Keegan Team Selection Becoming Critical

It’s becoming really important that Kevin Keegan picks his strongest side for Monday night, and doesn’t remain too loyal to those players who seem to continually let him down.


Emre – been out for 6 weeks with calf muscle strain

To be fair Kevin does not have a big squad to choose from, and that’s even been hampered by the unavailability of some players. But the good news is that Mark Viduka may actually be fit for Monday, but we’ll have to wait and see. Bad news today, however, that Milner will not make Monday’s game.   🙁

The news yesterday that Emre may be out another 2 weeks is hard to understand, when his injury sustained about 5 weeks ago, was termed only slight. The last time we saw Emre was in the 4-1 debacle at Villa Park when he came on in the last 15 minutes.

That was on 9th February, and he’s never appeared in the team, even as a substitute since then. On his injury is termed a calf muscle strain. So he will be out in total around 7 weeks at today’s reckoning.

What’s going on? When we need one of our most creative players the most, he’s not available. We’ll not accuse Emre of hiding out.

Here’s the team we’d like to see Kevin pick for Monday – but we’re also sure he will not:

Beye Faye Taylor (Cacapa) Enrique
Duff Geremi Barton N’Zogbia
Martins Owen
Subs: Forster Cacapa (Taylor) Diatta Butt Viduka

The first thing about team selection is that Martins must start and Smith must not.

News today that James Milner is injured and could be out for up to 3 weeks.

Steven Taylor hasn’t been in good form recently, so perhaps Cacapa could play. He’s up and down in form a bit, but Claudio had sterling games against Arsenal, and he was captain of Lyon, so he must have some leadership abilities.

We’d also like to see Viduka introduced, and we leave him out of starting line-up, but he can do a job for us on Monday.

We’ve left Smith out of the team and couldn’t find a place for him on the bench.

That’s harsh and Keegan will not do that. But why, with his current form, would he ever be brought on during next Monday night’s game to help us out? Certainly not to score goals. That was our thinking when looking at who should be the substitutes.

We think Alan’s best place is probably defensive midfield, where he played really well for a time with the Red Devils. It’s hard to say it’s striker when he doesn’t score.

But when the team is announced on Monday, if Smith is up front again with Owen – that’s a bad bad omen.

We couldn’t find a place for young Andy Carroll either, because Mark is fit again, and we think should get a chance to earn his £65K/week wages.

Kevin must pick his strongest team and not just the players he likes and is just too loyal to. Most of them have let him down too much in the past. If he sticks with them they may not only take the club down, but may even take Kevin with them, but the latter is hardly likely.

The bottom line is they haven’t earned Keegan’s loyalty, so don’t give it to them.

What do you think?

What should our line-up be?

Comments welcome.

33 comments so far

  • Cockney Magpie

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #1

    i jus think everybody should remember tht Keegan is still playing with Big Sams squad and when he gets to the summer n gets his own lads in things wil change for the good i have no doubt about tht.

  • HeronMag

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #2

    I’d like to see Andy Carroll involved in the set up somewhere. We also may need a creative spark so Kazenga Lua-Lua would be on the bench to give us a different option if I had the choice. But overall Ed that’s a decent first team.

  • Callum

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #3

    KK is making the same mistakes Big Sam did in picking the same old team.

    We have the best youngsters we’ve ever had at this club and if the youngsters last season were good enough then surely they’re good enough this season to at least make us safe.

    I’m not talking about good enough to win every game but good enough to get 3-4 wins because our ‘first team’ isnt good enough and they’ve proved it all season long

  • Obafan

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #4

    KK is SA in disguise.

    I cannot understand that Smith, Taylor, Butt can play every game at their level. Other players (Martins, Emre, even Carrol) who can give a higher level to the team have to sit on the bench for those 3 overrated players .

    I don’t care if KK has to play with the players SA picked in the transfer window. He has possibilities enough to make critical changes. And he doesn’t do that, so in that case he fails for me. Which manager would last at the Toon with 3 points out of 27. Not even Sir Bobby.

    KK needs to make the right selection, starting from Monday.

