After today’s rather humiliating defeat against Manchester United 5-1 at home it’s becoming clearer by the week that we may not be good enough.
Kevin Keegan - real fight on his hands this season
One of the things that was again noticeable in this game, is that when we down 2-0, just before the break, there were no players in the Newcastle side who showed any leadership or responsibility for the result.
Michael Owen is captain and he did his best up front with precious little service, and his leadership style is to lead by example. But once we get behind in these games we are just not seeing any positive reaction from the lads. They seem to half give up to what they may think is inevitable. It’s a lack of mental strength.
Some of our players today also looked pale reflections of the players they were, even before Christmas and we’re not sure what’s going on at the club, but something is seriously wrong somewhere on the playing side of things.
Keegan’s selection wasn’t any better than against Aston Villa and he again played Butt and Smith for the full game. Even when Andrew Carroll came on after 61 minutes, Kevin took off Joey Barton.
Keegan kept the fairly inept Smith on the field for the full 90 minutes. Young Carroll looked dangerous when he came on, and was reaching the high balls. Before that we were not winning any high balls in their penalty box. Indeed it was Andy’s knock down for Faye that got us the goal following a left wing corner.
That was probably the only bright thing coming out out this game – Carroll looked fresh, exciting and an aerial threat.
Players should be selected by Keegan based on their Newcastle performances, and not what they’ve done in the past. Mark Viduka didn’t even make the bench and yet Smith and Butt started – so something may be going on within the squad. We had both Ameobi and Carroll on the bench at the start, so what’s happened to Viduka? Keegan will at least need to address that in his press discussion after the game.
And poor Jose Enrique probably is packing his bags right now, because he didn’t even make it on the subs bench today. The writing seems to be on the wall for the young Spaniard.
But today was very sobering for Newcastle United Supporters, because there is a growing and frightening realization that we may not be good enough this season.
There’s no doubt that we have to concentrate completely on getting points on the board to ensure we are safe in the Premier league. That’s all that matters right now. For the world’s 14th richest football club this is a frightening situation to fins ourselves in.
If we survive then we need 7-8 top players coming in during the summer, and we can move out probably 5-6, from those we already have, who are just not good enough.
But we also must stick by the club as fans, as we are going through this nightmare season. The sooner it’s over or the sooner we are safe, the better we’ll sleep at night. Then we can really look forward to the side being strengthened big time in the summer.
It’s not good, but let’s keep patient and keep supporting the lads, and once we escape from any relegation threat we don’t want to ever be in this position again. The only way should be up from now on – well we hope so anyway.
We would expect Mike, Chris and Kevin to ensure we get enough class players in during the summer, so we can again be near the top of the league. That would be a nice change indeed.
Comments very welcome.