Shearer – Keegan Shocked At Size Of Newcastle Squad

Alan Shearer has talked to the Newcastle journal today, and says the biggest thing that shocked Kevin Keegan last January when he took over Newcastle United was the size of the squad.


Alan Shearer – future Newcastle Manager

Alan spoke today about what Kevin had talked to him about:

“Having spoken to Kevin I know when he went in he was aware of the big job he had to turn things around,” “He has found there are a lot of things wrong, and that is clear otherwise they would not have got rid of the old regime. There’s not a lot of players to choose from and that has been the biggest shock of all for Kevin.”

“Everyone is concerned and they have every right to be after this run of form,” “They have to improve or they will be relegated.”

“They have enough quality in the squad to get out of it. Four of their remaining games are at home and three of those are against Fulham, Reading and Sunderland.”

“The Sunderland game will not be easy but those three are all down there and Newcastle should be looking at winning them.”

“I do think they will have enough to stay up and then they will be able to plan through the summer and spend some money to strengthen the squad.”

One obvious question is if Kevin thought the squad was too small, how come he didn’t bring in 3-4 players in January. We have to assume those players of the required skill were not available.

We should stay up, but if we don’t it’s a terrible indictment of the players. In that disaster scenario we would expect Kevin to unload quite a few of the players currently at the club and bring in some new ones. The crown jewels of the club these days are our youngsters who romped to a 3-1 win against Blackburn last night.

And we expect Kevin to bring us straight back up, and yes, just like he did last time we would expect to be very well placed in the Premier league the next season.

Of course, if we can stay up, it will be much easier and next season can be the season where we challenge again near the top of the PL. Maybe even the top 6.

So it’s not all doom and gloom to us, even for the disaster scenario, but if we go down we don’t want to see the likes of Viduka at the club. There are many others of course but Mark is a good example – an overpaid and overweight player, who shows no signs of wanting to play for the club. Get him out.

Comments welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Eric

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #1

    Our young ones are our crown jewels. Trouble is when you mention crown jewels to Smith, Butt, Owen and Barton their minds wander elsewhere. What was that about a small squad? Going by the way they and others have played is it a case of no balls? We are not going down but we will go to the wire. Howay the lads, especially those who beat Blackburn.

  • Viper

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    Comment #2

    I’m with you all the way Eric.

    My only concern is that back in the day, what happened to our reserve squad? Did KK give a shit about it? Think not. But lets hope live and learn!

    On the Toon!

  • Marty

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #3

    ED!We need to spend money but dont think we will be challenging straight away,although we should by no means be under 10th place at any stage!
    We are a gr8 club n need to entice gr8 players that want to play not has-beens but quality n up n coming quality,hope we stay up n see this gr8 owner n fan move this club forward!!!!

  • Stamford Toon

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #4

    You ask why KK did not bring in any new players when he found the squad was so small. There are two probable answers; MA & CM were not prepared to spend on first team believing we had enough strength and wanting only to concentrate on the youngsters (their Arsenal type vision) or, what I believe to be most likely the answer KK was simply just not up to speed. He had been out ofd the game too long and not able to react quickly enough.

  • Chris

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #5

    Keegan didn’t bring in any players for the simple fact he couldn’t find anyone available that would actually strengnthen the squad. It’s easy to bring in players to make up the numbers, but that’s all they do. We needed someone who could walk straight into the starting 11, not pay stupid money and wages to someone that won’t even feature.

  • James

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #6

    None of the players we want LONG TERM were available in Jan. That’s why we didn’t waste any money. KK will spend big this summer.

  • steve k

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #7

    Ed I admire your enthusiasm but for Newcastle to come to improve next season we have to admit bringing back Keegan was a bad mistake at the back of a disastrous Allardyce regime.

    We have to change coach in the summer and just rectify this sorry mistake.

  • Viper

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #8

    steve k. sure I’m not alone in disagreeing with you on that 1 like.

    how many managers have we had alongside how little success? Time is THE essance.

  • ken from jarrow

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #9

    KK probably thought that this crop of players would easily keep us up and keep is powder dry for summer. Boy was he wrong. I’m only now starting to have doubts about us surviving, but god I hope we do.
    Come on you overpaid so call professionals ease my pain and anxiety. Make us safe then p*** off

  • SuperShearer

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #10

    It’s nice that everyone is planning for next season, when are we Newcastle fans not? But the reality is that we are in a relegation dogfight right now and I guarantee that Birmingham at the weekend will fancy their chances against a side that have failed to score many goals and conceded more than anyone else. We need three wins on the trot now otherwise we might be working out who we can afford to keep next season in the championship. I hate it but it might be the case.

  • Paul P

    Mar 11, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #11

    anything would have been better than what we have got at present, would not have matter who he had of brought it. benjani, defoe, mcfadden, all movers in the january window, all better than what we currently have at the moment. maybe should have made an offer for upson and brown, upped the bid for barnes and I think we would have been fine with 5 of these. woodgate had already made his mind up about signing for spurs so we were never getting him. i ask the question if u no you are in with a chance of getting a top managers job like ours, would you have made a list of players who can improve your squad and go for even though he only had 2 weeks. i think thats enough time to bring players in. fair enough he was trying to see if what he had was good enough but it aint and we are in a right mess now. i just hope we can get out of it.