  • Leo

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #5

    as much as i dont like butt, if it was that same team as ed has posted, i would swap geremi for butt. although i like geremi and would like to see him make a push for the dmf place till the end of the season

  • Hammy

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #6

    If Smith, Butt and Owen AREN’T in the starting line up I will walk bollock naked into a gay club and order a babycham……..

  • James

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #7

    ED – Dream on mate. KK will not drop Smith ever. He hasn’t been dropped all season.

    As for Butt he will definitely play because he used to play for Birmingham, and managers always like to pick players against former teams.

    I like yourself would be glad if it wasn’t the case, and I didn’t have to watch Butt giving the ball back to Birmingham throughout the game, and Smith standing still snarling at the ref.

    Like all games under KK we will start this one with 9 men again (with Butt and Smith contributing nothing but yellow cards)

  • valle

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #8

    Geremi has looked the best when he has played on the right wing, and made some dangerous crosses into the box when he came on instead of Milner. He must play on the right and then move Zog to centre mid… I know we will miss a def mid, but Butt ruins allot of our attacking football so perhaps a more attacking approach would do the trick.

  • valle

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #9

    Hammy… We will hold you to that promise.

  • Leo

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #10

    haha hammy, i would hate to say i will join you in that, but i dont think i could handle it. keegan, if only to embarress hammy get the teamsheet changed please.

  • Eric

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #11

    KK will not pick our best side on Monday. He will stick with the over-inflated salaries and over-inflated egos left by fat Sam. Smith will play, so will Butt, and Barton. We will have a shite central mid-field that will throw the game away. “Once upon a time” Owen will be up front with Smith and Martins will be wasting time on the bench when he should be leading the line. I would go for Harper, Beye, Faye, Cacapa, Enrique, Geremi, Emre, NZogbia, Duff, Martins, Carroll. The bench? Forster, Lua Lua, Edgar, Diatta, A N Other. Staying in Toon – Owen, Smith, Butt, Viduka, Taylor etc.

  • toonhitman

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #12

    he has to get it right coz if he dosnt were in the shite big time kk must know by now that smith is not up too it, if he picks smith on monday night this will show that he has no got a clue we all screamed for big sams head so why should it be any diffrent for keegan

  • Davies

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #13

    If Keegan wants goals, the way to do it is:

    Owen Carroll
    Duff N’Zogbia Geremi
    Enrique Faye Diatta Beye

    With subs: Edgar, Cacapa, Forster, Lualua and Barton

    I sincerely hope that Keegan intends to use the summer to swap out some of the dross for players that won’t make me hang my head in dispondency everytime I see their name in the starting line up.

    The squad above is hardly the best we have, but with Milner and Emre unavailable, it’s hard to pick a better squad.

    If Keegan DOES chose the above set up, I too will walk bollock naked into a gay club and order a babycham.

    I’m fairly sure my arse will still be in tact on Tuesday morning though.

  • Dimitri

    Mar 13, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #14

    This is the team I would like to see against B’ham on Monday…

    Beye Faye Diatta Enrique
    Geremi N’Zogbia Duff
    Martins Carol Owen

    With a Bench of Forster, Tayler, Barton, Viduka, and Butt

    attack the F**^&&*rs


    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #15

    I think that right-winger DUFF will not happen ED…unfortunately I know the answer who will play there instead 🙁

  • darren mills

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #16

    If he doesn’t change it soon it will be too late and we will be playing championship football, Martins must start, Smith doesn’e score and when he plays Newcastle dont score either so what does he bring to the Team. My team would be.

    Beye – Faye – Cacapa – Enrique
    Geremi – Barton – N-Zogbia – Duff
    Martins – Viduka/Owen
    Could swap that team about a bit with Duff playing on right and n-zogbia on left, but please no Smith and Butt.

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #17

    I’m liking the look of that team Davies/Dimitri!..
    …& i don’t think we were screaming for fat shams head after 7/8 games, ‘cos if you remember, we had our best first 10 games for yonks, didn’t we?..

  • Punk Skunk

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #18

    Defo hoy Zog in the middle!..

