Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Has the hotbed gone cold?

An interesting article on the BBC site, with ex Newcastle and Hartlepool striker Joe Allon pondering why things have been so quiet on the North East footballing production line of late.

A little bit misleading, I feel. Fair enough, there haven't been any Beardsleys, Waddles or Gascoignes for a while, but we have turned out a fair few players in the last ten or fifteen years: Steve Watson, Alan Thompson, Robbie Elliott, the Caldwell brothers and Michael Chopra off the top of my head (though none of them quite made the grade on Tyneside in the long term).

No wonder Glenn Roeder is enthusiastic about the value of the Academy, particularly as its former manager - homegrown talents like Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Peter Ramage, Paul Huntington, David Edgar, Matty Pattison and Alan O'Brien have all found themselves in and around the first team in the last couple of seasons. Of course, whether they prove to have the same impact on the game as the likes of Beardsley and company is far from certain - and that, I suppose, is the point of the article.


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