“Their work-rate has been phenomenal” says Pardew of Best and Lovenkrands

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands - doing a job?
Up to the job?
Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, bigs up Best and Lovenkrands and says he will be patient with them.

The much commented upon sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool followed, 15 minutes of football later, by a fractured cheek for Shola Ameobi left what some might consider to be a hole in our front line.

Best and Lovenkrands – aptly assisted by Ranger and Kuqi in substitute’s roles – have been tasked with plugging that hole until the summer when Pardew can (presumably) hire a striker or two in the transfer market.

I think it’s fair to say that a lot of fans were reticent – if not actually doubtful – about whether Best and Lovenkrands had the wherewithal to lead the line. The Birmingham game proved that they can at least both play together successfully and they got a goal a piece. In fact they were both firing on target back in early January against West Ham when Lovenkrands got a goal and Best got a hat-trick.

Alan Pardew has been praising the strikers’ work-rate, encouraging them to ‘stay strong’ and claiming that he himself must be patient. Pardew said:

Their work-rate has been phenomenal and, as a manager, that’s all you can ask for.

In some games, there hasn’t been too much created for them.

But if they keep doing what they’re doing, the moments will happen in front of goal.

Just look at the West Ham game when we won 5-0 and they benefited from some great service.

They have to stay strong and, as a manager, I have to be patient.

Best has recently gone on record as saying he had to continuously pester Pardew to be given an opportunity and he has a point. Strikers need more than a few appearances to prove themselves in my opinion. I don’t know if Best and Lovenkrands are what you might call Premier League first-choice strikers – maybe they are and maybe they’re not – but I don’t think they’re doing a bad job of filling in at the moment.

Incidentally I have a top tip. I am partially deaf and, as you’ll see shortly, a buffoon. My latent deafness is exacerbated by the fact that my ears block up and I regularly have to go and get them hoovered out by a nurse. The last time I was there the nurse advised that I might try putting warm olive oil in them to unblock them rather than having to visit her all the time.

So I set about with a pan and some olive oil to address my lugubrious lugs.

My top tip is this: when testing temperature, be aware that what is merely ‘warm’ to the fingers can be painfully scorching to the ear canal.

If you don’t heed this top tip then you, like me, may spend a considerable amount of time hopping around the kitchen trying to pour gallons of cold water in your ear to put the fire in your eardrum out.

I’m off to have a sulk now. Painfully.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. :eek:

    Agree that Besty needs a good run of games, and WILL get better. Well he has got his chance now, so hope he makes his point.
    Of course supply is the key and it was good to see Jonas getting some crosses into the box. Hope he keeps it up.

  2. Both of them get advantage from superb midfield performance. Thank for Jonas,Barton,Tiote and Nolan. As long as they play together, better they become. We play as the team and credit to Best and Loven, They didn’t waste the chance against Bermingham.

    I don’t think Best is finished yet, He just lack of experience in PRM. If he can improve his movement and first-touch, he will be one of the decent PRM striker.

  3. I think he has better 1st touch than Ameobi and look how long he has survived in the PL. Astonishing.

  4. I think few of us(myself included) would have predicted ninth on the table at this juncture. We’ve constantly had to knit a side each week in the hope of staying up. Pretty remarkable and most likely what we’ll see the rest of the campaign. So let these guys up front have their run and wish them well.

  5. I honestly think best will do well in the prem…. His performance’s have been solid and i think if we do buy 2 strikers in the summer some other prem team will take the chance with best that we didn’t. With service most strikers with his attributes will do well… He should be number 1 striker IMO

  6. Chronicle linking peter Crouch in the summer wouldn’t mind it as he does score the goals but at 29 and wages could turn us away

  7. I must say that as it seems now, maybe it wasn’t Carrol which was that good (I mean.. he is good and had lot’s of potential), maybe it is the terrific midfield that makes it easy for strikers to play well

  8. I agree jmehl… i dont think he will be as effective for liverpool, They are muck on the wings. The play mostly down the middle. He might need to wait till next year to make his mark as i have no doubt they will try buy wingers in the summer.

  9. Please don’t get carried away. These guys are squad players at best. We will need two strikers in the summer. Carroll was unplayable most of the season and struck fear into defences causing opportunities for others.
    Niether of these two are any where near as good as Carroll

  10. I certainly understand the olive oil problem Hugh but I was less fortunate than you when I last tried the flush-out: the hot oil went straight in and out the other lug! Ouch! Ouch!

  11. I don’t think either of these guys is going to become a top-level striker. I’ve been saying that for ages, yet they’re still on course to keep proving me wrong. Long may it continue! Gwarn, lads – doing great.

    Good point about the midfield, although the thing that made AC stand out for me was what he did outside of his striking duties – especially bringing down the ball for others. Still – we’ve plenty of other tricks in our bag, so no problem.

    I still think Ranger is likely to prove the most successful in the long term, though; there’s just something about that lad, and if (as Pardew says) he really is getting his act together at the moment, he could be come something truly special.

  12. I’ve been happy (for the most part) with the performances of both Best and Loven. I think, as was stated above, that their ability to score is directly related to the quality of play from the midfield. They are getting better the more they play together. Same with Ranger, the tools are all there he just needs to learn how to use them all at the same time.

    With that said, we do need another quality striker or 2 this summer. Personally, I don’t see Shola as the lead striker. He walks around the pitch waiting for the game to come to him, whereas Loven and Best (and Ranger) are everywhere trying to influence the game whenever possible. I think that Ranger has the potential to terrorize the backline of any team. Look what he did to Liverpool earlier in the season. In 15 minutes he had them all over the place.

    These are the boys we have, and with the help of our team, they will keep us in the Prem and possibly move us up the table a bit further. Howay the Lads!!

  13. If Best can keep scoring he has a great future, and I agree his touch and control is very good.
    Best & Lovenkrands can see the season out and get the goal required, but we need more quality in depth to move from a mid/bottom prem team into a consistant top 6 which is where we want to be and stay.

  14. As to strengthening in the summer, I believe that we do need 2 strikers one for the starting line up and one for the bench. Loven is not good enough, and he is getting older. Ameobi has his days but for the most part of it he disappears. Ranger is going to be good in the future and I think Best should get a chance next season also. with BF returning from injury he can play as the second striker.

  15. Jmehl@17 — BF? Let me guess: Ben Arfa, do you mean? Strange initials to give him. PW will probably play him out wide allowing BT to play inside. Agree that LK isn’t good enough and AB is probably past it, if indeed he was ever before it.

    I just hope that when the manager writes the team up he uses full names and not some quirky initial system, otherwise nobody will know the fook who’s playing.

  16. Best gets another 6 goals in less than 10 games & he’s obviously worth £35m.
    Think about it, he’s scored a hat trick first time out, now has 5 in 7, so another 6 in 10 should do it, call liverpoo, give ’em the heads up. Better yet, call a craploid & they’ll happily do it for us.