Butt and Owen Two Key Players – Keegan

Kevin Keegan is obviously relieved after his first win on Saturday, but he realized the pressure is not yet off the club.


Kevin Keegan – Owen and Butt two key players

Kevin spoke to the Newcastle Journal this morning:

“Whilst the win doesn’t mean we’re out of danger it takes the pressure off everyone at the club,”

“The players’ abilities have been questioned and my ability as a manager has been questioned but that’s what you lay yourself open to if you don’t get results. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but it was just a feeling of relief after waiting for so long for that win.”

“I see Michael Owen and Nicky Butt as two key players. You don’t want one leader when you go out onto the pitch. I always say to two or three of them that they have to lead.”

Well, both Owen and Butt had very good games on Saturday, and really looked the part. Michael was just excellent in his new position as a withdrawn striker and hardly put a pass astray, and he also showed great vision as he stroked the ball about nicely. And he still managed to put away one of his two chances in the game. 😀

And what was so pleasing on Saturday is the team kept their shape throughout the game, and played some very nice football to get themselves out of trouble. If this is a new beginning at Newcastle, then Saturday looked very good indeed, because it was a big improvement over recent displays, and the football was so entertaining.

Kevin continued:

“We’ve got some young guys and we’ve got some players who have never played in the Premier League before. We’ve got a left-back from Spain, Jose Enrique, who did well there, but this is a different league.”

“We’ve got a right-back, Habib Beye, who has played a lot of games in France, but this is different. So you look at your Nicky Butts, Michael Owens and Alan Smiths, who know the Premier League and you try and use their experience to help the others.”

We think Enrique is coming along very nicely and Beye was his usual strong self and indeed Abdoulaye Faye was a tower of strength at the back on Saturday, especially in the air.

So it was a good performance all around really, with not one player letting the side down – an excellent display by the lads when it really mattered.

We now need more of that on Sunday at Tottenham.

Comments welcome.

18 comments so far

  • tdt

    Mar 25, 2008 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #1

    good stuff


    Mar 25, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #2

    BEYE isn’t my favourite but of course he was solid as all. About FAYE I’m not so sure…we really need a strong leader who does not make some silly mistakes (unfortunately there always are some at the moment).

  • Davies

    Mar 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #3

    I’ll put my hand up, I’ve been more than unkind about Nicky Butt over the course of this season, and not always unfairly. He’s been dreadful for just about every match he’s played. However, after the Birmingham match, when he kept it together and bailed other players out of some mistakes they had made, he started to look like the Nicky Butt of old.

    I don’t have rich man’s telly, so I could only get the highlights on MOtD. I have no idea whether Butt was any good, but the reports say he was.

    Perhaps he could stick around for another season. As long as his legs can cope….

  • Elliott

    Mar 25, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #4

    Mate sign up for bt vision sport thing, you can watch all the matches edited down to 45 mins (so pretty much all when the ball is in play) for £4 a month over a broadband connection.

  • Leo

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #5

    thats canny good offer that elliott.

    i will have to remember that for when i fly from the nest

  • ronaldeano

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #6

    All played well, the only dodgy player was Geremi. His lack of pace down the right hand side is a wory. He is a defensive player and i recon Zog or Duff should fill in there until Milner is fit

  • Eric

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #7

    How come some are rallying now and playing with gusto when they did not, or could not, earlier in the season? Magic potion? Or needing a job next season? Hope we are not being softened up to accept Butt being retained.

  • Lasse R

    Mar 25, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #8

    I hope the praise for Butt is not a “warning” from KK that he will make him a vital part of the team nex season. He is over the top no doubt about it…I think “more of the same” in London next sunday will bring another loss. We need to play BETTER than we did against Fullham…

    One thing struck me watching the last game. How Big Sam could make Geremi captain is still a total mystery. He is without a doubt the weakest link ine the whole squad…Ok, so he had a free kick that was ok, but that was it. Corners – bad, passig – bad, over view – bad…Captain – hahaha 🙂

  • Grunde

    Mar 25, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #9

    Butt – No good. He can’t produce an offensive pass if his life depended on it.
    And half the time the ball ends up over the sideline. Bring in Emre

  • ToonKing

    Mar 25, 2008 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #10

    i’m with Davies and i also hold my hand up. i really dislike Butt but he’s been playing good lately.

  • Gordon

    Mar 25, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #11

    Butt: every dog has his day.

    He’s certainly not indispensable and I am saddened that KK seems to rate both him and Smith so highly.

    Personally I think N’Zogbia and Martins should be more central to his plans.

  • Leo

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #12

    ####does anyone know if there is a restraunt inside st james park? im sure i read somewhere that there was one called harveys’, but i rang the club to find out and the receptionist said she hadnt heard of it… hope someone knows better#####


    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #13


    Butt shouldnt have to produce an offensive pass his job is to break up oppositions attacks and cover the back 4 that he has done very well the last two games and the start of the season, Bartons job is to supply the strikers and he has started doing his job well recently.


    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #14

    Gordon i dont see how N’Zogbia who keeps kicking up a fuss about leaving should be part of his plans, Im surprised KK has ousted him from the squad and brought Duff back in.

  • Marguerite

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #15

    I will take pity on you Leo as no-one is else is responding to your qestion, so far as I know NO there is no restaurant called Harvey’s or anthing else for that matter within SJP.

  • Nobby!

    Mar 25, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #16

    I agree with Gordon’s comment entirely. Nicky Butt is the first guy I want to see leave over the summer.

    As for N’Ziggy, didn’t he say he wanted to leave? If he still does, then don’t play him.

    A bit off topic, but didn’t Chelsea make an offer on van der Vaart for 16m? Mike Ashley can pay more for that! Haha!

  • Toon Down Under

    Mar 26, 2008 at 2:20 AM

    Comment #17

    Butt & Owen our Key players?

    Nicky Butt had a good game, but he hasn’t really had many this season. A holding midfielder’s job is to break up attacks & win battles against the opposing attacking midfield players, which he hasn’t really done, hence why we have second worst defense in the league.

    As for Owen, the boy can finish, but he still plays the same as he did ten years ago where the opposing defences made heaps of errors & were worst than today’s mob,. I don’t rate his work rate compared to Martins, who for me does a lot more off the ball.
    Secondly, Owen is 28 while Oba is 23, we need to survive this season, but Oba should be given opportunity instead of always being taken off, definetly one for the future.

    My final Rant!
    N’Zogbia, KK claims he wants to leave, but we have heard nothing from the player, who was our best player for the first half of the season. Give him a free role behind the strikers & see what he does, because we all know he is not a Left Back!

  • Reb

    Mar 27, 2008 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #18

    Toon Down Under — I’m going to assume you didn’t actually see the match v. Fulham then. Owen’s work rate was phenomenal, far better than Martins (which wasn’t poor either) and he WAS the best player on the pitch, for either squad. He CLEARLY wasn’t playing exactly as he was ten years ago.

    You might want to watch the match in question before you comment on Keegan’s, or anyone else’s, assessment of it.


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