It’s fairly obvious that the addition of seven new players in the first team squad during the summer, has raised the standards of the Newcastle squad from last season.
Shane Ferguson – will be patient at Newcastle
That may be one reason that we haven’t seen too much of 20 year-old Derry-born left-sided midfielder Shane Ferguson, who looked good in the Reserves 1-1 draw with Bolton on Tuesday afternoon.
We haven’t seen much at all of Shane this season in the first team, although he did come on very late in the game at Norwich on Saturday, for his first league appearance of the season, and his 11th appearance in total.
Shane also played in the Carling Cup game at Nottingham Forest in September, but had missed the earlier tie at Scunthorpe through injury.
If you had said that a player on the existing staff had nailed down the left back spot this season, we would have though it would have been Shane rather than Ryan Taylor.
But the lads is still young and he has shown he can play in the Premier League at either left-back or out on the left wing.
Shane, who stands 5’11” tall, has now recovered from the injury he picked up in the very first pre-season game at Darlington in July, and in the first half of that game Danny Guthrie was also injured.
Guthrie finally came back and played well in six consecutive games when he came in for the injured Cheick Tiote, but he is now out up to six weeks with a groin strain.
Ferguson remains upbeat about his future at Newcastle, and may even be sent out on loan in January to get more first team experience:
“The lads have all done brilliantly this season so far.” “You cannot really fault any of them.” “If the manager needs me, though, then I am here.”
“I can play midfield or defence but whatever position it is I just want to do a job for the team.” “It is a game everybody believes we can win.”
“Our home record has been very impressive this season, and we will be looking to keep that going.” “The spirit is good here and everybody plays for each other.”
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is second to none.”
Shane signed a new five year deal last May, after impressing Alan Pardew when he came in earlier this year for the injured Jose Enrique, who has since departed the club for Liverpool.
Shane has played for all the Northern Ireland Youth sides and once for the full side in Italy, when he was just 17 years old.
He seems to have decided to stay playing for Northern Ireland, after there was some news earlier this year that he may want to play for Ireland, who of course made the Euro 2012 finals recently – and those finals will be played in Poland and the Ukraine
We do expect Shane Ferguson and one or two of the other top youngsters to be sent out on loan in January, and maybe Haris Vuckic will also get some first team experience elsewhere through the summer.
Despite his lack of first team appearances this season, Shane remains a top young prospect at Newcastle.