Viduka Getting Sharper By The Day

Kevin Keegan has talked about Mark Viduka with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today, and it’s good that we get some idea from Kevin as to what he really thinks about the 32 year-old 6’2″ Australian striker.


Mark Viduka – will get a run of games when he’s sharper

Most fans were surprised that Mark has been little used since Keegan returned to the club, and that was particularly true on Saturday, when Alan Smith seemed to struggle the whole game. Even the TV commentators were questioning why Viduka was left on the bench throughout the game.

Frequent shots of a fed-up looking Mark didn’t help with the impression that Viduka was none too happy at not being played at all on Saturday. We never won any high balls in the air, at Villa Park, when we were attacking, and Mark’s heading capability plus his excellent lay-off skills seemed to be missed in the Villa game. We would have liked to have seen Mark in place of Alan Smith on Saturday.

Kevin Keegan told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:

“He’ll be a massive asset.” “He’s very focused, and we’re working on his sharpness.” “He’s had a couple of setbacks in the last three weeks, but his training has been excellent.”

“There’s no doubt about it, he’s getting his sharpness back every day.” “When he’s fit and feels ready, he’s a handful in any league in the world and certainly in the Premiership.” “He’s certainly proved that.”

“He’s the best at what he does in terms of holding the ball up and his strength.” “You give it to him and it’s like putting the ball in the bank as far as I’m concerned.”

“You give him the ball and he very rarely loses it. He can manipulate goals out of really tight situations.”

Mark can be great on his day, but he’s been inconsistent at Newcastle, and really has been inconsistent throughout his career. He sometimes just doesn’t seem to turn up for games, and we hope Kevin can solve that particular problem.

When Mark’s on his game he can be an awesome player – and that’s what we need from the lads through the end of the season. Getting relegated is a nightmare we just cannot see happening this season.
Comments welcome.

45 comments so far

  • steve

    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #1

    sharper than what …………… a donut?

  • Leo*

    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #2

    yeah i wouldnt disagree with what keegan said, he is amazing at keeping the ball and being able to turn knock it onto someone or into the back of the net…

    i love the nickname he has been given by some…
    mark vodka as its a rumour that he is an alcoholic… just a rumour, probly the press just shit stiring though

  • Bill F

    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #3

    Leo* Are you saying that we are becoming a rehab for drunks and pyscopaths. Is that Ashleys cunning plan. 😉

  • Leo*

    Feb 12, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #4

    thats exactly what im saying haha.

    we could make st james into a prison. and have the series prison break filmed at wor home land

  • Graham

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #5

    “He’s the best at what he does in terms of holding the ball up and his strength.” “You give it to him and it’s like putting the ball in the bank as far as I’m concerned.”

    He’s been banking with Northern Rock recently then!

    If Greggs the Bakers was a bank he’d be their biggest customer

  • James

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #6

    Viduka Getting Sharper By The Day – he can now eat 20 pies in less than one minute. It used to take him two minutes

  • JJ

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #7

    Everyone is talking about a major squad overhaul. In my opinion Keegan is right with us only needing four/five quality signings.
    Say for instance we get, Wayne Bridge (5m), Matthew Upson (5m), Arshavin (7m), Dean Ashton (9m) and Jimmy Bullard (4m).
    Sell: Ameobi (2m), Emre (4m), Casapa (1m), Butt (1m), Rozenahl (2m), Barton (2m).
    Total spent: 30m
    Money received: 12m

    Our team would be:

    Beye ——–Faye————Upson———-Bridge



    Subs: Harper, Taylor, Enrique, Duff, Geremi, Owen, Viduka, Smith, Edgar, Ramage, Carrol, Lua Lua.

    All these players are realistic buys and it would cost MA only about 20m to get a squad with quality and quality on the bench with a blend of youth.
    So look at this not as what will happen but what could happen if the right signings are made.
    Players with EPL experience who would be interested and are tried and tested.
    Dont be so negative guys.

