We’ll Take Shortcuts to 5th Place Next Season

Lots of news today about Kevin Keegan, as he meets with owner Mike Ashley today in London to discuss transfer targets for the club.


Kevin Keegan – back to upbeat self

Keegan has talked to the Newcastle Journal today and says that the very fact they went after Croatia star Luka Modric means that Mike Ashley is willing to invest quite a bit of money in transfer targets in the summer.

He also thinks that 5th place for next season is a good target and that the club can take some shortcuts to get there.

Kevin talked first of transfer money available:

“It is obvious by the fact we went in for Modric that there is some money there. A lot of it has been put in the public domain for you. You don’t need me to spell it out for you,”

“We were going to pay over three years and it was around £20M so we were going to spend in this current year, something like £6.5M on that player plus wages.”

Keegan will find out about how much Ashley is willing to pay out the summer for Kevin’s transfer targets, and we think Mike Ashley wants to demonstrate to Kevin, that he is right behind him and he wants whoever Kevin wants in terms of players.

They will also look at which players Kevin wants to keep and which contracts should be renegotiated in the short term.

Kevin added:

“As I said at my first Press conference, if you turn this club around, whoever it is, it is like a big ship. When it is listing and things like that, everything is exaggerated and it is a major problem.”“And when you turn it around, the momentum starts to go with you and it can go quicker than most clubs you know.”

“You can shortcut challenges and that to get from where we are to try to get sixth or fifth place next year, which was always going to be our aim.” “Normally it would be too much in one step but this club is one of the few which could do it in one step if everything is right.”

“But on that subject I do believe fifth is a good target – it’s a very good target to set ourselves from where we are now.”

“I don’t want to rake over the ground of what I said on Monday but I believe this club is the fifth biggest club in the country and it’s not an unrealistic target.”

“Do we want to be like Everton next season? Yes, because they’re in the frame for the fifth place.”

It’s great to hear Kevin talking again like the Kevin we know, and he’s so dedicated to bringing success back to Newcastle.

Of course there was a lot of truth in what Kevin said on Monday that indeed the league title is always between the same 4 clubs and it’s so difficult for other teams to break that stranglehold – and in that sense he meant the Premier League was boring.

He’s right about that and everybody knows it.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • James

    May 9, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #1

    I don’t care what people say about the top four – it is breakable.

    Look how much Liverpool had to fight for it this year, and previous years Arsenal and Liverpool needing to win their last two games to finish fourth.

    Unlike our competitors (Everton, Villa, Portmsouth) we will have less games because of no european football. So we can concentrate on the league. We should always be favourites for fifth, and if we sneak some good results against Arsenal and Liverpool, we can finish fourth. Just like Everton did 2 years ago, and Spurs nearly did the year before.


  • Hammy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #2

    Hopefully it will be a fruitful meeting and we can get some quality in before the European Championships.
    Does anybody know when the open top bus celebration is for Stephen Carr’s one way trip to the Central Station?

  • Craig Allen

    May 9, 2008 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #3

    Lovely stuff Kevin. The post chelsea match comments looks a lot better within this context.

  • Hammy

    May 9, 2008 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #4

    James, you are quite right, look how many points they (top 4) have dropped between them, the Premiership is a lot tougher now with quite a few billionaire owners all wanting to invest/win.
    Nobody is going to run away with the title next season.

  • Geordie Lumberjack

    May 9, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #5

    I think that we can challenge for 5th and a UEFA cup spot.

    To me though, the top 4 are really only a top 3. Liverpool do so well in the CL but I don’t really think they can really challenge for the title. Even their squad depth lets them down compared to Chelsea or MU.

    If anyone can be knocked out of the top 4 it’s Liverpool. If Gerrard or Torres get a long-term injury, they’re in trouble.

  • Eric

    May 9, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #6

    How long will Liverpool remain part of the s0-called top 4? They actually have to push to stay
    where they are. They can be eased aside. The Gang of Four can be broken – not by Everton, Villa or Spurs. But by NUFC within a couple of seasons.

  • Leo

    May 9, 2008 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #7

    yeah things seem so different when the quotes are in the right context

  • Jimmie

    May 9, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #8

    There could actually be a chance to compeet with Liverpool about the fourth spot. If that going to be us or some other team…. the summer shopping will tell.

  • Spyro

    May 9, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #9

    Geordie Lumberjack you could say that about any of the top four apart from Chelsea.

    Take Rooney and Ronaldo out of Man U and they are in trouble.

    Take Fabregas and Adebayor out of Arsenal and they are in trouble.

  • Spyro

    May 9, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #10

    By the way, it looks as though Spurs are going to make a bid for Bentley, 15million or something

  • Bmore

    May 9, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #11

    We are only 15 points from the UEFA cup spot, even after the awful season we have had.

    It may sound alot – but if you breakdown some of our results we could easily make that up next season.

    We should have beaten Blackburn at home (3pts), should have beaten Derby twice (5 extra pts), Bolton at home (2 more), Boro at home (2 more). Thats 12 points already. If we can change some of those away defeats into draws (Wigan, Reading) then we can easily achieve UEFA Cup quailication – without changing our results against the ‘Big 4’.

    Now I am not saying we should have won these games this season, but with KK’s team rather than FSA we certainly stand a better chance!

    Come on Kev – bring in a little bit of quality pal!

  • Ant

    May 9, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #12

    Hey James, nice to see yo uposting again, always very sensible yet optimistic with relevant things to say.

    I agree whole-heartedly with you and, IMO, there is no big 4..It’s a top 2 of Chelski and Manure, Arsenal are in their own little league of their own where they’re better than the top 2 when they want to be, but terrible other times. Liverpool are 4th/5th. Has everyone fogotten the Bobby days when we, well certainly I, expected to finish above them. I always saw the tier as ourselves and Liverpool in the fight for 4th, even though nothing like that ever really happened.

    We can easily knock out Liverpool with Keegan in charge…Man U are just too good at the moment, and probably will be until Ronaldo moves to Spain and Rooney gets injured.

    I EXPECT 5th every season and hope for higher…Wigan could get into Europe with Oba in their team 🙂

  • James

    May 9, 2008 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #13

    Ant – nice to know I was missed.

    Ashley, Mort, Me, and a lot of fans, know full well we can break that top four. It’s a foolish myth to think we can’t.

    Spurs will be aiming to, and so should we.

    Bobby Robson did it 2 years running with less money and a worse squad.

    Today at the meeting Ashley will make it very clear to KK that the board will back him to break that top four at all costs.

  • Geordie Lumberjack

    May 9, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #14


    I mean Gerrard OR Torres. If one of them go down they’re trouble.

    I think those other teams could lose 1 of those 2 players and still compete. Of course Ronaldo would be the hardest blow to take, he has been the best player in the EPL this season. If Ronaldo had missed half the season, ManU would probably not win the title, but I could still see them 2nd or 3rd. Where would Liverpool be without Torres?

  • Gary

    May 9, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #15

    I’ve always believed that every team in the premiership should have an aim. Derby knew the best they could hope for was to stay up, yes they failed, but Sunderland had the same aim and they succeeded. To my mind Keegan has just brought to our attention what his realistic aim is next season, and its to finish 5th. Thats fine, from where we are this season 5th will be a good spot to finish next season. Having said that, some teams ca over achieve, and obviously they would all like to. If we achieve 5th next season, then I think our aim the following season will be, at bear minimum, to hold onto 5th, but to try to push on and move into the top 4. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and personally I think its good to see someone being realistic and not trying to promise the earth.


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