Keegan – Players’ Efforts Were Admirable

Newcastle United boss Kevin Keegan today admitted the task of turning Newcastle’s fortunes around this season will not be an easy one.


Kevin Keegan – thought players’ efforts were admirable

Kevin must have been disappointed as he saw his team collapse again under the continual pressure of the Manchester United attack. While they did well before the first goal, which came from Wayne Rooney after 25 minutes, they couldn’t maintain much at all after that.

Kevin spoke to BBC Radio Newcastle today:

“Someone said to me ‘You’ve had tough fixtures’. “But Sunderland, Fulham, Blackburn next weekend are not easy fixtures. What I will say is you don’t play teams like Manchester United every week.”

“I don’t think the players gave up in any way, shape or form. I think their effort was admirable considering how tough it was for them,”

“There was a stage in the second half that every time the ball ricocheted it went to a red shirt. That’s how it is sometimes.”

When you are losing you never seem to get the luck, but that’s the way it is. The only way to get out of this slump is to be prepared to fight all the way in every game, and then you’ll maybe get a little luck, and then perhaps a win. That’s what we have to look to do against Blackburn on Saturday.

That’s a game we can win, and if we don’t get any points this weekend, things will start to look a lot gloomier. Maybe some teams below us might actually get a win themselves next weekend. 🙁

Comments welcome.

37 comments so far

  • GP

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #1

    I think we need to get at least a point next week. Blackburn are a good side so it’ll be tough to win in our current form, but we have to have something positive to carry on into Liverpool away.

  • Hammy

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #2

    The gulf in class against Manure was terrifying,
    admirable effort? I’m sure the 10,000 fans that left before the final whistle would not agree.
    Why or why do Butt and Smith get continuely picked? it’s like playing with nine men every week.
    Let’s give some hungry kids a chance…….

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #3

    ‘Players’ Efforts Were Admirable’ – Does he have a clue anymore, my oh my.

  • Leo* I HATE BUTT

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #4

    id rather we did shit against manchester but well against other teams, that way we would have more points!

  • George

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #5

    We may well have been beaten again on saturday, but what i did see was more commitment. I actually thought that that was our best display by far this season, even if it was not good enough. The defence once again were making suicidal mistakes at least 3 were really horrors, but never the less an improvement in my eyes.
    I do not know if this improvement will be enough to keep us up, but lets hope it is not down to the last game of the season needing 3 points.

  • Eric

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #6

    Getting worried about KK selecting the same has-beens. He is, unfortunately, beginning to resemble Fat Sam the Sham without the overcoat and chewing gum (and earphones and gob-piece). At least KK sits in the coaching area and closer to the shite being served up.

  • derek mooney

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #7

    Nzogbia was played out of position to keep HIM happy after declaring he wants to go to spurs. An inexperienced left winger let alone trainee left back was then caught horrendously ball watching for the first goal. Just what is wrong with enrique?
    If ashley does’nt produce some very very serious money in the summer ( players are only going to join NUFC for the dosh not the european scene! ) the next year could be worse.

  • dave

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    Comment #8

    kevin keegan hasnt got the bottle to make the obvious decisions.

  • broon ale

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #9

    I predict the following

    Blackburn (h) D
    Liverpool (a) L
    Birm (a) L
    Fulham (h) W
    Spurs (a) L
    Reading (h) D
    Pompey (a) L
    Sunderland (h) L (or D at the most)
    West Ham (a) L
    Chelsea (h) L
    Everton (a) L

    And that is the end of NUFC unless for some miraculous reason players are dropped and told to fcuk off (Owen,Smith, Barton, Butt, Duff, Given, Viduka, Geremi,Ameobi. The list can go on)

    It aint looking good. The above is realistic im not letting my heart rule my head or nowt that is what i think will happen

    So where are these 4 wins coming from or 2 wins and 4 draws as keegan says will keep us up?

    worrying times.

  • Doctapaul

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #10

    Most of what KK said is sadly true.

    Against lesser teams we would probably have done OK.

    Credit to KK for sticking with Barton and Smith in a game we were bound to lose anyway. If this is the evidence KK needs to show that he is going to have to rely on other players to win against Blackburn then so be it.

    I don’t see why Butt is singled out. He works as hard as anyone and is no less effective in what is a defensive role. Tell me please, who has been more effective in midfield?

    Duff, Milner and Smith, despite loads of endeavour fail to deliver consistently. Barton’s confidence looks completely shot. Emre is still worth a punt in home games. Zog is woeful defensively, his heart doesn’t look in it any more; and gawd help against Bentley.

    And yet…. I believe KK has got Newcastle trying to play better football. How much better? We’ll find out, starting next week and when we play the lesser teams – forget Liverpool away.

    We can still end up where we are now, about 13th.

    This is not the worst premiership team Newcastle have fielded – or would you like to see Des Hamilton, Andy Griffin, Carl Cort, Bassedas, Viana and Luque to return?

