Is Keegan’s Newcastle Ship Finally Turning?

Let’s be clear about last night’s game – we looked dead and buried at half time.


Michael Owen – captain gave good second half performance – when it mattered

There was every reason last night to think Newcastle were heading for defeat when the half time whistle blew, and we’re sure most Geordie fans were having another bout of severe depression. We were. 🙁

In the last 12 league games, whenever Newcastle have gone behind in a game, they ended up on the losing side. It was only at Derby, on 23rd December last year, when Newcastle were down twice in the game, were they able to come back to avoid defeat. We didn’t win, as Derby were 1-0 and 2-1 ahead, but at least we didn’t lose on that December day. That was because of two excellent goals from Australian Mark Viduka, which was the last tine he seemed interested.

Last night Newcastle equaled that feat and came back and get a massive draw, and many of the Newcastle players stood up to be counted, including Mark. We have to remember that mark, to his credit, had just returned from injury, but he put in a sold shift.

But the second half performance last night gives us some real hope that we can indeed remain in the Premier League. Let’s face it, Newcastle fans have had precious little to cheer about and give them any hope over the last 3 months.

But we just cannot allow any let downs on Saturday.

We played well last night, but we still only have 4 draws in our last 13 league games, and we must get the win and all 3 points against Fulham on Saturday. They are now 6 points behind us, and a win on Saturday will send them 9 points behind us, with only 7 games to play. 😀

The big advantage we have is that we’ll have a 50,000 home crowd to cheer on the lads. And the boys deserve that support, since they came back from the dead in the second half last night.

We should make no mistake that a defeat last night would have been a terrible blow to the club and our survival hopes this season.

It would have been so easy to have gone missing again, like our players have done in games gone by. But no, credit where credit is due, and most of the lads came out fighting, at last, for the club. It was great to watch – and maybe we really can secure safety.

And after Owen had scored a great opportunist goal, and missed another gilt edged chance, you could see the confidence grow in the Newcastle players. We started to play some decent, no , we started to play some good football in that second half, when it mattered most.

And Birmingham manager Alex McLeish had to admit Newcastle gave his team all kinds of problems in the second half, after clearly playing better than the Magpies in the first 45 minutes.

It was a heartening final 45 minutes and we think Keegan’s Newcastle Ship is gradually heading towards calmer waters.

But we MUST win on Saturday against Fulham. We cannot have any let-downs or new ship-wrecks along the way to calmer waters, because we’re not clear of the bad weather yet, not by a long way.

But we’re getting there.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts and opinions.

Comments very welcome.

14 comments so far

  • Dave

    Mar 18, 2008 at 7:41 AM

    Comment #1

    A Good Battling performance in the second half, with some of the players standing up and been counted. I was hoping when he brought Zogs on, he was going to take Geremi off, as he had played rubbish all night. Would like to see him start the match against Fulham with the same team apart from Zogs in for Geremi

  • Rob

    Mar 18, 2008 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #2

    win the next mach i think

  • kenyan ronniezog

    Mar 18, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    Comment #3

    should have fu***d blues 4 goals to nothing ama unachoraje kizee

  • Sex Panther

    Mar 18, 2008 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #4

    Good to see a much grittier second half performance from the team last night. In the first half, our movement was depressingly static, giving the man on the ball little option but to loft a hopeful pass forward for our forwards to chase.

    Good to see that change somewhat after our goal. There’s hope for Saturday!

    Good, strong performance from Owen too, who looked sharp on the ball. I’d suggest Maik Taylor made a great save rather than Owen missed a sitter.

    Only real second half disappointment was to see Obafemi Martins replaced, when Geremi, whose set pieces were dire, could have done with a sit down.

  • Kein

    Mar 18, 2008 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #5

    Kev wanted to take a striker off and add steel to the midfield. So that we would get at least that one point. But imo it should have been Owen or Viduka to come off..Martins was our best player yesterday.

    And why the hell did Barton play 90 minutes?! He was losing the ball constantly and seemed very slow and not fit! Maybe KK should wait that Joey gets his civil life organized before putting hin in the starting lineup..

    Surprisingly, I think Butt was our best midfielder yesterday..lots of good tackles and few good passes. Lacking speed though.

    We should have won the match because we were by miles the better team in the 2nd half. But AGAIN we conceded an easy goal after a DISASTROUS mistake! Is there an evil spell on Newcastle’s defense..? This time the scapegoat was Faye who has been maybe our best defender so far. We have to start scoring more because we are going to give away at least on sloppy goal per match..Isn’t there anything to do?!? Seems desperate..Otherwise our defense didn’t look that bad.

  • Nick Dryden

    Mar 18, 2008 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Coincidence – KK finally drops Smith and some quality emerges!! Now get LUA in for barton and EDGAR somewhere in the back 4.

