Don’t Be Too Hard On Nile Ranger – He’s Still Learning

Since Sunday’s defeat at Aston Villa, we’ve seen a number of rather harsh comments about Nile Ranger’s display.

Nile Ranger- shields the ball from Dunne on Sunday

Nile turned 20 only yesterday, and yet he has already made 54 appearances for the Newcastle first team with 3 goals, and it was his very first start in the Premier League.

We thought he looked decent in the first half, especially in the first 25 minutes or so, but he seemed to lose his way in the second half, in what turned out to be a tough game for Newcastle, and a poor overall display.

That was the third time in four games the Magpies have lost to a team beneath them in the league, and that’s a little worrying, since Newcastle still have to play Blackpool, Birmingham and WBA, before the end of the season.

The other games are against Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, and we’re unlikely to get many points out of those games, at least on current form.

Hopefully Nile will learn a lot from the game, as the Newcastle coaches go through a couple of chances he had in the first half, after Peter Lovenkrands made two good runs on both occasions but Nile didn’t pick him out, and shot weakly at the goalkeeper both times.

But at 20 years old you are still learning the game, and it’s only one game after all, and Nile still has a bright future if he knuckles down and listens closely to what the Newcastle coaches and players tell him.

This is what the Londoner said after the game:

“Early on Sunday the manager pulled me to one side and told me that Shola’s knee was feeling stiff, so I was in, and I was delighted to get the start as I’ve been waiting a while.”“And it was the day before my 20th birthday too, so that made it even better. When the gaffer told me it was a shock and I wasn’t prepared for it.”

“But obviously I just went out there and gave it my all. He told me I’ve been on fire in training and wanted me to go out there and do that again, and to be confident.” “It was hard out there, but as a youngster you’ve got to keep going and driving on. Villa have got lots of internationals in their team and lots of experience, so it was hard out there.”

“Playing against guys like Dunne and Collins will be good for me. They are big and physical and I’ll learn a lot from it.” “It’s a good achievement to be playing in the Premier League at 19, and now starting games. There’s Fergie as well who’s getting games, so it’s good for us.”

“Shola and Besty are out, which leaves only me, Pete and Shefki as strikers, so hopefully I will get some more starts between now and the end of the season.”

It’s probably good that Newcastle fans remember the Londoner is still learning his trade, and who knows he may come on after 70 minutes next Tuesday night, and score his first Premier League goal against Manchester United – that would help him a lot – and Newcastle too.

Comments welcome.

30 comments so far

  • Thump

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #1

    You’re right, he’s still learning – then he shouldn’t be started.

    Nile is an impact sub, he needs 20/30 minutes here and there (maybe an hour if the game calls for it) and in Kuqi’s small cameo he made more of an impact on the game than Ranger had. Kuqi needs to be given a bigger roll and more of an opportunity otherwise what’s the point of having him?

  • liam85

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #2

    @Thump: your right. Kuqi needs a bigger roll! He has experience and with all the players out at the moment he’s our best shot!

    Ranger is good, you can see he will become a good player but he’s only just turned 20 and he’s not ready to be our main striker for our final games.. Kuqi needs a whole game I think (or at least 70 mins)

  • breadman

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #3

    the fact that he said the gaffer thought he was ON FIRE worries me.

    im worried complacency would ruin this lad’s obvious potential. can only hope he keep his feet on the ground.

  • Partizan

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #4

    This is not the right place to learn,maybe one league down yes,,but here….no way!

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #5

    Give the kid a chance he is only just turned 20 players develop at different rates. I still think he’ll come good. It may be also time to give Donaldson & Airey a chance especially if Ameobi is going to be out for a while.

  • toonincheek

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #6

    I reckon that with Ameobi injured, if Ranger hadn’t started, he would have been discouraged to the point of not bothering in future.

    This way, he had his chance and his performance should make him realise that he still has some way to go. Starting is not the same as coming on for the last 20-30 minutes.

  • Geordiedoonsooth

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #7

    breadman I disagree this is the right place to learn & see if they can cut it at this level

  • ochytoon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #8

    I saw a couple of posts back that some people wanted Airey to start in the Man Utd game. I think its to risky as if he plays badly it could damage its confidence and the pressure on him will be unreal. Then again, it could spur him on and he could play really well so it works both ways.

  • geordielad880

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #9

    I have always said that I dont think ranger is upto premiership grade, he isnt a natural goalscorer, and is pushed off the ball far too easily, but we dont have many options at the minute, I hope wolves go down, quite fancy seeing doyle in a newcastle shirt next season, would be a good signing for us.

