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Top Youngster In Danger Of Failing At Newcastle

Rafa Benitez wants to see a lot more of the youngsters who Newcastle bring to the club make it through to the Newcastle first team –  and it’s something the club has not been too successful at over the last nine years or so.

Rafa knows all about the terrible results of not only the first team last season, but also the Youth side and the U21 side.

We read an interview with U21 manager Peter Beardsley last week and he had a list of reasons (also known as excuses) of why the U21 results were not good and would never be good.

Peter said he didn’t always have the players available for the U21 side and in any case his job was just to develop the players;  results were not important.

lubo satka

Lubo Satka – must come through this season

While some of that may be true, it’s always very dangerous to try to  “explain logically” why you are doing so badly with results – it gets to be self-fulfilling and you may even convince yourself results will never get any better.

We are sure that Rafa Benitez doesn’t share Beardsley’s view of things and when he was at Liverpool Rafa had all three teams – the first team, reserve team and youth team – doing every well on Merseyside.

One of the young players we had great hopes for and is now in the last year of his Newcastle contract and needs to do well to stay on Tyneside is 20 year-old Slovakian Lubo Satka.

Lubo has been interviewed on the Newcastle web-site and he knows he has to improve after going on loan to League Two club York City last season and struggling to make an impact.

This is what Satka has said.

“I went home for a couple of weeks straight after the season finished and I did a bit of running and training, but I tried to rest my legs a bit,”

“But now is the time to start working again to get ready for the pre-season.”

“I’ve been able to use the facilities at my old club, Dubnica, to train. Their season has just finished and I’ve been doing some individual stuff in the gym, and some running.”

“It’s the last year of my contract so I’m basically fighting for a new deal and to try to impress the manager.

“Pre-season is tough so you want to come back ready. I think it’s the same for everyone – all the other boys will be doing some work while they’re off.”

“But if you want to impress, you’ve got to do more than everyone else and see what happens.

“I’m looking forward to getting back. I haven’t been playing for Newcastle for a while – I was out on loan which was good but also frustrating as well, because of York’s results – and I haven’t seen the lads for a while.”

Lubo joined Newcastle four years ago and he turns 21 in December, so he must do well this season, otherwise he is likely to be released next May.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Comment #1

    Beardsley has been part of the problem.What have we got to show for his efforts? His track record indicates that he is a dismal failure at both identifying and developing talent. He should have been escorted out of the building with Charnley and Carr. Despite the rampant Rafa optimism their continued presence at the club casts a cloud over everything for me.

  • EllaGuru

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #2


    I agree with you that there is currently rampant Rafa optimism. Ed is playing a key role here!

    However look at the conditions that Rafa attached to him signing up for 3 years. He wants to be in control of most areas of the club, including I am led to believe, the Youth Academy.

    For the last number of years we have been rudderless. With Carr, and Beardsley reporting to Rafa, he will hopefully keep things in check.

  • Slank

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #3

    Satka is not a ‘top youngster’ as quoted by Ed.

    If he was, he would have had a few more outings in the first team than he previously has had.

    For him, this coming season is now or never.

  • Slank

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #4

    To add,

    The same goes for Aarons.

  • Lindisfarne

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Comment #5

    Every time the Academy is mentioned I expect to see that Rafa has moved Beardsley on, but it never transpires. It appears that Ugly-mug is impossible to wipe away or even move sideways.

  • martoon

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #6

    Frenchman & EllaGuru – I agree with you about Beardsley BUT although Rafa has overall control it would be a tough call to sack a club legend like Beardsley. Probably more likely a subtle sideways move to an Ambassador type role after a couple of months.

  • Jib

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #7

    Mikel Antia has got me quite excited.
    He and Roberto Olabe (now director of football at Real Sociedad) have worked and overseen the last 4 years at the famous Aspire football centre of excellence in Quatar.


  • EllaGuru

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #8


    Exactly! I think that Rafa is playing it right here. Keep Beardsley in some kind of proxy role for a while and then shift him out when the time is right.

  • giimps

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #9

    The problem has been with the recruitment of youth players, not just with our coaches, if a player shows ability he is either loaned out or kept ,if they are loaned out they have to either be lucky to get playing time due to an injury to a player in their position,hit the ground running or offer something different to the club who has them.
    If they are kept, they were back up at best as even if they were effective and showed great promise, they were dropped the week after as soon as a purple was fit (even one out of position)…. This must be disheartening knowing under previous management they would never get a run of games no matter how well they played.
    Add this to the horrendous injury problem affecting all levels of the club and you can start to see the problems.
    For me ,we need a complete overhaul of the academy, medical and club , which Rafa is apparently doing.
    We need to coach players for positions and introduce the academy/u21 gradually and not just throw 4-5 of them on for a cup game playing with some first teasers for probably the first time and expecting them to gel immediately.
    The Southampton model has proved to work, coach every level the same way so any player at any level is coached to maximise the teams potential, any left back either from the academy/u21 or 1st team should be coached exactly the same way, the same with midfielders and forwards, that way there is continuity and redundancy of positions, if a player gets injured, the u21 or academy player should be able to just step in seamlessly and know where to be on the pitch, know where there team mates should be and be able to tell what runs etc to make, who to track and what to do at corners etc.
    This is no easy fix and will take years to get right but it’s cheaper ,builds team spirit , bonds and a willingness to put your body on the line for the cause


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