If Only Our Players Had Fans’ Commitment

Newcastle fans will no doubt stick by their team as relegation looks more and more ominous as we continue to lose Premier league games.


Lamine Diatta – worth a start against Birmingham?

But it’s not the fans we are worried about – it’s the players. And it’s not particularly the skill that’s missing, although we haven’t seen too much of that recently, but the attitudes of some of our players that is very worrisome. Newcastle fans deserve better, but how many times have you heard that?

In too many of our games after we concede the first goal too many players are willing to settle for yet another defeat. To us that’s the biggest task Keegan has ahead of him this season if we are to stay up and have the opportunity of turning the club around.

But Kevin is in a difficult spot because he cannot come out and criticize the players too much, like we did over the weekend. We criticized the players because they deserved the criticism – because we don’t like players waving the white flag before the game is over – it’s as easy as that. And if we have another pathetic performance like Saturday, we’ll do the same thing again.

These players aren’t children, and they get huge money for what they do – so we think they should go out and earn it. There’s no sympathy for today’s modern footballer on this site.

The current crop of players Kevin has are all he’s got to keep Newcastle up this season. He must therefore retain their confidence and keep their spirits up.

We have no problems with the likes of Harper, Beye, Faye, Enrique, Taylor and N’Zogbia, in terms of giving their all, but too many of our other players are more faint hearted and prone to just give up.

We also will be interested to see how Lamine Diatta does this week in training, because if he can get a game or two behind closed doors maybe he will be blooded by Kevin. If he doesn’t start we’d like him to be given 45 minutes, depending on the state of the game of course.

If he goes in at center-back then Faye would partner him and Steven Taylor would either be on the bench or could start in one of the full back spots, although Beye and Enrique are both playing well and have lots of fight in them.

But that’s the only new player Keegan got in during January, almost as a replacement for David Rozehnal, who is warming the bench now at Lazio. He was never good enough at Newcastle, and it looks like he isn’t good enough for the Italian league either.  David will be one who is unloaded this summer, whatever happens with relegation.


Comments welcome.

46 comments so far

  • Eric

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #1

    Harper/Beye/Diatta/Edgar/Enrique; Geremi/Faye/NZogbia/Duff; Martins/Carroll.
    Bench = Cacapa, Lua Lua, Troisi, Milner (if fit), and any other heart and soul player we can find.

    Somewhere else = Butt, Owen, Carr, Smith, etc.

  • Dragoner

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #2

    your last paragraph is a bit harsh on rozenhal ed

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #3

    Smith in the team is ridiculous. Keegan is asking for critisism by playing him. He was awful in midfield.

    Also, i applaud the fans for the commitment to the team on the road but i do find it a bit embarrasing when we continously sing “up the premier league we go, when we we get to europe…..etc….keegan is our king” Im all for the support but we are making ourselves look ridiculous siging that…Players and staff will be accountable if things dont pick up over next two games..and that included the “king”. No more excuses!

  • geordie jock

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #4

    Put Diatta in for Faye, he was an absolute disgrace at anfield and looked like he was out for a sunday stroll on all three goals

  • faustino

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #5

    What we have is the basis of a decent squad without any real star players or, form wise, anyone who would be a sure-in for a decent winning side.

    IMO firstly, Butt, Barton, Viduka and Cacapa should be replaced with in-form quality players, that aren’t past it, or in jail and have pace, strength and commitment. [n.b try and get them of average adult size ffs!]

    [re: Barton. KK needs to realise that this is neither the time nor the place to be re-habilitating a criminal. Off-load. Your not telling me he isn’t in breach of contract.]

    Secondly, bring in a class playmaker in the middle of the park [with vision and passing ability! n.b. The distribution and movement by Cardiff against the Smogs put us too shame yesterday!] and a further centre back/captain figure [Over 6 foot, under 30, quick and strong – it does exist!]

    Thirdly couple this re-structure with developing the young lads we have coming through by choosing the right opportunities to get them on the pitch i.e. the league cup, always having one on the bench etc. [I would say pre-season but I imagine enough will be going on then!]

    Easier said than done but, hopefully we will have a decent squad for next year. Maybe more than decent; but even then we need to aim for a good start to the season to give us the breathing space to develop a good team and nothing more! To become a good side again will be worth more than winning any silverware!

