One thing that will tell us a lot about what Kevin Keegan is thinking is the Newcastle line-up he will announce at around 11:45 AM next Saturday.
Kevin Keegan – almost full choice of players for Saturday
He has almost a free choice of players, except a couple of injuries, with Oba Martins out and maybe Shay Given also possibly missing out on the game.
But his line-up, especially the defense, will tell us what he thinks of the defenders. He now has Abdoulaye Faye back, and weâ€™d be very surprised if Kevin doesnâ€™t give him a start. Weâ€™d like to see him start alongside Steven Taylor in the center of our defense, but he also played very well for us in defensive midfield.
And who plays at left back will be interesting because against Aston Villa Kevin snubbed Jose Enrique, who we all expected to start. Who did he play there? Our right footed right back Stephen Carr. If Kevin believes Carr is better than Enrique at left back, then we would suggest Jose packs up his bags and returns to Spain – now.
In our poll of the best players Sam bought in the summer, the top 3 players are Beye 55%, Faye 25% and then Enrique comes in above Mark Viduka, Joey Barton, Cacapa and Geremi on 6%.
Those other players in our poll have played a lot more games than Jose, but itâ€™s not surprising Newcastle fans have put him in 3rd position, because when heâ€™s played heâ€™s looked a good young player and all action. Somebody who could be very good in the future.
But if Jose misses out again on Saturday, his face mustnâ€™t fit at Newcastle for some reason, and we havenâ€™t a clue what that reason may be.
Weâ€™re also concerned that Kevin may give former Red Devils Butt and Smith a start, both of whom hardly deserve it, based on their recent performances. So it will be interesting. Hereâ€™s a side that could do well:
Beye Taylor Faye Enrique
Milner Barton Geremi Duff (Nâ€™Zogbia)
Subs: Harper Cacapa Smith Butt Nâ€™Zogbia (Duff)
Itâ€™s difficult with Charles Nâ€™Zogbia and Duff both being available because thereâ€™s not too much to choose between the two of them on the left wing. So weâ€™ll sit on the fence, and say that one plays and the other is a sub.
One of the things that caused Big Sam’s demise at Newcastle, along with some poor results and disastrous displays, was his team selection. He insisted on starting Alan Smith – anywhere, and then made him captain. Smith is a utility player at best, and we half expect him to be sold in the summer.
Sam would play Milner and N’Zogbia on the wrong wings, on the few times he started both of these youngsters. We still haven’t heard a good explanation of this bizarre selection.
Kevin has good players available, but they must be played in their regular positions. Picking the best 11 players and then somehow fitting them into a team has never worked – many times before. Steve McClaren was guilty of doing this at England, and paid the penalty, as another example.
What do you think?
Comments very welcome