We are hoping that Shane Ferguson will get a game tonight at left back.
Shane Ferguson – due a start tonight
And perhaps the current left-back Ryan Taylor, scorer of that great goal that beat Sunderland on Saturday, will get a game out on the right wing, which is probably Ryan’s best position.
If Shane had been match fit when Jose Enrique was sold to Liverpool, he would probably have been given the nod at left-back, since he was terrific for Newcastle earlier this year, when he deputized for the injured Spaniard, when Jose had his hamstring problem.
And that news before the summer that Ireland were trying to recruit his services, seems to have been a made-up story, as news today that Shane is quite happy to represent Northern Ireland, the country of his birth.
The Irish FA’s new elite player mentor Gerry Armstrong, a World Cup 1982 player, said this today about Newcastle’s 20 year-old:
“With regards to Shane there isn’t a problem.” “A lot of people speculated that he was heading south, and the FAI wanted him.”
“But Shane is very content and happy with how things are.” “He has never had any doubt over who he wants to play with.”
“And both me and Steve Beaglehole – the Under 21 boss – have spoken to the lad and everyone is happy.”
Shane has been capped once for Northern Ireland when he was just 17 years old against Italy in a friendly, but he is still eligible to play for Ireland, until he plays a competitive game for Northern Ireland.
And it was last year at this time that Shane first impressed in the 3-2 win at Accrington Stanley in the Carling Cup, exactly one year ago today, on 25th August, 2010.
And it was the first time we had seen the Irishman at full back, rather than being out on the left wing, where he played when he was younger.
We really hope this lad gets a game tonight, and whoever comes in at left-back before September 1st, will have Shane breathing down his neck for a first team position, assuming the Derry-born youngster continues to be in the form he showed earlier this year.
And it will be interesting to see if Shane has filled out at all, following the steak and potatoes diet he’s been on for the last several months.
The match tonight is also being televised live around the world, so it’s a good chance for Newcastle to impress, and we must win this game.
The good news at Newcastle, yes there is some, is that we now have a lot of exciting youngsters coming through the ranks, and not only that, but some will be challenging for first team starting positions this season.
That cannot be too bad.