Kevin is seeing some of his players coming back from injury, with Charles Nâ€™Zogbia fit again after he injured a knee in the France Under-21 game a couple of weeks ago and James Milner isn’t too fay away either.
Charles N’Zogbia – fit again for Saturday
Kevin Keegan talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning about the players who are not currently part of his new 4-3-3 starting eleven:.
â€œWeâ€™ve not only got a good squad at the minute, weâ€™ve also got a good squad around it,â€
â€œAlan Smith â€“ you couldnâ€™t have anyone better to bring on. I know he would prefer to play but he covers you in so many positions and heâ€™s got a great attitude.â€
Duff has not started since the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool, where Milner picked up his injury, and after that Keegan reverted to his 4-3-3 formation and started all three of his top strikers.
â€œWeâ€™d been playing with two wingers and not scored goals,â€ â€œIâ€™m not blaming the wingers for that. Iâ€™m blaming the whole team performance. We had Milner on the right, Duffer on the left and two up front but werenâ€™t scoring goals.â€â€œIt might work if we went back to it now because the confidence is there, but we had to change.”
“Youâ€™ll see now when Duffer comes back in and James comes back in and Alan Smith comes back in â€“ and they will â€“ theyâ€™ll be coming back into a side which has some confidence. That can make a major difference to how they play.â€
Maybe Kevin will revert to a 4-4-2 formation before the end of the season, once he’s got N’Zogbia, Milner and Duff all looking to play. But that only gives you two of the strikers in the middle and one of them wouldn’t start.
While we never liked the 4-3-3 formation that Big Sam played, we can well see the benefits of that formation under Keegan, and the lads are playing to it very well and also keeping their shape very well indeed. Both Butt and Barton have raised their game and are also able to cover lots of the midfield, which is so necessary in this formation.
But the major thing right now, as it will be next season, is what’s the formation that will allow us to win games and score goals.
For the tough game at Portsmouth on Saturday, there’s no doubt Kevin will keep faith in his new 4-3-3 formation and hope Newcastle can register their fourth win on the trot.
What do you think?