Viduka Threatens to Play at Birmingham

There is a very good chance that our perennially injured Australian striker may actually make an appearance for us at Birmingham on Monday night.


Mark Viduka – we hope he can play against Birmingham

Joking aside, we are pleased to hear this because when Mark is in the mood (like he was against Derby with those 2 great goals) he can be a huge player for Newcastle United.

Newcastle’s goal scoring during our run of the last 11 league games has been pathetic with just 4 goals scored and 28 conceded. The fact that we’ve played Smith up front in a lot of those games doesn’t help, since Alan hasn’t scored a league goal in 2.5 years.

But if Mark is available, it would be great to see him start alongside Michael Owen or Oba Martins. The two of them should be able to provide a solid goal scoring partnership between them, whether he partners Owen or Martins. We think Mark will likely start on the bench because Keegan has to find a spot in the starting line up for Oba Martins – he seems the hottest striker we have right now.

We have scored just 30 goals in our 29 league matches this season and Viduka has contributed five goals in three matches this season.

The problem we have with Mark is twofold

  • He is out injured just too much – he has never started more than two consecutive games for the club this season due to injuries
  • When he does play there are too many times when he seems uninterested on the field

But when he is interested he can look phenomenal, that’s the other side of this, and that’s why we pay the lad £65K/week.

We’re hoping that he will lead the line next Monday at some stage, because there’s no doubt we need some heroes in these last 11 games. If we stay up we know there’ll be 3-4 players who will come through for us – we just don’t know who they are right now.

Mark’s inconsistency can also be helped by Kevin Keegan’s motivational skills which are needed at the club now more than ever. If we can get a Blackburn type display from the lads next Monday night, it could be 3 points and a huge relief on Tyneside. Not that the fight would be over but Keegan would have a win and the 12 game streak without a win would be broken.  😀

There have been reports these last few weeks he would be available, and then a couple of days before the games Kevin announces he will not make it. So we’ll just have to hope he’s fit enough. We need some heroes to step up, and produce the goods for Newcastle so we can bury this relegation threat, which has become more real with every defeat.

As we said earlier we’d also like to see Diatta in there at least as a substitute. Keegan told the Newcastle Journal there was no need to have Diatta at the club to prove how good he was as a player. Apparently Kevin knew all about him as a player and his skill wasn’t in question. But Kevin wanted to meet the player and see what he was like as a person.

Good move from Kevin because it’s not the class or skill that has got us into trouble this season, but the commitment of a lot of our players.

We’re hoping the lads can wake up and put a string of wins together and then some of us can relax a bit. 😀

Mark can be a hero on Monday night after all his time out – if he can put a couple of goals in there for us – then we’ll be singing his praises. We’d like to be singing the praises of some of our players after the game Monday night, unlike the Liverpool game on Saturday.

Hope we can do that.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • dougnufc

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #1

    I would prefer to have Martins playing

  • Mr T

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #2

    …don’t get your hopes up, it’s still cold!


    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #3

    I prefer to give MARTINS OWEN a shot, let’s see how the little mates can cause damage. If mark and even andy are on the bench ok, but leave SMITH all the way out (how is MILNER processing? I fear a SMITH winger for the monday game) 🙁

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 12, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #4

    Oba I agree has to play and good to think Duke could play too but who for? Smith ? Owen?

    I’d personally like Owen and Oba start, Duke maybe on the bench but defo Smith left at home PLEASE.

  • Steve_48

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #5

    I’m with Mr T.

    Have the weather forecasters suggested it might be glorious sunshine and 22 degrees on Monday evening at 8pm?

  • Eric

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #6

    oh no. It has got to be Martins. If Smith, Butt, Barton, and Viduka play, then KK has got to go.
    Nothing messianic about this time around.

  • lezb

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #7

    The duke for me is overpaid overweight and over the hill.Strictly yesterdays man.Give youth a chance 100% effort from them.The guy as you have said is not interested every move from him seems to be an effffoooorrrttt.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #8

    I’m with Ed on this one. I think we’ve had serious problems recently with a lack of ball-holding ability, and that’s what the Duke of Pies excels at.

