Why Is Rolando Aarons The Exception To The Rule?
It’s fair to say that Newcastle’s start to the new Premier League campaign has been underwhelming. The team that finished last season struggling to score goals at one end and conceding plenty at the other, seems to have drifted through pre-season without finding any solutions.
There has however been one bright spark, teenage sensation Rolando Aarons who is the talk on Tyneside at the moment.
While everyone is excited, and rightly so about this precocious but raw talent, he is an exception ‘produced’ (picked up at 16 after being brought through at Bristol City) from what is a failing academy system at Newcastle United.
In recent years we have seen some promising youngsters coming through at Newcastle, but many have tailed off, and many fans have been left wondering what exactly has happened to them.
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After his first season, it looked as if we’d pulled off a bargain deal in signing Gael Bigirimana from Coventry City for just £1million. A talented young midfielder with a good passing range, the Burundi born lad looked to be a player with a big future at Newcastle.
What has happened since then is somewhat of a mystery. It is understood that he had his injury problems but he also seems to have been banished to Newcastle’s Under-21 side. Ironically he won Newcastle United’s goal of the season award for 13/14 with a wonderful long range strike against the West Brom Under-21 side, further showcasing the talent he possesses.
If Pardew doesn’t believe that the young lad is ready to play in the Premier League, why not send him out on loan for some valuable first team experience, with the shining example of Mehdi Abeid who has returned from his loan spell in Greece with a new sense of confidence and drive.
Another youngster whose days look numbered on Tyneside is Sammy Ameobi. I have to admit that I never thought Sammy would be good enough for the top level but his run in the first team last season showed that he definitely has something to offer.
What the emergence of Aarons has shown is that Newcastle are desperate for wide players with pace and that are willing to get past their full back, a quality that Sammy brought to the side last term.
In an ideal world, the time to integrate young players into a team is when confidence is high and the team are playing well. However, the last few seasons have been a struggle and the feeling amongst fans is that there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel any time soon.
Gary Neville talked in April 2013 of the “soul, identity and heart” being ripped out of Newcastle with the amount of foreign players being brought in and I think this season really will be the test of whether that theory is right.
We’ve spent some money but if the players can’t begin to show the type of qualities you need to have in the Premiership, then perhaps a new direction is needed. A win in the derby is a must.
You’d think that bringing through young players would be high on the agenda of Mike Ashley as part of his business model for the club, because not only are they free, but if they perform well he can make a healthy profit on them. ..and yet we don’t seem to be making progress on this front.
This is not however a problem that is confined to the four walls of St James Park, but one that is repeated throughout most clubs in England and it is affecting the English game as a whole. The examples are there from Germany, Spain and even Belgium, the FA need to take note.
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