Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle's 321 Miles Away from Southampton, but It Reality They Are Millions of Miles Apart

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Newcastle's 321 Miles Away from Southampton, but It Reality They Are Millions of Miles Apart

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder

NEWCASTLE United have suggested they are a selling club in recent years with the sales of | Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye.

Nobody likes that phrase, but with the Magpies making it clear they aren't a club with immediate top-six aspiras, it's difficult to label exactly what y are at the moment.

What we have on Barrack Road at the moment is a club enticed by bargain buys, working with a limited budget and trying to cling on to the coatails of the top eight.

But while Mike Ashley's blueprint at ames' Park is to develop young talfor free then sell for big money, the agpies find themselves some distance hind one of the division's experts at oing exactly that, Southampton. they are fast emerging as the Preer League's best example of a model that makes money from a good youth set-up.

In a week that is likely to result in the Saints picking up around PS60m for Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana - heading for Manchester United and Liverpool respectively - Newcastle picked up a paltry PS500,000 for Yorkshireman James Tavernier. There's a chasm of difference. Throw in Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale and it gets a bit embarrasing for the Saints in terms of riches from their own youth team.

Although the talent is out there if you look hard enough - according to history it is.

Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick, Steve Bruce, Paul Gascoigne, Lee Clark, Steve Watson and Carroll are all just a few of the Geordie names to have made it big after growing up in Newcastle.

Of course, Tavernier (left), a keen T battler from the lower leagues, is at a different level to England internationals Shaw and Lallana or any of those mentioned above, but then he didn't get much of a sniff at Newcastle. Not even a Premier League start.

The Magpies started well enough by luring him from Leeds United's youth team and he showed promise before being overlooked, then flogged without getting a proper chance. But then again, that's the key and one which Southampton seem very good at indeed. Find the talent in your own backyard, nurture, develop, blood, build up a reputation then sell on for a huge fee. If they don't get a chance how will anybody ever know? Keen businessman Ashley can only look on and wonder.

However, the Toon owner made it clear 12 months ago that he wanted the grassroots areas of Tyneside scoured for the next big thing.

He may feel he already hit the jackpot with Andy Carroll three years ago when he was sold to Liverpool for PS35m.

That day he was laughing all the way to the bank in the eyes of the business world, especially given the money was re-invested into a team that finished fifth under Alan Pardew.

But things haven't gone so well for Ashley, Pardew or anybody else at Newcastle since.

Ashley wanted a shake-up at St James' last summer but bringing in Joe Kinnear as director of football proved to be disaster that lasted only a few months. …

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