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #11

    Why do you think KK picks almost the same team every week?
    Are you a NUFC fan? get serious. KK and Big Sam are not stupid. Are they? They will always pick the best players available.

  • milner fan

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #12

    Lomana Tresor LuaLua wants to return to Newcastle United as he feels he has ‘unfinished business’. any one heard about this??? (skysports)

    maybe hes the real saviour lol. After all he can do a couple of back flips.

  • GP

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #13

    We can do better than Lomana LuaLua really. We already have a striker who can run in Martins, who is younger and just generally more talented.

  • broon ale

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #14

    milner fan, lua lua probably wants a pay rise

  • Davies

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #15

    Very negative Broon Ale, but probably not that far off the mark if things keep going the way they are. It’s a big relief that there are greater underachievers than us this season, or we’d be joining Derby for definite.

    I’m of the opinion that there are three or four winnable games in the remaining fixtures, but the team will have to work harder than they have been to get them.

    I think Reading are easily beatable, particularly given their recent poor form (also they have a long way to come). Fulham and Sunderland too!

    There may be some draws in there as well. West Ham, Birmingham, Blackburn and possibly even Chelsea. Remember, we nearly held them to a draw at Stamford Bridge (and would have if the ref knew about the off-side rule, you’d think someone would have told them about that by now, I seem to recall it costing us two points against Boro a few weeks back as well).

    What I’m trying to say here is that KK has been banging on about confidence, and he’s probably right. There is quality and depth in the team we have at the moment. Though we are not yet ready to despatch the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal, we can still compete with the Evertons, Portsmouths and Tottenhams.

    Harder work, renewed confidence and the dumping of Messrs Butt, Barton and Smith will all be cotributory factors, as will the regular introduction of Carroll, Lualua and Edgar.

    It would also help to play Charles N’Zogbia just inside Milner.

    Does anybody want to see Lomana Lualua back? I hear he’s asking…..

  • dopaz

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #16

    keegan has to back his players in the press, bull shit allerdyce said he didn’t have confidence in his players to keep him in a job, great man management but he’s gone now thank god, keegan has to make do with what he has got, could not sign anyone who was better in january so did not waste money, tried for woodgate but london won, have faith back the club [yes some players do not derserve it] we will stay up, then major rebuilding the first team in summer, show your support…….

  • Mr T

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #17

    we have an average height of 5’8″ or something, and people are talking about bringing in lua-lua?!?! we going for a world record of the smallest team to ever narrowly avoid relegation (and that’s being optimistic)

    Keegans tactis are rubbish, he knows a good player when he sees one, maybe him and Wisey should swap positions?!?! lol

    Amirable? I don’t see how admirable and embarrasing can come from the same game, cos lets be honest, it was embarrising. Mistake, after mistake, getting caught on the break constantly, taking too many touches in the box, poor passing. We were lucky to walk away with only the four goal deficit for my money.

    We want players like Martins and Emre fit so we can at least look to cause some damage? or at best, some kind of threat…….

  • Bill F

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #18

    Laurent Robert also wanted to come back and we did have Barnard back. As I said in an earlier blog are we becoming a retirement home for phsycopaths, drunks and has beens. Might as well give Gazza a runout at least he may bring some flair to the team.

    Did KK mean to say abominable but got his words mixed up.

  • Scott Hodge

    Feb 25, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #19

    I would play Nzogbia and Lua Lua in midfield with Caroll up front and also Edgar alongside Faye in central defence which means dropping Cacapa and Taylor who is looking more and more like Titus. I dont see why Enrique cannot be played in defence and be given a bit of a run to see what he can do . The players should be ashamed of themselves for that performance ! If Gazza was sectioned the other day I know where theres another 52,000 need to be and that includes me for watching this rubbish !

  • Graham

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #20

    Plenty effort yet no class – that remind anyone of Bolton of the last few seasons?

    Kevins playing with Allardyces team and until the summer comes and he changes it – we will keep on playing this way (it will get better as the weeks go on though)

    We are paying the price for Fatty Sam slagging the team off in the press in saying he no confidence in them – it will take time tfor that to be restored. By which time half the current team wont be here anyway.

    My only critisism of Keegan is that he played N’Zogbia out of position instead of Enrique which resulted in the first goal.

    Lets get behind Kevin and ALL the players from now until may and then let the rebuilding commence…

  • Graham

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #21

    Scott Hodge – imagine N’zogbia and Lua Lua in midfield on saturday against Carrick, Ronaldo, Fletcher and Nani (the way Man Utd play it could be against anyone of those). We would have been murdered in midfield from the off.

    I know everyone has opinions but try to give them some structure – although i agree with you on Taylor and Enrique

  • cooldj

    Feb 25, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #22

    i just lost a lot of respect for kk and his so called honesty. now i know he’s trying to build confindence but our team may not be footballers but they aren’t idiots.

