Keegan Retains Confidence In His Players

Newcastle’s display on Saturday disappointed everybody connected to Newcastle United, including Keegan, the players and the fans. So what can we do about this terrible lack of form over the last two months?


Kevin Keegan – players lack self confidence

Kevin told the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“I think they lack confidence because of results. The self-belief is there, but maybe at the moment they’re just struggling to find that last bit that you need to make a half-chance into a goal or a difficult pass to be successful.”

“You see moments out there where you think, ‘Go on, it’s worth having a chance’, and they pull out of that. If you’re confident, you’re not scared of giving the ball away.”“A few of them are scared of giving the ball away at the minute and are scared of making mistakes, but that will change with a win. Our next game is Blackburn. It’s a big game for us and it’s here and, while it won’t be easy, it’s our next opportunity to turn our season around.”

“I still think this is a very good squad of players, so I don’t mind being judged by what happens with them. I’ve got a very good squad, but what I have to do is get them playing better together and get them a little bit of confidence from somewhere.”

Kevin and the staff have to somehow turn this around, and instill some confidence and pride into the players. But there’s only so much Kevin and his staff can do and the rest is up to the players. It’s all very well to say they lack confidence because of our terrible streak, but nevertheless they are professionals, and they have to somehow snap out of it. That’s part of their job.

Keegan continued:

“There isn’t a desperation to get this season over with, but we know we have to get to 40 points or somewhere like that, and then we can look at how we can improve things.”

“There are different stages to this club at the moment; one is staying in the Premier League, which we’re not yet sure to do unless we get the points, and then you start to think about what you need to set this place alight. It’s not going to be eight, nine or 10 players, we’ve got some very good players here, but we need two or three (more) to spark us off.’’

It looks like Kevin remains confident about the quality he has in the squad, but it’s really hard to see that based on the performance on Saturday, when Manchester United were better than us in everything in the game. But as he says maybe it’s just the confidence missing.

But Kevin is sticking by his players as any good manager does, but the players are letting themselves down. Hopefully they can start repaying Keegan’s confidence in them, with a result on Saturday. To say we desperately need points is a huge understatement right now. 🙁

What do you think?

Comments very welcome.

18 comments so far

  • hanzemre

    Feb 25, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #1

    Oh no …is that means playing Butt,Barton,Smith & N’Zogbia in LB again for Blackburn game? NO please NO not again.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #2

    No, thats a must win game, he must put his best team out.

    Beye Edgar (c) Faye Enrique
    Milner Geremi Emre Zog
    Martins Carroll

  • ronaldeano

    Feb 25, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #3

    you got the team spot on there tom toon, carroll should definately start on saturday, he played well when he came on and set up Fayes goal even tho he should have scored with his head himself. The young un’s will try their best as carroll proved on Saturday, they deserve their chance

  • Lucretius

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #4

    That’s not a bad team selection, Tom Toon. However, even thought Owen is living on his reputation and is a virtual passenger at present, I can’t see him being dropped. Enrique seems out of favour and although Edgar deserves a start, I can’t see him getting one.

  • Eric

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #5

    Yes Tom Toon – a good side. Keegan has got to face up to the fact that Butt, Barton, Carr, Owen,
    Viduka, Smith, and even Taylor at the moment are shite. Why play has-beens now in our shaky times when we know they will be well rid in summer? We can get 12 points at home, and a couple away should see us survive by the skin of our teeth. Shearer’s opinion? Time he put his money where his mouth is and joined up with the club in some capacity! We cannot keep on playing like Deadwood United.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #6

    Is it Given now? and Owen?
    You guys are strange! Martins didn’t score in the last matches he played as a striker.
    PS. Tom_Toon; Do you really think Carrol is better than Owen. LOL. You must really hate KK. Surely he knows the players better than you lot.

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #7

    Martins and Carroll seem to be able to create out of nothing and have some pace and a lot of strength, thats my reasoning, owen is a luxury player which we dont need atm.


    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Why are people having a go at owen jesus christ! he started playing well and is having a run of games and runs his heart out
    He feeds of scraps as far as service from the midfielders and strike partners hes been played with god all mighty and when did geremi get in our best team??
    Tom_Toon ive left you a message of the previous post

  • ChrisM

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #9

    What we need is for the players to get their arses kicked. To be told that if they dont buck up their ideas they will be gone in the summer and dropped for the rest of the season to give the young lads a chance. Then remind the lazy twats that there wont be big clubs coming in for them to pay them the vastly over priced wages they get.

  • ChrisM

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #10

    Jane – Keegan may see them every day but itsd plain to see to watch who is playing well below par….and i dont need professional footballer experience to see that.

    Tom-Toon – he is wanting players on the pitch who will be trying, and those who are not currently performing to be dropped. Irrespective of whether they are supposedly better than who should come in, if they are not playing well at all they are currently not better than who could come in.

    Tom-Toon – not a bad selection. Cant see owen getting dropped, or many others but that is near enough spot on.

