An interesting interview with Alan Pardew in today’s Sunday Sun about young Nile Ranger, but reading between the lines a bit, it seems that Alan is still not convinced the 19 year-old will make it – well not at Newcastle anyway.
Nile Ranger – may not make it on Tyneside
Alan was asked if the improvements in time keeping and training intensity are what he wanted to see from the teenager:
“Somewhere in between the lines is your answer,” “We see him day-in and day-out, and I said from day one he needs to sort himself out as a professional footballer.”“He’s always on the cusp of being late – we’ve stopped him from being late but he’s always on the cusp.” “We’ve only improved him five per cent on that factor.”
“If we had improved him to 50% and he was here early and preparing himself – and the other players see him preparing himself – and when he trains he’s here on time to warm up and he’s doing the right things, then the other players will start to buy into him.”
“At the moment the other players are looking at him and thinking ‘You’re a young boy, you need to learn’. And he does. And that is reflected in his game.” He’s had big opportunities for us, but to be fair they are opportunities he’s created for himself.”
“And that is the point – he has got talent. We’ve got to just try and eke it out of him . . . it’s not going to be overnight, but it’s coming. He’s getting better.”
Lateness was always a problem with Nile, and he was nearly always late to training, and had less time to warm up and that kind of thing, and also his intensity in training left a lot to be desired, as he tended to be lazy and laid back.
And earlier this season that seems to have almost cost him his Newcastle career, as it came to a head, presumably when Chris Hughton was still at the club. But he was given a long and improved contract in early December, to stay on Tyneside.
Nile is improving, but it seems that as far as the coaching staff are concerned, that improvement is still too minimal and there is still ample room for improvement.
Nile had a tough upbringing in London, but Alan Pardew refuses to use that as an excuse for the 19 year old, as he continued:
“Of course, it is a little bit more difficult these days – as it would be in my day for a manager coming through in the 40s and 50s.”“There are your eras and you expect certain things.” “But I still have young players here who I haven’t got a problem with who are on time, who are professional and have similar backgrounds to Nile.”
“So I’m not accepting that as an excuse – I’m not accepting it from Nile, I’m not accepting it from any young player.”
“There are certain strategic things at a football club that need to be done. You need to practice on your weaknesses, the senior players need to see that. “Then they’ll buy into you, then they’ll ‘have’ you.”
“Whether he’s a Newcastle regular, it’s all down to him. We’re putting it all in front of him – the only excuse he has got is himself.”
So it seems that things are improving with Nile, but probably not fast enough so it will be interesting to see how Nile does on Tyneside, but Nile has a great example of what can happen if you stick in, work your socks off in training, and want to improve to get the most out of your abilities.
That’s exactly how Andy Carroll thought and acted, and he made unbelievable progress over the last year, and seems to be fulfilling his promise as a potential top striker.
Nile probably has even more ability than Andy, and is better than Andy was at his age, and has played a lot more time for Newcastle.
Nile has 51 appearances for Newcastle so far and he’s still only 19, and Andy didn’t have 20 appearances when he was the same age as Nile is now, so we have to hope the Londoner knuckles down big time, but we have to say the signs do not look particularly good. Nile is just less than two and a half years younger than Andy.
And one last thought, was he really injured yesterday?
Or did he perhaps turn up late for the game, or some other thing happened that kept him off the bench yesterday, and which is why we are again talking about Nile’s tardiness and whether he can be successful at Newcastle this Sunday morning?
What do you think?