If Newcastle Stay Up – An Exciting Summer Ahead


One of the reasons we are hoping (praying?) that we stay up this season, is that if we can get through this bad patch, the summer transfer window looks to be an exciting time for Newcastle’s fans.

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Kevin Keegan – has history of turning teams around quickly

Kevin has a history of quickly turning teams around, and he has said more than once that it will not take much to turn this side around, because he’s been consistent in saying the squad we have is already good.

That hasn’t been shown on the field since he arrived but to be fair to the players, they’ve had to change their style of play in mid-season, and dare we say it, there are signs they are starting to gel a lot more.

The full game against Blackburn, the first 43 minutes at Liverpool and the second half on Monday, Newcastle have looked a good attacking team, but our points return was abysmal for those performances. For about 2/3 of the time we’ve looked good in our last 3 games, but we have to get that up to 100% to really start going places. There are definite signs of improvement, that’s for sure. 😀

Even though our readers differ greatly on who played well on Monday, we have to pick our back four (Beye, Faye, Taylor, Enrique), and in addition Oba Martins, Michael Owen, Geremi and Nicky Butt as having strong games.

All of those players showed good fighting qualities, and we were surprised that Geremi looked so good, especially in that second period.

But if we survive we can expect some good players coming into the club in the summer, and out recruitment team of Dennis Wise, Tony Jimenez and Jeff Vetere are already working hard to not only identify the players, but even doing the deals if Kevin is happy with the players. And it seems there are plenty of good players available in the summer.

By the way ignore the Daily Mail stories on our recruitment team. They seem to want to cast Dennis Wise as the demon who is trying to cause unrest at the club while at the same time get Kevin’s job. Their reporting is about the biggest load of tripe we’ve ever read, but the paper’s probably selling well right now. 😀

Let’s get all 3 points on Saturday with no let down after Birmingham, and once we’re safe, we’ll start to run more stories on who we should bring in during the summer and who we should move out. Another exciting development is we’ve got a bunch of good youngsters, some of whom (Kadar, Tozer) will force their way into the first team reckoning next year.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



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77 comments so far

  • Leo Kompany for the Toon

    Mar 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Comment #1

    damn this article its going to get me excited for next year already, i hate wishing my life away but i wish it was here already

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  • Charlie Bucket

    Mar 19, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #2

    Hopefully in the pre-season friendlies we will see some of the youth team players given a chance to play alongside the senior players like last summer, I think if the likes of Kadar and Baheng can shine pre-season they could be worth a first team slot come the start of next season.

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  • THELONGSHANKS

    Mar 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #3

    Love to see bridge,arshavin,bentley,modric and carrick come in.cmon the toon 3 points on saturday.

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  • Stuart

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #4

    Yeh you would have to say that KK will try and bring in similar type of players he had in his first spell managing NUFC. I can certainly see players like David Bentley at Blackburn coming in as he is perfect for the right hand side of midfield swinging crosses in and especially considering that he is contract dispute at the moment.

    The midfield for me is where he needs to concentrate. Emre and Barton are just not good enough for my liking, Butt is good as the “Batty” holding midfield role. He ideally needs a creative goalscoring midfielder to complement Butt, someone with real class… ideas anyone?? Looking at his first spell as boss, he played 4-4-2 with emphasis on crosses into the box and considering the strikers we have are decent, new midfielders and wingers like Bentley, you would have to agree is where KK is likely to concentrate in the summer to feed the strikers.

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #5

    I know a lot of you will disagree with this, but i was looking at the league table earlier and i think the botton three will stay the same Boton, Fulham, and Derby.
    Then i had a look at our squad and i thought of the players tha kk will want to keep and i came up with this:
    —————-Given/Harper—————-
    Beye/Ramage—Faye/?–Taylor/?–Enrique/?
    ————————Butt/?———————–
    Milner/?———————————N’Zogbia/?
    ————————Emre/?———————–
    Martins/Owen—————Smith/?————-

    So we will need 2 CBs, 1 LB, 1 DM, 1 RW, 1 AM, 1 LW and 1 CF
    This is without our youngsters, most of whom will probably go out of season long loans.

    I you look at the players from the bottom three i think that we could plug a few of the gaps in our squad:
    Bolton: Cahill and Diouf = £7m
    Fulham: Hangeland and Konchesky = £4m
    Derby: Barnes = £4m
    I would estimate all their combined values at about £15m

    KK has a £50m Transfer budget so Added to this would be as i read somewhere the other day KKs top targets are:

    Gomis = £9m (Reported, i think we could get him for cheaper)
    Carrick = £15m (If Man Utd sign Veloso)
    Downing = £10m (maybe part exchange shola and/or Duff)

    £49m Spent and maybe we would make some money back on player sales also all are realistic targets.