  • Leo

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #6

    we just need to do the simple things right like run the ball along the wings and then look to push the ball to either the central midfielders who should have ran to the edge of the box, or to the strikers who should be ready to pounce.

    the midfield duo in the middle should be constantly running back wards and forwards following the play, i dont care how much it tires them, scott parker would do it all game and end up exhausted, the fans love that.

  • Leo

    Mar 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #7

    geordie jock,are you mistaking faye for taylor, how can you pick faye out as the one making mistakes, taylor goes missing too much and leaves his partner in the middle with too much to do, and because tayls is a geordie he gets away with it.

  • ArtyH

    Mar 10, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #8

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, if Lamine Diatta shows he is fit or even half fit I would play him. For me someone who is fully committed ( playing for his job ) will be better than a fully fit couldn’t give a toss player, and we’ve got a few of them.
    Everyone has opinions, here is mine and its been said before, play big Andy, he really couldn’t do worse than Smith unless he played every game for the rest of the season and did NOT score, or have I missed something here? Play Oba and drop Owen. Get Millner or Lua Lua on the pitch and bench DUFF.
    We do not have the luxury of a bigger squad to per-mutate any more that I could think of, that is really quite depressing!

  • ChrisL

    Mar 10, 2008 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #9

    Looking at your headline… “If Only Our Players Had Fans’ Commitment”… It brings an amused smile to my face when I see all the moaning that takes place daily on the site.

  • James

    Mar 10, 2008 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #10

    We need to attack Birmingham because our league status depends on it. Hence I would pick :

    Beye Taylor Faye Enrique
    Milner Barton Nzogbia Duff
    Lua Lua

    Anytime Butt and Smith play we lose. Butt gave the ball away to Liverpool 32 times on Saturday. Smith stood still the entire game.

  • Graham

    Mar 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #11

    Faustino – wake up lad…. Barton is still innocent at the minute so he can’t be in breach of any contract!

    If (and when) he’s found to be a criminal then so be it. But we would be facing a massive legal bill (i.e the rest of his contract) if we were to sack him before he’s sharing a cell with Leroy.

  • Graham

    Mar 10, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    Comment #12

    Well said Leo. Taylor should be classed as just a footballer and not a geordie – he needs time out of the team

  • John

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #13

    spot on Leo….

    the sooner taylor gets droped the better. I think he’s thinking about he’s contract more than what he has to do on the pitch…He’s been the week link in defence for a long time now…

    Drop him and stick Cacapa in there or the Diatta guy..At least they both have something to prove, were taylor thinks he has already proved himself in a crap under 21 tournament a year ago..

    Wakey wakey taylor….

  • Ande

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #14

    Graham mate Barton is in breach of contract being out in Liverpool on the 26th of December. He is also questionably in breach by not being available for games because of being incarcerated. In my opinion he is guilty of impersonating a footballer. The prosecution rests.

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #15

    Taylor has been shocking for us at times…i think he can still be decent but needs someone along side him of world class status. Still not 100% convinced of that though. Barton is a cock and anyone defending him have got their heeds on backwards. If he’s guilty of the assault charge whilst at city his contract will end, as per the clause when he signed. If he actually showed any kind of ability it may at least go somewhere to forming some kind of career for us. Unfortunately hes absolute wank so thats that then!!!

  • Obafan

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #16

    James – I wished there was any posiibility of giving this info to KK. The team that I announced KK would have picked was;
    Beye – Taylor – Faye – Enrique
    Milner – Butt – Smith – Duff
    Owen – Martins

    I made 1 mistake and that was N’Zogbia on for Martins. I dare to say that next week Smith will play upfront next to Owen. He is overprotected by KK. The world is crazy; the people who need to see that Smith and Butt suck don’t see it and those who see it (99% of the fans) can’t do anything about. It really is a cruel world 🙂 .

  • Obafan

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #17

    I don’t think it is fair that some of the people here still critisism Cacapa. What did the guy do wrong? He played 3 times under KK, so why are you pointing at him? You should be pointing at Taylor, a 20-year old guy who thinks he is the best player of our squad. He has become a player with a bad attitude and I don’t care that he played well last season and the season before. It is now that counts and he ain’t worth his spot in the team anymore.

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #18

    Cacapa is cra*p, along with taylor. Taylors excuse is hes young and should be learning from “experienced” players like cacapa. He needs to develop under strong guidence which isnt available in our terrible squad.

