Keegan – Huge Task To Motivate Faint Hearted Players

One of the biggest managerial challenges of Kevin’s bright career lies ahead in our last 11 games as he somehow has to get the Newcastle players inspired to play well for the team.


Keegan – motivational skills pout to the test with our lot

After yesterday’s performance, coupled with several of the last several weeks, that may be a task too far for Kevin.

After the terrible 3-0 defeat at Liverpool, which took our goal difference to a worst ever -26, Keegan was his usual honest self about Newcastle’s plight as he said:

“We are in a relegation battle, no question. Unless you wins games that is the situation you are in.”“We have drawn two and lost six since I have been back and that is relegation form in any league in the world, not just the Premier League.”

“It is not a surprise we have been sucked into the battle at the bottom. Now we must find something from within ourselves to get back out of it again.”

“We must make sure this club not only survives but builds and goes forward. So that one day we can go to Anfield and genuinely feel we have a chance of beating a big four club. That is what we are all after.”

“We have to go to Birmingham next, and we also have Reading and Fulham soon. We still must get to 40 points, and we need four more wins to do that.”

“We have the ability to pick ourselves up. We have had a few hammer blows in recent weeks but I am confident that with the players we have we can stay in this division.”

“We do need luck. We will get a freak goal somewhere, we will hit the bar from 30-yards and it will go in rather than bounce out.”

“Luck isn’t going our way. And we needed every bit of luck against Liverpool because they are hitting good form now, and playing with the confidence that comes from winning and scoring goals.”

Newcastle have now lost 4 league games in a row and 9 out of the last 12. We’ve conceded 31 goals in the process while scoring just 6. We know some fans didn’t even want to watch the game yesterday, because they were scared of what what happened. Another white flag surrender.

Keegan continued:

“For 42 minutes we stuck to our game plan and Liverpool had very few opportunities. Then they got a freak goal and one straight afterwards, that changed everything.”“To find ourselves 2-0 down at the break after doing so well for a long time was a real kick in the teeth, especially at a place like Anfield.”

“I told the players that they were not quite good enough. There were some good things, and some players gave their all.”

“But we did not pass the ball well enough, and when we had the ball the question is, what can we do to hurt them. The answer was not enough in my opinion.”

“With the players we have we should pass the ball better, we should keep possession better.” “That is what we must work on and work on pretty quickly. It’s OK in training, but the transition is to take that onto the pitch.”

“We had it last week against Blackburn and played really well. But we never got close to that against Liverpool. But playing Liverpool at Anfield is different to facing Blackburn at St. James’ Park.”

One of the strange motivational tasks Kevin has is to coax Emre and Viduka that it’s safe to play in a team under a relegation threat. Hey, that’s their job, and we’ll measure how long these two hide out. The clock is ticking.

We also think it’s time we stopped talking about next season and stopped talking about how great we were in the 1990s in Kevin’s first reign. It’s all an illusion. Let’s stick with the facts that are staring this club in the face.

We are in dire danger of the drop and unless our players snap out of their comas on the field, and show some guts and quality, we’ll be visiting Hull and other places next season. (no offense to Hull supporters).

On the bright side, if we do go down, it will give us a chance to unload a lot of the players we’ll not be able to afford in the Championship.

Since most of them would have been responsible for getting us relegated – then if it happens – good riddance to them.

13 comments so far


    Mar 9, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #1

    Relegation 11:

    Stearman Edgar Kadar Tozer
    Campbell-Ryce Elliott Howard Parry
    Chopra Carroll

    Subs: Forster, Ramage, Lua Lua, Godsmark, Ameobi.

    I think we can keep Harper as he would be first choice at last. Give young lads a chance at the back and as subs and Carroll up top, even Shola and Ramage would stay as i think they would be good at that level.

    Sign Marvin Elliott from Bristol City if they dont go up.
    Howard and Campbell-Ryce from Barnsley.
    Parry from Cardiff, Stearman From Leicester and Bring Chopra back from Scum as he was awesome for cardiff in the championship.

    And that will be a trophy in the cabinet,
    If we go down which i hope we dont and believe we wont.

  • chris_toon

    Mar 9, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #2

    i think we might be o.k and stay up i mean we kno 4 sure derby r goin down so tht leave 2 places and fulham are still 6 points off safety so at this moment tht leave just 1 place – we just gta hope it stays like tht and we ain’t the team tht occupies tht last space 🙁

  • Dragoner

    Mar 9, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #3

    like most, i cannot wait until this season is over

  • Michael

    Mar 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #4

    I thought your arguments for ‘Peasant Kev’ your Messianic hero, was that he was particularly adroit at motivation???? well 10 games into what has been a disastrous comeback, he neither does tactics nor can he motivate. We are as good as manager-less. Really what is he doing then?

    I do not want to hear he has Sam’s players as an excuse, Roader took us to 7th place with Greame Souness’s players so frankly that is not an excuse. In that Squad we had Boomsong, Bramble, Ameobi upfront so do not even make the excuse of quality, because we have more now than we did then. Roader did not even have the coaching badges yet he achieved a 7th position.

    Just admit it, Keegan is out of his depth!!!!!! You seemingly are looking for all sorts of excuses except this one.

    Get a cab for Keegan please

  • kelvin

    Mar 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Comment #5

    one thing i noticed in the first half of yesterday’s game (i didnt watch the second half) was that every time our players got the ball they whacked it upfield seemingly scared of it as if it was a bomb. this is NOT the way to play, it will just invite pressure from the opposition and limit our own chances of getting a goal. this for me was the biggest disappointment, we can’t even keep a hold of the ball for 5 mins.