    So that would give us a squad like this :
    —————-Given/Harper—————-
    Beye/Ramage—Faye/Hangeland–Taylor/Cahill–Enrique/Konchesky
    ———————-Butt/Carrick——————-
    Milner/Diouf——————-N’Zogbia/Downing
    ——————–Emre/Barnes——————
    Martins/Owen—————Smith/Gomis

    Not bad, Personally i would kick smith out first but i think KK will keep him.

    I know Paul Konchesky aint great but i think he was good for West Ham a couple of years back and Charlton during his time there also has a few England caps so cant be as bad as some think and Bridge or Shorey will cost a lot plus i want to keep Enrique starting and have a back up.

    Diouf is a hateful slime ball but a very good player and IMO best on the right so good competion for Milner but can play a variety of positions.

    Hangeland and Cahill are what we need two big, strong, hairy arsed centre backs who win high balls 9 times out of ten and just boot the ball and dont prat around in their 18yard box.

    Barnes is a must and we will wrap that one up im sure strong, quick skillful and versatile an england regular in the making.

    Carrick, Downing and Gomis are definately KKs pick and i would love all three of them.

    What do you lads think…?

    PS i posted this earlier on but everyone will come on to this page now.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #6

    I think we need to define quickly. Keegan has a history of turning teams around quickly???

    Just how quick is quickly?

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  • Davies

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #7

    Bentley would be nice, but I can see him ending up in the big four somewhere. It would also be nice if we could relieve Chelsea of Bridge and Wright-Phillips, but I can’t see it. I don’t see Carrick leaving Man Utd any time soon either, despite his heritage.

    We’ll just have to wait and see what the new scouting team can do. Hopefully they’ll be tapping up McGeady and some players from Spain.

    Of course, this is just speculation. There’s always the risk that we’ll be buying championship players………

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  • ToonKing

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Craigg, that defense you put together sucks arse.

    Plus if i remember correctly Ramage is a lefty and more importantly crap.

    To be perfectly honest i would only keep Faye, Beye and Enrique out of that defense atm.

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  • wilhelm hango 4m namibia

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #9

    eish, being a magpies follower since 1994 it saddened me a lot 2 see my team in ths state. i’m we are goin to stay up provided that we beat the hell out of fulham, sunderland and reading. i wud like however to c KK bring in a midfield maestro DECO n RIISER left back. Bentley could also add somethng 2 our midfield so do MAKALELE.

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  • clinta

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #10

    back four of Martins, Owen, Geremi and Butt??? Don’t you mean best for Ed? Oh we’ll give em a shot holding the back line anyways, they couldn’t conceed 57 goals in a season could they?!

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  • geordie_jordan

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #11

    CRAIGG, well done lad! what an excellent, not over the top read your post was. all your targets are realistic, we really could have that squad next year. great job.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #12

    @ Craigg. Just look at the clubs from which you want to buy players.

    This has been what has been behind Newcastle’s demise, particularly this season. Lack of creativity, lack of flair, under Sam and with Keegan both of the above and tactics. Keegan does not do tactics, so we need to compansate his lack of tactical ability with a replete of flair.

    I admit, a team with no flair will need a master tactician in order to get the best, there are no players in your selection that are known for flair or creativity.

    Please do not say Carrick because he is a Geordie and a childhood Newcastle fan does not qualify him to be here. He has not set Manchester united alight and frankly £15m is too much for a player like him. He will only be another Manchester united reject at Newcastle. We need a mix of both experience, pace (very important), and youth (purely for continuity) Firstly we must offload the players who can bolster our transfer kitty.

    I.e. Nzobias, Emres, Milners of this world. Then the dead wood, Ameobi, Carr, etc.

    Then from there we may make judgements according to what we have available and what we need.

    Your list is a typical Keegan list wich does not have momentum to continue a run toward the end of a season much like we did this year. We were a decent side mid table then suddenly we were the worst. We still have the same players but such a dramatic turn in fortune.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #13

    Include Kevin Keegan in that list of dead wood in my prior narrative

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  • Spitfire

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #14

    Stop it – all of you!. Lets just concentrate on staying up.

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #15

    Ramage is certainly not left footed if you watch him play left back you will see that.

    Cahill is a top lad and will be a superstar England Centre back.

    Taylor also will play for England but he needs a good long rest at the moment as hes lost his form.

    Ramage can cover all over the back four but has only played well occasionally at right back and everytime he plays Centre back he has looked much better.

    Konchesky was meant to be a back up to Enrique because i would love Bridge or Shorey but their signing would mean Enrique leaving believe me.

