Newcastle’s Academy One Of The Best – Here’s Why

While Newcastle have been criticized for not playing any Englishman at all in some of our lineups this season,   it seems like some of that criticism of Newcastle may be unfounded, and there’s an excellent article on this in the Shields Gazette today by Daniel Prince.

adam armstrong england armenia

Watch out for this lad
No it’s not a young Kevin Nolan – it’s 16 year-old Adam Armstrong

It turns out that research from CIES Football Observatory and Opta Pro, shows that Newcastle are the sixth best club in the Premier League for bringing club-trained players through to the first team.

This season Newcastle have had an average of 1.6 club-trained players on the pitch in Premier League games.

Club-trained players are defined as those who have played at the club for at least three years when they were between the ages of 15 and 21.

And in  Newcastle’s case that qualifies players like Tim Krul, Paul Dummett, Haris Vuckic, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor and Sammy Ameobi as all club-trained.

But just think how poorly clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and others must do here – since they’ve brought most of their players in when they are the finished product, and pay huge fees for them too.

And before Manchester City were bought by a Billionaire Arab consortium in August of 2008, they had one of the best Academies in the country – but not any more – and they’ve spent over £800M on new players in the last five years. 🙁

In case you were wondering how City have become a top side – there’s your answer right there – and if a club like Scunthorpe United had spent the same amount of money since 2008, they would probably also be in  the upper reaches of the PL – it’s all about money these days.

Paul Dummett and Sammy Ameobi are two local youngsters on the verge of making the breakthrough to the first team, and we also have two Adams – 16 year-old number 10 Adam Armstrong and 18 year-old number 9 Adam Campbell who are both local lads, and very highly rated at the club.

1.6 club-trained players on the pitch on average this season is not great, but it’s a lot better than a lot of the top clubs in the Premier League, but we still need to do better and bring more of our top youngsters through the ranks and into the first team.

We haven’t done nearly enough of that in Mike Ashley’s reign at Newcastle.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Ian Begg is a reader who recently found out that his Mom was very ill, and he has to return to Australia. Ian has a Platinum Club season ticket that has £700 left on it, and he is willing to sell it for £550 or a best offer.

Please see if you can help Ian out, and you can contact him by email at – thanks.

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82 comments so far

  • wolfshead@toon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #1

    people saying pards cant handle europe if we had remy instead of cisse last season we would have turned befica over no problem

  • wolfshead@toon

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #2

    n* haha

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Test comment.
    Getting duplicate comment error but neither are actually showing.

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #4

    My God it just gets worse.

    Our academy has chucked out 2 players who started on Sunday – Krul and Ameobi. Only 1 more academy player was on the bench – Sammy Ameobi. Shola is not good enough for the club, and the jury is out on Sammy.

    Swansea have a top class academy, as many of their young products are coming to the fore in the first team. Same can be said for Southampton who have regularly produced talent before selling them on, yet they still produce their own talent who are still at the club.

    Our academy is miles behind the likes of these clubs.

    Adam Armstrong – 16, scoring goals for u-21 and for England, but still remains to be seen if he can make the step up.

    Adam Campbell – Has went completely off the radar since Pardew built him up to be the next big thing. Needs loan time away from the club.

    Paul Dummett – Could be a decent first team player, needs game time ahead of Santon at LB.

    Haris Vuckic – would be gob-smacked if he even had a decent career with a PL club at this rate. Has no future at the club in my opinion.

    The likes of Remi Streete, Curtis Good, James Tavernier are all so far from the first team it is hard to tell how good they are.

    So remind me why our academy is one of the best?

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #5

    There’s a huge difference from bringing them through from academy to training with the senior squad to actually developing them into players

    This is where we fall down, the loan system is a powerful tool and one we fail to really use properly and most our academy players rarely make it past the prospect tag, imo

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #6

    I still find it hard to read complaints about Man City and Chelsea’s spending.

    Scunthorpe’s fans must look at us and think exactly the same.

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #7


    Too many lower league teams can’t afford to take in loan players.
    Then the club loaning wants their player to get guaranteed match time.
    Something not all managers are prepared to agree to.
    Plus 19 other Prem teams are looking to loan their players too.

  • Yohan Kebab

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #8

    adam armstrong is our first genuine hope of a top youngster unless someone makes a drastic improvement

  • catchy in norway

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #9

    with pardew in charge

    our young players don’t have a future,, full stop!!!
    they have to go other places to get games,

    that’s a fact

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #10

    Our academy is good. No doubting that really. But not for the reasons mentioned in this article. Krul and Forster are the only top class players to be ‘produced’ at the academy and progressed on to a good level. The coach that helped get them there was rewarded with the sack and replaced by Woodman, but also both had loan spells playing first team football when they were teenagers.

    We have consistently produced large numbers of youth internationals up till U19 level. We seem to peak at U17 level. I have said this before, but our 2 highest qualified coaches are at U15 and U16 level. Makes perfect sense then that they peak at that age before the old school coaching of Watson, Richardson, Beardsley, Stone and Carver get hold of them.

