Mark Viduka Still Only 80% Match Fit

Kevin Keegan was delighted with the display of his team against Reading on Saturday, but says there is still a lot more to see from Mark Viduka.

Mark Viduka scores Newcastle’s third goal against Reading

Striker Mark Viduka, the Aussie who has been out injured for a large part of the season, is still only 80 percent match-fit, according to Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan.

Mark is leading the line that also includes small forwards Michael Owen and Oba Martins, and all three are completely different players who are operating so well for the Magpies at the moment.

Kevin said:

“Mark Viduka is totally different to Michael who is totally different to Oba, but it works and causes other teams problems.”

“I wouldn’t say Viduka is as good as he is going to get, for like Michael he needs about eight or nine games, but what he’s given is more than good enough for me.”

“I would say he’s about 80 percent match-fit. You need games, but he’s been terrific for us because he’s that focal point on which you can build.”

“It sticks most of the time and he’s very important for us.”

Keegan also picked out midfielder Joey Barton for another excellent performance following on from last week’s game at White Hart Lane:

“He was excellent today. He’s had two good matches on the trot, though I would have put Habib Beye as my man of the match.”

“Joey has worked tirelessly and he could have scored a couple of goals today. Now he’s got to keep his head down and keep on playing football.”

Habib Beye had a great game at right back and seems to be the fans’ player of the game with 53% of the vote with around 133 votes in at the right. Habib managed to get on the attack quite a few times and in fact had two assists as he put Michael Owen through for his goal, and then brilliantly picked out Mark Viduka for the Aussie to also get on the score-sheet, with a well placed shot into the corner.

A wonderful performance by the Senegal International and his team-mate Abdoulaye Faye also had a strong game in central defense.

In fact, for the third game running, not one player had an off-day and the team functioned well for another great team performance from the boys.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • rlw

    Apr 6, 2008 at 12:55 AM

    Comment #1

    If thats only 80% fit imangen at 100% fit.

  • Spyro

    Apr 6, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #2

    exactly rlw, hopefully he will be 100% fit for the scum game then 😉

  • Leo

    Apr 6, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #3

    bloody hell only 80% fit. imagine a 100% he is so classy sets things up nicely for oba and owen

    they all create space for eachother really

  • Spyro

    Apr 6, 2008 at 1:41 AM

    Comment #4

    The three up front compliment each other so well that if you remove any one of the strikers it will take A LOT away from our attack, which is scary considering Oba goes off to ACN, and Viduka and Owen have a tendency to get injured. I defintely think we need to bring in Cisse, or another tall, fast and powerful striker in order for us to not depend on those three as much as we currently do. E.g. Man City rely on Petrov and their attack has seriously suffered since his form has dropped, so they will need to buy a left winger to provide competition for his place.

  • ScottyT

    Apr 6, 2008 at 2:39 AM

    Comment #5

    again good to see people actually realising how good viduka can be and is

    not long ago there were quite a lot who were criticising him but there is no doubt he is tlented at what he does. skillful and great player.

    ps found it quite amusing when he got barged over by bikey .. as he fell down he geet bounced off the floor haha

  • ScottyT

    Apr 6, 2008 at 3:01 AM

    Comment #6

    also what is with these people at matches streaming out with 5-10 minutes to go?? it is so annoying! players dont want to see that

    im at the match 2day and i see hundreds of people heading for exits there is still 5 minutes to go. dont like that at all shows no commitment

    just had to get my rant out lol 🙂

  • Ausgeordie

    Apr 6, 2008 at 3:36 AM

    Comment #7

    They were leaving to get a good spot at the bar!! Celebrating requires commitment from the fans too!

  • Archie Brand

    Apr 6, 2008 at 5:19 AM

    Comment #8

    Hey ScottyT, I think a full house for almost every home game puts the commitment of the fans beyond any doubt whatsoever.

    If I could get home 2 hours quicker by leaving 5 minutes earlier I think I’d be one of them – especially when you’re 3-0 up.

    If fans are leaving early because we’ve got the game in the bag by 3 clear goals, I cant see the players worrying too much.

  • Doctapaul

    Apr 6, 2008 at 7:26 AM

    Comment #9

    Great result yesterday. The energy from (1) Keegan (amplified by (2) the fans) is starting to resonate within (3) the team. Smiles of joy and jubilation (none more so than Michael Owen when we scored.) When (1), (2) and (3) are en-song the whole vibration amplifies again.

    Now, if Keegan can help sort out one or two minor squabbles between individual squad members (Martins and Viduka I suspect for one) we can move on up to another level.

  • Geordie Gerrard7

    Apr 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #10

    HARPER= Absoloutly class, i can see this bloke playing into his late 30’s
    BEYE= He is like a right back arsenal would have, ouzes class
    ENRIQUE= i love the bull. i will get him on a shirt next year, his distibution is getting great aswell,
    EDGAR= Carbon copy of tayls?
    FAYE= ugliest bloke alive, but he is getting great, always a threat on set-pieces.
    BUTT= Seems a completely different player now, if he was younger and on the market, i think he would be worth every penny and more of hargreaves, his passing is also becoming class.
    BARTON= A NEW HERO ON THE RISE, hopefully he will start a new slate
    GEREMI= keeps us ticking, wise head on nelson ‘GEREMI’ Mandela.
    OBA= TINO, TINO, TINO!! But better!
    DUKES= So good, no one realises untill he is even 80% fit, MAGIC FEET.

    KEVIN KEEGAN= people say his sparkle in his eye had gone, wtf is a sparkle in an eye got to do with the man is qaulity, and will never fall out of love with the toon.

  • iain

    Apr 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #11

    with the constant threat of injury though for viduka and his age i would say buying a cf as cover or his long term replacment should be s a summer priority. esp if this 433 is the way keegan wants us playing frm know on.

    imo the role is perfectly suited to crouch who was good for lpool vs arsenal i thought and he had no support imagine him with owen/martins and viduka as compettition. although that gomis would give you a different kind of option as the spear head of a 433 but i doubt a drogba type player would work with owen/oba out wide as it doesnt work for anelka or shevchenko.

    you can cover for oba wide position with pacy wingers but its a lot harder to ask martins/owen whoever to play vidukas role if its key to making the front 3 tick.

  • hanzemre

    Apr 6, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #12

    20% more he’d shot like a rocket from the centre circle 😉

  • briss264

    Apr 6, 2008 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #13

    enrique played better than the last match but he still gave up the ball too easy a couple times and almost gave reading a goal. still has some work/learning to do for me to believe he’s lagit. thats the only player i can really critisize which is absolutely fab

  • ScottyT

    Apr 7, 2008 at 12:03 AM

    Comment #14

    archie spose ure right .. committment wasnt realy the right word to use.

    just think it damages our reputation as fans tho if they see us leaving early when we are 3-0 up thts what man u fans get known for.


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