Alan Pardew will not play his first team in the Europa League this season, and he has been interviewed in today’s Sunday Sun by Mark Douglas, and Alan says he will give a chance to his top youngsters, and he thinks it’s an unprecedented opportunity for them at Newcastle this season, and they should take their opportunity with both feet.
Shane Ferguson – one of Newcastle’s top youngsters
This is nothing new, but it does give the youngsters at Newcastle a big chance in the first team this season, and hopefully some will take their chance and also start fighting for a first team starting place in the Premier League this season.
This is what Alan said today:
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for our young players. That is exactly what it is. And not only that they have a manager who is going to say ‘You are going to play.’” “I have looked at the Europa League, and a lot of managers have tried to go with their first team and then play in the Premier League and it has cost them. I’m not going to do that.”
“I am going to be very risky in my selection and brave to a degree in the Europa League. So the young players like Shane Ferguson and Sammy Ameobi have to be right. Fortunately, Haris Vuckic took his chance against Atromitos on Thursday night and I thought he played well.” “James Tavernier will have learned a lot from the first game and I thought his reaction was good when he came on the other night.”
“It’s invaluable experience for the youngsters and all at a club that is difficult to play for. It has huge history and for a young player to come through is very difficult because of the size of the club and the standard of the players we have. It ain’t easy.”
“We are focusing on that development group and we have Peter Beardsley in there. And when they are not working with me they are working with great people. We have that under-21 league that is going to help us develop players. We have young players like Adam Campbell coming through.”
“That is how it has got to be at a big club. You look at Barcelona – eight first-team players have come through the Academy. You need time to put that in place. So far I have had 18 months and I am pretty pleased at the progress. As we go forward – hopefully with me – it will get better.”
Newcastle will live or die on their Youth Policy, and the efforts of Chief Scout Graham Carr and his merry men in bringing in unknown players to the club for peanuts.
We have done that with Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba to name but three over the last couple of years, and also made good deals to get other players into the club, like Sylvain Marveaux, Gabby Obertan and Ben Arfa.
But as we saw in the summer, that’s getting more difficult to accomplish for Newcastle, and clubs have wised up that if Newcastle come after one of their players – he’s probably better than they thought – so they raise the price.
That happened with Mathieu Debuchy this summer, and Newcastle were simply unwilling to pay the extra €1M asked by his club Lille to get him to Tyneside, and that was disappointing.
Newcastle still have a squad that is thin at best, but presumably there’s money left over to bring in new players in January, if the club can manage that, since it’s always difficult to get new players in midway through a season.
Maybe they will go for Douglas of FC Twente, who is a free agent next June, but what Newcastle do in January, will depend a lot on how well our top youngsters perform this season – that seems to be the crux of the matter.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org