    I’d say our academy is decent, better than that at the younger age groups. Progressing them past the academy is a major fault of ours, and is costing some youngsters their chances at a career at a decent level. (Champ and higher) We are in severe danger of failing to do this again, either due to not improving the coaching, or not getting players game time at lower levels.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #11

    True on the guaranteed game time, that should never be a given!
    But the wages is negotiable, it’s benefiting both parties then some slack should be shown
    They shouldn’t nessicerally go to lower league either, bigi, sammy and fergie for me should of been touted round clubs like hull palace etc, Bolton used to do great business loaning off other prem clubs!

    I just don’t think we make the most of having an academy
    Someone asked the other day how obertan was getting in the team in front of HBA, from recollection obertan played a fair few reserve games to get back to fitness and was praised for his mentality and effort, so why not give lads like benny (who looks like could have a slight fitness issue) cisse Taylor a couple of games to get there edge back?
    The academy is a powerful tool I just don’t think we make the most of it!
    * This was in no way shape or form an obertan endorsement btw!!!!!

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #12

    I hate you, you always make my points so much better than i can you articulate git! 😉

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #13

    I could be wrong has our academy had to come along way from when Kevin Keegan scrapped the reserves and did he also get rid of the youth teams and set up.

    I stand corrected if wrong

  • Belfast

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #14

    Our academy is poor. For how little we spend in transfer windows we should be seeing a lot more kids coming through. We must be one of the worst for producing good players.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #15

    Haha, I promise I will try not to do it again!

  • ilovetoon8788

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #16

    what happen to haris vuckic. completely gone in my opinion.

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #17

    I’m not 100% but I’m fairly certain we didn’t scrap the youth teams under Keegan. The reserves went due to the need for them to play a percentage of games at SJP and Keegan didn’t want the ground to cut up, there was no such requirement at youths.

    It still caused a huge knock on effect though as unless by 18 you were good enough for first team, you didn’t get any actual football other than the odd training ground friendly.


    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #18

    On one hand we complain about lack of youngsters breaking into the 1st team then on other I’m the only person to mention using an academy player in a game against a poor team lower in the league when the RB spot needs covered.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #19


    Cheers for correcting me and yes it did create a huge knock on effect and which I think is still being corrected today.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #20

    Lol you carry on mate always a good read!

    Sadly have to agree, considering it was benchmarked as a huge key to future success we see very little coming through, our best youngster (imo santon and bigi) have been bought in

    Although it is great to see players like sammy and dummett coming through, hopefully we can find a way to get lads like them some game time
    Although when we do produce talent we have struggled to keep hold if them (Carroll, Forster)

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #21

    Who? Please don’t say tavernier! Because it’s a false economy to simply play lads from the academy as opposed to bringing players through who are actually good enough

  • bishopblaize

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #22

    Let’s start seeing some of these lads on the Bench .. BUT

    What games would be best intergating them in?

    We can’t be handing away games in the matches we expect to be winning in like we have over past couple of Seasons.

  • Nufc-83

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #23

    The best LB at the club for me is Haidara who impresses every time he steps foot on the pitch. I think he should be in at LB with Santon over at RB for Norwich.

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #24

    Nufc 83
    Personally I like santon, the lad is still young and I’ve seen nowhere enough of haidara to say he’s first team
    For me santon has built up a fantastic relationship with goofy on the left

    We do seem to struggle to integrate players, thought they did it well with bigi last season, but we tend to try and bring to many through at once which is why I cringed when the club said the cups were a good chance to look at our youth and fringe players

  • roy

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #25

    Make the most of watching Remy, in a Toon strip as he is off. Pardew, is getting his bosses excuses in already that big clubs are watching him. Somebody should pull this oaf up short about if we are a big club or not, as he seems deluded that we are a Crystal palace sized club.

  • Hatem's better than Messi

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #26


    I’m not sure how he can walk into a full SJP and think we aren’t a big club.
    Our supporters make the club special.

    Pardew needs to remember that next time he lowers our expectations and with it our dreams.

  • mindshaft

    Nov 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Comment #27

    Sadly some big clubs are watching Remy who knows that if he has a good season at toon and a decent world cup he can pretty much go where he wants (and it’s unlikely to be his choice to stay at toon ) sad but that’s the reality of signing loan players

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #28

    “Enjoy him while he’s a Newcastle United player, let’s not worry about the future”

    You know who else would have said that? Sunderland would have said that about Welbeck. Wigan probably said it about Cleverley. Bolton would have said it about Sturridge.

    Are we no more than Sunderland, Bolton or Wigan? Shouldn’t we demand more than being someone’s stepping stone?

  • toonincheek

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #29

    Ciaran –

    I don’t like to think of NUFC as a stepping stone, but sometimes that’s the way it is.

