What Went Wrong Yesterday? Everything

We thought we’d take a look at what we wanted for the team selection yesterday in our Match Preview and see what Kevin actually did with the team.


Kevin Keegan – included Butt and Smith but was still reasonable

Here’s the list of points we made on Friday in our preview and what actually happened.

  • All players picked in their regular positions
    This happened but some of the players picked were not our strongest selection. Kevin did play N’Zogbia at left back but with Milner and Duff doing quite well on the wings this is a way to have all 3 in the team at once. However, Enrique wasn’t even on the bench and he cannot be too happy at the moment.The defense was close to the best we could have put out which is a little scary given how vulnerable they were yesterday and conceded another 5 goals.
  • Leave Smith out of the team – he doesn’t deserve to start given his last 2-3 performances
    Didn’t happen and he played the whole 90 minutes and he was as ineffective as ever. In fact when Andrew Carroll came on he looked a lot more threatening and set up Faye’s goal.
  • Give Carroll a start or bring him on as substitute
    Came on as a substitute and was probably the only good thing that happened yesterday. He is not fazed in the least by these big games and we think he will be challenging for a start sooner than people may realize. Apparently he’s been impressive in training and his 6’3″ frame gives us physical presence in the box. Play him!
  • Start both Faye and Beye
    It happened and we think the defense was close to the best we can field 🙁


Jose Enrique – why isn’t Jose being given a chance?

  • Give Jose Enrique a chance at left full back and please don’t start Carr there
    Didn’t happen although Carr didn’t play – because he was injured. What’s going on with Enrique. Whenever we see him he’s been good but if he cannot get a game in this defense he mustn’t feel that he has much future at the club. We wouldn’t.

Apart from Butt and Smith starting and Enrique not being included the team wasn’t too bad. So what happened?

The team as a whole, and individually played well below their potential. We think the players have to take a hard long look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are earning their wages.

The answer is no and they need to do something about that.

Comments welcome.

64 comments so far

  • ToonJon

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #1

    One good bit of new today so far.
    Reading are losing to aston villa

  • GP

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #2

    I have to be honest, if I was Enrique I’d be planning my escape. He’s one of the few players we have that can actually prevent themselves from being muscled off the ball and he can’t get in the team ahead of an attacking midfielder/winger who wants to move in the summer and is also being played out of position. What’s going on here?

  • Tooom

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #3

    What went rong yesterday?? We can’t do anything with possession and we can’t defend on the break. how many teams have 55% territorial advantage over man utd and still manage to loose 5-1?

  • Geordie Joe

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #4

    I know we probably would have still lost but that was a blatent penalty when owen was fouled. Score that and we are one up and then who knows. we could have got something out the game. The referee was apalling yesterday, we find it hard enouth playing against 11 nevermind playing against 12. Once again the refs give obvious decisions against us. and i nearly forgot there first goal came straight from that penalty decision.

  • Mehzeb

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #5

    I blame the lack of transfer activity. We needed atleast 3 players to come in. But we made no addition to the side, on top of which we loaned out Rozehnal (not that he was very good or anything).

    If a few new faces arrived, maybe we would not be fighting a relegation battle at this stage of the season. Keegan himself admitted that he was taking a gamble by not spending a dime in the transfer window.

    Well, now we know, his gamble is not paying off.

    Utterly disgraceful. Sadly, Sam Allardyce may have made us play “boring” football, but atleast we did not lose 5-1, 3-0, and 4-1.

    What a shame, what a crying shame…

  • Number 70

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #6

    Butt – Can cut out the odd attack but cant pass 2 feet infront of him then he switches to long ball with the emphasis on the word LONG cause its played way ahead of the target.

    Barton is a pub player at best dont know what he offers which could be the same for other players.

    Owen isnt the right captain. Make taylor captain

    and i agree let carroll have his chance

  • Nick Dryden

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #7

    I think realistically we have to accept the untold damage done to us by substandard managers, specifically Souness and Allardyce. These choices by a grossely flawed and inadequate chairman in Shepherd have put us back as much as 10 years with a whole host of disastrous
    signings. Fat Sam may have put some infrastructure in place, but his basic tactic was HOOF it and see. Basically playing the percentages. Hence were duly signed, a whole array of technically limited players. We have so many busted flushes who have seen better days (Duff, Owen, Butt, Smith, Carr etc) that I think the blessing could be to throw in youngsters like Edgar and get rid of these parasitic, over the hill leeches.
    Let’s not kid ourselves either about Allardyce . We were in free fall with awful results, terrible non football and illogical signings. Allardyce was lucky to be spared having to play Man U and Arsenal 4 times in 6 games!!!