  • Rich

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Why does everyone think Bullard is class now after 1 good game back? Fair enough hes a decnt player and a decent guy but you honestly think we should be aiming to buy him? Im not saying go and buy star names but we can certainly do better.

  • Bill F

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #9

    Leo* we could get Johnny Cash to do a gig just think of the material he would have.

    1. A boy named Let me me stubb my cigar out in your eye.
    2. Relegation blues, no way man.

    How about a support act of Fats Dominoe Pizza eater. Otherwise known as …………any guesses.

    Any other suggestions anyone.

  • benoz

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #10

    I have never seen a striker in my life who can hold then ball up as well as Viduka, why he sat on the bench is a mystery. We need him, get over the fact that he is not English.

  • Leo*

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #11

    tbh i dont know what the fuss is about jimmy bullard, he wouldnt be a bad addition but i would rather we look at someone more high profile thats if we can attract them

  • Leo*

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #12

    must be showing my youth hear, dont know much about jonny cash

  • JJ

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #13

    Hes not world class, but hes kind of like a savage or Barton that isnt gona end up in jail and is actually competitive without being an arsehoooole. I think he has loads of energy too.
    But if you want someone with a bigger reputation maybe a Steve Sidwell or Claude Makalele, or a Gilberto, how about that. ; )

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #14

    KK insinuates he wasn’t 100% fit(“He’s had a couple of setbacks in the last three weeks”), fair enough but why was he on the bench then?

    Duke is great at shielding the ball and creating something from nothing, maybe he imagines the ball is a pie and no-ones havin it lol.

    PS Ed, still no thread on basher Barton’s recent antics? or did I miss it? I’m aware the FA are looking into the incident, I didn’t see anything tbh but missed motd (if they had it on).

  • Martins

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #15

    Bullard is medicore and nearly 30 years old.

  • Nick C

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #16

    Dear Mr Keegan, Please let Mark off training today as he is FAT.
    Signed, Mark’s Mummy.

  • greek toon

    Feb 12, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #17

    Jon “the beast” Parkin would be a good foil for Owen…

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #18

    Viduka has scored the most goals per game of anyone in our team, very similar scoring ratio to Martins, if only those two could link up well instead of always going down the Owen path, if they kept their same scoring rates and played together for the rest of the season without Viduka getting injured they would score 10 goals between them, that is a lot rosier a picture than the last 10 games.

  • steve

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #19

    Bullard aint all that good, why do people keep saying we should sign him, weird !!

    Surely we can sign someone better than him although he might do alright for us in championship next season

  • Mr T

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #20

    Bullard is class, I thought before his comeback…. he is class, a workhorse. Like Barton and Smith, but not a racist headcase who won’t get booked everygame, won’t go to jail, and can score goals!!

    Give the duke a chance I say, we need to work with what we’ve got, and in fairness, the boy saved us against Derby when nobody else could. Keegan hasn’t had a pre-season to test things out witht he squad, so it could still take time….

  • drh

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #21

    why would we want to get rid of Emre JJ? He is our one true creative in the midfield, all he needs is a little run in the team. As I’ve said on here before, I know a good friend of his, he loves the city and playing for the team, why would you want to get rid of that commitment from the team, surely new faces want to hear all the positives from the squad they are joining?

  • Richard

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #22

    I’ll be glad he got left out if it means he doesn’t have another recurrence of his blummin injury. It’s constant; if he doesn’t start showing up and scoring goals, all it will show is Fat Sam bought another mercenary

  • Ian

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #23

    I would like them to sell Emre too, his free kicks and corners are some of the worst I have seen and he keeps on kicking the ball feet over the cross bar sometimes more, he is expensive and isnt coming up with the goods, so really we should replace him for someone better. No goals either.