  • Jim Baker

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #23

    I love Keegan, but i’m afraid i may start to dislike the man if he doesn’t get wise and drop, Smith, Barton, Butt, Taylor.
    Play Edgar…Play Carol and play Emre for christ sake!
    I honestly hope Smith and Barton never play for us again…But i bet Smith is first on the team sheet again for the Blackburn game! and that fact is simply an absolut disgrace!
    Keegan get a grip mate and tell Smith, Barton and co to do one…

  • Shanghaitoon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #24

    Graham, we were murdered anyway with so called first team players. Why not allow the hungry younger players a chance to show what they can do? Would it be any worse that losing 5-1? At least we would see them play competitively and be able to see if there is potential. I tend to agree with Scott’s comments. Mind you I also agree with you on Zog being played out of position. He’s never going to be a left back. That’s was why we got Enrique so I say let Enrique play there and show his form.

  • Eric

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #25

    History speaks for itself Jane. If the best available were picked then Butt, Barton etc would not be in the team would they. Been a Newcastle fan since 1950 (saw first game aged 8 in 1952). Now they could play!

  • thelongshanks

    Feb 25, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #26

    I saw some good football and at times utd were on the backfoot and that wasnt present last time we played.The first 20 min were promising but then it all fell apart,Smith and butt have to go,how dare allardyce give butthead a contract he is awful and no pace.faye def midfield next game play martins who i think can change our season around.

  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #27

    thelongshanks, sorry mate, i ain’t bein’ funny, but who are you refering to when you say ‘utd’?..
    …There’s only one UTD in my eyes & it’s us!..
    Any town/city that has more than one team can’t possibly be UTD by virtue of the fact that there’s more than one team(Hence they are not united-Re-Sheffield etc)It’s a total mis-noamer!..Sorry to pick on this but it totally boils my piss when the pundits come out with this total disrespectful bollox when the scum are playing any team called UTD!..If it’s who i think you mean, their name is: manure, (wo)manchester U(‘ve)shited, the scum, man-u-factured, man who?, manwhore, etc. or anything funnier!..
    Other than that, i agree with your point!..


    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #28

    if lomana came back it would be great, him his bro and martins can do backflips, i remember keegan saying something about london’rs and theatre and maybe he is trying to mould us all… haha

    he was an aggressive striker for us, he really looked to get goals every game he played, hope he does come back

  • Eamonn

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #29

    Punk Skunk, totally agree with you!! I’m living in Dublin and you’ll find armchair reds under every stone over here. One of them even asked me today if I’d seen the Newcastle “united” match last weekend. Unbelievably arrogant tossers! (ps I replied to say I try to get to as many United games as I can) Give it back to em. I make a point of dropping the occasional “United” reference to the Toon when around Manure fans, never fails to piss them off 🙂

  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Nice one Eamonn, keep up the good work bro’, you’re a Dood!..Keep the Faith!..
    …Howay the Lads!..
    The one true UNITED!..

  • Doctapaul

    Feb 25, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #31

    If we accuse someone of arrogance it’s because we fear what they represent. Lest we become arrogant when we are on the winning side?

    Hate (Anger), Sadness, Fear and Guilt only serve to hold us back. We learn nothing. And whilst we rattle our sabres and hurl abuse – the victors gloat at our responses.

    Instead we could focus our energies on helping Newcastle.

  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 25, 2008 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #32

    & the only way we can realistically help is thru supporting the team, thru thick & thin!..
    …Howay the Lads!..

  • Doctapaul

    Feb 25, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #33


  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 25, 2008 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #34

    We (the crowd/supporters) need to get behind the lads more now than ever before, well at least as much as last time KK came & managed & saved our ass from Div 3 obscurity!..
    …It is sooo important that we don’t get caught up in slagging/booing…The team need to know we are right behind them!..
    …Howay the Lads!..

  • Doctapaul

    Feb 25, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #35

    Yup – now is the time for our unswaying support, for everyone who dons a black n white shirt from now until we are safe.

    Regardless of our likes and dislikes of individual players. We know that ranting and raving simply does not work – whereas encouragement will. That’s what KK professes to be his approach for dealing with underperformance.

    Let us take a leaf out of KK’s book and do likewise.

    Let us all pledge to get behind the team and be patient because we know there shall be huge improvements in the summer.

  • Punk Skunk

    Feb 25, 2008 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #36

    Ya’ damn right!..We all have our least fave players etc. But it’s getting really old now & it just winds everyone up & does no good whatsoever anyway!..

  • Michael

    Feb 26, 2008 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #37

    Jane to answer your question, Keegan at least is stupid. The man said it himself he does not know tactics. Why is it he knows only the brawn side of the sport but not the brains? Because he does not have any.

    No tactics no hope. This is not the 90’s, that approach might have worked but not know, the emphasis is on tactics, united players were not nearly as motivated as ours on Saturday but look at what tactics did for them, 5 goals and what did motivation do for us 1 goal. Likewise Villa, no fancy players at Villa, but tactics gave them 4 goals and motivation alone got us 1. Poor poor poor. We live in an information age.

    Play chess with no knowledge but just motivation is futile. Please understand this????? get it into your heads


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