Keegan is hoping his players can be on their top form tomorrow to give Manchester United a game in a chance to invigorate the club’s fans.
Newcastle fans – the people who really matter at the club
Keegan said today:
“On the day to beat a top Premiership side, a lot of things have to come right I would say to Newcastle fans and the players before they go out that a performance like they produced against Arsenal at home when the other manager was under a bit of pressure,”
“It was a terrific performance even though they drew 1-1 in the end. But it wasn’t the result it was the way the players showed that it mattered. There are lots of ways to get the fans behind you.â€
“Sometimes it’s a good tackle, or someone showing commitment beyond the call of duty such as putting their head where other people wouldn’t put their boot. It’s not always about goals at SJP in particular it’s about commitment.â€
“That’s the very minimum requirement we need against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and all the teams who are where we want to be. If you don’t do that you might as well giver them the points.â€ “You can’t under-estimate how much the fans matter at this club. They’re our 12th player and I know that because I’ve played here.â€
“We got promotion way back in 1982-83 when there were two outstanding sides and three or four of us playing for third place and the crowd made a difference then and will do now. If they stay behind us and I know they will they can make that little bit of difference that we’ve got to make up against the likes of Manchester United.”
When you look at the top teams and the top players like were on show this week in the European Champions League, itâ€™s almost a given to see the commitment from the players. You can see the concentration on their faces. So we arenâ€™t there yet, because some of our players still donâ€™t turn up for some games â€“ but great players arenâ€™t just the ones who have all that skill.
They also must have that determination to succeed and win, and work hard, so in that way they are no different to lots of other people in the work force. But Keeganâ€™s right on when he says anything less than 100% commitment from his players will simply not be tolerated from Newcastle’s loyal fans.
“Potentially as a club we are under-performing because Newcastle should be in the top half of the table. We’ve got to dig in and fight our way up the table and that’s what we intend to do.”“We’ve got to look on this game as an opportunity.”
“Everyone knows Man United are a quality side but they’ve had two games while we’ve been able to work on things but despite that because they’ve got such a big squad they’ve managed to overcome that many times before but I’m really not focused on them.”
“We’ve been concentrating on working on things we need to do and hopefully we get some reward from that over the next few matches and it would be nice if that happened immediately against Manchester United.
“We know what they are capable of and the show that week in week out which is why they have achieved so much success over the years but I’m more concerned with us is our attitude and how we approach the game and to see whether we have the courage necessary to take them on.
“A couple of weeks ago Manchester City showed that if you do everything right – press them at the right time, get a little bit in their faces – and have a bit of luck and then have the courage to play which are three big asks then you can cause them problems. They’re a very good side but they’re not infallible. No football team is.”
Good words from Kevin, as usual, and hopefully we will see a vast improvement from whatever team he puts out tomorrow. We want to see the following from the lads tomorrow:
- 100% effort and commitment
- Good attacking football played by the team
- Some skill on the ball – it’s not just about charging around the field (we hope Emre starts)
- Organized plays from dead ball situations (corners, free kicks)
- General good understanding between the players
- Team keeps their shape even when under intense pressure, which will happen during the game
In the game against Arsenal on Wednesday evening, Milan were just tremendous in defense and the players never seemed to get ruffled. Surprisingly the Milan players didn’t even complain too much, which is a big change from 10 -20 years ago. In fact all the European games this week had a lot of good sporting play in them. It was very nice to see.
And one of the greatest players ever to grace the game was on display for Milan, Paolo Maldini. He’s now 39 years-old but you would never have known it, the way he plugged the Milan defense – even switching from left back to center back when the great Nesta was injured. Paolo played 126 times for Italy.
Come to think about it and our youth policy – we obviously need to find the next Paolo Maldini in Italy, and bring him to the club – way before he’s even 20 years old.Â Â 😀
But the European Cup games this week were a joy to watch, and it’s the best club football you can see in the world – and it showed. Tremdous games full of real class and commitment.
Why are we talking about this?
Because our hope is that Newcastle United can become of those teams representing England in the European Champions League – just as soon as possible. 😀
Then we’ll really be back in the big time.
Comments very welcome.