Newcastle So Very Fragile – Keegan

Newcastle played well in the first half today, and Michael Owen scored a great opportunist headed goal after just 5 minutes and we were 1-0 up at the break.

But then in the last 45 minutes we gave it all away, and seemed to give up the fight, and were well beaten in the end by Aston Villa 4-1.


Michael Owen – gave us a good goal to get going

The Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan spoke after the disappointing result today:

“I had no complaints about the first half at all.” “I said to the players we had built a good platform from which to go on and win a football match.”“Instead of going a goal down like we have been doing in most recent games, we went in front and handled everything Villa threw at us.”

“I impressed at half-time on the players the importance of the opening 15 minutes of the second half and picking up where we left off.” “We were unlucky with Villa’s first goal which took a deflection and even then Shay Given would have saved it if he hadn’t slipped and pulled his groin.”

“You want to see how the players were going to respond after that and that was the most disappointing aspect of today.” “Before you knew it, we were getting bullied, especially by Carew and Harewood, and they were basically doing what they wanted to do with us at times.”

“That was the disappointing aspect and that is what I told the players. There were still some very good performances but who cares when you get beat 4-1.”

“We got the lead today and still couldn’t go on and win so you sort of run out of excuses in that department.” “When you look at the second half the positives are forgotten because of the negatives and we are very fragile at the moment.”

The big disappointment is that players did not respond at all to giving away two goals in the first 6 minutes of the second half. And time is running out for some of these players at Newcastle, who may not be good enough to give the performances necessary for the the Premier League.

We’re not sure where we go from here, other than to acknowledge we have some kind of crisis building at the club on the playing side, and then ensure we can escape the drop to live to fight another day in the Premier League.

We really don’t want to hear again from the players being devastated after the game and the way they are going to fight like crazy against Manchester United for a result and all that cr*p.

They need start doing their talking on the field – that’s why they get paid huge ridiculous wages – to produce on the field – not to be politicians, and say what we want to hear.

And we have to hope on the field, it’s not going to be the whimper we heard in the second half this afternoon. 🙁

We need our players to give everything they have, and for our supporters to get behind the lads big time – for the good of this football club.

But on this performance today we need more than 4 good players in the summer, that’s an absolute certainty.

As we’ve said before, it’s sometimes tough being a Newcastle supporter, when the team gives us 45 minutes like they played in the second half today. But we just have to keep believing we can pull out of this.

In the summer we must bring in some good players, who are guaranteed to be able to perform in the Premier league, which is so much better now than the European leagues.

Comments welcome – but please keep the language decent for our young supporters on this site – thanks.

66 comments so far

  • Hammy

    Feb 9, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #1

    Carew bossing our defence???
    I’m sure Faye would have sorted him out, we should have brought Faye and Emre/Enrique on at half time to push us on, although we’d have been screwed with Given.
    Some poor decisions cost us today……..
    Best get Fazackerly back in there to help KK out.

  • Hadrian

    Feb 9, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    Comment #2

    there are pretty blatant reasons why keegan pick that squad today , i cbh to waffle on about them tho , but im pretty confident that viduka or martins will be starting next game , along with faye .
    enrique …… well , there must be a reason nobody wants to play him, its been going on for ages and comments from sam and others imply he’s just not clued up enough.

    barton played well enough to get himself benched for next match .

  • Ed Harrison

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #3

    We need Faye playing every game for us – that’ll be the day when he’s bossed around. I think we have to drop Cacapa and play Enrique for Carr. Smith has to be dropped and bring in Viduka – he looked as sick as a chip on the bench today. Emre looked good when he was brought on. Keegan cannot have favorites – that’s why Sam got us into trouble to start with.
    And what’s Jose ever done wrong at Newcastle?

  • Rob

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:07 PM

    Comment #4

    That 1st goal was coming for 2 minutes beforehand, dithering in defence, Shay Givens hopeless kicking, last thing we needed. No forward capable of holding the ball up front. Viduka should start every game he can. scores goals holds ball up and lays it off well.

  • Ant

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #5

    3 words: Emre, Martins, Zog

  • Leo*

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:10 PM

    Comment #6

    hadrian i wish i knew as well, why jose enrique doesnt get played, from what i have seen he is good, makes little mistakes but is quick and gets back and makes up for it.


  • Bert Shaft

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #7

    Keegan said…“Before you knew it, we were getting bullied, especially by Carew and Harewood, and they were basically doing what they wanted to do with us at times.”

    Well why didn’t heput Faye on then? Has his brain turned to mush already.

