Newcastle Took Calculated Gamble – Keegan

Newcastle’s manager Kevin Keegan has admitted that bringing in no new senior players in the January transfer window is a calculated gamble that the club have made.


Kevin Keegan – we took gamble in January transfer market

It’s generally agreed that recruitments in the January transfer window are more of a risk than in the summer. Just remember in January 2005 when Souness brought in Boumsong and Babayaro – enough said. 🙁

Yes, it’s a gamble and we’re disappointed we couldn’t bring in a low risk player like 19 year-old Giles Barnes of Derby County, who apparently was available for £3M and we only would go as far as £2M. He will be pursued in the summer by West Ham, at least, so there will be more competition in the summer for players, and yes there will be be many more good players available too.

Keegan said:

“It is a calculated gamble to some extent because the other clubs around us have bought players in during the transfer window,” “That always gives players a lift.”

“Regardless of what you think, players like to see new players coming in. Yeah, there is a downside because they might be taking their position, but for some it is a challenge.”

“But you have to treat it like your own money and, while I have never been afraid to spend and there is plenty of evidence of that, I have always tried not to waste money.”

“You are bound to get some wrong and you’re more likely to get them wrong in the January window than at the end of the season when you have more time to study. The pressure is not on then because the clock is not ticking away.”

We have to live with it now and we just hope we don’t drop into a relegation scrap, which is the very last thing we want right now. The exciting thing is who we’ll bring in during the summer, and that has to be a very exciting prospect for Newcastle fans.

At least 6 new senior players and say another 3-4 youngsters, and we can also unload fringe players like Ameobi, Carr and others, and our squad at the start of next season could be very strong.

We would expect some of the excellent youngsters we have signed will also start to push through for the first team next season, so our squad should be big enough in numbers.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

32 comments so far

  • Cam_Toon

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #1

    It was a risk but lets face it.

    We are not pushing for Europe, jus for survival. So as long as we dont go down.. which we wont. The gamble looks pretty safe.

  • Lazy

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #2

    I bet we never see these youngsters play for the first team. 😛

  • broon ale

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #3

    Cam_Toon- i agree. its the short sighted few who expect keegan to wave a magic wand and make everything fine again. Unfortunatly some of those fair weather fans frequent this forum. I just wish they could show some grasp of common sense and understanding of the bigger picture before they type their negative contributions. we can only hope we do enough to stay safe this season and then re-group in the summer with substantial investment and a much improved squad.

  • Kash2

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #4

    I think he made the right decision. We’re more likely to splash out on top players in the summer. Let’s face it, most of the best players play in the CL or their teams are pushing for honours. No manager is going to deplete his squad if they’re still in contention for trophies!

    We all have to face the fact that we won’t attract Rooney, Ronaldo, etc etc. But there are plenty of top quality players who would definitely play for KK and Newcastle.

    Plus it also gives KK the chance to really get to know the current squad and which are most likely to be effective for next season!

  • Kash2

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #5

    Broon and Cam -My pos on a different thread earlier.

    I think we’ll see a whole new team next season. I really hope David Bentley is one of the players we’ll sign, because he’s starting to show so much ability!

    Then if we send Charles packing to Spurs, an extremely quick left winger with a deadly final ball would be class too.

    As for the midfield, we certainly need 2 top CM’s. I would love Carrick in our colours, I think he has tremendous ability and then another playmaking midfield player in the mould of Cesc, Anderson, Scholes etc etc would be amazing too.

    As for Up Top, Martins deserves to have a team based around him. MO, Shola and Vid’s to be shipped off too with hopefully 2 new strikers coming in and some of the youngsters given a chance to impress!

    It’s hard to believe, but our team is just not good enough. Individually, some of the players, a long time ago, we’re world class. Nowadays they’re just not good enough!

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #6

    @ broon ale
    am not bein funny here but the fans who think the keegan second comming is going to b newcastle turning back into 1 ov the top teams are the 1ns who r livving in a dream world .
    me personaly i think it was another cock up by the chairman and owner respectivly to bring keegan back now is just diabolical the club is in a sorry state at the min we have players who r not givving there best for our beloved club i think there should b a massive cull in the summer get rid ov all the dead weight and bring some top players in
    p.s i hope i am made to eat my words becouse i love this club more than i love me wife but a just cant c out happning

  • broon ale

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #7

    big pea, what makes you think keegans appointment is a cock up? surely your not making a judgment already. 2 defeats to arsenal and 2 home draws against teams who came for their draw with 5 across the middle. i think you have actually just summed my earlier post up.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #8

    the fact the blokes been spending the last 2 -3 years running into cardboard cut outs dosent say much for his sanity dos it
    well iv been to every match since he took over and the style of football dosent seem to have changed a great deal since fat sam left

  • Kash2

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #9

    I personally think that ever since KK left, the other managers lost sight of what our club was about. Then Bobby came back and nearly restored some of that. Which was then again lost with the rest of the managers.

