Michael Owen – “I Was The Main Culprit”

There were a lot of positives to take from the game yesterday, not least of which was the spirit each and every player showed throughout the 90 minutes.


Michael Owen – missed chances but was also unlucky

Having just watched the game again on TV for a 3rd time – we played with great spirit and on any other day would have scored at least 3 goals. We were unlucky, but if we keep playing like this then lady luck will reward us for the players’ courage, which was there for all to see yesterday.

The game yesterday was not unlike the Keegan days of old – the only difference different was that we would have scored 3-4 goals in the old days – but the goals will come, make no mistake about that.   😀

Newcastle captain Michael Owen, who missed more than most yesterday had this to say after the game:

“It doesn’t get any easier, going away to Anfield, but if we can play like that, we have got a chance.”“After Liverpool, we have got some games which are going to be vitally important against teams who are in and around us, so if we can take that performance and build on it.”

“We have played well under the new manager in spells, but that is the first game where we have really played well for the whole game, so we will take the positives out of that.”

“It was a cruel end. We had plenty of chances, myself being the main culprit. “I probably had more chances in that game then I have in the last 10, so it is frustrating not to get one and frustrating not to get at least a draw. We deserved to win.”

“But there are positives even though we are nearer the relegation zone now and we have lost another game.” “Everyone was far happier after this game than they have been after the last couple of games.”

“After Manchester United and Aston Villa, there really was little to take out of the game, but on Saturday, we played really well and I blame myself for not converting any.”

Those are good and true words from Michael, and it’s good that he fesses up to his missed chances. But the good thing is he got into position well for the chances and with any luck at all would have had at least a couple. And the team is now starting to carve out the chances and there must have been at least 8 decent chances to score during yesterday’s game. That’s very good on the creativity side.

One positive thing about the run in this season is that each of our remaining games is on the weekend, so Kevin Keegan and his staff have a full week to prepare for each game. We certainly saw a massive improvement yesterday and we created a multitude of chances – which was good to see. But we’ll also have to put those chances home, but we’ll do that if we keep playing like we did yesterday.

The way the team is playing is now showing the Keegan blueprint. We are always looking to attack and that really helps our defense out. They were not under too much pressure yesterday, and played quite well.

Steve Harper in particular was extremely reliable at the back, and looks much more comfortable than Given with those crosses, which he handled well yesterday.

Liverpool are a little dodgy in the league this season, and we if we play like we did yesterday, we’ll give them a game.

You just never know what might happen – and we need points.

Keep the Faith!

Comments welcome.

36 comments so far

  • Marty

    Mar 2, 2008 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #1

    He`s so right we really deserved to win and that makes a change from the last 4months!!
    Good to see the lads play well,just need a bita luck for the ball to go in.

  • dingo

    Mar 2, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #2

    “They were not under too much pressure yesterday, and played quite well.” – are you having a laugh Ed?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!

    It was the keystone geordies yesterday at the back. They all had a mare.

  • ende

    Mar 2, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #3

    Interesting… good managers and captains often focus the blame on themselves (in order to avert it away from the other players). These are very responsible comments for Michael to be taking. Might be the making of a longer term Captain.

  • scott9

    Mar 2, 2008 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #4

    team to play liverpool should be.
    beye faye taylor enrique
    milner geremi emre nzogbia
    martins owen
    if emre is not fit then butt will play but he will probably pla insted of emre anway shame barton cant play

  • Hadji

    Mar 2, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #5

    Me might be lucky with Liverpool cause they might not land their best 11 cause of the match with Inter.
    If we somehow get away from this mess we put ourselves into i hope everybody have learned the lesson and start bringing class players in the summer so this nightmare wont repeat next season.

  • Hadji

    Mar 2, 2008 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #6


  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:21 PM

    Comment #7

    The Birmingham game is on a monday night, it’s on setanta.