  • Gooderz

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #8

    Still little mention of a certain Nicky Butt. He was pretty non-existent today and picked up yet another yellow card albeit a soft one as there are still doubts as to how much contact he actually made with Reo-Coker.

    I have no qualms about having him in the squad. He’s still a very able player with a wealth of experience, but his age and his style of play mean that he shouldn’t be playing every possible game, more like coming on as a sub to add a bit more steel to the team and see the result out.

    Hopefully Faye will take his place, win aerial duals, boss playes out of the way, and sit back when the fullbacks get forward to join the attack.

  • Hammy

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:14 PM

    Comment #9

    Worst players for us today were Smith, Butt, Barton and Carr. I am sick of seeing Smith snarling at the ref over petty free kicks given against him, Barton couldn’t pass today to save his life, Butt has two speeds…..stop and reverse
    and Carr brought to a halt any attack on the left by cutting inside to put it on his right foot….
    Thought Owen played well today, god only knows what he thinks of the service he’s getting….

  • davey

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #10

    we are now officially sh*t

  • ende

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #11

    Kev out!

    just kidding. But maybe now we can hope it’s obvious that our problems are not at the managerial level but rather at the player level, and as such we can start working them out. Just gotta do the best we can with what we have until Summer comes around. Biggest thing we can work on right now is gaining confidence throughout the team, every player, every coach, and every fan.

  • CJ

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #12

    Davey wev’e been officially shit for a couple of season now.

  • Leo*

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:25 PM

    Comment #13

    in the last two days when we have got the ball to the edge of the box and crossed it we have caused teams all kinds of problems… we dont do it enough compared to other teams.

  • daiv

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:27 PM

    Comment #14

    Kevin worries me a lot. We could pick up wins with the right team…without Butt, Carr and Smith and with Faye, Enrique, Viduka/Martins but Kevin seems to want to get us relegated by picking the miagic 3. Kevin is doing a worse job than Sam and Im devastated. If he keeps picking the magic 3 we will go down and he deserves the same as Sam got. hate to say it. he needs help because he is not the manager he was. Alan Shearer should come in as number 2 and stabilise the ship.

  • Leo*

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #15

    notice how the villa fans boo’d their team at half time… and yet the press wont jump on the fact that they are fickle!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Leo*

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #16

    btw nicky butt is shit

  • Sales Training

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #17

    There must be some reason Enrique isn’t getting picked – remember, we don’t get to see the training sessions. Maybe Viduka still isn’t fully fit yet. We played much better when he came on against Boro.

    I think Butt is living on his reputation. I suspect Keegan is hoping he will “return to form” whereas it looks more like he’s over the hill. A shame as he put in a couple of good seasons. Keegan may also have him in there for his experience – though it doesn’t seem to be helping. Faye started a bit slowly but put in some good games before disappearing of to the African Nations.


  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 9, 2008 at 10:50 PM

    Comment #18

    I just like to say.

    Sort it the fuuuuuuucck out, look its fkin simple.

    No Butt, no Smith, done and dusted.

    Do it! (Sylvestre Stallone voice)

  • Oztoonfan

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #19

    Why leave our best forward on the bench all day for crying out loud Smith cannot hold a ball up he cant win a header and he cant shoot or score, so why play him up front!!!! Viduka is on his day the best in the league why not play him hes has the touch and ability to hold of two players at a time and we get bullied why u think that is keegan as every time we play the ball forward smith loses it!!!!
    As for butt he has no confidence his header out for Carew’s goal was pathetic for EPL player…
    Carr needs to be dropped he did well first half but he has no height cant win headers has no pace and passing is poor need i say more…
    Thought Owen was fantastic again, Milner finally got back to form, Duff good again but lacked service in second half, send barton of to jail who cares he is useless cant shoot dosent get in the box to score and cant pass 5 metres….
    Dont mean to be negative but i can really see us getting relegated this year we have no backbone besides about 3 or 4 players and KK is doing another Allardyce playing players who are shite, no wonder Roz left and Pearson jumped ship, to many rats below eating out the ship…
    Love the club but 13yrs of getting dissapointed every season beside when Sir Bobby was around, im really saddened, but will always love the club forever….

  • sparetheman

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:20 PM

    Comment #20

    Keegan actually praised the partnership of Smith and Owen in the post-match interview with the BBC. Unbelievable. If I was at the Man Utd game I’d protest his inclusion in the team. I’d bet my bottom pound that he’ll be playing along with Butt.