    Hangeland is a decent CB and i dont see many Top class CBs queing up to sign for us as Woodgate the only realistic option and he turned us down.

    I would love Mexes or Samuel but im trying to be a realist

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #16

    Alright michael give us a list of youre 8 signings then or can i guess:

    Nesta
    Puyol
    Ashley Cole
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Fabregas
    Gerrard
    Rooney
    Etoo

    Manager: Mourinho
    Assistant: Lippi
    Kit Man: Beckenbauer

    This isnt football manager…

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #17

    Geordie_Jordan

    Cheers i was trying to look at players who are realistic and KK may be also looking at

    but Michael thinks we should use our global appeal and neverending finances to rip all real madrids and Inter Milan superstars from them.

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  • Chicken

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #18

    Ed – I think you need to underline the “IF” and put it in capitals!

    Fookin Hell – we get a point against Brum one minute and the next we’re chasing Ronadinho’s signature.

    All in a day’s work for a Toon fan I suppose.

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  • SuperShearer

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #19

    Guy it’s all well and good planning for the next season but we need to avid relegation first, it’s still very much a strong possibility unless our current players start to fight for the team. We drew at Birmingham and we think that’s a good thing….under Bobby Robson we would be furious with a result like that. Shows how far we have fallen since those days. If we stay up I have every faith that KK will bring a good crop of players while also letting a lot go. I know he says he is happy with the squad but I think that is partly to keep moral up. Am fairly sure N’Zogbia will leave us in the summer which is sad, but if he wants to go let him. First things first though, lets stay in the Premiership.

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  • Hadji

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Craigg…7 mill for Diouf and Cahill…get real will ya.
    Imo the teams who’ll be relegated in Europe are:
    ————————————————————

    Germany
    NURNBERG-Dominik Reinhardt & Zvjezdan Misimovic

    DUISBURG-None

    ARMINIA-Ioanniss Masmanidis

    ————————————————————
    Italy

    CAGLIARY-Foggia

    REGGINA-Franco Brienza

    LIVORNO-Giovani Pasquale

    ————————————————————
    Spain

    LEVANTE-Mustapha Riga,Alvaro

    MURCIA-Reguero

    BETIS-Odonkor,Arzu

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #21

    Santa cruz a 15 – 20 goal a season striker a highly adapted eye for the goal leathal absolutely lethal akin to Van nistelroy. Or Emil Hesky Very complimentary striker big powerful and very very intelligent creates neat openings for his partner, and can make either Martins or owen a 20 goal a season striker.
    He is not too fussed about getting too many goals unless an opportunity he identifies as a chance comes his way, hes does not just lash at a ball just for the sake of being in front of goal

    Pablo Aimar: Quick midfielder with good skill and and game readability ,
    Tim Cahill, Kevin Nolan, both midfielders capable of getting into double figures in a season and that is of the greates importance in this modern age of football. The top four teams attest to this fact.

    Riise, Quick and no nonsense left back, loads of premier league experience as well.

    Gary Neville – the old war horse very experienced and can bring a winning culture to the side.

    Robert Huth, big, strong in the air and premiership experience.

    Now I am not sure what these players would fetch. But an enviable collection of congruently complimentary strengths.

    Diouf from your list may also be a potential target, the guy is class but needs the players around him to make his class more obvious.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #22

    SuperShearer no body is writting to you.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #23

    My selection no doubt would be expensive, but I think if we really get Santa Cruz we should let Martins go and we could fetch anything up to £12 – 13 m for the Nigerian forward.

    I think he looks to score and has more selfish aims at Newcastle. Made manifest when substituted by KK. Did he not consider that the perhaps his substitution was for the better of the team? No he just wanted to be on at the expense of team optimisation and that is not a good fascet for any player.

    HE would make an attempt at goal no matter how audacious even when someone is in front of an empty net. He looks to advance his own goal scoring tally and that is not good for team optimisation purposes.

    Fairness, if he has a good opportunity to score he can take it but not when there is a path of least resistance.

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  • John

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #24

    nice work Craig. If we got those players we’d be going down next season for sure.

    You’ve picked players from teams taht have been utter pants this year, even worse than us..

    Come on, if we really want to be successful we should’nt be buiying players like that.

    Top 6 , my arser, more like bottom 6

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  • Hadji

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #25

    Michael i’ll pretend blind about what you wrote about Martins.
    MARTINS MUST STAY!!!!

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #26

    Well said John. Craigg seems not to know the workings of an organisation. HE is simply picking players he likes. Not looking at team congruence. They work together not patches of great talent working independently.

