In the last couple of games Newcastle fans have seen some fruits of Newcastle’s burgeoning Youth policy on Tyneside.
Shane Ferguson – 19 year-old was Man of the Match at Stoke City
And those were two excellent performances from 19 year -old left back Shane Ferguson, the Northern Ireland International, who can play at left back or just as comfortably out on the left wing.
Shane had to come on after 22 minutes for Jose Enrique at the Britannia Stadium, and the lad coped brilliantly with everything in that game, and was easily our Man of the Match with 75 % of the vote.
England manager Fabio Capello has said this week that 19 year-old Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere plays without fear, and that’s also true of young Shane, who seemed unperturbed by the hostile atmosphere at Stoke, and looked a great young player in the making.
We expect that Jose Enrique will not make the game at home to Wolves, and it seems that Shane has more than earned his place at left back in the absence of Jose, and of course he’ll get loads of support from the Newcastle crowd on Saturday if he starts the game.
This is what Shane Ferguson had to say today:
“The manager knows that I am here, and if I’m needed, I’m ready to play,”“We’ll see how Jose is, but if he’s not fit, then I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’s me who gets the nod. You want to play in every game, especially at St James’ Park.”
“I was anxious to get on more than nervous.” “I just had to show what I could, and help the team as much as possible. I know that is one of things that I have to do in the games I play.”
“It’s been well documented, and I just want to get as many crosses in as I can.”
Alan Pardew is trying to build Shane up physically, on what he jokingly calls a milk and steak diet, or a protein diet, which tends to build up the body, but when you have the skills that Shane has you don’t need to be big and bulky.
And over the last two games Shane has introduced himself to the Newcastle manager with two talented performances, and certainly when Jose was injured at Stoke, Alan Pardew had no hesitation in bringing Shane on as the replacement, but only after he had given the youngster what looked like a fatherly little talk.
Alan Pardew may switch one of the available experienced defenders to left back on Saturday, and of course Steven Taylor is available and would also love to get a start, but we are hoping Shane gets the nod, and if he does he’ll not let the side down, we’re convinced of that.
The Derry-born player continued:
“It was a good atmosphere,” Ferguson went on. “They have a lot of big players, but I wasn’t intimidated.”“Wolves will be the same – I’ll just go out and enjoy my football.”
“It’s about expressing yourself whenever you can on a football field, and that’s all I’ll be thinking about.”
“We know just how important this game is, and have done for a couple of weeks.” “Hopefully, we can get the win we need, and then push on a bit.”
Wolves do have two good young wingers in Adam Hammill and Matthew Jarvis, so it will not be easy for the youngster on Saturday, but as Shane says above, the Newcastle players know the importance of this home game tomorrow, and anything but a win tomorrow will come as a disappointment to Newcastle fans.
We have no idea if Jose Enrique will commit to Newcastle in the summer, but since we put out the article this morning hoping Newcastle would make every effort to sign up Enrique, it may be that it’s already a done deal that he’ll move to AC Milan.
We’ve received a e-emails this morning saying the inside information at the club is it’s a done deal, and Jose will leave, but these are only rumors coming out of the Newcastle club, and we have no idea if they have any truth to them.
But if Jose does go, and if Newcastle can get in 25 year-old Nigerian International Taye Taiwo from Marseilles, Jose may not be missed next season.
Taiwo looked an excellent player when Marseilles played Manchester United in the round of the last 16 of the European Champions League a couple of weeks back, and is a free agent this summer.
So if Newcastle can get £10M for Jose, and then bring in Taye for free, that’s more good business for the Newcastle club.
Let’s hope one of the free agents Newcastle are in negotiations with is this powerful Nigerian International, because he would be a great signing for Newcastle, if Jose does decide to move on.
And of course next season young Shane Ferguson will be pushing for a place, anywhere on the left side of the Newcastle midfield.