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Nile Ranger looking good so far.

Posted on October 20th, 2010 | 32 Comments |

Nile Ranger - Ready for action?
Nile Ranger - Ready for action?
Nile Ranger has been somewhat of a revelation this season, well in my view he has anyway.

We saw last season that the lad can play a bit, but that was The Championship. His hold up play was immense for a lad of his of his age and he showed some pace and power to compliment that.

If there was one criticism of the lad, other than his alleged attitiude and ‘badass’ behaviour off the pitch, then it would have to be his goalscoring record. For all of his hard work and endeavour he very rarely got himself into scoring positions, and when he did he never looked confident of scoring, all in my opinion of course so please feel free to disagree with me.

That appears to have changed this season and Ranger has been setting the reserves alight with his goals, and assists, and he hasn’t done too bad when he has been called upon by first-team in the Carling Cup either.

There is a train of thought going round at the minute suggesting that perhaps Nile Ranger deserves a shot in the first-team. I agree to a point, but the Premier League is a completely different kettle of fish to the reserve league or even the Carling Cup.

Still, if he is good enough then he is old enough, and we will never really know if he will sink or swim unless he is given the chance. He came off the bench against Wigan last weeekend for a brief appearance of approximately ten minutes to help the team snatch a draw from jaws of defeat, but what kind of opportunity does only having ten minutes in a match present?

The answer is not a lot, and I think he deserves a little bit more playing time with the first team in all honesty.

I don’t for one minute expect Ranger to start anytime soon, barring an injury crisis of course, although I would prefer it if he was given more than just a few minutes from the substitutes bench. He has Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi in front of him in the pecking order at the moment, with Peter Lovenkrands presenting a different challenge in Ranger’s race to the first team.

All in all, Ranger is starting to show that perhaps he is one of the brightest talents to come from our academy over the last few years. I’m not getting on the back of Haris Vuckic, but I do believe that Ranger has improved far quicker than Vuckic has and is ready for a more important role in the first-team.

We have our very own Magpie Ranger ready for action!

NUFCBlog Author: toonsy toonsy has written 643 articles on this blog.

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32 Responses

  1. Whey,
    like you state,
    Ranger came off the bench on satda, along with Shola & both helped secure a draw against the odds.
    So, however limited, he is starting to get game time.
    He did miss an absolute sitter v chelsea & gave away the ball in a v dangerous place which lead to their first.
    He also didn’t close down the AS 2nd goal in the round before.
    He’s getting bits of game time to help build him towards 1st team opportunities.
    He’s growing in confidence, his time will come, if he knuckles down & does what he’s asked to do.
    He could work well with Shola or PL.

  2. I think Bigger Lad’s current woes could give CH the excuse he needs to blood Ranger a bit more. He does make mistakes (see post 1) but he also provides energy and unpredictability which could help plug the Benny-shaped hole we have at the moment.
    I think he and Shola, with Guthrie in behind, is worth a shot. But then, I don’t see ’em in training or hear about their behaviour and attitude away from work, and CH does. Let’s not get on his back if Nile remains primarily a benchwarmer for a while.

  3. When I was a lad in the days of few television channels & no cable or satellite in the USA, Saturday afternoons between American football and baseball seasons was a hodge-podge of sporting shows. We would get dirt track racing, basketball, skiing, whatever. Occasionally a football match from England would be the program. After watching one of these for about 5 minutes, it was clear this little speedboat Kevin Keegan was a very special player. He was not getting booted or elbowed as he dodged that mess, he was getting to goal. And he did it with style. I hope I’m again seeing some of that specialness in the mighty Nile.

  4. …just waiting for the usual suspects to come on here saying he’s the best striker we’ve got, miles better than Shola, blah, blah.

    He’s a teenager, and it shows! I still get a buzz when he comes on, though – he’s just one of those players you expect to make an impact when they come on.

  5. Agree with all of that Toonsy. I think ( admittedly I’ve only seen Chelsea game) he’s come on a ton this season. He looks fitter, stronger and is now working really hard, tracking back etc. I think he’s second in line after Shola. Caroll has a long way to go – all one foot, a little slow and a very limited talent. Might not even make the big time after all. I’d try Ranger wide(ish) right instead of Routledge. Looked good there v Chelsea.

  6. BeeGuy – I hope you’re right. There is something a bit special about him; it’s just a bit rough-edged at the moment. I suspect CH is holding him back a bit for very good reason. Look what’s happened to Rooney now he’s finally started to believe his own hype – and he didn’t come pre-loaded with attitude in the same way Ranger does.

  7. BTW – very chuffed for Shola getting some recognition at the moment. I think he was the difference on Satda; they just didn’t know what to do with him and it finally opened them up a bit. Quality header too.

    Aaaahnyway – back to Nile.

    Nile Ranger. With a name like that he had to grow up tough… :)

  8. iirc,peter beardsley says he still tends to be lazy though.

    if not he could score 5 or 6goals in the previous reserve game. ;)

  9. He was really good coming in from wide right against Chelski, and I think we effectively saw that again on Saturday.

    Not sure he’s ahead of Carroll in general, though, Georgio – “– all one foot, a little slow and a very limited talent”. So that’d be our top scorer, then?

    He’s just having a rough patch, that’s all. Not surprising given what’s going on in his life – self-inflicted or not. Carroll will get a shedload of goals this season, don’t worry.