  • Stami

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #19

    Edgar Diatta Faye Enrique
    Barton Duff

    With subs: Geremi,Cacapa, Forster, Owen and LuaLua

    so this is what i would love to see, but i dont see it happen! think Martins would be awsome playing off Carroll, as he can hold up the ball thread it through and Martins is quick enough to beat any defender and get a shot off!!! we need to catch them on the counter, with Zoggy at CAM we can do this easily as he is quick and can run with the ball! we also know he has a shot on him and can put a few in from distanve, so playing him behind the strikers is my 1st choice!

  • Ausgeordie

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #20

    I’d like to see


    Subs – Forster, Viduka, Carroll, Butt, Taylor

    I think it would give us some chances to score and the ability to change formation and shift tactics with one or two substitutions. I really hope Smith is either on the bench or not on at all. The yonugsters need to know that form will be rewarded and poor performances punished by lack of playing time.

  • Alan

    Mar 13, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #21

    My biggest worry with Keegan is that he A) won’t pick any youngsters from now until the end of the season and B) when he does get a chance to brung “His Own” players, they’ll simply piush the great youth system down the pecking order.
    It seems like Youth is everyone else’s (Wise, Mort, Ashley etc) plan but not Keegans, he showed it the lat time round and he’s showing it now again.

  • Cockney Magpie

    Mar 13, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #22

    Ausgeordie – thts the exact team i would pick

  • Blerred

    Mar 13, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #23


    Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique


    Geremi Butt Barton

    Owen Oba

  • Egar

    Mar 13, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #24

    BMA ought to do NUFC a big favour by insisting that Smith sits with him on match day. And Smith can return the favour by fending off any unruly fans.

  • Jim Baker

    Mar 13, 2008 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #25

    Ausgeordie – i Quite like that team too…
    Although i want young Carrol to play!
    And I really don’t want Smith to Play… but hey we all know he will. I have no idea what Keegan is playing at playing Smith..its beyond me?

  • Obafan

    Mar 13, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #26

    Butt, Taylor and SMith are the only players till now who are sure of starting the game in Brum. KK has just given an interview (once again) and mentionned that those 3 always will play under him.

    I would play with
    Beye – Cacapa – Diatta – Enrique
    Geremi – Faye – N’Zogbia – Duff
    Owane – Martins

    SUBS: Forster – Butt – Viduka – LuaLua – Carrol

    Taylor and Smith left out of the selection, cause they don’t do anything good for the team.

  • toonhitman

    Mar 13, 2008 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #27

    obafan if this is true it proves keegan hasnt got a clue,oba will be off at the end of the season hes not going to be happy with sitting on the bench week in week out for a flop like smith,keegan has lost the plot keeping faith in smith.

  • Ian

    Mar 13, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #28

    The other side of the coin may be that Keegan sees Martins as our only hope and doesnt want him working on a recently damaged ankle, he maybe wants him to work up to playing the full 90 minutes, it turns out Martins damaged his ankle before the first African Nations Cup match in their training then tried to play a match on it and was taken off, he does look the type of player who would play injured or not.

  • Tripp

    Mar 13, 2008 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #29

    It almost seems like this is all intentional. Why would those plonkers continually get picked. It really makes no sense when there are better players available. I’m really mystified. Bizarre. I really don’t get it.


    Mar 13, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #30

    Ian ive been saying that for a week or so now Martins would start if he was 100% fit no doubt.

  • Yeomsta

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #31

    The main thing is that Martins plays, I wont be surpirsed if we read in the rags that he wants to leave if he doest start playing soon and that for me would be a disaster. Team for Monday:-

    Beye – Taylor – Kadar – Enrique
    Duff – Barton – N’Zogbia
    Martins – Owen

    Subs: – Forster, Diatta, Butt, Geremi, Viduka

    Kadar has been solid recently and although I feel that youth may not be the answer I would give him a chance over Cacapa who I just do not trust. Faye goes in front of defence as protection (a position I think he is extremely effective at) and no Smith or Butt. Barton needs to hurry up and show his form but I’d still start him.

  • Ant (Smith and Barton are SHIT)

    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #32

    Watson Albert Peacock Beresford
    Lee Beardsley Batty Ginola
    Ferdinand Shearer

    Give Clarky and Barton a run out with about 3 minutes left on the clock……


    Mar 13, 2008 at 9:54 PM

    Comment #33

    Ant thats the best suggestion ive seen on here

    i wouldnt mind another 5-0 on monday


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