  • faustino

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #8

    I know not much is directed at ‘the messiah’ at this ‘early time’ but at what point do we start asking questions? No one would have believed we could have won the three games against the top 2 he’s overseen, but the manner in which we’ve lost has been appaling. IMO the close-knit staff are questionable to the max – Cox and Mcdermott simply aren’t up to the standard needed anymore and Hughton obviously has a few question marks next to his name – his career history is hardly rosey. There is still no organisation, no consistency and a team that looks like they’ve just met on the bus. Coupled with that, arguably two of our physically stronger players are missing due to rumoured issues [Viduka and Enrique] and N’Zogbia now wanting to leave and ,on top of that, not one good performance under the new regime; is it obvious what the problem is? Please someone tell me I’m wrong!

    However, did anyone notice in the news this week that the average height of our squad is 5 foot 8!!!! A huge problem when coupled with the fact no one can run outside of Zog.

  • Nick Dryden

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #9


    Get real. I think you must have missed some of Sam’s results like Pompey 4-1 at home, Liverpool 3-0 at home.
    Allardyce is indefensible. End of !!!!!!!!

  • Bill F

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #10

    I said over a week ago several things, that Given should not play if there was any doubts about his fitness and would inhibit the possibility of making substitutions (not that that may have made any difference). That Carroll should play from the off as he would give the very qualities that he did. I also agreed with those team selections on this blog that did not include the likes of Smith and Butt but did include Enrique. I also feel it is time to give the likes of Edgar and Lua Lua a start they may at least bring some enthusiasm into the side.
    It may help if our new defensive coach Hughton mentions to the players that ball watching is not conducive to good defending.

    Also whilst it is difficult for a ref to see exactly what is happening in real time, I hate to admit it but I think he got the penalty decision right, Ferdinand did get some of the ball. Although as in recent weeks we still had plenty of dodgy decisions against us. It seems that when the gods are against you nothing goes right.

  • Dragoner

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #11

    nick we played arsenal under sam…the score was 1-1 not 3 f****n 0

  • Dragoner

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #12

    nick they were probably the worst results under sam, now lets look at some keegan scorelines….hmmmm, 6-0 and 5-1 to man u, 3-0 twice to arsenal 4-1 to villa….face facts, sam allerdyce wouldnt have got these awful results

  • iain

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #13

    butt, barton, smith, duff were on the pitch end of story.

    butt – too slow to keep up with play cant get goalside of pacy attacking mf players, gives away stupid petulant freekicks in fits of rage as it dawns hes not good enough for pl anymore, cant pass simply. plays some good long passes a times but tries them too many times.

    barton – exactly the same as butt, has something against milner as he wont pass to him when hes inspace.

    duff – you know a winger is past his bset when his trick is to spin around in circles. suffers from teh mental anxiety that given does, so doesnt stretch himself at full pace.

    smith – what is he cf/mf player, footballer ??? has had more haircuts than shots on targewt this season.

    faye had a shocker but he might as well not have bother with the non existint cm in front of him and taylor.

  • Andy1

    Feb 24, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #14

    We should never concede 5 especially at home but Man U are in a different league right now and anything would have been a bonus. I am not really sure why we concede so many goals. You can look at individual performances and think Faye played well, Taylor (usually) has a good game, Beye is a solid player and we still concede goals at will. I just don’t know enough about defending to explain this. On paper we have a decent defence -Beye (captain of Marseille), Cacapa ( captain of Lyon) – Faye, who was solid for Bolton. Why they can consistently play so shit baffles me and I don’t want to just explain it by saying they aren’t good enough – because they have clearly shown once that they are.

    The midfield is crap though and without Emre we will never be able to pass through teams. Only option is down the wings – we should be good enough in this area with Duff Milner N’zogbia all players who can perform well at this level.

    Owen doesn’t get the service he needs but he has looked sharper and you can rely on him to put the chances away. At this stage of the season we need to drop Smith and put in someone with a proven goal record – Martins or Viduka.

