Kevin Keegan has four additional players to choose from this weekend, now that Barton and Emre are cleared to play, and Viduka and Ameobi seem fit again.
Habib Beye - returned from African Cup of Nations
Kevin was happy in a way to also see both Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye return from the African Cup of Nations tournament. Although they will not be available for tomorrow’s game, because of their travels, they’ll be ready for next weekend’s game at Aston Villa.
We think Kevin will be pleased when he realizes just how good these two are, because they are the best players Big Sam signed for us last summer. Claudio Cacapa is also starting to show his stuff at the back now, as he gets used to the physical England game. Kevin has already said how pleased he is with the way Taylor and Cacapa have played for him at the back.
Kevin talked to the Shield’s Gazette today about our Senegal two – Habib and Abdoulaye:
“I feel a bit sorry for them, as Senegal probably had the players to even win the tournament.â€
â€œBut the other part of it is that they’re going to come back and be involved against Aston Villa, and with the size of our squad, that’s a big plus.â€
â€œHalf of you wants them to do well, but the other half wants them to come back.”
Keegan will feel a little spoiled for choice tomorrow as he now has both Joey Barton and Emre available, in addition to Mark Viduka, fit again after his thigh strain.
They will be available for tomorrow’s home game against Middlesbrough. Shola Ameobi is also fit again, so he has four more players than he had last weekend.
Kevin continued about his small but good squad:
“It’s a massive increase when you have a squad this small.â€â€œOne minute you’ve got a squad of 16, then you’ve got a squad of 20.â€
â€œThere’s always little things that can happen, like Charles N’Zogbia not being available against Aston Villa because he’s suspended.â€
â€œBut that’s why you need a squad – you’re looking for players to force themselves into the team.”
First things first – and we need 3 points at St. James’ Park tomorrow against Middlesbrough, and we expect to win the game.
Comments very welcome.