  • stumpofthetoon

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    Comment #8

    are u kidding scott9 barton is main culprit got ball taking of him easy did not track back. he put 1 good ball through but overall pathetick

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #9

    Keegan will relegate NUFC
    He is picking a worse team than Sam and nobody bats an eyelid. We are all slowly wandering down the road to relegation. I know Sam bought Smith and Barton. We know Butt is too old and slow. But when the manager says quote ” Smith is golddust and I’ll find a place for him in my team” and when the current manager continues to play Smith as striker ( no goals in 25 game), Butt and Barton (No Nzog yesterday or Martins), don’t you think favouritisn for the old sweats based on reputation is being taken far too far (forget form or youth!) and that Keegan is leading us a merry dance to relegation. ” 2 points from 21 is crap. Don’t balme Sam for that. He is playind Sam’s players. If sam had chosed that team yesterday, he would have been booed before the team kicjked off. Keegan is the graet saviour picking the same team as sam. Oh really!!! Unfinished business…. to get us relegated and nobody thought that when he came here. And onother thing lads…what do you thing about Shearer sitting on BBC sofas all smug who turned down KK when he asked him to join the Toon? We need him desperately anfd he turned us (Keegan) down. He wants to pick up the pieces in Championship because he does not want the hassle of managing a second class club. Bollocks to Shearer I say. If he won’t come when we need hih he can manage Soton. Arrogant sod. Keegan is past it, but respect. He came when asked.

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #10

    And another thing lads… we are good enough to go down. We finished 4 points off relegation last season. The stats do not lie. We have one player in the top 100. Our players are poor. Poor enough to get relegated. Look at our form since December.Im worried… very worried.

  • rem

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:57 PM

    Comment #11

    daiv, top be honest who else is he going to play? you cant have all the youth players playing.
    Plus smith has played in midfield for the majority of them games.

    Your making out as though we played badly, we didn’t, we missed key chances that should have been scored.

    Who else was he goin to pick?
    Emre was injured, Barton played well and set up two chances that should have been scored. Martins was returning from injury. Zog wants to leave and duff was our best player against man utd (even thou we lost 5-1).

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    Comment #12

    He shouild have picked Martins because he can score. I know he did not play well yesterday when he came on but he is a threat. Smith is a striker who has not scored for years. He is no goal threat. Joke player who runs around and fouls. Tries hard… so what… so would I.

    He should have played Nzog in the middle instead of Barton who is useless. Butt is useless and far too slow but could have been the holding player. Its really sad to say(and I agree) that there is nobody else and that Butt has to play. But couldn’t he take a risk on younger players like Lua Lua because this team of cronies thatKK is picking is slipping towards relegation. The team played fairly well yesterday but needs to play better. A few fresh faces are needed. Don’t tell me we should stick with Butt, Barton and Smith? Bring on Carr then when fit then!!! Keegan has stumbled on his best defence yesterday. Everybody else knows the best team apart from the guy earning £5M. Query Taylor or |Capaca.

  • Obafan

    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    Comment #13

    Martins would have scored one of those chances yesterday. He should have started with Owen. We need goals and Smith defo is not the man to make those. I reallyhate it when I see him play. He can do whatever he wants he is the first one on the game sheet. Very poor if they don’t dare to put him on the bench. They even don’t take him off. Ridiculous situation.

    Barton another story (even worse situation than Smith). He let his teammates, the fans, the board and the manager down (not the first time he did that) and he can play every game. He should never have given another 2nd chance. He is crap and before he can play again he should have prove that his problems are past. Untill that time FA should ban him from playing a second. What an example is he for the youth???

    Butt also plays at a very low level, but I don’t know who else they should play at CDM. Maybe Faye, but I think he is most valuable at our defence so no. And then Taylor will play again and that is also not good for the team. He is crap!

    Where the hell was Geremi yesterday; I forgot him. He can play at midfield next to Emre (if not injured)

    Beye – Faye – Cacapa – Enrique
    Duff – Geremi – Emre – N’Zogbia
    Owen – Martins

    Subs: Forster – Taylor – Butt – Viduka – Milner

    Barton and Smith not selected!!!!!