  • ChrisM

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #11

    Craigg – owen hasnt started playing well. Running his socks of?????

    Dont get me wrong, I like Owen. He does have goal;s in him I have no doubt of that.

    Problem with owen at the moment – is a viscous circle. If the service was right he would score goals. But when the service is shit and there is no movement or creativity from the midfield, we need owen to be running the line to create space for himself running into the corners. And he is not doing that. Is a catch 22 and makes him and us look clueless and shite.

  • Bobby Ollox

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #12

    I can only think of one or 2 players on Saturday, who looked as if they really cared. Maybe its because their confidence is shattered, maybe its because they arent motivated, maybe its because they just arent good enough any more, or maybe they are just too big to be associated with club thats down on its luck at the moment.

    Whatever, it doesnt matter. Let them spend the rest of the season on the phones to their agents or their estate agents.

    The rebuilding starts here….

    KK should put out the team that signls his intent to play the way he wants the game of football – I cant choose that for him, but I would be disappointed it it included any of the following

    Given ( yes really) Carr Butt Smith Viduka Ameobi, Geremi,

    Owen can go too

  • Leo* I HATE BUTT

    Feb 25, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #13

    how can someone like butt and barton be soo scared to give the ball away, then bam ball lost!

  • Reb

    Feb 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM

    Comment #14

    Problem: Newcastle need goals.

    Solution: bench the player who has scored 2 of the total 3 goals in the last six matches against Premiership opponents.

    Wait. Wait. How is that sensible? Fact is, we’ve not seen Carroll enough to justify dropping Owen (who is on his best run of form since doing his knee). Owen has now gone one match without scoring (against ManU too) and people are calling for him to be benched? Ridiculous. He’s never going to score in every match, that’s inhuman. Give him someone other than Smith upfront — oh, say, Martins.

    Martins won’t be sharp — he’s hardly played since 2 Jan and hasn’t scored since 8 Dec. I’m not slating him. I want him in the XI. But I can’t see the sense in playing him and Carroll together when Owen is fit and on form. Carroll is young and inexperienced. Use him as a sub for a bit.

    That, and Owen IS running his socks off at the moment. It seemed he spent most of the past match in the midfield and even defending a few times. He’s playing well, loads of commitment, two goals in last three matches and making a lot of (hopeless) runs that either no one sees or no one can get the ball to him. Either way, the problem is in the midfield, not the striker (yes, singular, because Smith — not really a striker). Personally, I think Owen has been one of the best players for Newcastle since Keegan’s return.

  • steve k

    Feb 25, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #15

    The Carroll stuff is as mystifying to me as the “Drop Given” brigade. I’m sure he’ll prove himself in the future but Owen and Martins have international pedigree.

    Better off risking kids in place of the has-beens and never-has-beens of Butt, Smith etc.

    Taylor is a joke of a defender. Only reason he gets defended is because he’s a Geordie but the boy is pure pants.

  • Richard

    Feb 25, 2008 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #16

    F**in hell man

    This is truly atrocious

    I reckon the only thing to do is play the kids: we know Edgar can defend, we’ve seen him play last season. Please, anybody at left back Carr so N’Zogbia can get forward. Leave him at left back, we concede more and score less and he f**ks off in the summer. Cacapa is a liability, as is Faye, Taylor and Beye on occasion, but we need at least 2 of them for at least a little experience. WTF is going on with Enrique, as unless he’s pulled a Luque he has to start each match

    Carroll is what I think we’ve missed up front, he’s really up for a fight and will help owen. Viduka is a fat, lazy heap of turd who only wants his paycheck. End his contract now unless he pulls his finger out.

    And oh my god – how shite are Butt, Barton, Smith and Geremi. There’s a massive void in CM where there should be players. Barton and Smith cost a goal a piece and created sweet FA. If you have to have a DM play Butt but get Duff or N’Zogbia alongside him.

    If Keegan can’t see the faults in his players, or can but won’t drop them out of pallyness (barton) then we’re really screwed

    This last few games have seen the worst team I’ve ever seen us put out. Right now our results are pretty much the same as Derby’s….


    Thanks i feel better

  • marcus owen

    Feb 25, 2008 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #17

    The different btw Capelo and KK,

    Capelo – don’t care who you are,you will be selected only if you can perform.

    KK – don’t care how you perform,you will be always selected if you are Nicky Butt & Alan Smith.

    Same team selection against Blackburn.Of course,get hammered by end of the day.

  • Scott Hodge

    Feb 26, 2008 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #18

    The young guns pulled us out of the s–t under Roeder and were subsequently s–t on and dropped when the so called stars with their fancy names came back and lo and behold we started gatting beat again. This time things are no different, play Edgar alongside Faye, drop Taylor and play Nzogbia with Lua Lua in midfield with Carroll up front and see what happens. We might just get a pleasant suprise and lets face it we couldnt do any worse could we?


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