  • Spitfire

    Mar 11, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #12

    You get the feeling that the the tide is turning against Keegan which I feel is very unfair. While I am not blinded by all the messiah hype I can recognise that he is working with a squad he inherited, was snubbed by Woodgate, and LIKE EVERYONE ELSE was unable to find quality players in the transfer window . Lets get real – the games he has had (MANU ARSENAL LIVERPOOL ) to deal with we were never going to get much by way of points. Blackburn was just a fluke- it happens ( yeah OK always to us!). Where we screwed ourselves was under Big Sam playing the Wigans and Derbys . Don’t blame Keegan for the mess we are in. Don’t even blame Mike Ashley. If we entirely honest this has been coming for years – Souness Roeder Allerdyce Shepherd are culpable. It won’t be Keegan taking us down it is the legacy of his predecessors that will do that. Anyway Championship football might just be a bit refreshing after the cobblers we’ve been watching for the last 4 years.

  • clinta

    Mar 11, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #13

    ‘and we expect kevin to bring us straight back up, expect to be very well placed in the next season, challenging again near the top, maybe top 6!’ maybe it’s true what they say about us toon fans think a little to high of our selves, sounds like it was last year we had champions league football at the club!?

  • AndyW

    Mar 11, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #14

    I think some time in the Championship might be good. We would get players in who really wanted to play for the club, save a bit of cash, there would be no problem getting in at St James’ as the prawn sandwich lot would pi** off and the away trips could be very interesting indeed and most of all, the press might leave us alone for a bit and let KK build the spirit of the place.

    After all its about supporting the team isn’t? Win or lose?

  • steve k

    Mar 11, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #15

    re: Viper. Agree with you on the time issue to a point. But you wouldn’t put me in charge on Newcastle and hope 10 years would do the trick… I think Keegan has displayed enough to show that he is a manager of yesteryear. Understand me I’m not on the “sack the manager” brigade. I just think it was a terrible, terrible mistake that needs to be rectified so that 12 months down the line we won’t be saying the same thing when Keegan, lets face it, inevitably gets sacked.

  • Paul P

    Mar 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #16

    spitfire. that is a very very good point, the problem does lie under the old regimme’s. souness, allardyce, roeder, should never have got rid of bobby. was the worst move freddy did coming out and stating it would be his last season. bobby had established us again as a top 5 club. sacked for finishing 5th. i would rather have that than finishing 14th like we did under souness and 13th under roeder or was it the other way round!! whatever, anyway allardyce came in, under the old regimme, ruined us even more, buying cronick players, thats why we find ourselves in a relegation battle today. the new owners when they came in, should have got rid straight away, brought their own man in and then backed him, we might have been in a different predicament now.

  • Paul P

    Mar 11, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #17

    now kk has to sort the mess out and must realise what a poor squad we have. people say its a good squad, well its that good, we are 3 points away from the bottom 3. lets just hope we get out of it and then kk can have a clear out. i think he is only coming out and saying positive things to keep the players believing, when deep down i think he knows they are rubbish and who will be out at the end of the season.

  • steve k

    Mar 11, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Comment #18

    “It’s the players fault” is almost always never, ever true. It’s like a workman blaming his tools.

    Management are nearly always to blame. Good managers should come in and make some kind of improvement.

  • Spitfire

    Mar 11, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #19

    Stevie my son !!what are you on ?? “its almost never true that its the players fault”?? I was going to list all the players faults it was ….starting with most of the current team and then going backwards through Luque Boumsong Viana Marcelino Maric ….but then I realised I would be typing till midnight and if you are that troubled with short term memory loss you wouldn’t know what I was on about anyway

  • Egar

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:07 PM

    Comment #20

    Just ask who buys the players and does the team selection.

  • Stamford Toon

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #21

    MA may be a brilliant business man but he is still a novice, as is CM, when it comes to running a football club. They probably thought KK would lift us out of danger without having to spend. No doubt KK agreed with them. I don’t believe that there were no suitable players available. The problem was that the top management MA &CM were too inexpereienced and KK not sharp enough. It is no good him saying now that he is shocked at the size of the squad, he should have known that before he agreed to take the job and then done something about it (if he was allowed to).

  • shearer 4 pm

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:09 PM

    Comment #22

    in the word of craig david 6 of one thing half a dozon of another:P,

    ashey and mort had a plan and it backfired!! they try to be popular owners by standin wif the crowd and bringin back keegan, but bringin him back was not a smart business decision, with managers like mourinho available (a task im sure he would thrive on) we really should of looked around some more, there are 3 new coaches we should have a look at if u ask me, the new norwich manager is having a fine run, and david beckhams new boss at l.a galaxy, and the new southampton manager is also looking bright

    ok thats joke but in the summer we need to strip the team bare, keep:

    get rid of the rest espec barton, butt and smith,

    bring in some hard working players, follows the examples set by pompey spurs and everton, jus my opinion, no big big stars jus players who like working for there pay packet, not jus caring how much is in it!!!!!!!!!!!

    tell me what u think of my master plan lol

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:13 PM

    Comment #23

    Great, but it wont work.

  • Egar

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    Comment #24

    To be fair, KK’s not responsible for bringing the current crop of players to NUFC. KK had a good nose for players in the past and I think he still has it. He did show some interest for Woodgate in January but Woodgate opted for Spurs.

    Somehow, KK has to make the best of who’s available for now to get as far away from the drop zone as possible with or without Lady Luck.

  • shearer 4 pm

    Mar 11, 2008 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #25


    y will it not work, i know we are a special club but at the end of the day we will be sucessful if we are ran the same as any other club then it SHOULD work, it is jus a matter of if the fans can handle a few poor seasons b4 it takes place, which we have shown this season is not true cus we got rid of big sam, bring in players LIKE arteta, elano, muntari, cahill, hard workers who jus love the gam, who are also full of passion

  • Tom_Toon

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Comment #26

    those players who just play for their club are few and far between and with our reputation its almost always about money.


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