  • ronaldeano

    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #14



    Before KK’s contract is up, we will be top 6, if not top 4. KEEP THE FOOKIN FAITH LAD’S. ITS GOIN TO HAPPEN. Let’s have patience with KK. NEVER lose the faith. NUFC die hard’s NEVER lose faith! We WILL be great again, 100%, NEVER lose faith!!

    Cant wait to see KK’s team next season

    HOWAY THE LAD’S!!!!!!!

  • GP

    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #15

    We actually play really well and people still whinge. Amazing.

  • doc

    Mar 2, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    Comment #16

    r u a cockney red?

    u f~~~ wit

  • rutehh8

    Mar 2, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #17

    Good he acknowledged this.. but it’s time to forget what happened and get rid of the mental barrier that’s keeping him from scoring.
    Pick yourself up lads, confidence is our main problem… ok and luck.

  • rem

    Mar 2, 2008 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #18

    your saying barton is useless, but the two best chances were becasue of him.

    and Martins as i said has just got back from injury, you cant just throw him straight in.

  • Geordie Joe

    Mar 2, 2008 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #19

    F***k off daiv. No one wants to hear your rambling negative views. Obviously not a true fan with that shocking attitude.

  • IrishMan

    Mar 2, 2008 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #20

    Another worrying factor is our dreadful goal difference, so that really we are on 27 points, not 28.

  • scott9

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:20 PM

    Comment #21

    stumpofthetoon who would u rather have in midfiled barton or butt

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:28 PM

    Comment #22

    Geordie Joe,
    I call it as it is. Or would you rather I blogged “everything is fine. KKs doing a great job. great team etc etc. Just need a bit of luck…. Its all Sams fault. Get into the real world Joe. relegation is between NUFC and Reading. Dreadful really. How much have we spent in last 10 years compared to Reading. Only top 4 have spent more. Unbelievable. O r shoiuld mI blogg Joe ” Great team just short of confidence. A few cheers more and away they’ll go” Most honest Geordies accept the team is poor and vastly overpaid.

  • CJ

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:32 PM

    Comment #23

    Many positives to take out of yesterday’s performance like Enrique had not even been in the squad for quite a while and put in possibly his best performance for us. Did anyone see Smith and Barton shouting and blaming Enrique for there goal they should be embarrased cos Enrique did something yesterday in putting in a good performance something they still have yet to do. I thought Barton put in a few good through balls but all through the game he was a joke along with Smith the most innefective forward in the lge.

    In my opinion Faye was class yesterday by far the best player on the pitch and Butt had his best game for a while while Milner was causing problems. Duff never had a bad game but Zog caused them more problems in 15 mins than Duff did when he was on and Owen missed a lot of chances that he should have put a way but at least he is getting in to those positions unlike Smith. I don’t know about you’s but i was a lot more confident with Harper in than Shay Given goals away Harper commanded his box something that Given has not done in 2 years. And i thought greedy bastard Taylor looks very low in confidence and every time the ball goes close to him he is panicking.

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    Comment #24

    Geordie Joe,

    I would not begin to compare my faith compared to yours. I’ll bet anything you like that I’ve been to hundreds more games than you. I moan on this blogg to get it off my chest and speak the truth. I always support the team pitchside because I want the best. Bloggside, I speak the truth. There is no point writing on this blogg just saying everyting is fine when I think the team is rubbish.

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:01 PM

    Comment #25

    Good for Owen and very unlucky result.

    Although we lost again we played alot better and a better team performance.

    There are still many things we can improve (obviously) but I’d like to think we could well have turned the corner and looking forward to more positive performances in the near future.

    Sick and tired of the doubters blogging negative rubbish.

    Keep the Faith

    I’m tired of the likes of Butt and Smith putting in poor performances but they did put better performances in on Saturday and hope that if they continue to play that they continue to improve too.

