We were a little bit surprised and even a little disappointed at the heavy adverse criticism 20 year old striker Nile Ranger received for his performance last Sunday at Villa Park.
Nile Ranger – in action against Richard Dunne last Sunday
While he started off well in the game, he seemed to get lost in the second half and he probably should have been brought off after around 60 minutes and Shefki Kuqi given a chance.
But this lad has only turned 20, and at the same age, it was back in January of 2009 when Andy Carroll turned 20, and he was just starting to get some first team appearances .
These youngsters are still learning their trade and it turns out that Alan Pardew has had a talk with the London lad and asked him what he learned from last Sunday, and Alan said Nile came up with all the right answers.
In fact when Nile is brought on against Manchester United in the second half on Tuesday night, we even expect him to put in an all action performance, and who knows he could get that first Premier league goal for Newcastle.
Alan Pardew seems to know exactly what he is doing with the young striker, and didn’t think he was ready to start for Newcastle, although many fans wanted him to start, and Alan was proved right, and he thinks more substitute appearances is how to build up both Ranger’s experience and confidence too.
This is what Alan told the Sunday Sun today:
“I think at the start of the Villa game he showed the potential he’s got, but slowly during the game his confidence waned a bit,” “Maybe he hasn’t got the experience to cope with a defender working him out a bit.”
“Two experienced center- halves worked him out eventually and kept him quiet in the end.” “He needs to have a Plan B – what do you do then? That experience will come to him.” “He is a guy with great potential. He’s got massive power for a 20-year-old – he could be absolutely frightening when he’s 23.”
“Probably against Man United, with 20 minutes to go, he’ll be a fantastic substitution for us, but a lot of young players burst on the scene that way.” “They need to have bits of games and the odd start here and there and learn from it.”
“Nile came in and saw me after the Villa game and I asked him ‘What did you learn from it?’ He said all the right things. He understood what happened and it will bode well for him.” “So we will continue to work with him. I said his role was more of an impact this year, but I see him on the training ground, I know what he’s got.”
It’s always a delicate time when you have a youngster who shows enormous potential, and they are often up and down in their performances, and consistency and know-how only come with experience – which is a lot more playing time.
Nile Ranger could still turn out to be great player for Newcastle, and remember he’s 28 months younger than a certain Andrew Carroll.