  • Leo

    Mar 10, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #19

    what cacapa all of a sudden lost all the talent that he has because of 2 or 3 bad games, you never heard the saying, form is temporary class is perminant.

    he still is learning the league remember

  • faustino

    Mar 10, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #20

    Graham – surely making yourself unavailable for a game as important as Liverpool due to bail conditions as well as the games he coudn’t play due to being in a cell is breach enough?

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #21

    Hes cra*. Surely if nothing else has come from our time supporting the team over all these years we can pick a shi* defender from a mile off. He has all the qualities in his locker, not strong enough, no awareness of team mates, rash decisions and gets pulled all over the place by defenders. Next time he plays just watch how far out of position he is pulled when chasing strikers. Leaving hurrendous gaps. Its basic football, every top striker knows how to create massive amounts of space in our defence. Its so easy. Taylor is also guilty of this. However, the midfielders are guilty too when they arnt given enough support. Nicky Butt used to be good at that but just isnt quick/fit enough anymore.

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #22

    We are the new leeds. Utterly spineless. Only bolton and perhaps s*nderland will save us. Apart from them and the bottom 2 we are the worst team in the league. Boro may well get dragged into that too with their fixtures coming up.

  • Rich

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #23

    I have to agree with Geordie Joe on this one – Faye was a disgarce on Saturday, he has been our best defender this year but he was in slow motion on saturday!

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #24

    Fair enough guys!…
    BUT…If every time someone has an off day/game/part of game, or makes A mistake, you drop ’em…Then what?..We just go thru the squad ’til there’s no-one left?..We’ve got to play a consistant (Excluding: smith etc.) team otherwise we are defo gonna lose some critical games coming up!..No team that keeps changing personel at crucial times like this ever wins thru!..Do they?..

  • Obafan

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #25

    Leo – Tjhe problem is that most of the people here look at where the playrs come from. Taylor is a Geordie cause he can play as bad as he wants.

    Cacapa is a class defender and he comes to Newcastle and he is bad. That is just not possible. We have to look at their performances and okay Cacapa had a max of 3 bad games, but how many bad games has Taylor got this season. And does he get the critisism Cacapa gets???

    If Cacapa was given time in the beginning of the season he would have adapted the EPL by now and he would be the rockl in our defence, but no we need to let him play a few times so it isn’t possible to adapt at such a strong league. How else is it possible that he was selected a few times for the Seleçao??? Not because he is as bad as some of you are saying.

  • Chris G

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #26

    Obafan. Are you related to Cacapa?? In fact are you Cacapa? 31 year old defender comes to flurish in premiership. I guess he may well be better in the next few seasons. Unfortunately he’ll be retiring by then. Actually keep him/you in the team and he/you may well look tremendous next season when we are in the championship. 😉

  • scott9

    Mar 10, 2008 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #27

    this is exackly why if we stay up we need a big cleer out in the summer.
    Carlos Cuellar
    van buyten
    park ji sung
    these are the sort of players we will need to get back into top 8 but i think everyone would be happy with top half next season if we stay up i think i would

  • Gordon d

    Mar 10, 2008 at 4:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Carlos Quellar is a good defender always looks at ease not seen him make many mistakes would be a good signing Terry Mac was at Ibrox last week maybe watching Quellar

  • Bryan

    Mar 10, 2008 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #29

    As much as love KK as our manager, he has to shoulder some of the blame for our poor performances lately. No one can understand why Smith gets a game every week. He was terrible when SA was here and he is even worse now under KK. People say ” But he is a 100% er”. But surely, should`nt 100% graft be the norm for all our players. Why play a winger as centre forward when we have one sitting on the bench? Come on Kevin.
    I am sick to death of hearing player after player commenting in the media that “We need to stick together and work hard for the fans”. When are these players going to practise what they preace?
    Looking at the remaining fixtures we are going down. It breaks my heart to say that but based on the last 10 league games we are the 92nd worst team in all of the divisions. That means there is not a worse team in all of our 4 divisions.
    How sad is that. I really thought when KK came in he would lift the players to perform at a higher level then under SA, unfortunately the opposite has happened.
    A miracle is needed and I already have my pray mad out.