  • Doctapaul

    Mar 18, 2008 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #7

    Many bloggers focus on who should play. start wivim, dropim, so and so is a waste of space etc.

    Last night demonstrated its not so much about who is playing it’s more about how we play.

    We stepped up our game in the 2nd half last night and we need to build on that to a higher level of commitment and self esteem.

    In Martins, Viduka and Owen we had three quality players who will worry any team when they are committed and on form.

    It was great to see Martins working so hard. If Viduka keeps fit he gives us an outlet we have been sorely missing. Owen is Owen: ball in space in box –> goal.

    I am surprised that many people can’t see the stability that Butt brings. Yes he’s slow but he has probably been our most consistent midfielder and last night demonstrated he is up for the fight.

    Enrique was the one player who I felt could make the telling pass that would have won the game. This game will have done his confidence a lot of good.

    Baye, Faye and Taylor meanwhile were under par and need to get their concentration and technique together.

    I’m looking forward to saturday.

  • toonhitman

    Mar 18, 2008 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #8

    if we beat fulham on saturady we should be safe,like nick dryden says give the youngins a shot only when were safe tho, has kk had a look at any of our kids

  • faustino

    Mar 18, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #9

    Howay you lot! The only player that possibly needs dropping after last nights performance was Geremi – dreadful crossing; but even he was invaluable in defense!

    That team was talking to each other, moving for each other and eventually creating chances ffs! The defense was iffy but you could see Chris Hughton, Terry Mac and Coxy figuring out why as the game was going on. I thought they looked atleast 75% better in the 2nd half.

    Kevin keep the same side – let them get used to playing with each other and start using Geremi, Smith, N Zogbia and Carrol wisely!

    Beye, Owen, Viduka, Butt, Martins and Enrique looked strong. It nice to see that after the past 3 months there has been a back bone in our squad after all!

    And Barton haters – do one will you! He’s one of ours! Every boo the brummy idiots gave him made me more behind him. Barton won the ball back more times than I can remember and every time he lost it he fought to get it back – this is what we need to stay up.

    If we’d have had the kids like Lua Lua and Edgar on last night we’d have been torn apart after the first goal – THEY’VE GOT ABOUT 3 GAMES EPXERIENCE BETWEEN THEM AND WE’RE FIGHTING RELEGATION AGAINST TEAMS THAT ARE TOO; THIS IS NOT FM!!!!!!!!.

    You really have to be mature about this and realise with the games we’ve got left KK can’t keep tinkering and my god can he not start dropping reserves in to a premier league team for the crack. He needs stability, communication and understanding! Not a team that looks like they’ve never met, which is what we’re used to seeing.

    From what I saw over 90 mins last night that is the team I believe will keep us up by beating Fulham, Reading and Sunderland.

    [The only change I would make would be to bring back Emre for Geremi – you’s can f**k of with this N’Zogbia cr*p – the kids checked out and on his way to White Heart Lane why do you think he’s benched?!?!]

  • Eric

    Mar 18, 2008 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #10

    Good second half. The only low point for me was bringing off Martins instead of Viduka. Oba was getting things moving and deserved to stay because I think he could have won it for us.

  • Ausgeordie

    Mar 18, 2008 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #11

    GOD ITS SO HARD TO FIGURE OUT OUR BEST TEAM. NOT ENOUGH STAND OUT PLAYERS. I would think Martins, Owen and Beye are the only ones that should get gauranteed places next week. I’d like to see
    Lua Lua……Butt…….Emre…..Duff

    I see our strike force future as Martins and Carroll. Emre, Milner, Zog, Duff are the mids and Taylor, Edgar, Enrqieu and Beye are the backs. Obviously we will get some quality players in the off season if we survive but I think some first choice players are vital

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 18, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #12

    keegan’s ship hasnt just finally turned it is now ready to be noosed into the harbour for security

  • DC

    Mar 18, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #13

    Faustino, final someone talking some sense on here. I read the post on here a lot these days since tott closed down and to say that most of the posters are idiots is the understatement of the year. This team needs fight and stability and doesn’t need to destroy the confidence of the young players by throwing them into this mess right now.

  • hanzemre

    Mar 19, 2008 at 6:49 AM

    Comment #14

    yeah we hope Butt keeps his good DM performance through out the remainder of fixtures (forget his crap performances). Geremi was fine with ball control & defence as a unit but crap with his setpieces, got to improve if he’d be selected again. If Emre is fit for Saturday game Emre must play some part into place of Barton/Geremi..Barton is getting better/more ruthless these days although still did some awful passings & a bit lack of confidence to try a shot when got a chance. All in all KK can keep the same lineup again because we have got some stability in the team to push on from here.


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