Keegan’s Comments Hardly Help Owen Stay

Kevin Keegan seems to be concerned about a number of things at Newcastle right now .


Michael Owen – cannot have been happy at Keegan’s comments

He is concerned the club have not tied up key players like striker Michael Owen, goalkeeper Steve Harper and center-back Steven Taylor on new deals

Keegan thinks that director Dennis Wise and Tony Jimenez are pushing for alternatives to Harper and Taylor, even though Chairman Chris Mort reiterated only yesterday, that the manager will have the final say on who comes and goes.

Kevin is completely responsible for the playing side of things at the club, and that has to do with which players he wants to keep and which players he wants to bring into the club. Dennis and Tony can offer alternatives but Kevin has the final say.

We see nothing wrong with that system and why it cannot work. If Kevin has goals to achieve in the 3 seasons he has left, you have to allow him to identify the players he wants.

The reports also suggest that Newcastle players were shocked by what Keegan said.

It certainly cannot help with the signing of Michael Owen himself, when Kevin says there’s no chance of Newcastle reaching the top 4 in the next 3 seasons, after which Michael will be 31 years old.

In one breath Kevin says he’s annoyed we haven’t signed Michael Owen, and with the next he says we cannot make top 4 during his 3 seasons at the club. These are hardly complementary statements.

An inside source at the club has been quoted as saying:

“While players know there has to be a certain amount of reality, you don’t join a club like Newcastle to fight a relegation battle, you do it because you believe they might achieve something.”

“To be told you are never going to win the Premier League is not what players want to hear. They may be well paid but they also want to win trophies.”

This may well be another storm in a teacup, and Ashley is right to have a face-to-face talk with both Kevin and Dennis Wise tomorrow in London.

We half expect a communication to be issued after that meeting, and we would expect it to solve any rifts and be a positive message for Newcastle’s fans.

Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Elliott

    May 8, 2008 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #1

    I thought the same thing when he made the comments. Hardly sends out the right message to any potential signings or players on prospective contract renewals.

    Something along the lines of “It’s gonna be hard but we’re gonna do everything in our power to break the top 4.” would have been what a positive Keegan would say.

    Something’s up, he looked a little upset but I can’t say his comments have helped at all.

    Fingers crossed everything’s ok.

  • HonoraryGeordie

    May 8, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #2

    If I remember correctly, Keegan said “We won’t get into the top 4 if we are being realistic…BUT we will give it a bloody good go!” Its not as if he has said “no we can’t be arsed trying to be in the top 4, if we get fifth next year I’m going to leave because that is all I want in life?!”. Why are people so bothered with a bit of honesty? After such a poor season, with a finish of 12th, he would look down right crazy if he said we were going to win the league next year?! Keegan is as enthusiastic as anyone, and if he can get some players to add to our current squad for next year, we have proved (1st half chelsea and last 7 games) that we can cut the mustard, and we will give it a good go and hopefully finish either 4th 5th or 6th!

  • John - Newcastle

    May 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #3

    Owen’s not an idiot so I don’t see any reason why Kev’s comments will have influenced him in any way. Newcastle is not a top four club and has been no where near one for a good few years. Do you not think that Owen has worked that one out for himself? Do you think it needed Kev to point out that, at the moment, we’re no where near challenging for a CL spot? Anyone with half a brain already knew accepted this, I don’t think Kev pointing it out makes any difference to Owen’s contract situation.

  • Rich

    May 8, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #4

    On a different note we are linked with a move for Zoltan Gera today, only saw him once looked decent anyone saw much of him and is he good enough?

  • Elliott

    May 8, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #5

    He said he’d try and finish 5th.

    I know in reality what he says is true but with regards to signings etc, you need to give people a bit of hope.

  • Kash2

    May 8, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #6

    KK is completely right. How can we expect to break the top 4 this season without massive transfer funding. Even then, we’re not going to sign the calibre of players needed while we’re not in Europe. It would be a massive achievement getting back into Europe, and only then can we hope to sign top players. But if Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool go out and spend £40m this summer, then we have to at the very least match that figure with similar potential quality signings!

    Personally, I would go down the route of amassing a squad like Arsenals while KK is manager. Get them playing proper football and then builidng upon that to challenge the top 4!

  • paulthepom

    May 8, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #7

    well said honary geordie,my sentiments exactly.keegan is frustrated because he knows deep down that we arn’t going to attract world class players ever.they dont want to live in newcastle.its not where the stars go.but look at valencia,they have bought talent for years now and turned them into stars.thats what we should be doing.not trying to sign players for over the top pices/wages because they dont really want to be here.owen is only at newcastle because we pay him a fortune and no one else could afford to and the other big clubs didnt want him.martins is the kind of player we need to attract,he wants to be here and hey if a galactico club comes in and pays us double well thats fair enough .good business.

  • Nick Dryden

    May 8, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8

    From an earlier email on the same subject.
    Owen is on an obscene amount of money £115k a week – 6M a year in wages!! He is forever one kick away from being injured again and his glaring open goal misses against Blackburn, Portsmouth and Chelsea have cost us a lot of points. It’s worrying that we are the only ones prepared to pay this ludicrous amount of money and no one has made an official approach for him. I love KK but I’m with CM and MA on this one. I would be hesitant to retain his services. The model and blueprint of going after younger up and coming players and putting a sensible wage structure in place has to be the way to go.
    I can understand Wise’s and the other’s frustration with Keegan at times. Wise, Jimenez and Vetere are earmarking exceptional new talent which KK seems to be knocking back if we are to belive what we hear and KK talks about journeymen like Riise, Dunne etc.