    I can see why the board have chosen KK, mainly to bring the essence of the past back. And they’ve given KK alot more support to do what he does best, which is to coach players and get them to play football expansively!

    If KK can do that, then we can recapture some of what we had. Then we’ll start to regain the positive press and become known once again. Not only will it rebuild our reputation but make us known across the world. Eventually we can start to challenge the top 4. It will take time, but the club needs a figurehead to be modelled upon. There’s no better figurehead than the man who help build this club originally.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #10

    i think its fans like ur self who live in this fairytale world were king kev will make everything allright
    if am made to eat my words so be it il b the first 1 to admit i was wrong but after the dismal 8 years we have seen can any1 blame me for bein a bit dubious

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #11

    no body expects him to turn it around quickly but lets be honest here who would want to join our club il tell u who players who r here for the money and thats it

  • broon ale

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #12

    big pea. probably as its big sams team that he has inherritted and he has only been here 3 weeks. Once again big pea, that sums up the point i was trying to make. What were you expecting from arsenal away twice, and two teams who came and set up for a draw. ?

  • Kash2

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #13

    Big Pea – the only players who really want to play for us, are those who lived, breathed and ate Newcastle United FC, Blaydon races and Keegan Wonderland when they were young. There’s not many of them about these days.

    Let’s be honest, Football is like any other job! Employees want good money, they want to feel as if they’re wanted and they just want to enjoy doing there job without any headaches or struggle in top quality conditions.

    You have to dangle some sort of carrot to get the best, if its money, then so be it, as long as they perform and work hard, then it’s OK by me and probably the majority of St James’s!!!!

  • broon ale

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #14

    kash 2. i agree but unfortunately some people think we live in fantasy land. its not enough for some people that we have a manager who cares as much as the fans and who wants the football to be as it should! they would rather we sold our souls to a foreign tyrant owner and some one like didier deschamps who could’nt tell you the first thing about whats important to us!

  • UTD111

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #15

    One thing you can guarantee about Sir Kevin – next season we’ll be attacking teams from all angles, scoring lots of goals, and even the “leave 10 mins before the end” crowd might stay till the whistle.
    Can’t wait me!!

  • paul p

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #16

    big pea. like kash and broon ale have already said, this team which he has got is not his team yet. its a mixture of robson, sourness, roeder, allardyce, players all brought in by them. Has Keegan made any signings yet. No. So do you really think that kevin keegan would actually go and buy these players that he has at his disposel. The answer is, he would not even entertain them man. Howay. Yes things dont loom good at the min, he’s only been here 5 minutes man. he is not going to get his idea’s and style accross in a short space of time. its gradually getting better though. sunday was an improvement to what we have watched under allardyce. We would have lost that game under him. Its going to take the man 2 years to get rid of all the dead woodl at the least.This summer though you will see the first significate change at the toon. Top players will come in as well as the youngsters. some of the dead wood who have not a football brain will be shifted out. He will get it right you will see and we will start to make strides up that premier league.

  • greek toon

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:32 PM

    Comment #17

    I would suggest Keegan had little choice regarding new first team appointments. What’s the point of investing large amounts in has beens / never will be types just for the sake of “doing something” . Work with what we have to secure premier league status and take it from there.

  • Kash2

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #18

    The fact of the matter is that once things start to turn around in a couple of years, thats when the yougsters will start to break through. At that point will everyone see a huge improvement in playing standards!!!! The youngsters are the way forward mainly because they’ll push the seniors to perform better!

  • Stami

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:52 PM

    Comment #19

    i really want to see Carroll in the 1st team next season

  • Leo*

    Feb 7, 2008 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #20

    i am actually becoming glad for keegan not splashing the cash, imagine we could have got wes brown… did anyone watch how bad he was for england last night…. beye is in a different class…. looking forward to him playing on saterday

  • GM

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #21

    agree with paulp – after the bolton match i had to be pulled back from belting some tw@t in the strawberry coz he was maoning on saying keegan has no fcuking clue, the way they played today if BSA was in charge they would have been calling for him to be sacked…

    Thing is the thick cnut couldnt get it through his thick skull that it WAS fat sams p’poor team playing out there (both teams as it happens !!). Till the summer none of us or the media can say jack sh*t about kk and the way the team is performing under him coz they are not his players, yes he might be able to coach and motivate them in the short term to try and get a result and keep our heads above water but other than that his hands are tied.

