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Opinion

Newcastle United young stars improve by 13 goals against Manchester City

2 years ago
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Newcastle United host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, a 4.30pm kick-off at St James’ Park.

A win for Eddie Howe’s team would see them go above Pep Guardiola’s side…

However, not getting too ahead of ourselves, just over 24 hours before that big kick-off, the young Newcastle United stars were up against their Manchester City counterparts.

One of the biggest challenges for the new Newcastle United owners when they took over ten months ago, was the NUFC Academy.

This area, the ‘future’ of our club, perhaps more than anything summed up the difference when it came to the words of Mike Ashley, compared to his actions.

A number of times, Mike Ashley, either directly or through one of his minions (Charnley, Llambias etc), would state that the Academy was the way in which Newcastle United could compete, bring local talent through etc etc, as well as the best young players from elsewhere.

Sadly / predictably, this was never ever backed up with proper investment in infrastructure / facilities and the overall coaching set-up.

This isn’t about individual coaches or young players, when it comes to the situation the new NUFC owners have inherited, it is a total failure from Mike Ashley to in any way allow the club to properly invest in its future.

Well, to sum up just how desperate the youth side had become at Newcastle United due to that Mike Ashley neglect, towards the end of April 2022, the NUFC Under 18s were away to Man Utd and lost 6-0, making it only one win in their last twenty league games for the young Newcastle United stars.

You will have heard of the phrase ‘Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse…’, well the following weekend they very much did. Away at Man City, the NUFC Under 18s losing 7-0…by half-time. The final score 13-0 (THIRTEEN!) to Man City.

By the end of last season, the Academy (Under 18s) league table (North) saw Newcastle United finish rock bottom, five points adrift of Stoke who were second bottom, then Derby and Sunderland 10 and 12 points clear respectively.

A massive job as I say for the new Newcastle United owners but sorting out the youth side of things at the club, a huge long-term priority.

Just this past week we saw a move made in the right direction hopefully, with Graeme Carrick appointed as the new NUFC Under 18s head coach.

His first game in charge, at home to…Manchester City.

After losing by 13 goals in their last competitive meeting, could any instant improvement happen less than four months after that 13-0 drubbing?

Well, it wasn’t 0-7 at half-time anyway, today’s game at Little Benton seeing the Newcastle United Under 18s trail 1-0 to a Matty Whittingham goal at the break.

Joel Ndala made it 2-0 on 61 minutes for the visitors but hopefully at least no collapse would follow and at least a semi-respectable scoreline…

Hang on though, only two minutes later and it is only 2-1, as Manchester City add an own goal to the two they scored at the other end.

Into added time and Newcastle United heading for a defeat but at least a respectable one, after that 13 goal horror show in April. Four minutes of added time played and with the referee looking to bring proceedings to an end, up pops Johnny Emerson to score a last gasp equaliser!

What a brilliant start to the season for the young Newcastle United stars and new boss Graeme Carrick, hopefully they can all draw a lot of confidence and belief from this performance and result, a thirteen goal improvement on April’s meeting down in Manchester.

Just maybe we have a starting point, as the new NUFC owners begin to invest in the future of the football club, as well as the here and now.

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