Phil Airey is a very good player and at 19 he is 34 months younger than Andy Carroll – almost three years younger than the Liverpool striker.
Phil Airey – very good local striker
So when we are talking about young Phil, who of course was born north of Newcastle in the sea-side town of Amble, we have to remember what Andy was doing three years ago for Newcastle – not much.
The young striker who stands 6′ tall, which is the same height as a certain Alan Shearer, now has 7 goals for the Newcastle Reserve side, after scoring another goal in the 4-2 defeat to a strong West Ham United side at Upton Park last week.
Phil made his first team debut for Newcastle in the unfortunate game at Stevenage in January, when the lads were embarrassed 3-1, and Phil is one of the many very good young lads coming through at the Tyneside club.
We saw 19 year Shane Ferguson put in a very promising display on Saturday and certainly the TV commentators thought he looked just great, and was our Man of the Match quite easily at Stoke, with a massive 75% of the vote.
Is it just me, or did he look like a young George Best – OK it’s just me then. 😀
Shane is just four months older than Phil, and looks like he is ready to play in the first team – somewhere – and we’d love to see him out on the left wing – he seems to have far too much creativity to be left-back.
And of course Shane came close to scoring a sensational goal in the second half, when he beat two (or was it three) players along the byline, before cutting back but shooting straight at the goalkeeper, with his right foot.
Phil Airey has been told by the manager to show him what he can do, and has been encouraged by the possibility of getting some run-outs for the first team before the end of the season.
It could be that next season Pardew will send the lad out on loan, and he will almost certianly come through a lot quicker, as we are seeing with young right back James Tavernier at Gateshead (17 appearances) and Ryan Donaldson at Hartlepool (5 appearances), who are coming on big time on loan this year.
Airey has enjoyed working alongside experience strikers at Newcastle:
“It’s great working with people like Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands,” “They have great movement, and you can only learn from them.” “They have great intelligence on the ball, and you have to learn that from them as a young player.”
And of course, being a local lad, he is excited about playing for the only side he has ever supported, and while he’s at Newcastle through the end of this season, as we’ve said he he may well go out on loan next season to get first team games:
“I’m a born-and-bred Newcastle fan, and have lived here all my life,” “I’m living the dream, but I’ll keep on working hard.”
“I’m stopping here until the end of the season, and next season we’ll see what happens.”
“You just never know what is round the corner with injuries. So I’ll wait and see.”
Of course I really wish Phil hadn’t said he is living his dream at Newcastle – because we don’t want to see him at Chelsea or some other big club in three years time – living another dream which gives him a lot more money.
The Newcastle Reserve side will play Manchester United this afternoon in a behind the scenes game at the Benton training ground, and Phil is expected to play, as will Steven Taylor and Tim Krul, to give them some much needed match practice.