    Take Remy. Even if he sees us as a stepping stone, would you rather have not signed him, given the goals he has scored?
    Of course we would all like to see someone signed permanently who can score those goals, but you gotta take what you can.

    Loans are definitely NOT part of NUFC stated strategy, but occasionally it can be the best option.

  • Whumpie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #30

    Have all the academy bashers read the article? by a perfectly reasonable, objective measure our academy is currently the 6th best. room for improvement – especially after the 17-year-old stage – bur “awful”?

    Compared to what??

    Cairan at post 1: The fact that you can name 10 prospects of the top of your head says it all, doesn’t it?

  • JackButler

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #31

    The only top youngster we’ve got is Krul and we had to buy him in

  • jimmysmith

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #32

    If I was Adam Armstrongs’ dad, I’d advise him to wrap his boots in a hanky, tie the bundle to a stick to sling over his shoulder, and then set out on the long walk to Southampton, forthwith young sir!

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #33


    You have defined what is wrong with NUFC’s transfer strategy.

    We never had any intention of signing another striker other than Remy. Would I rather we didn’t sign Remy? No, he’s a fantastic player.

    Would I have also like to see 2/3 permanent signings who would have bolstered the squad immensely and not left us worrying about next summer as to who we will have to sign to replace Remy? You bet.

    We are left on a never ending loop of not having enough quality players. We sold Carroll, didn’t sign his replacement for 6 months. We needed an upgrade at RB, yet we didn’t sign Debuchy for another 6 months. We needed a replacement for Ba, yet we didn’t sign Remy until 6 months after, and he is only a loan deal!

    When Remy leaves, we might bring in one player, but that is not enough, because even with Remy in the squad we are still 1/2 players short of where we need to be. Shola is starting for heaven’s sake!

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #34

    “A perfectly reasonable objective measure of our academy”.

    Not really. Both Shola and Taylor made their debuts before Academies were academies, back when they were just youth teams. Take them 2 out, who many on here think shouldn’t be playing anyway and we slide massively down that table.

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #35


    The reason I can name 10 prospects (although a number of them are over 20) is because I take a real interest in our club. I could name you some shockingly bad academy players, doesn’t mean we have a good academy.

    Little simplistic don’t you think?

  • toonincheek

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #36


    Maybe we put all our eggs in one basket, pursuing Remy, but all the indications were that he would sign for us permanently.

    He was persuaded otherwise by money (no criticism) at the last minute, leaving us with no real opportunity to pursue other (reasonably cheap) alternatives.

    OK, so there is a “weakness” in our transfer policy.
    We don’t pay top prices.
    That’s not news.
    How many under-performing mercenaries have we signed by paying over the odds?

    Full marks to our backroom team for identifying a top player, at a reasonable price and with no PL experience, who has since shown he can cut it in the PL.

    It was never practical to sign Remy on a permanent basis, given his possible prosecution on a serious charge.
    And – QPR did not want to let him go permanently for the £8 million they paid – he was worth more than that having proved himself in the PL.

    And I’m sure we would NOT have paid more than the £8 million that QPR paid, and as we had agreed, just on principle.
    Plus – QPR wanted to retain the option of keeping him if they got promotion.

    As I said, a loan option was the only real answer, even though that is contrary to NUFC stated policy.

    Let’s just enjoy hos goals, and his overall contribution, while we can.

    If a CL team comes in for him in the summer, and would no doubt offer higher wages, then for sure he is off.
    But – otherwise – we would be in a strong position as he is enjoying his time with us.

  • Ciaran

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #37

    Remy will never, in a million years, be staying with us. He has already proved himself to be a 10 million+ player. We will not pay that.

    We do not have a transfer strategy. If we did, we would not have signed a CM when we desperately needed a ST, RB and a CB in the summer of 2012.

    Our ‘strategy’ is, get them in cheap. That’s it.

    Our scouts can undoubtedly produce gems, it is the owner who then refuses to sign them.

    If there was a strategy, why did they let a RB and a utility player leave without bringing anyone in? We’re short of options at RB, clearly demonstrated by Debuchy’s suspension. What will we do if he gets injured?

    There is no plan. No roadmap for progress. It’s ad-hoc, made up and people are lapping it up.

    Given how it doesn’t really matter where we finish in the league – given MA’s unwillingness to invest in sustaining it – I find supporting the team an increasingly futile exercise, more to the point, the players are probably seeing playing for this club as an increasingly futile exercise.

  • Novocastrian66

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #38

    In regards to the academy; it’s not just about developing players for Newcastle United or the Premier League but developing young lads into professional footballers. Newcastle have done well in that respect.

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #39

    SIX: Santon, Anita, Saylor, Tavernier, Jonas and Colo can all play RB.

    The players didn’t look too futile in the last 2 matches

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #40

    So Meulensteen has joined Fulham as Head Coach while Martin Jol retains the managers spot. Good appointment by Fulham as he is a top coach, but can’t help thinking this is the first gentle nudge of Jol out of the door.


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