A really good interview with Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan in the Sunday Sun today, where he admits Newcastle want to follow the Arsenal blueprint for success.
Chris and Kevin – seem to be on the same wavelength
Newcastle Chairman Chris Mort has laid some foundations for this already at the club. We think it’s a sensible move, and it’s already in action as we saw 5 first class teenagers arrive at Newcastle in January.
Keegan told the Sunday Sun today:
â€œWill we buy in top-end players or just kids? I think weâ€™ll do both,â€ â€œWe need more quality senior players but more younger players to push the first teamers.â€œIt shouldnâ€™t be that youâ€™ve got your first team and then your young players and a gap between them. Weâ€™ve got one or two decent young players, but we need more.â€
â€œBut then we also need to shop at the top end of the market as well, because youâ€™ve got no future if you donâ€™t get the present right.â€ â€œItâ€™s a multi-tasking thing.â€
â€œArsenal only got where they are because they had plans, and we have to plan as well,â€ â€œYou donâ€™t get like Arsenal tomorrow by just throwing a lot of money at things. Arsene Wenger has been there over 10 years.â€
â€œHe has rebuilt a team in that time, bought some of the best young players, loaned them out, got them some experience, fetched them back, sold some of them, made other good, solid purchases and got a good scouting program â€“ which we now have.â€
â€œItâ€™s not just one area he got right, he got it all right.â€ â€œI think the priority is to assess who our targets are going to be around March, April time.â€ â€œThatâ€™s when you start to look at the Bosmans â€“ everyone does it.â€
â€œYou ask â€˜who can we get whoâ€™s going to work for us? Who can we get for no fee but obviously have to pay a bit more in wages? Whoâ€™s got one more year left in their contract that weâ€™d like? What positions do we want filled?â€
â€œAnd weâ€™re also looking at the future of the players here: what contracts theyâ€™ve got, stuff like that. Iâ€™m learning all that each day.â€
â€œBut at the moment, my main job â€“ as you can imagine â€“ is winning matches on Saturdays, which at the moment we havenâ€™t done.â€
Sensible down to earth comments again from Kevin. When you take a good look at the relegation danger we’re in. it doesn’t look too likely that we’ll be dragged into the quagmire. But we cannot keep losing games like we have been doing. We’ve lost 7 of our last 10 league games, some by big margins, and that streak will take any club spiraling down the league.
Somehow, we must stop this terrible run of 10 games without a win, and as Kevin says, once we get a win that should help to turn things around. Blackburn will be a very good challenge for us this coming Saturday, but not nearly as difficult as the match against Manchester United yesterday.
In all honesty we’d rather play badly against the top teams and play well against those below us in the league. That will help us to maximize the points we can get – especially in the next 11 games, which will be vital. So let’s not dwell too much on yesterday, it will only lead to deep depression – and we’ve had enough of that this season.
A draw would be welcome against Blackburn, who are a good team, and a win would be just great. Here’s hoping.