  • oioi

    Feb 12, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #24

    bullard could help shay in his catwalk nights im sure.
    that bloke was on a bunjee rope when he fell out the ugly tree

  • Bosck

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #25

    i thought we should have signed bullard when he left wigan. if only as back up then.

    now he would provide more to our midfield than we have currently.

    and martins, batty wasn’t far off 30 when he signed and speed was about that age, but they were both class for us.

    what i wouldnt give for two players like those in our centre midfield right now.

  • Bosck

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #26

    in fact lets just buy gary speed back from sheffield united, he’d do a better job for us then most of them seem to be doing.

  • JJ

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #27

    drh, I dont want him to go, but I think that he wants he’ll want to go if he gets no game time.
    He just never seems to play.
    I do think he has ability though.

  • ChrisL

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #28

    I notice your STATS section to the side of the articles… I’d be interested to see how many games each of the players has played in. That would give a more accurate view of how capable a player is sticking the ball in the back of the net.

    i.e. Viduka Played 20 Scored 10
    While Owen Played 15 Scored 10

    Sub appearances should probably be taken into account though. Don’t know if you could even put some kind of analysis article together?

  • GP

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #29

    Ian, you are a complete bellend. You’re saying his freekicks and corners are the worst you’ve ever seen, how can you say that when we have N’Zogbia at our club? I’ve never seen anybody in the premierleague cock up as many freekicks as Charlie does. There are players in league 1 who can take better freekicks than charlie ffs.

  • ToonKing

    Feb 12, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #30

    i like The Duke, but how many games has he started for us ????……………………… …….yeah my point exactly……

  • Obafan

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #32

    KK is doing it again. Praising a player so much and then just not using him. Remember the Emre situation last week.

    It’s because I really like NUFC that much, that I come here every day to see the newest articles by Ed (great site m8 😉 ), but I’m getting a bit sick of all the talking of our managers. SA was constantly talking to the press and was criticised for that. But KK does exactly the same. Okay KK his match analyses are always spot on, and SA could not talk about bad play, but what is the difference. I need to see the difference on the pitch.

    Yesterday Smith was praised, something which I really cannot understand. I hope we have a good result against ManU in 2 weeks. I’m sure that a good result will give us a boost, but first we need a big performance against the best team in the league.

  • Hammy

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #33

    Dingo, that’s the least of his problems’ my friend…

  • Swede1891

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #34

    Some of you here must have completely lost it..Complaining about Emre??!!! How many better midfielders are there? NONE!When he came on (finally) against Villa..his performance was superb..and earlier with turkey (vs sweden) he was totally dominant in midfield! Said this before..: this guy is a genious!! It sickens me though that KK still picked (the untouchable?) Butt.. and Barton (who must have had his worst game in many years)…and kept them on for 73min..The coaching overall was a joke! Play the following 7 for the remainder of the season..(the rest optional)…and keep Butt&Smith on the bench!

  • Hammy

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #35

    Our 7 best players in their position, wouldn’t argue with that…..

  • Hammy

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #36

    It seems that most fans teams are near identical yet for some strange reason bare no comparison to the managers starting 11.

    Is there something going on in training we don’t know about???

  • Swede1891

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #37

    Thank you Hammy. Emre´s not the only genious perhaps:)

  • Kash2

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    Comment #38

    That would be my most creative team too with Milner on the right, Taylor CB and poor old Butt head sitting in front of the back 4 and not moving from there at all unless Emre tells him to push forward!!!! I don’t think Emre, Enrique and Viduka are fit enough. They have been injured or not in the team, so I suppose you have to play your fittest players before easing the others back in!

  • Swede1891

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Comment #39

    There must be something strange going on..definately. For instance..does Butt have some special contract that doesnt allow him to be put on the bench?? If Enrique wasnt injured last, then why was he on the bench? Does anyone think that the likes of Emre, Faye, Geremi, Viduka would be shown the same confidence as Butt&Smith,,if they performed as badly???

  • scott9

    Feb 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #40

    i think faye should play just in front of the back four with emre attacking mid providing the balls for owen n viduka


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