    On the positive side I think we are probably not in much danger of getting relegated but the real test will be against Blackburn, Birmingham, Reading, Fulham, Sunderland – these are games are one we SHOULD win. Keegan hasn’t had much of a chance so far Arsenal twice Man Utd – we have no chance. Bolton came for 0-0 and we had players missing – Boro was a decent game and although it was a nervous finish we had goals disallowed that would have changed that game. Villa was a disgrace – and we collapsed like have done so often this season.

    Derby and Fulham are already down and Reading are losing today. I think Sunderland and Birmingham have got more difficult and are behind already.

  • Dragoner

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #15

    the problem andy is that we do not play as a team and the midfielders and wingers do not perform their defensive duties. if you look at tottenham, they had defensive issues, so ramos made the wingers always cover the full backs when they were not in possession so that the oppositions wingers would have two player to beat at all times. thus there is less pressure on the defence. same goes for their central midfielders and centre backs. we do not do that because we have no style of play or structure, players are always out of position because they simply do not know what they are supposed to be doing

  • Dragoner

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #16

    basically there is a severe lack of discipline in the squad and players are always where they are not supposed to be. half the goals we concede are down to confusion

  • Dragoner

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #17

    if keegan is smart he will drum it into the players heads that defending starts from the strikers, not just the back four

  • Max

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #18

    the appointments that followed Sir Bobby’s disgraceful sacking(which should never have happened) are responsible for this. Why were players like Parker, Jenas, Bellamy, Solano, Dyer, Robert, …..replaced by useless players like barton, smith, rozehnal, …..

    We should have kept the players mentionned above and added Martins Viduka N’zogbia Emre Milner Duff Enrique …
    What a team this would have been.


    Beye- Woodgate -Taylor/Faye- Enrique

    Milner/Solano- Parker- Jenas- Duff/Nzogbia

    Owen- Bellamy/Martins

    Subs: Haprer, Viduka, Caroll, Emre, Hughes,

    KK has a lot of rebuilding to do. Who will we be able to sell Butt Smith Barton Cacapa …to? I fear that we shall see some of these players in our team next year!

  • Tom Cairns

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #19

    The entire back four were embarrassingly bad yesterday. N’zogbia may be good going forward but is shocking in defense, Faye and especially Taylor were lost and made some shockingly bad errors and not all of them were even punished.

    We have played under KK some of the toughest games possible but now the confidence is so low im worried that in games we should be winning we’ll not play to our potential.

  • geordie_jordan

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #20

    thank god reading lost. still 6 points clear of the drop lads!! keep the faith

  • phoonCK

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #21

    Great man, great memories..

    On the day he celebrated his birthday with the faithful fans at St James Park, was also the day he witnessed his beloved club thrashed. What a shame. The Man Utd players seemed more committed to give Sir Bobby a birthday gift than our own bunch of clowns.

    The players really need to pull up their socks, or they would have let us down. Very down..

    Still, I believe the combination of Mike Mortgan aka Ashley, Mort and Keegan will be a successful one. Just need the players to turn up for their games..

    Keep the Faith
    Howay the Lads

  • geordie_jordan

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #22

    shorey just scored for reading. he looked good tonight, would be a great pickup for the toon in the summer.

  • stjames

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #23

    Nick Dryden #7:

    “… Hence were duly signed, a whole array of technically limited players…” I so agree with you and your whole comment in fact. 🙁

    Ed: “…and Duff doing quite well …”

    This I can not agree with. Basically Duff tries to do things alone. He almost always runs himself into trouble and then, a bit to late, starts to look for a teammate. As a matter of fact it seems like our players are not much of team players. It was obvious yesterday how Man U players worked together while ours tried to do it alone. 🙁

  • CHRIS_nufc

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #24


  • Nick Dryden

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #25

    Dragoner the 1-1 with Arsenal as when Arsenal had half the team missing and we were playing at home not like both games under Keegan at the Emirates! Although I think we lost in the Carling cup there 2-0 under Sam, unless I’m much mistaken. I am not defending Keegan but let’s not pretend we didn’t get thrashed under Sam. The 3-0 at thome to liverpool could have been a cricket score but for Torres missing 5 chances! The 4-1 a thome to Pompey with 3 goals in a 11 mins was a shocker as well. We couldn’t beat Derby home or away for god’s sake!

  • Nick Dryden

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #26


    Mate your facts don’t stand up. Pearson was manager for the 6-0 at Man U, not KK.

