While is was really disappointing to get no points again at home on Saturday, after watching the game a couple more times, you just have to admit the lads played really really well – and were plain unlucky to get nothing out of the game.
One thing we should say is that immediately after the game we wrote a piece which criticized the Newcastle United players – but in retrospect and watching their performance again today – that criticism was unwarranted and we take it back.
It was from frustration more than anything – and the players yesterday gave everything they had – without any luck at all.
Here some comments we have on the performance yesterday – trying to leave aside the plain fact that we lost yet again:
- The team played very well and seemed to be a good team that had an understanding with each other. That was good to see and maybe the Keegan approach is starting to get through to the players.
- The team must have created at least 8 good opportunities to score. While we missed them all it is a great sign that once again we are creating chances which has not been the case in the previous few games.
- Newcastle played at last like a Kevin Keegan team. They attacked from the start and their natural tendency was to move forward. The wingers and full backs who of course were out wide all had good games as Keegan’s teams play out wide and create chances from out there. Beye, Enrique, Duff and Milner were all good yesterday and played a typical Keegan type assault down the wings.
- While last week we thought we’d need a lot more than 5 new players brought in during the summer, yesterday’s performance was so solid and such an improvement over last week, that Kevin may be right when he says he only needs 4-5 top players to round out the squad. Certainly the players on display yesterday played very well together and kept their shape nicely the whole game.
- Although lots of our readers do not like Butt and Barton in midfield, they nevertheless seemed to fit in well in the team effort that was Newcastle United yesterday. They may have not been outstanding and probably that is a player Keegan will need to bring into the club during the summer. A world class box to box midfielder.
- We want to see Jose Enrique play every single game from now on. While he made one or two mistakes yesterday he is a breath of fresh air and his enthusiasm on the field is contagious, especially when we will be fighting against relegation.
Early in the second half he was fouled near the half way line – he ran to get the ball himself, ran back to put the ball down and then looked up to take the free kick. In those 15 seconds there was everything you need to know about Jose.
He is such an enthusiastic lad, and he can become a class act at Newcastle. But please give the youngster some games. He played extremely well yesterday and can certainly put in a great cross. It’s good when he’s in the team.
- Steve Harper looked excellent in goal and while he didn’t have a lot to do he made at least two critical saves to keep Blackburn out before they score after 90 minutes. He had no chance with the goal as he was completely exposed, but Steve may just have a chance to claim the number one spot from an out of form and often injured Shay Given.
Shay needs to get his groin fixed once and for all, because we think it has been the cause of his drop in form this season.
- Owen missed a lot of chances yesterday but they were not as easy as it first appeared, and the lad got into the spaces beautifully. Michael was also man enough to fess up he should have scored some goals, and as captain of the team that showed great leadership.
We have a feeling Michael Owen is becoming very attached to this club, and all he needs now is to slot in a few goals in the run-in to the league. You cannot say Michael’s had an easy passage so far at Newcastle but he’s still in there trying 100%.
- Yes, we lost yet again but it’s hard to blame Kevin Keegan or the team after the performance they put in yesterday. They could hardly have done more – other than get the ball in the 3-4 times. But this type of performance will certainly get us out of trouble sooner rather than later. Just as long as they produce this type of effort in every game through the end of the season.
- The Newcastle crowd was excellent yesterday and gave the lads tremendous support. But the way the team started out and the way they played deserved all the support they got. We hope the team can keep producing like they did yesterday – because the support will be there for that kind of performance – every time!
It was an excellent display of attacking football from the lads – and we hope to get the same at Anfield next Saturday and then at home the next weekend to Sunderland.
Who knows – we could even get 4 points from those next 2 games – if we can play like we did yesterday.Â Some luck would also help.
Comments very welcome.