Adam Campbell is now living the dream in the Newcastle United first team and they have to protect him.
Adam Campbell is one of the best young prospects to come out of Newcastle United in many a year but the club has a lot of work to do to ensure he’s set up for a long Premier League career.
The temptation for Alan Pardew will b to use him in every match because here’s a player who’s been putting in great performances for the youth and reserve teams at the club, and who other sides know very little about.
The danger in that respect is fatigue which may seem ironic as Campbell is only 18-years-old but he’s still developing in terms of growth and fitness. If Newcastle let fatigue set in, he could become frustrated and alienated as his performances slide.
Pardew is not an inexperienced manager so he will also know how to keep Campbell away from too much public exposure.
He could learn a lot from the way Sir Alex Ferguson handled Wayne Rooney when he first signed for Manchester United, keeping him away from the press and telling him to behave himself when he was away from the pitch and training ground.
Campbell will also feel the pressure because of the fact he’s playing for Newcastle United, one of the most widely supported clubs in England and Europe.
Newcastle fans expect and demand the very best from their players on a weekly basis. That’s pressure that Campbell has already had a taste of but there’s a fine balance between withdrawing him from that pressure and subjecting him to it regularly. As a 'hometown hero' the pressure is going to increase tenfold than on any other youngster.
It’s also very important for Pardew and other key officials at Newcastle to keep Campbell grounded through the early part of his career.
Here’s a very young man, thrust into the spot light, enjoying fame and earning a lot of money before he’s even 20-years-old.
If Newcastle can keep him grounded and not let all of that go to his head, he should have a very long and respectable career in the game, giving Newcastle fans an idol they can get behind.
Protection is also very important, on the field as much as off it. As he’s young and under developed, Campbell will be a target. There will be Premier League players who look to get after him, kick him up into the air and make his life hell.
Newcastle need to use a good balance of experienced and strong players in and around him to reduce the chances of this happening, which means he can play more freely.
Newcastle fans, what do you make of Campbell?
image: © mikebrown59