"I've never said to anyone 'It's all over, you're not getting a chance'. If you stick to the rules and put the ethic in, I'll give you a chance."
It looks as though Nile Ranger, he of buckets of unrealized talents and whom I have seen described as the man who "made Andy Carroll", has found his way clear of Newcastle City Centre and into the starting XI once more for Newcastle United. It had looked that the Southampton youth product had burned his last bridge at St. James' Park with his last round of legal troubles, but he is set to get a lifeline from Alan Pardew:
"Nile will start," Pardew said. "I think he's probably the story of the last two or three months in terms of a positive. He's been out of the papers, he's been on time for the last eight to 10 weeks and he's put in application on the training ground.
As a talent, you really hope that the guy can get it all (and KEEP it all) sorted off the pitch to allow himself the chance to either succeed or fail on the pitch. It makes a whole lot of sense in this low-pressure low-reward situation to give Nile a run with all of the other strikers in the squad either nursing a current niggling injury or coming off a more serious injury of one form or another. At 21, he's still got his whole career ahead of him. If he can get back into the newspapers for scoring goals instead of punching someone's lights out, we could be on the verge of a decent if not warm and fuzzy comeback story.