Newcastle United have lots of work they can do in the enforced two-week break before the next game against Manchester United in just under a couple of weeks. And it looks like Keegan’s summary of the game on Saturday was spot on.
Kevin Keegan – lots of work to get done on training pitch
Keegan was rightly very disappointed with our second-half display on Saturday, after we were actually in front at the break, which is unusual these days. But in the second half the physical presence of Norwegian John Carew was to much for our defense as John picked up his first hat trick for the club. But why didn’t Kevin bring on Abdoulaye Faye to deal with his physicality and heading ability?
And Keegan was forced to substitute Shay Given with the score at 2-1, after Shay’s very dodgy groin went again. The shot for the first goal was deflected to Shay’s right, and he wasn’t able to turn quickly enough as his foot gave way and his groin went again. This is a physical weakness Shay now has and it must be at least the 5th time Given’s groin has played up since he picked up the initial injury, about 16 months ago, at West Ham.
Kevin Keegan talked about this to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:
â€œThatâ€™s the sort of thing that happens when you are where we are.â€ â€œItâ€™s the bit of luck you need at the other end.â€â€œYou wouldnâ€™t wish an injury on anybody.â€ â€œShay was so unlucky because one minute itâ€™s heading for one corner and heâ€™s got it covered.â€ â€œIt got a deflection and he had time to move, but when he did he pulled his groin.â€ â€œThen heâ€™s unable to make a save that he would normally make.â€
â€œThatâ€™s bad luck and you put it down to that.â€ â€œItâ€™s what we did about it after that disappointed not just me as manager, the staff and the players but the fans as well.â€ â€œIt wasnâ€™t good enough in the second half â€“ nowhere near good enough for this football club.â€ â€œSome of the players ran their socks off for this football club on Saturday.â€
â€œBut I think others allowed themselves to be dominated and bullied in that second half.â€ â€œThey have to look at themselves and along with ourselves we have to address that.” â€œIs it always going to be bad luck or is it something more engrained which suggests we canâ€™t sustain something for 90 minutes?â€
â€œWe had everything you could want from the first half.â€ â€œWe had a great goal from Michael and dealt well with everything that Villa could throw at us, even though they are a side with the confidence that we probably lack.â€
â€œBut you couldnâ€™t tell that.â€ â€œWe looked assured and we looked to have a little bit of belief in ourselves.â€ â€œWe passed the ball well.â€ â€œIn the second half you could make excuses about their goal which took a deflection and Shay getting injured during it.â€
â€œThatâ€™s bad luck â€“ I think he would have saved it normally.â€
That’s really a very good and accurate summary from Kevin on what happened on Saturday. Those players who capitulated against Aston Villa have to eliminate whatever it was that had them basically give up the fight on Saturday. If they can’t do that, we have some good players to bring in.
Players like Faye, Emre, Viduka and Enrique all deserve a start in our next game, and we hope they get it. However, right now, we have no idea which team will turn up for that game against the Red Devils. It better be our good one if we are to get anything at all from the game.
One point would be good and 3 points would be just great. But we’ll have to wait and see, because we cannot take anything for granted from our current team, good or bad.