    I normally don’t like fans booing players, but management just don’t seem to get it! I BEG those at the Man Utd game to barrage those two with massive boos when they touch the ball. It would make my day (even when we lose 10-0).

  • Magjp

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #21

    I have been lamenting the inclusion of Smith in the team for a long time.

    I just dont understand it, Smith does nothing!

    And being bullied by Carew is no excuse when you have Faye on the bench, and you have Butt who is absolutely crap!

    Agree, we need to start boooing our own players soon.

  • Tez131

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #22

    I am not impressed!!

    All I can say is boro are above us!!
    Mackems ares 2 points below us!!

    Our next few games:
    Man Utd (H)
    Blackburn (A)
    Liverpool (A)

    Pompy (A)
    Derby (A)
    Everton (H)

    It will be unthinkable if both get above us.

    I’m going to bed tonight not happy with the current state of our special club.

    The only way we can stop sliding down the table is to go out and attack teams, scored goals and create chances!! If you dont have chances you can score goals and to be fair the way we are giving away goals we need to score more.

    We need Faye to start as he is about the closest person we have to a commanding experienced CB. Play Enrique and Beye as our full backs.

    We really need 2 things here someone that can put his foot on the ball and make smart passes to start attacks (not wasteful with the ball and lose it ‘Butt’ style). I think the only player we have that is close to this is Barton but he has got to get back to his Man City days if not maybe play Faye here as at least he is solid. And then a player in Attacking Mid that can create something from nothing with one touch passing & killer ball as well as break into the box. At the minute it is far to easy for teams to defend against us because they are only marking our strikers and don’t have the sudden run from an attacking mid to cover.
    I think for this Att Mid the closest we have is Emre or N’Zogbia which could fill this.
    We have wingers in Duff and Milner (I know we need competition but January is over) Lua Lua can provide cover for right if needed.

    If we created half the chances that other ‘european contenders’ produced I garantee owen and martins/ viduka would have a field day. Owen is a poacher/ finisher without chances he will be lost with chances he is lethal. Martins pace and Viduka hold up play can provide to variations for him to play with. I do think we need rid of Smith and bring in another Strong Striker (Or if we could tempt Henry lol :)).

    Any thoughts?

  • Gooderz

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #23

    How is Keegan doing a worse job than Allardyce?

    He hasn’t made any signings, and he hasn’t started players in ridiculous positions.

    He has played some players that shouldn’t be near the first team, but he sees them in training and they could warrant a place from that plus their experience, but after seeing how they play, he should then see that a change or two is in order.

  • vin

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    Comment #24

    booing our players in a pre-meditated attack? are you mental??…I presume all your opinon comes jsut from the newspapers. Either that or you actually want to live up to the reputation the papers would like the rest of the world (london) to beleive. I cannot believe a proper NUFC supporter would go into a match (like they are actually there at SJP) with the thought of gettingonto a players back..what if SMith scored a hattrick? (unlikely, i know.,..but do you get my point??)

  • Black and White Blood

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #25

    Tez – no easy games are ther at all!!!

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:48 PM

    Comment #26

    If smith scored a hatrick id go to live in mongolia, cut off my penis, get someone to pull out all my teeth, rape a chicken and then kill myself.

  • Tez131

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:52 PM

    Comment #27

    Tom_toon – We’ll hold you to that but leave the poor chicken alone…

  • gloryhunter

    Feb 9, 2008 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #28

    Another one singing “I feel like chicken tonight”

  • gloryhunter

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #29

    Smith is trying to pick up an injury so he can sleep out the rest of the season as a hero. He’s a liability.

  • Si

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:02 AM

    Comment #30

    It was very important to bring in a few quality players during the last transfer window. It would have given the squad a lift. So what if we’d payed a few million over the odds to get the players we wanted. What’s an extra few mill to a billionaire ??
    This didn’t happen and we are now looking at thye real possibility of a relegation battle. On current form, we’d go down.

    Should have spent in Jan, only ourselves to blame…

  • Jamie

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:04 AM

    Comment #31

    Its the players fault not the manager, we have so many very poor and average players, coupled with very few athletes in the team barring Faye, Beye and Martins, how are we meant to be challenging for anything other than losing every game? For the next game we better ship out Smith, Butt and Cacapa for Faye, Emre and Viduka / martins.

    Also there are a hell of a lot of decent players playing for overly bad teams in the division, for example – Jason Koumas, better than any midfielder we have at the club bar N’zogbia, we not buy this guy? also Kevin Nolan, big powerful box player, Dean ashton again is very good center forward who we should look to buy.
    Giles barnes who we are meant to be buying, we can only hope he signs. Why or why didn’t buy lassana diarra? what a superb asset he is proving to be at pompy already.

