Kevin Keegan has today blasted news stories circulating in the gossip press that he has had a falling out with Mark Viduka.
Kevin – training with the lads
We know there are media reports put out there, for the sole purpose of trying to disrupt the club. We already have enough problems with avoiding relegation from the PL to worry about.
Kevin was asked today if he could clarify what had gone on behind the scenes at St Jamesâ€™s Park with the former Leeds and Middlesbrough star, who has been injured a lot this season:
â€œCan I just say that most of the stuff written about this club is tosh, absolute rubbish and thatâ€™s just another case,â€ â€œI get on really well with Mark, weâ€™ve never had a bust-up with any player at this club, and thatâ€™s the truth, he just hasnâ€™t been fit.â€
â€œHeâ€™s come back from one thing and then got another thing and theyâ€™ve all been genuine. All the other stuff youâ€™ve seen is absolute garbage.â€
â€œHeâ€™s my kind of player. I like him as a player. Heâ€™s got this fantastic ability to score goals in tight situations and to score goals at important times. Thatâ€™s what wins you football matches.â€
â€œYou saw Fernando Torres the other night score a goal (against Inter Milan) when a lot of players would have taken another touch and moved across, and Mark comes into that category. He doesnâ€™t need a lot of space, he can do the unexpected. Itâ€™s a massive bonus having him back for the last 10 games.â€
â€œIf heâ€™d been fit and available, Mark is the kind of player you want on your team sheet every week. You always want your best players available, but forwards who can score you goals and win you football matches, who have experience, yes, you need them especially.
â€œThatâ€™s not been the case up to now, but itâ€™s a 10-game season for us now. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™ve told the players. Forget whatâ€™s happened beforehand, the only thing that matters is the last 10 games and thatâ€™s what weâ€™re focusing on. If we can have a fit Mark Viduka for the last 10 games, thatâ€™ll be a huge bonus for us.â€
â€œWhen you look back over the season, when Michael has played with Mark, I think the results have been pretty good but, for different reasons, unfortunately theyâ€™ve not been paired together much.â€
â€œOneâ€™s had an injury, then the other. Maybe for the last eight or 10 games we can look at a partnership there thatâ€™s going to score goals. Thereâ€™s definitely goals in it.â€ â€œAt the moment, it looks as though heâ€™ll definitely be involved.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve tried to work on fitness and bringing him back in a way that doesnâ€™t blast him out. We canâ€™t be too intense with him. So far thatâ€™s good. Heâ€™s trained. Weâ€™ve always erred on the side of caution up to now, but come Saturday and Sunday, he should be ready.â€
Mark may be very good when he does play, but the beef we have with Viduka is that he’s hardly ever available. If we had world-class striker Fernando Torres at the club for instance, (dreaming again) and he was injured all season with niggly little strains and pulls, he would be of no use to us at all.
That’s how we feel with Mark. He’s hardly ever available and when he does play he’s never match fit, and before he gets match fit he gets injured again. Get the point?
It will hardly be any better next season when he’ll be one year older, and injuries always tend to get worse as your body gets older.
We’re not sure Viduka is worth the money we pay him. Hey, we’re sure he’s a great guy, but it’s his football contribution at the club that concerns us.