  • Michael

    Mar 9, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #6

    Keegan will be looking at the game, but does not watch the game.

  • Egar

    Mar 9, 2008 at 4:19 PM

    Comment #7

    The Legendary Bill Shankly once said of Liverpool, “This city has two great teams – Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.”

    KK, who’s been been inspired by Bill Shankly big time, ought to take those words of wisdom to NUFC and make good use of the potentials available from the reserves to fix the problems in hand.

    What we have seen of the first team of late is at best mediocre, at least up to the time of the first goal. By the end of the game, the appropriate word is clueless.

    The cushion separating NUFC from the drop zone is getting very thin. All is not lost yet but putting square pegs into round holes just ain’t right.

    Carroll has scored some for the reserves. It’s time to put him upfront to partner Owen or sometime Martin. The big man – small man combination is usually much more effective that a small man – small man pairing.

    The midfield is the weakest link imo. There is hardly any creativity. Some fixing is vital here. This is the area that make or break both attack & defence.

    Attack & defence are essential component of the game. To say one can’t attack before one can defend is not the way of the game – the ability to do both is vital for survival.

    Many of us were impressed by KK and his entertainers back then by their dazzling brand of attacking football. They almost won the league but sadly in the end were edged out by SAF and his Man Utd. Probable cause: only one essential component (attack) was achieved but the other (defence) was neglected. Only when both attack & defence have been perfected into an artform can a team truly be worthy champion.

  • daiv

    Mar 9, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #8

    Money should motivate these players if KK cannot. Who will pay Owen £110K next season, or Smith £60K , Baron £75K Butt £60K etc etc. These players better wake up or they will be on a third of their current salary. We might get relegated but that fact makes me happy. Lazy leeches.


    Mar 9, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #9

    Michael you a wanker, Roeder had boumsong, bramble and ameobi yep well observed he also had:

    You are selective on the players you mention arent you, I liked Roeder but im sure you wanted to keep Glenn on last season didnt you? and i bet you spent all the first half of the season fighting Sams corner didnt you?

    Fickle little pricks like you are the reason why this club is the butt of so many joke on SkySports and the papers ETC. because we are all tarred with the same brush that we all want managers out after 5 minutes and we have no patience and have unrealistic ambitions.

    KK came in when the players were in disarray and the recent results were shocking playing for a draw with stoke, Wigan, Derby and losing 6-0 to man utd, Yes under KK we’ve passed up the odd winnable game and i dont agree with Smith starting over Martins, But anyone who was at the matches will tell you we were robbed against Boro and Blackburn, Bolton never wanted to leave their 18 yard box and what did you really expect against Man Utd at home, arsenal away twice, Villa away and Liverpool away ???

    Of Course Roeder got on a fine run his first match was pompey who were second bottom at SJP, Then Villa who were 1 place above the drop zone, then Southampton at home in the cup not the hardest start then Everton who were below us at home, then charlton and bolton at home, we also beat Spurs, Wigan and West Brom at home and Boro who were resting half their side for the UEFA Cup final and Sunderland with their record low points total away from home harly impressive when you actually know what youre talking about hey…

    When we played any sort of quality side like KK has done since he came back we lost: Man Utd away 2-0, Chelsea away 1-0, Liverpool home 1-3 the only side of any quality we beat in that run was Chelsea reserves on the last day of the season 1-0 after they wrapped the league up a month before we played.

    Why dont you do some research before you write you pathetic bile on this site.


  • ronaldeano

    Mar 9, 2008 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #10

    You notice that Micheal has not said a WORD back to that yet Craigg? hahah 🙂

    He is just a sad, lonely little mammys boy that obviously knows fook all about football or our club. He probebly hasent grown a single pube yet.

    Shut your hole micheal and log on to the c.beebies site, there should be some good little games on there you will like!!!

  • Egar

    Mar 9, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #11

    Money is not necessarily the only motivating factor to the player. Any player with half a brain would know that his valuation is somewhat proportional to his present performance. Of course, there are some no-brainers.

    KK has an enormous task to do. He has got to get back to the basics. Identify the strength of every single player in his charge and then to apply them intelligently – no square pegs in round holes. Be man enough to pick players in-form to play over those who are off-form. Football is a team game and getting the team right is important. And that’s the manager’s job. Simply put, motivation, while essential, can’t alone fix the situation we’re in. It’s a tough job. I hope KK will succeed as he was and still is NUFC.

  • GP

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:24 AM

    Comment #12

    I disagree that Michael knows nothing about football – he is a bit annoying though, it would be nice to see people behind the team. All we have is each other at the minute.

  • stjames

    Mar 10, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #13

    Hi Ed.

    It saddens me greatly to see how even you, always the positive optimist, are getting angry and pessimistic. But there is a reason of course.

    I am of the opinion that Sam mostly brought in players for their tackling skills. Only 2 or 3 of the 9 players he acquired have shown talent. Sam also had a very negative effect on the whole team. They were at their best at the start of the season but deteriorated as the season went on.

    That was the situation KK faced at his arrival and that’s what he’s trying to tackle now. But I’m sorry to say that those players are not technically skilled or otherwise fit for a passing flowing type of game. That’s what KK is finding out.

    I’m all for giving the youngsters a chance. The enthusiasm that often comes with young people is very much a missing factor in our team. It’s not like we would be sidelining players that have showed stamina and determination. Is it?


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