    The working of an organisation are you have to develop a culture, a culture is long term while a talent is temporary. Why do you think Arsenal play the same way since the time Vierra wa there, fast flowing passing football when the players that started this style have all left?

    The answer is culture. Build a culture. We want to build a winning culture.

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  • Scotty

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #27

    craigg ur an idiot wat a waste of time all that speculative info was. get urself back on football manager. lets get back to reality and keep ourselves in the prem, then go get sum players who will strengthen our team not strengthen our prospects of anotha season fightin relegation.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #28

    Well said Scotty, What a list of very average players. They do not bring anything new to the squad or anything that we lack.

    Think again Craigg.

    Although in Craigg’s defense this particular blog is about Kev may bring in if he is still manager.

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  • SuperShearer

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #29

    Thanks for pointing that out Michael. I’ll go and cry into my sandwich now.

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  • Michael

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #30

    Sorry SuperShearer, no harm intended.

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  • chuck

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #31

    Payers I would like to see at the club.
    Right Wing backs-Brown/Miguel Veloso
    Left ” -Bridge/Enrique

    Right wing- Wright -phillips/milner.
    left ” -N`zogbia/ duff.

    Def. mid. -Barton/Carick

    Playmakers-Mcgeady/Arshevin

    Up front -Bent/Martins/Gomis

    Goalies- no change

    Yep, there are those who will disagree with these
    choices, but to compete you must buy talented players who dont come cheap, not cast off club players.

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #32

    Scotty you think i am an idiot do you,
    Well lets see your suggestions smart arse

    Michael i certainly do not like diouf, Konchesky or Hangeland but im thinking of realistic targets.

    we would not get Tim Cahill or Roque santa cruz, Riise wants to leave liverpool because he is no longer first choice so then he would be happy being 2nd choice at newcastle would he because Enrique is miles better, Why the hell you think that Gary Neville would leave man utd i dont know as he will end his career there no doubt and you say my suggestions are pants Kevin Nolan!! is an abysmal choice and was the reason Big Sam was sacked and trust me mate Emile Heskey would not last 5 minutes without our fans getting on his back big style.

    Aimar and Huth on the other hand are great suggestions Michael and i agree whole heartedly.

    But i will not hear some of you say that downing and carrick are shite they between them this season have set up as many goals as our entire midfield and are both lethal from set pieces.

    And Gary Cahill is a terrific CB and is as good as anything we have currently.

    One more point about the teams i was mentioning players from IE the relegation candidates Bellanmy was signed from Coventry after the went down and is a prime example of why you should look at the player and not the team.

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  • Zero Cool

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #33

    Michael your off it if you think we should let Oba go. I don’t know you well at all, but your the first (supposed) NUFC Supporter that believed Oba should go. He’s been easily the best striker on our team for the last 2 seasons. If we could get Santa Cruz (which we’re not) why wouldn’t you keep them both and let Owen, Smith, and Viduka go if anybody?! You make absolutely no sense.

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  • ObaFan2

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #34

    A KK hater and someone who wants Oba sold ! sigh

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #35

    Michael if i was picking players that i like then this is a team that i like:

    Given
    Richards Terry Mexes Bridge
    SWP Scott Brown Gerrard Ronaldo
    Rooney Henry

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  • Stami - PLAY CARROLL

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #36

    yeah i am hoping some of the youngsters make a push for 1st team towards the end of this season…Carroll, Lua Lua, Edgar to name a few…!

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  • CRAIGG

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #37

    Hadji why dont you get real dont you think we have suffered from having untested players with no prem experience this season Rozenhal and Cacapa especially even Beye and Enrique needed time to adapt

    we need to hit the ground running next time round whatever league we are in so KK will be looking for proven premiership or Championship players with the odd exception.

    I think i would prefer to pay a combined £7m for Diouf who has played since 2002 in the english league and helped Bolton finish in the top 7 three times, and cahill one of the brightest young defenders around perfectly suited to the premiership than risk another carbon copy of this one.

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  • SuperShearer

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:00 PM

    Comment #38

    No problem Michael, of course if you wanted you could reply to my post if only to make me feel better. Surely it had one good point in it? No? I’ve been down south for too long!

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  • Toon Al

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #39

    michael it really does look like you’re just choosin the players u like.. why would tim cahill leave a side breakin into the top 4 to come to a team battlin relegation. and gary neville, why the hell would he ever come to us??? aside from that habib beye best signin from the summer

    i dont agree with all the players craigg said but i agree with how he reckons we have to do things.

    we are in no position to be takin prem top players simple as that. just to add, would like to see jimmy bullard here as he can rescue games

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  • obafemiMartins

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #40

    i want jimmy bullard.

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