Sky Sports have ran a feature on Newcastle United, claiming that the Academy side of things could now be on the up after years of disappointment.
The broadcaster reporting that ‘Having been criticised in recent years, there looks to be hope yet for Newcastle’s academy.’
I hate to pour cold water on any signs of positivity at Newcastle United but you do have to keep things in perspective.
The whole basis of the Sky Sports story is due to Newcastle’s reserve side beating a League One club’s reserve team…
I was there on Monday night and the NUFC second string did play really well and won 5-0 BUT you do have to take into account the quality of the opposition.
The game made headline news because it happened to be Sunderland but to be honest they were terrible, they looked very much like a League One club’s reserve side.
If it had been a 5-0 win over Fleetwood or Rochdale’s reserves nobody would have said anything.
I love it when Newcastle beat Sunderland at anything but this has to be taken as just a one-off result.
To put it into perspective, the previous week the NUFC reserves (Under 23s) had drawn 1-1 with West Brom.
Ironically, Sky Sports are suggesting an upturn for Newcastle United’s Academy at the same time as the NUFC Academy (Under 18s) side have opened the season with a 6-0 hammering by Man City, followed by a 3-0 loss at home to West Brom at the weekend.
On Monday night at St James Park I was confident before the game that Newcastle were going to win easily.
I had never heard of any of the Sunderland team but as for Newcastle, they had a very experienced team out for this fixture.
England Under 21 keeper Freddie Woodman was playing for Aberdeen on loan in the Scottish Premier League last season.
Whilst midfielder Sean Longstaff was out on loan at League One Blackpool last season and scored 10 goals from midfield!
Dan Barlaser has played for the Newcastle first team, as has Jamie Sterry, who has been out on loan at League One Coventry back in 2016/17.
As for Callum Roberts, he is another who has played in the Scottish Premier League, when out at Kilmarnock on loan.
Love the fact that our younger players played well and scored five goals, especially in a derby match.
Also, lets all continue to hope that one or two of these younger players could one day make it as first team regular at NUFC.
However, lets not pretend that until there is proper investment in the Newcastle United Academy, the club will continue to trail behind rival PL clubs when it comes to producing young talent.