  10. ‘Shedload of goals’? Andy Carroll? You must have a very small shed thats all I can think. Andy Carroll needs to be setting (and achieving) much higher standards for himself. He can’t go on acting the tw*t if he finishes with 8 goals for a season. If you are up there with the big boys at teh end of the 38 games, then fine, ‘bling’ all you want. But at the minute, it might pay you to stop and think. You are only the CURRENT number nine of NUFC. You aint made it yet. Forget England. Forget the Charva image. Start concentrating on making the next step up. Goals make strikers. Note to Bigger Lad: Kevin Davies is not a supersatr or nighclub addict, and he has more England caps than you……………. You only need to look in the mirror to see who can make you a better player, so buck up and knuckle down. Starting against Mathew Upson on Saturday.

  11. toonsy lets not forget that last time we were in the prem ranger was also lighting up the score board for the reserves. The reserves and the prem are miles appart. In fact the reserves and the championship are miles appart.

  12. Whumpie, – that’s our top scorer on 4 goals, two of which were very lucky affairs v Villa and nothing in the last 5 games. I seriously doubt whether he’s going to make it at all.

  13. Giorgio – In much the same way that people were building him up too early, I also think that people are starting to write him off too early. He proved last season he knows where the back of the net is. Given time he will improve in my opinion. The lad is still only 21 after all….

    Remember, Shearer didn’t start becoming prolific until he was 21/22…..

  14. TOONSY i said from the off he will find the e.p. a harder nut to crack,a/villa were caught flat footed,but some teams twigged him,so give the lad time he will work it oot

  15. Well said, Toonsy. What is it with the bipolar disorder on here?

    For a start, “top scorer” applies whether you’re talking about his 4 goals in 8 games this season, or his 19 goals last season. Either way, he’s top scorer and does not deserve the writings-off he’s getting.

    As for the rant about his behaviour: you can’t judge until we know the truth. But to be honest, Lee Zezender – you’re probably dead right, IMHO!

  16. Toonsy you may be right. Shearer never carried the personal garbage around that Caroll’s already amassed – and yes, he’s only 21!
    What fuels my thinking is what I make all these judgement calls on. He’s poor with the ball at his feet. Great headers aside (and they can count a lot – Wyn Davies, Peter Withe etc ) he just doesn’t look a good footballer.

  17. I cannot think of a single striker – ever – who played consistently without the odd bad patch or goal drought. Yet on here we venerate anyone who scores in three games in a row, then comdemn them as soon as they go two games without. Mad. And just a wee bit sad.

  18. Georgio – I don’t think you’re completely wrong, it’s just the degree to which you’re condemning the lad that I can’t agree with. He’s scored some crackers with his feet, he’s set up loads of goals with intelligent flick-ons and he’s roughed-up and generally occupied multiple defenders to allow others space in attack.

    So he’s not Pedro. Hardly a slacker or a failure, is he?

    This is the lad who came through the ranks of his boyhood club to be top scorer for the season and earn the hallowed Number 9 shirt, then scored a hat-trick on his home debut wearing it.

    Acknowledging his current problems, surely you have something good to say for Bigger Lad??

  19. Whumpie you may think it sad. I’m not praising him or the reverse because of the goals he’s scored (or not). It’s the general quality of his football. Cracking, strong left foot but he needs 2 clear yards of space to get it away. By the time he’s got his backswing sorted he’s tackled. A lot of big lads are like that. Shola seems to have learnt of late though.

  20. 2 man debate Whumpie! I know where you’re coming from but I’m not the bipolar type. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing him succeed (well maybe Benny’s leg healing in a week). I just look at his overall game and wonder. And talk of England at this stage is just madness.

  21. GEORGIO the england claim is well over the top m8 i think its well doon the road imo,lets look again 12mths on

  22. Ice – you’re right there. I remember a while ago you on about left footers and how everyone needs one – Sellars, Tommy Craig, Hibbert et al. That’s what pains me about HBA. The balance he brought was invaluable. Who was your favourite lefty?
    Anyway you also banged on about O’Hara – what happened to all that?

  23. Yep, agree on the England thing. Not ready. And he has no right foot.

    But I still reckon he’ll be up around 15-20 goals again this season IF he gets the games. We’ll see, eh.

    And yes, Nolan needs to slap some sense into him about his private life. And that hair. ;)

  24. Left footers…

    Actually, I keep thinking Olivier Bernard. Just liked him. Isn’t he running a cafe in Toon these days?

  25. Tradegy what happened to Bernard. How he went from great player to zero in just 2 years is mind boggling. Robert had a decent left foot!

  26. GEORGIO,yes i liked o!hare for his ex in the p.l.and would fit our budget,hard little sod who could pick a pass and score a few,never thinking we could get benny,o!hare done his back and been out a while,now on his way back.i might be ganning back a bit for you the best l/foot ive seen at toon ever b.mitchall,recent ones it would be zog,but a lazy sod like

  27. Robert. Good point. My wife never forgave him for the y-fronts, though.. :)

    He may have been a sulky git, but I remember him putting a 35-yarder past Liverpool at 78mph. Nearly tore a hole in time, it did. Shame we lost, but what a goal..

  28. I think Nile Ranger did not get a proper run out in the championship. He might have had a few appearances but most of them I recall being a substitute in the last 10 mins. However I would love to see him playing up front with Carroll or keeping Lovenkrands with Carroll because I like Lovenkrands as well. I would even prefer to play Caroll and Ameobi instead of a 4 4 1 1 at home.

  29. cant say hes an academy product really. he is a bad boy though my mate lives on the same street as his mother and therefore his childhood home and he said he was a right gangsta type lol. for me he is very much on the line of being able and becoming nothing. i hope he makes it ofc, at newacastle as well ofc. good luck to the lad