  • ytz

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #10



    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #11

    Off topic but just read we are after obinna from west ham and crouchy from spurs. Would be quite happy to get both. Woul be happy to get doyle and rodellega aswell. Obviously not all four but 2 of the four and some unknown striker prospects. I think that’s realistic targets for us

  • ochytoon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #12

    We should definitely go for Doyle and I expect us to get Gervinho.

  • shearermania

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #13

    kuqi to start…..what have we se become….

    a bloody laughin joke that is…..hes a dinasaur.
    i honestly havent seen anyone so slow ever..he makes Nolan look like Carl Lewis.
    if we play kuqi better massage your neck cause if you thought we played hoof ball with Carroll youre in for a treat with the fin

  • ash1001

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #14

    Yeh, maybe he is ‘still learning’ but some of the basic skills seem to have been overlooked – be aware of where your team mates are, work your socks of for the team, to name but two, the rest are down to the in built skills of the individual and unfortunately I have my doubts about Nile.

    Off topic but toon linked, watched Liverpool match last night, and both Sky commenter’s where Lording over Andy Carroll, yet at Newcastle he was been called a thug etc surprising how a change of club gives you a different character.

  • ochytoon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #15

    @ ash1001

    I know exactly what you mean and its ridiculous what happens as soon as you move to a “big” club. Suddenly he has become the greatest thing since sliced bread and the saviour of English football.We’ll see when he ends up in jail for beating his girlfriend up again

  • Indian Magpie

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #16

    Some May say, Shola ameobi is still learning, do not be too hard on him.

  • JohnnyBrookes

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #17

    Ash 1001-0

    spot on about Carroll. When Ginola went to Spurs suddenly he was the greatest player ever.

    Does my head in.

  • Brutooon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #18

    keep him as an impact sub, keep him till 21 and if he doesnt improve then sell him to other club

  • supervil

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #19

    @liam85 – looks like Kuqi’s had plenty of big rolls 😉

  • supervil

    Apr 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #20

    with macka cheese burgers in them.

  • Sav

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #21

    Might not do Ranger any harm to realisde hhow far he has to improve. at least it should help him get out of the scratcher in the mornings.

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #22

    Ranger is where Carroll was two years ago – a very good prospect who will hopefully make the grade as a high scoring PL striker.

    I some ways he’s a better footballer than AC was two years ago – and he’s fast.

    He needs a year playing regularly in the Championship. It should have been this season. He’s wasted valuable development time this season. After a year in the Championship he’ll come back tougher and wiser – then we’ll be able to judge more clearly his potential.


  • Rotonda heights

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #23

    the most worrying thing about ranger is that he just didn’t see Lovenkrands twice for a relative tap in.

    I like players with a bit of vision and also peripheral vision too, so they can spot and play reverse passes etc.

  • Sparky82

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #24

    Nile Ranger is kenk, there’s a reason Southampton released him. He’ll never be a top premiership striker and in a couple of years he’ll be plying his trade in League 1/2… Of course this is just my opinion but i can safely say in 2 years i’ll be able to say i told y’all so!

    He’s a younger version of Ameobi!

  • Darling27

    Apr 12, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #25

    Needs to be sent out on loan next season.

  • Klatoon

    Apr 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #26

    He has All the physical attributes you need in a striker,pace,power,aerial ability. He just needs a good striking coach to polish his hold up play,off the ball movement and inter-play. He will come good and I think a season on loan in the championship will do him a world of good

  • stuart no9

    Apr 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #27

    how many games has he played ? and how many goals has he scored? that should tell you if he should be playing for nufc or not , my instincts t ell me ,to get rid and buy a striker who knows where the back of the net is , he is deff not a natural goalscorer , try him in a new position maybe , but finding the net is not his forte

  • jackdnufc

    Apr 12, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #28

    Ranger starting against United can only be a good thing I’m certain of that. It would be an excellent experience for him although he does need to find that clinical edge. If he happened to nick one in in that match he would be feeling very confident indeed.

    Starting Kuqi is pointless. He will not score any more than Ranger and he will not be playing for us next season. He’s the last 20 minute man.

  • Sav

    Apr 13, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    Comment #29

    If we were run properly he’d have had 20-odd Championship games under his belt by now and be a lot better for it.

  • dazza

    Apr 13, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #30

    all you slagging off nile are fools.

    he is the brightest talent at the club and could end up saving us 35M.

    he’s twice the footballer AC was at this age so you need to save the negatives and back him no end!


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