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Opinion

Time to put faith in the Newcastle United youth?

8 months ago
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The famous saying ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ by Alan Hansen on Match of the Day in 1995, is known by the majority of football fans.

Following a young Manchester United side’s loss in the opening game of the 1995-96 season, the quote has been proven wrong, time and time again.

That team went on to be very successful with the likes of the class of 92 becoming legends of the game, inspiring change in English football.

Over recent years, there has been a large number of young players starting more games and scoring more goals than Messi and Ronaldo did at a young age.

The likes of Jadon Sancho, Kylian Mbappé and more recently Erling Haaland, have all burst onto the scene and are cementing themselves as world class players.

Even nationally with the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Max Aarons and Marcus Rashford, who initially got his chance due to Manchester United’s squad being riddled with injuries (like another United side that comes to mind…).

Newcastle United find themselves struggling for goals with the four strikers: Joelinton, Gayle, Muto and Carroll, picking up a staggering one goal in a combined 47 appearances in the Premier League.

This is just simply, an awful statistic. Matty Longstaff, a youth prospect, has two goals in the Premier League and has outscored all of our strikers.

When we have the likes of Elias Sorensen and Tom Allan in the Under 23 side, why are we not giving them a chance?

I’m not expecting them to be a Kylian Mbappe or a Erling Haaland but could they potentially bag a goal or two? Probably.

Tom Allan has 17 goals in all competitions this season (scored his 17th last night as NUFC Under 23s/reserves bet Middlesbrough 2-0 away from home) and played well in his brief appearance in the FA Cup against Rochdale, even managed an assist to set up Joelinton’s goal.

I don’t believe Bruce should throw either of them straight into the starting eleven as we wouldn’t want to put too much pressure on them, but would it hurt to have them on the bench opposed to no striker at all, which we have seen in recent weeks?

Give them 30 minute appearances with not much pressure and hope that their passion would see them putting in a decent performance.

It’s clear to see the current system isn’t working and with Bruce ready to change today, we may see an improvement, but this is a Newcastle side that have struggled all season to get the ball in the back of the net and I do not see that changing while we have strikers with no confidence, injury ridden, or just not good enough for the Premier League.

Recently, we’ve seen it work quite well when we have fielded youth.

The Longstaff brothers are a prime example of this. Jamaal Lascelles and Ayoze Perez were both thrown into the starting eleven a lot earlier than expected and again, we saw positive results.

Perhaps it’s time to put faith in the Newcastle United youth, once again.

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