which has been good to see. It fits the combination we have in Loven and Best. I saw a lot more through balls to them instead of the high floaters. You can tell the difference in the strikers as well because there were many more chances for them to score. If we keep it up and even improve on it they will be scoring with ease. I have to admit, I had my doubts about Best, and still do to some degree, but he’s turned out pretty good so far.

  • carlton nufc

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #8

    SInner I disagree mate we do need another striker but I do belive best can become well is becoming a big player for nufc anyway If we do go for a couple more 1st choice strikers what a smashing striker we will have on the bench if I was pardew I would get gervinho pay 12 mill and get sturridge pay 15 mill tops possible offer players in part exchange then we’ve still got 8 mill to play with pluss sell sum players should get 10mill that gives us 18 mill to buy 3 decent players and tbh I do belive the big boss will give us some extra cash to play with

  • BiffBaffBoff

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #9

    Leon’s been impressive since hes came into the squad tbh, he wins so many headers, if lovern and him can communicate better he could flick so many balls onto lovern. I ask you all to watch the games vs Blackburn, Birmingham and Bolton just to see how many headers he won vs their defences…even against the likes of Samba..

  • lewman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #10

    not sure who we could give chelsea in part exchange for sturridge carlton, maybe they might take wayne routledge and james pearch plus a few signed joey barton shirts

  • carlton nufc

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Hahaha that sweet me and I was on about for the gervinho buy lol

  • super bartooon

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #12

    Besty is doing in 7 games what that tall lazy excuse of a footballer Ameobi has done in 10 years or so.
    And it will absolutely baffle me if Ameobi is picked infront of Ranger let alone Besty it will be an absolute crime by pardew.
    I rip every bit of my hair whenever I see Ameobis name in the line up, total waste of space and to all those who think the jury is still out on besty should watch the game at bolton ran hinslef to the ground for the cause, something ameobi will never do, he did what was needed by a striker only didn’t score which to be fair is the most important of the lot.
    But the lad has been handed a chance and is thriving at that.

  • lewman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #13

    sorry carlton my mistake lol

  • AndyE93

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #14

    Anyone seen today’s chronicle? Great 2 page spread about Tiote talking about his upbringing and how he loves life here and wants to repay the fans with a trophy. Nice things to hear from a player i consider our most important, alongside Enrique and Barton.

  • carlton nufc

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #15

    Na it was my bad I should of made it more clear I just couldn’t be asked to go back and correct it lol

  • davybtoon

    Mar 1, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #16

    best as become first choice striker at the club and for me i would in the summer find a striker to play with him not replace him, yes we need a couple of strikers but they wud be replacin lovenkrands n shola for me not best,
    imagin havin best, ranger, gervinho n elmander or sturridge to pick from,
    also as anyone heard anything about diego perotti and antonio luna rodriqeuz supposedly both comin from sevilla in the summer perotti is a winger n rodriquez is a 19 yearold left back

  • t00ntime

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #17

    I think Best will become a great player at Newcastle, but I’m afraid he might not get his chance to shine because in the summer we will bring in better strikers and I think best will then once again find it hard to get a place in the team.

    Because we will have 2 good strikers and Best and Ranger. I think Ranger will be chosen over best cause of there age’s.

  • chuck

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #18

    Leon has done well with the opportunities presented, not bad in the air, has proven to be a decent finisher and puts himself about.
    If we do sign Gervinho, I believe they could work to-gether, Best being a hard worker who can also set up scoring opportunities for others.
    He does`nt lack in confidence and just needs the opportunity to play, of course much the same can be said about Ranger, but we have to remember he`s still a youngster and his time will come.

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Comment #19

    Strange old world this football. Best does well and we finish well, maybe (MAYBE) sixth. So we bring in a couple of strikers. Names mentioned, “Gervinho and Sturridge” and what has Best done? He’s played himself onto the bench again.

  • Thump

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #20

    Very true GG. Unfortunate, but football is a business nowadays. Nothing much we can do about it.

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #22

    Thump, Suppose when your on their wages and you get the odd cameo are start when another is injured, you can accept sitting on the bench till another club comes and gets you.

  • lewman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #23

    if we finish 6th then there will be extra games for everyone so they should all get a chance but i do see your point gg as best will not be first choice every game but like thump says there is nothing we can do about it.

    the good news is that we will have a decent striker for all the cup games(there should be more next season if we have a deeper squad) and for back up in case of any injuries and if best can do really well for the rest of the season and in pre season then i dont seee why he cant keep his place as first choice striker.

