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Alan Pardew hails Newcastle youngsters Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic

On Thursday night at Scunthorpe United, Alan Pardew's late liberation of Haris Vuckic and Sammy Ameobi from the bench heralded a much-needed Newcastle United renaissance.

Alan Pardew hails Newcastle youngsters Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic The two young graduates from Peter Beardsley's development squad helped the Premier League side to recover from a goal down to eventually win their Carling Cup tie deep in extra-time.

While the winner was scored, courtesy of a nonchalant dribble, superb change of pace and fine 20-yard right-foot finish, by Ameobi, Vuckic's creative midfield skills seriously ruffled Scunthorpe.

Both youngsters are likely to be, at least, on the bench when Fulham visit St James' Park on Sunday as the dream of Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner, of building a sort of Arsenal-upon-Tyne – and Pardew certainly possesses sufficient French players for that – begins to take root.

When, last December, Pardew succeeded Chris Hughton, Vuckic was injured and Ameobi regarded primarily as "Shola's little brother". In time, the new manager became sufficiently impressed by the junior Ameobi to offer the 19-year-old striker a substitute appearance against Chelsea last spring, but it was not until this summer that he properly appreciated Vuckic's skills.

"When I first arrived I remember the staff saying to me: 'We've got a really good young player but he's injured at the moment,'" Pardew said. "This tall, nice, Slovenian guy [Vuckic] kept passing me in the corridor and smiling. Haris is such a nice guy.

"He's a lovely boy [who] we've got big hopes for; he's got tremendous technique. Haris needs to learn to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League but he's only 19 and his potential is excellent. He's got a really clever pass on him. It's a pass about 85% of Premier League footballers couldn't even see."

Unlike some, more precocious, youngsters, Vuckic and Ameobi junior are known for their gracious good manners and assiduous application. "We're very excited about Sammy," said Pardew. "He's going to be a big player and it helps that his big brother and his parents look after him very well."

Although Pardew clearly needs two or three more experienced first-team reinforcements he is anxious "not to block the route" for Beardsley's proteges. Indeed Joey Barton's departure could, long term, be more than compensated for by Mehdi Abeid, a French teenager of Algerian descent and possible substitute today. Newcastle believe he is capable of developing into a top-class defensive central midfielder.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Louise Taylor, for guardian.co.uk on Saturday 27th August 2011 20.09 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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