Keegan Pleased – But Only With First Half Display

After a bad day yesterday. when we lost to Arsenal 3-0 and lost out to Tottenham for Jonathan Woodgate,  Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan was pleased with Newcastle’s first half performance yesterday.


Kevin Keegan – first half performance was very good

Newcastle really played well in the first half as they passed the ball around and seemed so confident. But they couldn’t keep that up in the second half and were subsequently beaten 3-0 by Arsenal, yesterday.

Kevin told the official Newcastle United web site after the game:

“It was a very good first half performance and we had the courage to play them,”“We were going along nicely and causing them problems, while they were not giving us much grief.”

“We could not keep it up and they stepped up, we stepped back and in the end, the gulf was pretty big.”

“Our biggest problem is confidence.” “When the first goal went in, you could not really see us coming back from that.” “At times, our passing in the second half was X-rated stuff, we were just giving the ball away.”

“But if we can put 90 minutes in like we did in the first half, then Arsenal will have a tough game here – although you can still play well for 90 minutes against them and they can turn you over.”

Unfortunately our next game is in the league at the Emirates on Tuesday evening, so at least we’ll have another chance to try to play with that skill and passing for the full 90 minutes.

But we’ll have to start picking up points quickly in the league, since in the last league 4 games we have just a single point, and a goal difference of -11. That’s not good.    🙁

Comments always welcome.

14 comments so far

  • JJ

    Jan 27, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #1

    I thought we played well first half, BUT once again I have to bring up Michael Owen….
    He has been absolutely useless and whilst he may need time, I feel and think think all non English supporters will agree, that MO offers the team absolutely nothing if he is not scoring goals. His work rate is terrible, he cant hold the ball to save his life, his passing is average, he has lost ll his pace to get a yard on defenders and he doesnt create a thing for anyone else.
    We really should look to sell him because the 130 000 pounds a week he is getting paid has been an absolute waste of money. + hes not a captains arse.
    As with the last article I agree that Nzogbia is not ready to play CM but is still a fantastic LM player. We need Viduka and Martins back upfront. and we need an attacking midfielder who can drive the ball forward and pass well.
    I would have a straight swap of Owen for Defoe with Tottenham. And put an offer in for van der Vaart in CM or Ashavin.
    We also should put in an offer for Bridge, Enrique looks talented but needs to be less casual in his play.
    Come on Kev only 8 days left.
    or Harper

    Beye Taylor Casapa Bridge
    or Carr or Rozenhal or Faye or Enrique

    Milner Rozenal van der Vaart Duff
    or Lua or Butt or Emre or Nzog

    Viduka Martins
    or Smith or Defoe

  • ObaFan2

    Jan 27, 2008 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #2

    8 days left? long month u have!

    I though that Smith was a complete waste of space, he tracked back and all he did was return the ball from where it came! Owen’s movement is so much better but he isn’t playing that well atm.
    We have no creativity through the middle, some of our wing play in the first half was really good but then failed with the final pass yet again. Unlucky at times but also poor play at times.

    It’s a shame it looks like no ones coming in this January but I’d rather have no one than another Smith @ £6 million ! What a waste of a shirt let alone the money.

  • JJ

    Jan 27, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #3

    ; ), pushed wrong key on num key pad, below 8 is 5.
    Yip Smith’s movement wasnt great, far to many fouls and off sides. But we really need a striker with pace who can ran at and not just behind the defense– we have Oba but Im afraid Owen just doesnt have it– everytime he tried he lost the ball. In fact I think he touched the ball 5 times the whole game and lost it five times.
    Really he is playing on reputation, in England he is behind the likes of Defoe, Ashley Young, Agbonglahor, Andrew Johnson and more. If he was on 40 000 a week I could understand but at the moment he is a complete waste of money.

  • JJ

    Jan 27, 2008 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #4

    I agree that we desperately despaerately need a creative CM. NOW!!!

  • Graeme

    Jan 27, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #5

    JJ couldnt agree more re Owen. I said weeks ago that we should swap/sell him and Smith, along with Stroller and get a good, strong CF. This will open up the game for Martins, Zog, Duff to score.

    Owen has lost his edge and it looks like he’s lost his desire and passion as well.

  • Black and White Blood

    Jan 27, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #6

    ObaFan2 (Post 2) – Sorry I usually agree with you, but you must not have been at yesterdays game. Surly… Smith played really as did Carr (Carr I know!!). Smaith had a lot of nice little lay off’s, and looked a thorn in the Arsenals sid3e all game. As usual however, Owen just didn’t really do anything, and I’m not going to buy the argument that its because he needs a play maker – bollocks, yes I agree we desperately require a creative attacking midfielder, but whether it will make a great deal of difference with Owen remains to be seen.. He mist countless opportunities, he has no first touch – As you guy’s know I’m the first to knock players if they don’t perform – but for god sake, let us give them their due when they do play well – too many people just jump on the band wagon and call for sake of calling – I’m not saying that you were not a the game, but your comments about smith seem to indicate all you have done is a watch a hugely edited version of the match on tv. – Come on lets get behind them!!

