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News and Commentary On Newcastle United Football Club By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle On The Move Again

10:04 am, Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 18 Comments

It took about two months for Kevin Keegan to sort out the players and team at Newcastle, before they started to play well and in Kevin’s all out attacking style.

kevin-keegan-123.gif

Kevin Keegan - got great display out of his team in London

The first signs of a new team was when we played Blackburn off the park on Saturday 1st March, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the net, even though Michael Owen on that day, by his own admission, had five good chances.

But that was a sign of what Kevin and his staff were doing in training behind the scenes, which was putting a new shape together for the boys and getting them to forget all the defensive views of former manager Sam Allardyce and start to play positive attacking football.

Steve Harper, who’s played great for Kevin since he came back, feels it was just a matter of time before the ideas Kevin introduced and the positive atmosphere he and his staff created behind the scenes at the club, turned into performance like that of Sunday.

Steve said:

“When the manager returned to the club I was quoted as saying fasten your seat-belts because it was going to be an exciting ride,” “It has taken a little while to get going.”

“It’s been a difficult time for us all and difficult for the manager because he wasn’t able to bring anybody in during the transfer window. He has been looking at what he has got and how best to use it, but we feel it is coming together.”

“We went behind at Birmingham City as well. But we responded to that in the right way, we came out and turned the game around in the second half and got the point.”

“Maybe that was when things began to shift and the momentum came our way. We’ve followed that up with two back-to-back wins against Fulham and Tottenham and the confidence has returned.”

“People might have thought he was mad to go to Birmingham with a formation like that, but that trio of Obafemi Martins, Mark Viduka and Michael Owen will worry anybody and that is what they have done.”

And Steve Harper is also hoping a few quality signings in the summer will add even more momentum to Newcastle second Keegan revival.

“We’ve shown what a good team we could be with the right additions in the summer. That is what the manager had challenged us to do and hopefully this is only the beginning.”

“You know, we’re not safe yet, we’ve got some work to do, but the whole place feels a lot better than it did.”

More performance like that on Sunday will quickly make Newcastle one of the most popular teams to watch in the Premier League again. The attitude of the players on Sunday was first class, and we tip our hats to them. Right until the very end they were challenging for every ball, even though they had already, by that time, decimated a good Spurs side.

We don’t think we’ll be far off having an excellent side next season, and with the way Kevin plays the game, we’ll have to fasten our seat belts next season – we could very well be the surprise team of the season.

Although Mike Ashley’s appointment of Kevin Keegan was a calculated risk, and drove us more into the relegation mire than we wanted, it’s turning out to be the masterstroke that was needed.

Certainly to see Mike after the game on Sunday, he seemed as happy as anybody we’ve ever seen, as he was smiling and singing along with the fans. He’s just another fan on game days, but he’s also starting to see the fruits of his brave decision in January, and with displays like this we think he’ll be only too willing to fund Kevin’s transfer activity in the summer.

Roll on next season and the summer transfer window.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



Tags: Newcastle News · Steve Harper



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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Leo // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    all the best rollercosters have the longest ques

  • 2 adam // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    At least we wont be making any additions in the goalkeeping department.

    we are very lucky to have harps, shay and the classy younger players coming through.

  • 3 Steve K // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    I thought we weren’t going to run away with ourselves?

    Things are looking much better no doubt. But lets see how we do against Reading, and see what kind of game we can give the likes of Chelsea when they come here.

    Remember Roeder had great achievements in his first few months. Lets calm down and not let the expectations go too high.

    Look forward to the Reading game, they’re in good form and we can look toward facing a challenge instead of grimacing at one.

  • 4 ronaldeano // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Van Der Vaart!!!

  • 5 Kash // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Have yuou guys seen the April Fools stories going round?

    Goal.Com – Maldini to join Newcastke
    Soccerlens – EPl to punish Toon 20 points
    NewcastleUnitedMAd – Roy Keane leaves Mackems for Utd Coaching job.

    Love it!!!

    Ed – Why don’t you post one????

  • 6 ronaldeano // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Newsflash..

    Roy Keane has been secretly photographed in his garden wearing nothing but a leotard and rig boots with a peice of meat hanging from his crotch area whilst prancing about like a chicken. He was looking a bit amused when his dog tried to eat his meat.

    Story courtesy of “THE SUN” :)

  • 7 ronaldeano // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    April fool :)

  • 8 Sloop Jon B // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    The result was first rate, and the performance was the best for ages.
    Some would tell you that the Hotspurts had nothing to play for- but this result has been coming for a while.
    There was a robbery at SJP when Blackburn attended, and even Geremi looked like a quality addition against Fulham.
    Full of confidence for the remaining fixtures- and fancy a flutter on turning chelsea over!
    Carried away- want to bet?

  • 9 HeronMag // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Good point Steve K. We’re not out of the woods yet.

    Things are looking up, but we have to put things into perspective. We beat a very poor Fulham team who nearly lost to Derby and we annihalated a disjointed and arrogant Spurs side.

    For me, the real test will come when we play Sunderland. Keane has them highly motivated and very organised and with Carlos Edwards, Keiran Richardson and Andy Reid are more than capable of matching us in midfield.

    If we can hammer the mackems and Reading then I’ll start joing the euphoria!

    But all in all it’s been great seeing the toon pick up their game and start looking like the team we all know they can be.

  • 10 spyro // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    i agree Steve K, lets see how we perform in the next few games before we get over confident. Reading will have seen the Spurs game and will probably come and set up 10 men behind the ball until the last 15-20 minutes and then try and nick a late goal. We need to kill the game in the first half

  • 11 Sloop Jon B // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Derby are relegated- Fulham may as well be.
    Take a look at Boltons run-in and relax.

  • 12 spyro // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Heronmag those midfielders cannot match our midfield if our midfield are on form, they are nowhere near the same level of quality. Andy Reid!? Dont care how many left foot volleys he scores he is still a fat lazy lump to me

  • 13 spyro // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    I agree Sloop, but we still need to finish fairly well so we can attract better players in the summer, plus wouldnt you love to finish above the scum and middles’cantfillhalfastadium’boro

  • 14 HeronMag // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    It’s a matter of motivation Spyro. Like you said, if KK can motivate our lads and get them playing their best we’ll win. If not, we have to expect the mackems to go for it.

  • 15 spyro // Apr 1, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    i fully agree Heronmag, i have a feeling that Sunderland will need the result more when the fixture comes around, but i just hope the players will want to give the fans something to really smile about after an awful season. Hopefully that is motivation enough

  • 16 ehssi // Apr 1, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    can anyone give me the highlights of the blackburn game or a link, I haven’t seen it jet :(.

    thanks :).

  • 17 micepie // Apr 1, 2008 at 1:05 PM

    I know that we want to, but we shouldn’t get carried away. Maybe if we can put a small run of good results and performances together (like 3 or 4 at least). Like others I’m just mightily relieved that we are almost safe, but also excited that a lot of our players are gelling together and playing much better as a team, and individually!

    If we can win on Saturday, I’d then love us to give some of the youngsters like Bahang,
    Tozer and Kadar fifteen minutes in the first team, and Edgar & Carroll a full game (I think we can do it with the E & C with the system we’re currently playing).

  • 18 Zx // Apr 1, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    Next season is the real test. I know this season has been tough no doubt, but next season the expectations will be higher and I bet many of our “fans” will criticise Keegan if things do not go as smoothly(its unlikely though).




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