Newcastle Youngster Wants To Be A Newcastle Starter

It’s an important season for 20-year-old James Tavernier, who joined Newcastle from Leeds United in 2008, when he was just 16.

James Tavernier – in action in Athens against Atromitos

James has come on well over the last eighteen months or so, after he played 50 times in total out on loan at Gateshead, Carlisle United, Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

He played the full game in Newcastle’s Europa League game in Athens,  although he had a hard time of it at times against Denis Epstein, Atromitos’ best layer and goalscorer in that game.

But he will learn from that experience, and he came on for the last 30 minutes of the return leg at St James’ Park last Thursday night, and looked very solid.

James is very ambitious, and it’s good he signed a new contract in July, and his aim is to be a Newcastle starter, as he had this to say in the local press today:

“The main aim’s to get a starting eleven spot.” “I want to be a Premier League starter for Newcastle. That’s my aim, to work hard and give the manager a headache.”

“I’m waiting for my chance, and when the time comes, hopefully I’ll take it.” “I’m comfortable in all positions – left-back, centre-back and right-back.”  “I’ll work hard in all the positions that I can play.”

“I’m ready to play wherever the gaffer wants me.” “It’s just a matter of getting my chance in the Premier League.” “We wanted to win the Atromitos game.”

“We only needed a goalless draw to get through, but we wanted to get goals.” “We achieved that with Haris Vukic’s good strike, and we’re through to the group stage now, which we’re really happy about.”

“That was the main aim, to have a really good pre-season and be in the frame to be in the manager’s thoughts for the European games, and the other games which might come up.”

“I’ve been involved twice now.” “Hopefully I’m still impressing and can be involved in more and more games.”

Tavernier is a little small to play in central defense,  at half an inch over 5’9″ tall, but he’s half an inch taller than the great Italian captain and center back Fabio Cannavaro, who was a fantastic center-back.

And Fabio was the Player of the Tournament in the 2006 World Cup in  Germany which Italy won, when they beat France 5-3 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw in the final – after extra time.

Alan Pardew has great expectations of the Bradford-born youngster, and we think James Tavernier will be fighting for a fist team starting position well before the end of this season.

We hope so in any case, and that’s good because Newcastle need some good young defenders coming through this season, and the sooner the better.

Comments welcome.

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31 comments so far

  • Shabilla1984

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #1

    First!!! get in!

  • toonLYF

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #2

    why are people even talking about Drogba? Why would he come to us? Or any other EPL side? If he wanted to play in the Premier League he would still be a Chelsea player. If he leaves Shenhua it would probably be for some other rich old-superstar-buying club, or an MLS club or something. He wouldn’t join a PL team and CERTAINLY not Liverpool.

  • Markaccus

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #4

    @786 yeah saw that last night. Class. Sums things up nicely.

  • MC Brown

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #5

    Didn’t look so good in europe , was targeted as our weak link. He needs to watch anita some more ..thats the quality we need in them positions. One for the future well hope so … Drogba not happening that would mean 3 forward leaving for the A/C . We need to look forward discover gems .. not do what liverfools would do an try bring back someone to save them .

  • markmac

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #6

    Isnt this a contradiction in terms then ed? ”Tavernier is a little small to play in central defense, at half an inch over 5’9? tall, but he’s half an inch taller than the great Italian captain and center back Fabio Cannavaro, who was a fantastic center-back.” although i know what you mean, most CB are at least 6 ft these days….

  • wynsleap

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #7

    From what I’ve seen of this lad he’s definitely one who could make it.
    Very pacey, direct and a decent defender too. Can hit a rocket shot too when he gets the opportunity as he loves to bomb forward.
    Just needs a run in the team (Europa games maybe) and I think he’ll push Simmo very soon. Too small for a central defender however in my opinion – I like to see big, tall, strong and commanding operators in that position.
    Having said that, Cannavaro was one helluva player but I guess he may be an exception. Think Douglas would have gone down really well here.

  • nufc786

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #8

    yup made my day tht……

  • nufc786

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #9

    pardew is keen to give tav a go at cb becuz apparantly he the lads got a very good jump on him……

  • Markaccus

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #10

    Shola to start next eu game up front, with xisco coming on second half. Sammi,vukic and amalfitano in behind. World beaters 😀

  • nufc786

    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #11

    *he says*

  • nufc786

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #12
    bolt to play for man u in a charity game…….

  • Transfer Sage

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #13


    Haven’t seen much of him to be fair.

    Unlike him as an attacking full back from the bit I have seen and the reports I’ve heard off other mangers.

    You’re right about too small for a cb. If you are short you need to be a bit special to be a good cb. Not sure of he is that level but time will tell.

  • roe997

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #14

    anyone remember the drogba pardew handshake? wonder if if their friendships good enough for him to give a hand to his auld mate pardew lol

  • cockneymagpie90

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #15

    am i the only one who thinks 442 is ruining our chances of a top 6 finish? Its not workin playin both the Dembas and also benarfa in the 442. Im really thinking of wasting a day of my life to write Pardew a letter with this formation saying if u dont play it from now on there will be one suicidal magpie fan on his books due to a mid-table premier league finish…



  • HBA better than CR7

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #16

    james Tavernier is a player that should be used in d Europa League games like Xisco should be used..So Tavernier just needs to impress in d Europa league nd soon he ll be rivalling Santon for a startin spot..

  • TorqToon

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #17

    Sorry to involve NFL in this but surely with the amount of money in football these days, can the EPL do something similar?