  • AdamCF

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #32

    Gooderz.. I suspect playing Carr at left back and not starting Viduka may have been just a tad ridiculous.

    KK needs to make a point of difference with the squad now and play the youth. The others clearly are not up to it.

  • AdamCF

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:11 AM

    Comment #33

    Jamie.. the resposibility always falls on the managers shoulders. He needs to put a rocket up some of the ‘automatic’ selections otherwise, it could be a sorry sight. I’m not sure whether talking about who should be brought into the club right at the moment is totally necessary, as we don’t know where we will be at the end of the season. Mind you a good signing should’ve been made in January and it wasn’t.

  • Jamie

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #34

    My point was that the squad is just not good enough, the manager can say whatever he deems right, but if the players can’t perform (a lot have high reputations but are getting past it now) then that will need to be addressed with new blood.
    Yes we can go on about how good we will be with our first team of who we have at present, we can only hope these guys will actually play at the same time, bloody acn competition!!

    Faye obvious cannot have been fit to start, now that Cacapa has yet again contributed to losing another game, he should be dropped, we can only hope. Same with Carr, out of his depth, go play in the championship please! Enrique and Faye replacing them will see us strengthened i thank you. Butt has nothing to give, Emre should start in place of HIM and not Barton, Nzogbia for the hapless Duff please o please, another weak useless has been, do you see the trend?
    Get the pace back upfront, lets see Martins start for once, as center forward, not out on the right wing :S, this will see the brilliant, and very pissed off Michael Owen actually get some decent service to thrive off!

    I feel sorry for Taylor and Harper, Given is rubbish compared to of old and Cacapa with is lack of height, strength and pace is just to much baggage for Taylor to bail out time and time again.

  • Mac

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #35

    Newcastle lost a fan today. i am 29 years old and held a season ticket for 16 years,even when i was away with the Army for 10 years i kept it on,but today was the final straw,i have never and will never boo a Newcasle team but i can not watch anymore atleast not this season.

  • Pele's Big Toe (right foot)

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:40 AM

    Comment #36


    |I’ve been a season ticket holder now for 8 Years & in that time it has cost me a minimum of £6000 to watch this sort of CRAP home & away.

    It was bad enough under FFS as a chairman but I really think Ashley & his cronies have shot themselves & this club in the foot!

    All we hear is how the new board are building to bring new, great players to the club in the summer – how many “great” players will be willing to come to a championship team?

    Just look at our run in to the end of the season….when those below us are starting to get some confidence & get the odd win & some draws – what the hell will we get?

    I really think not buying in the Jan window will be our undoing – although I think the fact that no one wanted to come to the toon speaks for itself.

    Ashley might sit quite happily with the away fans as he did today with a huge grin on his face but this is OUR club – not just his toy.

    When the fans pay what they do for a season ticket & get to watch this bollox, something needs to give.

    For me, this will be the LAST season I pay for a season ticket. At least watching it in a pub or at home there is something else to take your mind of the rubbish (booze or broads!).

  • Jamie

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:41 AM

    Comment #37

    Mac – its very depressing isn’t it when you see other teams move forward and we just always are moving backwards.

    God Newcastle need to get with the program and get some decent recruits! all we can do now is give the young generation a go, at least these guys can actually run!!

  • Pele's Big Toe (right foot)

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:43 AM

    Comment #38

    Me too – Carr HAS to go – do you think he purposely played crap as he was out of position?

    Never like the guy………….NEVER

  • Pele's Big Toe (right foot)

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #39

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm methinks Kev has lost it……….or maybe he’s brought his soccer circus home……

  • Dragoner

    Feb 10, 2008 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #40

    “Cacapa with is lack of height, strength and pace is just to much baggage for Taylor to bail out time and time again.”

    LOL! i knew it, i must have said it one or two days ago at most, if we concede while cacapa and taylor are at cb then cacapa will always be blamed. Tell me, what did Taylor do today to excuse him from the poor performance?

    i suppose someone will say, “cacapa made a bad clearance that led to carr’s handball”…but what about emre’s poor pass, which led to beye’s poor touch before the ball had even come near cacapa. Where was Taylor in this whole situation? Come to think of it, when did taylor ever get anywhere near the ball throughout the 90minutes to make a mistake? at least cacapa was in the right place at the right time.

    Where was taylor for any of the four goals!?…oh yeah i remember, he was standing BEHIND Harper wasnt he lol.


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