Players Now Playing for Their Newcastle Careers

Kevin Keegan has talked about the game until the end of the season and what it means to him and the players.


Keegan – remainder of season is test of character

Keegan said today:

“It is a test of character for all of us at the club. I cannot say to the players, ‘ Come on, we can finish in seventh or eighth place’, although we probably would if we went unbeaten until the end of the season.”

“But in reality, our season is now just about how high we can finish, and how close we can get together with each other and get the very best out of ourselves.”

“I would not say they are on trial but I think at a club, every training session, players have the chance to show what they have got. You learn about character of players, how much the little games are important to win. You need all that at a football club.”

“So it is a great time for us to get really close-knit and start to turn this club round. It starts now. It does not start at the beginning of next season.”

It’s interesting that right now we have 27 points out of 24 games played. Two years ago on this day (Feb 2nd, 2006) Souness was sacked after we lost 3-0 at Manchester City the night before.

Glenn Roeder took over the next day and we then had 26 points from 23 games – very similar to today. In fact last year at this time we also had 26 points from 23 games, so we’ve had about the same points total these last 3 years at this time – which is not good. By the way, we’ve had Souness, Roeder, Allardyce and Keegan as managers in these last 2 years.

Glenn Roeder , with the help of Shearer in the last 15 games, won 10, drew 2 and lost 3. That’s 32 points from the last 15 games. The goals were 27 scored and 14 conceded during that time, and we captured 19 points out of the last 7 games, dropping the 2 points away to Birmingham, who were relegated that year.

We finished up 7th in the league with 58 points, just edging out Sam Allardcye’s Bolton in the last game, when we beat Champions Chelsea 1-0 at St. James Park, with a cracking goal by …. Titus Bramble, after 73 minutes from an Emre corner. We qualified for the Inter-Toto Cup and then qualified through that (we won it), for the UEFA Cup the next season.

That’s why Roeder was appointed manager.

It will be interesting to see how we do this year. although to expect two miracles in three years will probably be asking too much.

But as Keegan rightly says, the players have everything to play for, because it’s an absolute certainly that around 6 players will be coming in during the summer. Some of our current players will be superfluous to requirements at the end of the season, and will be moved out. So they are playing for their futures at the club. That’s something to play for surely.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Graham

    Feb 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #1

    Couldn’t agree more, Ed. The remaining games will not only allow Keegan to decide who he wants to keep, but also give him an indication of which players want to stay.

    At this moment in time, I can’t see more than 5 or 6 of the current 1st team squad still being current 1st teamers come August.

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Feb 2, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #2

    Lets see if the players rise to the challenge and give us a strong finish.

  • Robert from Serbia

    Feb 2, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Bring Glenn Roeder as assistent 😀

  • Leo*

    Feb 2, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #4

    yep the roeder shearer run of games was amazing

    dont expect anything though this time, just be happy if it does

  • dingo

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #5

    there was a great interview with KK on Football Focus today… you can see the interview at


  • iain

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #7

    barton first out. please. get some credibility back.

    carr/butt/geremi/ameobi/smith should go becuase there not good enough.

    possibly owen/duff/emre/viduka becuase there lightweight and injury prone. but imo should only go if we find better players.

    maybe cacapa and enrique if we can use them to land other players, otherwise i would keep them as sqaud players.

  • the artist formerly known as cooldj

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #8

    is nigel pearson still no.2?

  • cooldj

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #9

    cool i can switch names just like that.

  • dingo

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    Comment #10

    JB is going to be a big player for NUFC… mark my words!

  • M. Stockley

    Feb 2, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #11

    in my opinion there are a few who have already sealed their fate….. id echo whats already been said…. out defo, geremi, ameobi, carr, cacapa, rozy ( lazio can keep him), butt…..
    this wont be popular with you guys but id like to keep smith for the squad. He has been poor so far but the ironic thing is he has such a positive attitude…id sell owen if we could get a quality striker to partner oba…berbatov, ashton…..
    we need to start from the back…. we are weak in all areas apart from goalkeepers!

  • ChrisL

    Feb 2, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Don’t get too disappointed with the remaining results this season. I can’t see us picking up more then 14 points in the last 14 games. We’ve had most of the “easier” fixtures already.

    We just need to do what we can, then next season, have a pop at a European place!

  • nufctj

    Feb 2, 2008 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #13

    first of all barton will not be going anywhere, unless he gets back into trouble, which of course is always a possiblilty with his track record. I for one do not see what he did that was all that bad, in the most recent incident. I mean someone was givin him and his mates some stick and he stood up? Granted he does need to learn to have a thicker skin.

    At any rate, I think if Owen finishes the season healthy, and manages to score some goals, he will be gone over the summer.

  • Tripp

    Feb 2, 2008 at 8:43 PM

    Comment #14

    Great interview with KK. Now lets roll on tomorrow and get 3 points.


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