  • TorqToon

    Sep 5, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #18

    Maybe towards cardiac research given events of last season and even more recently in sweden.

  • check the toastie

    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #19

    I like Tavernier a lot, quick, decisive, technicall and on the front foot, personally would already have him in front of Simmo, behind Perchinho though, might save Big Mike some more money, its all good.

    CockneyMagpie – no you are not the only one who thinks Pardew’s fetish for 442 is spoiling our chances of doing well, he needs to give his head a massive shake over the next couple of weeks, just think he’s worried of dropping Ba personally.

    Ba comes across as a good lad who is probably very popular within the squad and is respected for what he did in the first half of last season, however we currently have two decent strikers at the club and Pardew should explain to him that it is the team that comes first, if he doesnt like it and spits his dummy he should leave.

    Ba will still get playing time just tell Cisse to work his balls off for 60/65 minutes.

  • LewSpi

    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #20

    Haven’t posted as much as I’d like to recently due to work and other commitments, I hope your health is ok Ed, and the treatments are going/have gone well.


    I definitely think you are not alone on that, I reckon the majority of the fans would agree with you to be completely honest. That is currently our best team which you named.

  • Dannyo

    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #21

    Dunno if many of u have NUFCtv, but the u-21 match vs Stoke is up.
    Curtis Good has some amazing tekkers. No doubt in my mind he’ll be playing LB.
    The lad can dribble and cross.
    Marcus Maddison had an unbelivable goal, looked very much like Crouchs last year.
    JJ Hooper, Bradden Inman and ofc Campbell all showing off.
    Immense batch of youngsters coming through still.
    Lubomir Satka getting praise in these matches too.

  • Phatoon

    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #22

    @Dannyo #21

    I’ve been contemplating getting NUFCtv. What do they show on there?

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #23

    I’ve never actually seen Tavernier play, but in the action photo’s I”ve seen of him he looks athletic and well balanced. I’d love to see him make the breakthrough and excel. He’s at the right age and he plays in a position that has been somewhat up for grabs in recent seasons at Newcastle. He is likely at a make a or break time in his career and does appear to have an opportunity now. It would be great for us if he could make the breakthrough, but I imagine if he is going to, it will be this season.

  • Widowmaker

    Sep 5, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #24

    out of his depth in the last round, I think he need to be given more time.

  • AmericanGeordie

    Sep 5, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #25

    I hate to be negative about a young player, and I especially hate to contradict Ed who does such a nice job with this blog, BUT Tavernier has never showed me a thing.

    I saw him up close in Columbus, OH during last season’s US summer tour and thought he was way out of his depth versus MLS talent. He consistently frustrated Jonas with his positioning during that match.

    Also, we talk about him like he’s such a young player, but he was born in the same year (1991) as Santon, and he’s had the advantage of being at the club for over 4 years. Yet, he’s no closer to supplanting Santon than I am.

    He was our worst player, by far, in Greece. If we weren’t having an injury crisis at FB, I don’t think he is even CLOSE to the bench for PL matches.

    Since we have no cover there, I guess we need to play him for 90 minutes during the Europa ties and pray that he improves dramatically and proves me wrong. (I sincerely hope he does!)

    Finally, I think most of us, but particularly Ed, have a tendency to over-rate all our younger players. If you read this blog you would have thought Tamas Kadar was destined for Toon immortatlity! And look at Abeid; when we brought him in last year Ed would have had you believe he was close to pushing Tiote for time on the pitch; now Bigirimana gets 70 minutes in central midfield during a PL game, and Abeid hasn’t even made the bench for a Europa game yet!

    Now we’re mentioning Tavernier in the same breath as Cannavaro?! FFS, hold your horses!

    Let’s focus on the great players we have in the senior side now, and keep our feet on the ground about the young guys coming through.

    Howay the lads!

  • jawballsaswallwell

    Sep 5, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #26

    Yeah, you don’t want to be negative about young players, but the truth is that very few come through the ranks at big clubs, unless those clubs have Ajax , Barca type set ups, which we are working on but clearly don’t yet have. I think if a player is special, he’d likely be further down the track at 20, but hey, here’s hoping, as much for him as us.

  • danuneek

    Sep 5, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #27

    Cockneymagpie i completely agree. Its so frustrating watching the two dembas fight for the same space. We may as well have 10 players on the pitch. With europe and cup competitions, we should rotate the pair of them. It seems to me pardew is scared of loosing one of them but if ba is going to have a hizzy fit everytime he disagrees with pardew, he can leave.

  • Shearer-9

    Sep 6, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Comment #28

    Tavernier should be on the facking reserves. AmericanGeordie knows his shit. He makes Mike Williamson look like Bobby Moncur. Look that one up geordies.

  • nufc debo

    Sep 6, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    Comment #29

    I can understand people saying the 2 dembas can’t seem to play together and quite right they are, what I don’t understand however is why so many are picking Cisse over Ba and saying Ba can leave if he throws a hissy fit, so far this season Ba has shown more than Cisse imo

  • nufc debo

    Sep 6, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Comment #30

    I can understand people saying the 2 dembas can’t seem to play together and quite right they are, what I don’t understand however is why so many are picking Cisse over Ba and saying Ba can leave if he throws a hissy fit, so far this season Ba has shown more than Cisse imo so why should he be the one dropped?

  • Brutooon

    Sep 6, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Comment #31

    Tavernier is NOT GOOD Enough

    by 20 years old, he should at least got several subs appearances

    Look at Kyle Walker, by 20 years old he is already playing week in week out


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