  • paul p

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #22

    if i remember rightly, in his first spell as manager, he did not spend anything or bring anyone in until the season finished. we were in the relegation battle at the that point, got out of it on the last day of the season, he brought the players he wanted to bring in then and we walked away with the football league. history could repeat itself here. 1st he gets us to safety in the league, then re-builds and then we run away with the premiership hahahaha. wishful thinking i no and it will not happen, but the point is what he is doing is having a look at what he has got now, when the summer comes the changes are made just like last time.

  • nufctj

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #23

    I see some of the same mentality on some of these posts that I hear when people talk or comment about the England team. Take yesterday’s result for an example. England beat Switzerland, a fairly successful side over the last few years, and still people were booing in the 20th min. Was there really an expectation that with our new Italian coach we would all of a sudden be winning every match 5 nil? Do people really believe that England’s players are that vastly superior to other’s that the only thing that was holding us back was Steve McClaren?

    I see the same expectations when it comes to NUFC in the new KK era, everyone was thinking we would all of a sudden be able to compete with the top four, where do these expectations come from?

    No player or players that we could have brought in for the January transfer window would have been able to single handedly push us up the table. The foundation of future success for our club has been laid. It will take a good 4-5 seasons for our new youth development strategies to bear fruit. In the short term, over the summer the club will bring in many new faces and jettison a lot of old faces. Next season will be the true beginning of the second KK era. The rest of this season is about accumulating enough points to get to safety, and looking forward.

  • wayne

    Feb 7, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #24

    Would any of the players that were mentioned in the January window made much of a difference to the current squad I mean look at the comments coming from alvaro it was all about money stuff all the nonsense about a club with great history that’s a load of bollcks if we were all honest our history of winning trophy’s is as we all know pretty shite

  • paul p

    Feb 7, 2008 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #25

    question which is totally off what we are on about. can anyone tell me where james milner played for the under 21s on tuesday night. did he play down the right or did he play in the middle. i know both walcott and lennon both played and they are wingers thats all.

  • Bill F

    Feb 7, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #26

    KK hasn’t really had a chance to work with the legacy of players left by Sam. I don’t think it’s a bad squad even the more maligned ones. I reckon a few games on we will see an improvement under KK.

    Stami I would like to see Carroll playing now, I think he could hack it. (the game not other players.)

  • JJ

    Feb 7, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #27

    Big pea, you are clueless.
    Nobody expects KK to make us a Man U or Arsenal, but he can certainly take us back into the top six.
    Most non Newcastle-based fans support the club because of Keegans last reign in charge, not because he won anything…. but because of his attitude and style of football.
    He has only had three games to make a difference and he could not have had more difficult fixtures.
    He plays to win, not get a result which is great.
    And the last thing we need is a massive exodus of players – we do this every year and it never works.
    We need the top players we have to play the type of football they enjoy and to get some confidence back.
    Keegan will then add further quality to the squad and we will once again be proud of our team.
    KK was successful at Newcastle, brilliant at Fulham, brought Man City up from division one to Prem mid table side.
    And yes he didnt have a good time with England, but thats because England suck. Sorry to inform you. Sven couldnt do it but he is quality. Even Sir Bobby couldnt do it!!!! And Capello wont either. Too many self opinionated individual stars and not enough grafters.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #28

    @ jj am the clueles 1 a think ul find it is 4 games in charge
    @broon ale yes its sams team dozent mean he has to play the same style foot ball wen he starts winning games i may change my mind on him but like i keep saying this is my oppinion and a could give a f**k wot u think i bet ur a armchair supporter anyway i myself have held a season ticket for the past 15 years so i pays me money to hav a oppinion i still cant belive that u think just becouse kk has come bk everything is going to b fine GET REAL!
    and that goz for every 1 else who wants to have a pop

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #29

    @ jj corect me if i am wrong here how can u call him succesful wen was the last time he won a tropy apart from div 1 or lower hardly world class is he

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #30

    the 1 thing i do agree with is the youth scheme that mort has put in place

  • big pea ov the weab

    Feb 7, 2008 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #31

    @jj if i can remember man city finished 16th that season sohows that mid table

  • hanzemre

    Feb 7, 2008 at 7:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Yes JJ u’r right there. Non Newcastle-based fan eh? that’s me … love NUFC in the 1st sight of brilliant, attractful attacking KK-style…wow.. am still in love…hope KK can do it once again where the previous managers failed.


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