Shane Ferguson made his starting debut in the Premier League yesterday, and again the 19 year-old baby-faced left-back did not disappoint.
Shane Ferguson – absolutely brilliant
But early in the second half the youngster seemed to pick up a calf injury, and had to leave the pitch and was replaced by James Perch, who will serve his one match game in the next game at Aston Villa.
We’re not too sure how bad the injury is to Shane, and whether he can play at Villa Park next Saturday, but with Jose Enrique missing yesterday’s game, the Spaniard should be fit to come back in at left back after his hamstring problems.
Alan Pardew rightly praised both the performance and character of the Ireland youngster, after the game:
“You need characters to absorb that and as I say, I mentioned Fergie, it’s before his time really, he shouldn’t be playing in a game of that magnitude.”
“We didn’t have that many bodies today he’s come in and was absolutely brilliant. That’s good work the academy and the development squad have done.”
“Peter Beardsley and Willie Donaghue saw him through today because he hasn’t done much work with us. I really enjoyed his performance.”
A nice little compliment for Peter Beardsley and Willie Donaghue there, because of course they have a very important job to do at Newcastle, as they bring the youngsters through, from the U18 side through the Reserve side to the first team.
Shane didn’t look out of place at all in this game, but somehow we see his best position on the left wing in the future, but this lad should be given some playing time through the end of the season.
And Ferguson is attracting International attention as Ireland are trying to get him to play for them, rather than Northern Ireland.
He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and he’s already played one friendly International for the Northern Ireland side when he was just 17. However, Giovanni Trappatoni is keen to tie him up for the Ireland side, so we’ll follow that story.
Our other 19 year-old, Nile Ranger, again impressed when he came on, and he seems to be able to keep the ball a lot better than he used to.
Nile is probably better than Andy Carroll at the same age, and is picking up some good experience, when he’s brought on after 65 minutes in almost every game.,
But once Newcastle are safe in the league, we’d love to see the youngster get his first Premier League start, and his first Premier League goal too – so he can get that particular monkey off his back.
The two 19 year-olds in yesterday’s game pointed to Newcastle’s burgeoning youth system, and another 19 year-old, James Tavernier was on the bench, after he returned from his very successful loan spell at Gateshead.
Things somehow look very bright for Newcastle United this morning.