  • nden85

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #24

    anyone else pick up on the losses Aston Villa have posted? £38m according to the Beeb.


    Can’t say I like mike ashley or that he hasn’t caused a lot of his own problems, but i am pleased we are starting to be run properly.

  • Sinner

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #25

    GeordieGerman 19

    Lol,you seems to be saying that if we get that 6th spot,its all because of Best.Best is no one man team,yes he can score but can he do that on regular basis??
    I doubt he will be banging goals every week to get us that position.Best is no world class,people in here keeps on overrating him.He only just can do the job for us this season.Emphasis on the word “JUST”
    Our team has performing really well lately,would you now say that its not necessary to bring any players in the summer.

  • Thump

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #26

    There’ll be extra games for everyone assuming one of the CL qualified teams win the FA cup.

    In all honesty, I think we’ll finish 13-14th. No reason other than it seems to be a recurring number in our finishing positions.

    …now let’s see if that can invoke sods law and prove me wrong 😀

  • lewman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #27

    yeah i kind of took that for granted thump but i suppose birmingham proved we shouldnt

  • t00ntime

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #28

    off topic
    but wouldn’t it be great if newcastle beat man utd and because of that man utd lose the season 😛

    I think there will be extra games next season because with better strikers we can make it further in the domestic cups too.
    AND not lose to stevenage :S

  • GeordieGerman

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #29

    Sinner @ 25, I’m not saying that Best is a one man team. But it’s a fact that he does have the best goal to game ratio in the team.

  • DannyboyNUFC

    Mar 1, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #30

    Ireland will be playing against Everton:

  • GeordieTwo

    Mar 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #31

    When he gets a ball at his feet in front of goal he is good at banging it in. A good solid squad player but surely if we want to get into Europe we will need better? Our home record suggests we won’t finish in the top 8 this year. Four wins at home so far, fairly poor. We need at least 1 top striker, and sadly probably a top left back by the summer. If Ben Arfa is as good as most think he is and if Ireland can play himself into his early Man City form we would have a very good midfield together with Barton and Nolan (although Nolan is too slow, he is a great goal poacher). What is going to happen with Colo? His huge contract expires June 2013. Should we try to re-sign him for reduced wages now? Doubt he will agree to it and he would be 30 in 2013 so it will probably be Williamson and Taylor by that time.

  • thetoonarmybarracks

    Mar 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #32

    Good man management from pardew


  • Nick Collins

    Mar 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #33

    @ GeordieTwo: Not sure whether I understand your thinking behind your point on Colo. Williamson is only one year younger than Fab and miles behind him ability wise. Surely Colo will still be in the side. After all, it is only 2 years time.

  • chuck

    Mar 1, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    Comment #34

    Was just wondering, whats Nolans time for the hundred meters, i heard he was a sprinter in his youth, thats a fact.
    One of the paciest players in the side, second only to Lovenkrands.

  • Sav

    Mar 1, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Comment #35

    Best is like a latterday John Tudor – unselfish, good in the air, and a solid pro – but he needs a Supermac to play alongside him.

  • spanishtoon

    Mar 2, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #36

    pavel is a geordie!! hall of fame…top class….the song at the bottom is fab!

  • Davies

    Mar 2, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #37

    “And it will absolutely baffle me if Ameobi is picked infront of Ranger let alone Besty it will be an absolute crime by pardew.”

    Let me help you with that. If he’s picked before Ranger, it’ll be because he’s scoring goals and Ranger isn’t. We need goals, remember?

    Ranger is only 19. He needs still needs to find his feet and there’s no point in putting the pressure of being a first choice striker on him. Appearances from the bench will be fine for him for now.

  • silvervrs

    Mar 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #38

    I really don’t understand when people say the jury is still out with Besty yet heap praise on Ranger????

    From what i’ve seen, Best has done amazing so far this season. I’m not saying he’s the final article – far from it – but he’s scoring goals and working his socks off.

    As for Ranger – mostly ok, not outstanding. He’s young and quick and powerful but not scored a single goal yet (in epl).

    Don’t even get me started on that lazy excuse of a footballer Strolla Ameobi. Look at the player stats on Soccernet.com. He’s played more than twice as many games as Best (19 vs 9) yet scored less (4 vs 5) and had fewer shots than Best (28 vs 30). Absolute joke!!!!

    My first choice pairing should definitely be Best and Lovens.


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