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.