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Newcastle: Anthony Gordon turning doubters into believers

Written by on May 15, 2024

Gordon began his secondary school life at Alsop High School before being moved to one of Everton’s partner schools, Wade Deacon in Widnes, when he was 14. He would travel there from his home in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

“We always thought he’d be a big lad, which he is. We knew he’d be quick, and he’s rapid,” the coach continues. “It’s about looking at the boy and trying to see the man down the road. It is all credit to Anthony – he’s developed himself.”

A reunion with Dewsnip came with England, where Gordon joined an illustrious group of youngsters in winning the Limoges Tournament in France in 2018.

“That team had in it Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Curtis Jones and Folarin Balogun,” adds Dewsnip. “He was part of a group that was full of exciting attacking talent.

“We had a bond together. He would come and speak to me over coffee. I coached his agent when he was younger and there was the Everton connection. I then watched his progress from a distance. I watched him play for the under-21s at Burnley. He was on one side and Cole Palmer was on the other. I thought, ‘my God, wow!’”

Gordon’s early days at Everton somewhat mirror his recent change of fortunes at Newcastle. He’s never been afraid to make his feelings known to staff, but always understood how to turn a setback into a route for progress after a six-month spell at Preston North End in 2021.

His former coach recalls: “I remember doing a finishing session with him once when he was 14. He didn’t look happy and when I spoke to him he said, ‘I don’t need that, I can do it. I need challenging. I need opposition.’ I thought, ‘wow, telling the coaches what he wants at his age’.

“I think the loan he had at Preston helped him a lot. He started well and then he didn’t get his own way. He was in and out. He came back from that loan, worked over the summer and that was the catalyst. He kicked on. If you look at him now and you look at him when he was first breaking in, the difference is massive.”

In an interview last month with former Manchester United defender Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast, Gordon spoke about dictating his own development at Newcastle.

“I stay out all the time [after training] because I feel like it has ended too quickly and I’m not ready to go in,” said Gordon.

“The gaffer knows I don’t like gym work. He knows I like to do what makes me feel good and this season I’ve been injury-free. It’s worked.”

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