  • Black and White Blood

    Jan 27, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Sorry keyboard gone to pot…. Missing words from above post:
    ….. Played really WEL…
    ….Smith had a lot of nice little lay off’s….
    ….looked a thorn in the Arsenals side….

  • ronaldeano

    Jan 27, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #8

    Why is Owen not scoring goals? Because he is not getting the service he needs. Attacking midfielder,ASAP

  • Taiwan Toon

    Jan 27, 2008 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #9

    I’m of the opinion that we need to move on from Owen.

    The time for Strikers that cries for services at the front is well over. As the general defence level of the EPL has increased, the old fashioned directed football is getting less effective IMO.

    Besides, are we really strong enough to have 10 play against 11 while our striker just stay up front ask for perfect services?

  • Eve

    Jan 27, 2008 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #10

    Owen isn’t scoring goals because, well he can’t. He’s a shadow of what he used to be and he lives off scraps of other peoples work and if he’s lucky and “on form” that day he might convert a few chances.

    He’s been past it, he’s been past it for a long times, we’re wasting time and money on him, we should just sell him.

  • Geordie Matriarch

    Jan 27, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #11

    KK’s summary of the game is spot on. Because I had scrounged a ticket from an Arsenal friend I was sitting at the other end from most of the Toon supporters. From my end behind the goal you could really see how beautifully and confidently Newcastle played in the first half – much better than they have for ages. At half time my Arsenal friend had to admit that they had played far better than he expected. Different story later, I know, but if they can do it for half a match then they are well on the way to playing well right through. And increasing confidence is KK’s forte.
    Re MO – my Arsenal friend commented on how little he seemed to contribute.

  • Dragoner

    Jan 27, 2008 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #12

    I can see the majority of fans on here are finally waking up to the Michael Owen situation, I have been saying it for ages, he aint good enough and is nowhere near one of the best in the world like some people say. The sad thing is, it has taken Newcastle fans approximately 2 or 3 years longer than any other fan to realise the truth

  • Rem

    Jan 27, 2008 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #13

    anyone read the gossip column on BBC website. says nufc players were shocked by kk “briefing” before the arsenal game. anyone know what this is about?

  • Reb

    Jan 27, 2008 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #14

    First — JJ — Owen isn’t on 130,000 a week. Why is it rumors concerning his pay increases monthly? He’s on 100,000 a week. Still a lot, yes, but not as astronomical considering there are many other EPL players on that amount.

    Secondly — Owen has NOT missed “countless chances”. He had one saved well by Arsenal’s keeper, and he biffed the other. That’s TWO. Apparently, I am among the few who can count that high. And one on target, one not is about Owen’s rate throughout his career. And I can’t think of a match lately where he’s missed more than one or two chances (barring goals being disallowed wrongly or a good save from the keeper). It’s been one match since he last scored. F***ing hell. Yes it was Stoke, but I don’t think Stoke’s defence is any more terrible than Derby’s, for example and no one scored against them — not even your vaunted Obafemi. So saying it was “just” Stoke isn’t quite fair either.

    Third — “Waking up to the Owen situation”? If Michael Owen is Newcastle’s problem — you all have giant logs in your eyes, not splinters to obscure the view. The midfield is sh**. Especially right now, with most of it out for one reason or another. Newcastle doesn’t have an outstanding CM on their squad, and even their mediocre ones aren’t available. The wingers are young, inexperienced, and either inconsistent or just not that good. The strikers ARE NOT among Newcastle’s problems. Not Owen, not Martins, not even Viduka (okay, maybe Smith). Criticizing the strikers are this point, ANY of them, is daft.

    Dragoner — how can it have taken NUFC fans “2 or 3 years longer” to realize Owen is past it? He’s been out hurt for most of that two years, and before that, he had the best goal-to-minutes ratio in La Liga and had scored 7 goals in 10 appearances for England. That’s hardly past it. He wasn’t “past it” last September — when put in a squad with a decent to good midfield (ie England). Why is he “past it” now? Because Newcastle, as a team, aren’t playing well.

    Is Michael Owen a luxury player? Yes. If you want to be a top team, you have to have luxury players. If you put Adebayor in a Newcastle kit yesterday, he’d have looked poor as well. One striker can not make the whole performance look good (even in the FA Cup 2001, Liverpool WON, but the performance hardly looked deserving of it). Can he salvage a win? Yes (see prior example). But probably not against one of the top teams in the league with little help from his severely depleted midfield (particularly in the second half). All those years at Liverpool, Owen had a fairly solid midfield with players who knew him and how to play with him — result, he was prolific and highly consistent. That’s his weakness, I suppose, that he does need that support. It’s not a bad weakness really, all in all.


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