    When you look at our recent line-ups, nobody forward of Butt can hold up the ball, let alone produce an intelligent pass to the finisher. Duke in the middle to receive balls from Duff, Zog and Milner, and Owen to put them into the net. Hardly original, but it should work.

    So I’d like to see Viduka play some part – but I’m not that confident that he’ll have the necessary passion for the fight.

    If he doesn’t do the trick, I think Martins and Caroll could be an interesting 2nd-half pairing. Big Andy is young enough to be immune to the recent confidence problems and he’s scoring for run with the reserves. Shame KK doesn’t feel the same, but he has his reasons.

  • Leo

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #9

    loved that title. hope he can replace alan smith

  • There's only one united

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #10

    Anyone except Owen! He has no motivation whatsoever. He is depressed coz his England days are over. He is a useless captain. He has no allegiance to us. OK he might score the odd goal between now and the end of the season, but let him go ASAP.

  • Davies

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #11

    A sub at best. We’ve got much better quality up front. Maybe let him have a crack if we’re struggling, but we really shouldn’t be.

    I don’t usually hold to the idea of 4-3-3, but I think we need all the fire power we have up front.

    I’ve said it before, put Martins up front with Owen and Carroll just behind him to the left and right respectively. Owen and Caroll would then cover the gaps in a three man midfield of Duff Zog and Milner.

    Pick your own back four, though I would be inclined to give Stephen Taylor a rest for a match, or perhaps put him on the bench, it might help him pull his finger out of his arse. Give Edgar and Diatta a chance maybe. It would leave some good players on the bench as well; Emre, Taylor, Viduka etc.

    I don’t think there’s room for Smith, Butt or Barton. I hope they’re not there next season.

    What do you think?

  • Davies

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #12

    Most of the comments on this page weren’t here when I started typing my lengthy response. They should give us a week in charge between us…

  • There's only one united

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #13

    Quality is relative. I’ve got some great tools in my toolbox, but they’re usless unless I apply them properly. Owen has quality but he doesn’t apply himself for us. So I agree with three upfront – Martins, Carroll and …… the Pieman.

  • Betting on the Toon

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #14

    Think it’s time to give up on Viduka. He’s had enough chances in the past and has struggled to take them. He’s the epitome of today’s modern-day player for me – undoubtedly talented but just lazy and quite content to pick up an obscene amount of money for not doing an awful lot. He heads my list for players to be shipped out, and off the wage bill, in the summer.

  • There's only one united

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #15

    Owen tops my list

  • There's only one united

    Mar 12, 2008 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #16

    Owen = K110 pw
    Pieman = K65 pw
    Me = 350 pw

  • Stami

    Mar 12, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #17

    to be honest, i had forgotten what it was like to post on the blog after a game with a huge smile on my face cause we won…cmon lads! do it for us fans!!!!

  • steve k

    Mar 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #18

    I have a soft-spot for the pie man. Despite his injuries and sometimes lack of effort, he does have some real class to him. He’s given me a few things to cheer about this season, especially the goals against ‘Boro and West Ham (the first one). A few rare glimpses of class in an otherwise horror-show of a season.

  • Whitt

    Mar 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #19

    we need to be sure we have someone on the pitch to play the ball into his feet, as he’s demonstrated he doesn’t want to go chasing it…he really is quality with the ball at his feet.

  • daiv

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #20

    Bartender nearly made it to Birmingham but felt a niggle at last minute and had to go to the bar to drown his sorrows. Still, there’s always the next game to look forfawd to. No doubt he feel a twinge or a tweak or something and have to go to the club and drink some Cristal.

  • Whumpie

    Mar 12, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #21

    Cristal meth, perhaps?

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #22

    tbh, it’s gonna be hard for Viduka to prove anything if he hasn’t played, which he hasn’t…Remember?..But, he is probably the one striker we’ve got that actually has any guile…I seem to remember he saved smogs ass last season, in the run in…Anyone remember that?..
    …So yea, he hasn’t done anything…Not even kicked a ball on the pitch!..


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