  • SteveM

    May 8, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #9

    My understanding of what KK actualy said was that we had no chance of breaking into the top 4 NEXT year! not ever and even then he said it was possible if one of the big four had a major slip up.

    This does not mean that Newcastle can never get into the top 4 – although it has been reported as such (thereby harming our chances of signing players) it has also been reported that KK said the premiership was boring – when he said it was IN DANGER OF BECOMING boring. This is simple media sensationalism – unfortunately it is damaging to the club but it makes a LOT of money – as will a last day “title decider” – Remember football gets its money from a cut of the advertising renvenue – but the BIG money is made by the media and the advertisers – they just dont talk about it. For example did you know that BBC worldwide has a turnover of around 1.5 Billion dollars a year? and a profit of around $400 million – the licence fee is a joke – the BBC is a busniess and it advertises (just not in the UK) – look at the BBC worldwide website for their business (eg pharmasutical companies) and state (eg China tourist board/state TV) customers not their viewers.

  • Obafan

    May 8, 2008 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #10

    Al those negative comments (true or not) are not good for the image of our club. I hope that things get cleared out ASAP or otherwise the following could happen:

    1. Lose good players (Owen, Taylor, …)
    2. Good players will not be jumping to join the club which appears to be a circus.

    Again I say we don’t know how much truth is in it (battle between KK and board and staff), but it seems something is going on.

    MA will solve the problem as a good businesman I hope.

  • Eric

    May 8, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #11

    Of course we need to keep Owen and others. So, we will not break the Gang of Four monoply yet, but it does not mean we are not going to try. KK is being realistic. As for Owen on his 115K per week? I think any players no matter what they are paid have to recognise something. Just like us fans out here they are employees. They do a job – many of whom get paid obscene money for doing it. OK Owen is 31 and may not end his playing days at NUFC in the top 4. Well, what is wrong with possibly qualifying for the EUFA cup next season? What is wrong with pushing for the FA Cup and the Carling Cup? Ignore the press hacks. NUFC players have got to get on with their jobs, just as KK et al have.

  • Jim

    May 8, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #12

    This is the first editorial that I have completely disaggreed with from this site. The title itself is encouraging disquiet.

    Ed. Do us a favour and keep the negativity to factual information and let the national press print the speculative, unsettling garbage.

  • Hadrian

    May 8, 2008 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #13

    exactly the opposite , if you dont think this is one big plan from keegan to get more money invested , then you were not about last time !!

    rememeber all the talk of keegan getting his chairman to put their hands in their pockets more than they normally would ? well this is kev in action 😀
    it was all about the benjamins . the players shouldnt be taking any notice of keegan untill he adresses them directly .

  • Toon boy

    May 8, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #14

    I said this three days ago on here, but as usual got talked down by the majority!!

  • ronaldeano

    May 8, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #15

    “An inside sauce” hahahahaha

    What a load of old tosh!!!! 🙂

    The only “inside sauce” the SUN has is a bottle of half empty Jack Daniels minature bottles one of thair photographers left in the magpie suite after the chelsea game!!!!! 🙂

    THE SUN?????

    MONGS!!! 🙂

  • newc

    May 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #16

    I heard last night that we are in for finnan. Deal was quite advanced. Heard from the same source(a journalist) that sunderland are in talks with bent and villa are being given 60 mill to spend this summer.

  • Fraser Mitchell

    May 8, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #17

    To be honest, I don’t think the comments were anything of a surprise. Owen and company know the score anyway. I think KK is just trying to get Ashley to publicly commit to some funding, whilst at the same time dampen fans expectations. No matter how much money is spent over the next 12 months, its highly unlikely that there will be silverware to show for it come the end of the season

  • Leo

    May 8, 2008 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #18

    its funny how these inside sources always apear when they are not wanted

    why have they not got the guts to let the newspapers print their name also, unless they ofcourse fictional hmm

  • Reb

    May 9, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #19

    You know what I find maddening? The false “facts” put about on the internet. Michael Owen is not on 115k/week. Every reputable site I’ve seen, including the Times’ Rich List, puts him on right about 100k/week — still a lot of money, but about 14th in the league (best paid outside the “Big 4”), and absolutely no more than he is worth for Newcastle United. He is worth loads in marketing and positive attention for Newcastle, not just in Britain but internationally as well — and that utterly ignores his contributions on the pitch. The fact is, Michael Owen is better known abroad than NUFC. You have to properly remunerate top players, or they don’t stay at clubs who have AMBITIONS of being fifth. Owen is also the best player at the club, and captain. If money is tight, renegotiate the more questionable contracts of people like Smith.

    Secondly, Owen is NOT 31. He’s 28, won’t be 29 until December. A four year contract would extend until he’s 32, at which point…well, even Owen has admitted publicly that this is probably his last big, relatively long-term contract. If he signs now, he could reasonably finish his career at Newcastle with a few short-term extensions.

    Thirdly, Owen is NOT “one kick away from being injured”. He’s actually been badly tackled & fouled several times since 1 January, and not had any trouble [touch wood]. Most of his time out with injuries were the result of two serious injuries, it’s not as if he were like Emre or Viduka (or ManUre’s constant sicknote, Saha), who have had multiple little knocks all season. He’s played over 300 Premiership matches in his career, and he’s only 28. He can’t be too ridiculously injury-prone if he’s managed that.

  • richie

    May 9, 2008 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #20

    owen is critical to challengin for 5th next season

    the joaquin situation is going to be interesting because hes defo up for sale wit him haven an average season and valencia an even worse season plus there finacial diff,

    he also has been quoted in last few seasons stating he wans t play in prem

    i reckon we should try for him

  • richie

    May 9, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #21

    soltan gera by the way good but imo not good enough for a team which aspire to finish 5th


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