  • Andy1

    Feb 24, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #27

    The midfield, especially when its Butt and Smith, give nothing going forward but still get caught up field when they should be defending. The oppposition can run without a challenge right through the centre of the team and the defence really has no chance.

    The lack of discipline that Dragoner talks about us does cost us so often but for me Keegan isn’t the man to sort us out and instill a mentality of defending from the front and as a team. All the other teams in the relegation battle are better prepared for the fight and perhaps are overpaid lightweight players will come stuck. They need to come together as a team and try and get the points soon.

    If the two centre midfields keep getting lost I think we should put Faye as a holding midfielder because he has more discipline to hold the position. Then Emre or N’zogbia even good have more of an attacking role and run at the defence from the middle and look to open up the opposition. This system would leave Butt Smith and Barton out and we’ve already been waiting too long for that.

    I think I would probably move Beye into centre back because Cacapa cannot deal with pace and strength and Taylor also struggles with pace. Geremi had a good turnament at right back and I would give him another chance. He seems a solid player and composed on the ball.

  • YongMalaysia

    Feb 24, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #28

    SAD! wat a bad performance, dont know wat to say, just wait until end of the season and see where we are then !

  • bottlodog

    Feb 24, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #29

    I’ll be in the bridge next week for my usual pre match pint(s) – but if butt and smith are in the team that’s where I’m staying !!!
    I refuse to go and watch a team with those two wasters in it
    Desperate times call for sesperate measures – give some of the young uns a go at least they’d show a bit of enthusiasm.
    Football as I used to know it died for me yesterday – no passion from players or crowd the twats around me never made a sound all game
    TV money has created an elite which the rest of us cannot hope to compete with. True competition is now a thing of the past – no longer will teams such as Derby or Forest be able to put a league winning squad together – from now on the major honour will go to one of four clubs – for the rest of us, all hope is gone and that for me is the real killer – I can’t even dream anymore.
    I sat there after the final whistle yesterday absolutely gutted – we were the last 2 left sitting in the Leazes – the ground was as empty as I felt.

  • ScottyT

    Feb 24, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #30

    bottlodog i agree with you tbh our home support just isnt what it used to be away support is great mind and when i was at villa atmosphere was great with all our fans singing not at st james though 🙁

    and yes i think its a terrible shame that in the future it will only be the same 4 teams that win the league would be great if a different team could challenge every season but it just wont happen

  • scott9

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #31

    this has to be the team for satrday if viduka is fit
    beye faye edgar enrique
    milner geremi emre zog
    viduka owen
    the only reason i say edgar is cause he has a point to prove and taylor didnt play well yesterday and his confidence will be really low so i think he should have a rest

  • Tom Cairns

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #32

    Other than Enrique in for Zog yesterday i cant think of many changes KK could have made, Geremi maybe in the middle but then again he was no better than Barton or Butt before the ANC, viduka is usually a waste of space and carroll couldnt even do anything at Preston. Basically he had pretty much as good a team as he could have had out and that is worrying.

  • Tom Cairns

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #33

    Lots of quality in the summer though after we easily avoid relegation and then we’ll see KK’s team 🙂

  • john

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #34

    I agree with all or most of the chat going on. But the underlying principle of defeat was that we got beat of the best team in the premier league. They can decimate any team on their day including arsenal and chelsea. We need to seriously pick up points starting against blackburn or we are in deep trouble.

  • cooldj

    Feb 24, 2008 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #35

    anyone watching the cc final?

  • cooldj

    Feb 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #36

    hmm ah well lets be positive. keegan did promise goals…

    but on a serious note we could be going down.

  • cooldj

    Feb 24, 2008 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #37

    WOODGATE!!!!!!! 2-1 spurs after 3 mins of et

  • ScottyT

    Feb 24, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #38

    a deent give a fk tbh we arent in the final surprisingly so who cares

  • nightfall

    Feb 24, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    Comment #39

    we concede so many goals ‘cos CMs keegan and sam were playing are crap…end of story…

    and for loosing those last few matches…it’s all keegan’s fault…i mean…EVERYBODY sees smith, butt nad barton are crap…except for our “saviour”…

  • ronaldeano

    Feb 24, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #40

    How can a team who were SHIT at the start of the season win a fookin trophy!! Heres why….. the bastards change manager, spend a few quid on the FIRST TEAM in January and start playing with a bit passion and determination. I cant wait to see a diferent Newcastle next season!!


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