  • shay is shit

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:27 PM

    Comment #26

    harper in for defernate shay has done nothing for us in 2 and a half years

  • rem

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #27

    How can relegation be between us and reading when there are 7 teams in it?
    we need a win and confindence.
    im not being stupid, or thinking were to good for it or anything like that but were will not go down.

  • marcus owen

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #28

    I got the feeling we will win once KK drop Smith.

  • Ian

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #29

    We need Martins on from the start as he was very dangerous on the pitch and his awareness of other players was brilliant with some good defending spoiling some excellent passes.

    I criticise Owen a lot, but even though he misssed a few times I thought he was brilliant, I think Owen and Martins is going to work well.

    We were also better with the Nzogbia runs.

    Unless we are lucky we will not beat Liverpool, but after that providing there are no injuries I think we will be ok.

    Beye and Enrique looked good and Smith is best in midfield not at the front.

  • daiv

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #30

    Smith is best on the loo, not anywhere near a football pitch

  • Ausgeordie

    Mar 3, 2008 at 12:27 AM

    Comment #31

    With 10 corners coming through during the game you have to think Carroll could have been more effective than Smith. C’mon he has not scored a premier league goal in 4 years!!!!

  • TrungHieu

    Mar 3, 2008 at 5:13 AM

    Comment #32

    I always believe in you, NU!

  • hanzemre

    Mar 3, 2008 at 7:29 AM

    Comment #33

    okay let’s rally for Smith not to start a game nomore (can play some part if needed after 60 min/so)….coz he was & still is crap as main striker/CF no goal for ages as we want goals to win games. Give Martins to start along with Owen & Carroll on bench ready to come in 2nd half. If Butt was any good yesterday, okay keep him there for some games. Put Emre or Geremi in CM besides Butt (he is starting anyway) & please repeat yesterday’s performance till the end of this horrid season (soon we’ll forget this).

  • Graeme

    Mar 3, 2008 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #34

    The bottom line – we lost, at home, yet again!!!

    Nothing else matters; how well we played, how unlucky we were – all irrelevant.

    The only thing that now matters is that we are 3 points off relegation, with some seriously tough games coming up. I, for one, never thought we would be in this position, but now I am very worried about the freefall.

    Teams below us are picking up points and we are dropping them just as fast. I dont know if Keegan has what it takes to sort this out, but I have to have faith as no one else is going to do it!!! Oh Shit!!!

  • Ian

    Mar 3, 2008 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #35

    Forget that we lost, unfortunately due to Sam’s spending we had far to many players in the ANC, so we had two starts to the season and this season three strikers returning from injury out of four premiership strikers including Ameobi (dont reply to that, technically he is!) so unless we were just plain lucky which we never seem to be, it was always going to be difficult staying in a rythmn because we were going to have to chop and change players far to many times, other teams are turning out the same players most of the season we couldnt, the next game is almost impossible to win, but we may be lucky get a goal somehow or get the draw, however if all of this team stay fit then the following match onwards should be ok as we will be playing the same team with the odd substitution, injuries to key people between now and the end of the season would be our main worry, Martins, Owen, Beye, Butt, Enrique, Taylor, Faye, Milner, Nzogbia must all stay fit.

    Butt is brilliant on goal, he just has difficulty playing a full match at top speed, he needs a job share each match to get the best out of him, I would play him the second half of every match.

    Smith is still our best other central midfielder, forget about how he is at the front, he is involved more than anyone else in the middle and gives the opposition a tough time and the odd strike he has had from further out look much more dangerous than Emre’s who has scored but sky rockets 9 out of 10 chances over the bar, Smith doesnt score but doesnt waste shots over the bar, he will pass and usually out to the wings, he picks up wingers well and they are our better players, Keegan unfortunately has made him unpopular playing him at the front.

  • Rich

    Mar 3, 2008 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #36

    Ian mate Smith is terrible in midfield so you would pick himbefore Emre? Smith cant create, cant pass, tackles like a rhino doesnt score goals, useless in septpieces why would you pick him? Emre, Barton, N Zogbia, Geremi, Duff, Lua Lua even Butt would be better in midfield than him!


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