Manchester United away in our first game next season followed by Arsenal away in our third game looked a bit daunting when we saw the new fixture list this morning.
Kevin Keegan – 2 tough away games early on
But as some of our readers have pointed out, Manchester United don’t always get a good start to the season.
We also do fairly well at the Emirates stadium, apart from last season, when we had two 3-0 defeats rather close together, just after Kevin had taken over as manager.
But we also have some good positive words from Terry McDermott, Keegan’s right-hand man today, when he talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle:
â€œObviously itâ€™s always a difficult game when you go to Manchester United, and just as much at Arsenal.”
â€œBut if there is a good time to play Manchester United at Old Trafford itâ€™s the start of the season.”
“Donâ€™t forget Reading went there last season and got a draw, and in their next two matches they also drew at Portsmouth and lost to Manchester City.”
â€œLetâ€™s hope we can cash in by catching them early on like these teams did last season and when they are still celebrating winning the Premier League and Champions League.”
â€œAnd letâ€™s also hope that Ronaldo, who scored five goals against us last season is not with them come August.”
“He is one of several Manchester United men in the Euro finals and they will not have a normal pre-season.”
â€œIn addition, Manchester United will be traveling all over the world before we go there on August 16.”
“Kevin will make sure we prepare properly for our new season when, hopefully, we will also have some new signings.”
â€œAnd as far as Arsenal is concerned, for the first 45 minutes in the League Cup tie down there we were the better team.”
“Itâ€™s just that the first goal was always going to be important and, unfortunately for us, they got it.â€
Well, we’re not sure all those requirements can be met Terry, but one thing you can be guaranteed with a Kevin Keegan team, they will go all out and try to win the game.
That’s probably the thing we like about Kevin the most, he truly believes his team can win anywhere, and that real confidence definitely siphons through to his players.
And that’s why last season, after he had sorted things out, we started to get some good away performances, including the magnificent display at Tottenham, when we tore them apart 4-1 and looked great.
We need more of those performances this coming season, and we’ll be up that league table, where we need to be, and where we belong.
We are due a good performance against the Red Devils, because last season they tore us apart twice, 6-0 at Old Trafford and then 5-1 at St. James’ Park.
We’re sure Kevin will remind his players of that, and hopefully we can get them ready to get some revenge.
But we’re not sure we can even field a team, right at the moment, with so many of our players having left the club.
But in two weeks the good stuff should start, and we’ll see new players arriving at the club.
Not many Premier League clubs have made acquisitions so far in this close season, with so much attention right now on the Euro 2008 Championship games, which are great to watch.
We’re confident we’ll get some good players through the door, and the departures have been players who are not really our major contributers in Ramage, Diatta, Troisi, Carr, Rozehnal and Emre.
Hopefully we will be seeing players of the caliber of Cuellar, Collocini, Turan, Shorey and Arshavin through the door in the coming weeks.
Even Rafael Ve Der Vaart, although it’s hard to believe the rumors linking him to us are true.
But wouldn’t that be something, if he did arrive on Tyneside.
Maybe we are dreaming again.