    Mar 10, 2008 at 5:42 PM

    Comment #30

    I love the Title

    “If Only Our Players Had Fans’ Commitment”

    Read the comments there is no commitment

    Its mugs like me that go to matches week after week and spend fortunes on merchandise that are commited not a bunch of morons who just come on this blog just to take the piss out of players, managers and coaching staff and say things like we wont get any more points this season and Saying our most consistant players should be dropped or sold because of personal dislike, Calling geordie fans idiots, Calling Kevin Keegan thick after he saved this club from bankruptcy and is the reason why 99% of the people on this blog support the club and also having Sams side at his disposal.

    Hve you thought befoe you type that Martins might not be 100% fit yet?
    Its probably Just like you jumped to conclusions about KK playing N’Zogbia at left back and later it emerged enrique was injured.

    Bottom line their is a few of us on here that are committed, that dont slag off players and managers and “support the club”

    If we go down then bring on Burnley, Plymouth and Hull.


  • Leo

    Mar 10, 2008 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #31

    having a whing or not liking a particular player doesnt have anything to do with how commited someone is CRAIGG, i come on this website and have done for sometime now, because i enjoy the crac and reading about newcastle.

    i also go to every home game andhave done for many many years, also have alot of merchandise of the club, which ranges from club strips to programmes to my chesished posetion of shay givens gloves from his 250th nufc game, which he signed…


    Mar 10, 2008 at 6:42 PM

    Comment #32

    Leo some people make no positive statements and expects to play Man Utd and win and go to arsenal (twice), Villa and Liverpool and take something then when we lose they pile on KK and fail to see the fact that we robbed and should have had 6 points off Boro and Blackburn.

    Some of them want us to lose to prove a point and that is not supporting.


    Mar 10, 2008 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #33

    And my fave posession is a signed Shearer shirt from his last season in europe for us

  • Colinski

    Mar 10, 2008 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #34

    Taylor is all mouth and elbows and full of his own importance, and there are others….
    I would take a chance and play the complete reserve team for the next two matches.
    They couldn’t do any worse and we might see if there is anyone worthy of stepping up to the challenge.

  • Leo

    Mar 10, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Comment #35

    fair do’s, those who only make negative statements and never positive ones, marking those particular defeats as reason to pile pressure on keegan is bad.

    i thought u meant those who make a negative comment every so…

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 10, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Comment #36

    Well put Craigg!..
    …We must keep some perspective, or else we’re
    just like the freaken gutter press!..& therefore, our own worst enemy!..

  • AdamCF

    Mar 10, 2008 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #37

    Fans Commitment? Hmmm.. if the players were like us then they’d be Joey Bartons!!

    The Fans need to be more like Steve Harper and provide longstanding commitment to the team and not continually fly off the handle wanting new players here and there.

    Back the current squad people, because if we don’t we’re playing Hull away.

  • Chris G

    Mar 11, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #38

    Craigg – who the… do you think you are thinking you are above critising players and staff. Its idiots like you who give these players the right to underperform cause your watching the team through black and white glasses, refusing to believe the problems that are in front of you. These players and not exempt from critisism purely because they wear a black and white shirt. You have to earn the right of respect from fans and anyone connected with the club. In the same way rob lee, shearer, ferdinand, given etc.. have done so. By playing above yourself consistently over consecutive games/seasons. I wont ever boo a player whilst in the ground, or leave a game early. I never have. But i certainly wont except you coming on here and telling us to restrict what we say on a public forum for the benefit of the likes of you!!! if you actually woke up and looked at the mess this club is in we may all be able to work in the right direction and pull the club out of this shi*. But by denying any fault on anyone it only emphasises the way people are happy to look for excuses for players and forgive them for their poor performances.

    If you are, as you say, part of some minority commited section of the fan base that dont exist on here, then fu*k off and go start your own dreamland fairytail forum where nobodys at fault.

    Dont ever question fans commitment because they are passionate enough to express an opinion which doesnt necessarily meet the nufc.co.uk criteria!!!

  • Dragoner

    Mar 11, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #39

    well said Chris G, although when you talk about Craigg i think the word ‘deluded’ should always be in their somewhere.

  • Bryan

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #40

    Chris G- One of the best posts i have read this season. You are so spot on.
    Craigg- Take in what Chris G has said. We all have an opinion about our belovered club and rightly so. We all support and back our club and players week in week out but that should not stop us form critising anyone connected to the club. During a season like this one everyone connected to the club should take a long hard look in the mirror, especially the players because this season could possibly turn out to be the worst on record. And you expect me to clap my hands and give the players a pat on the back. I think not.


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