Keegan Impressed With The Players He Has

Kevin Keegan has been talking again, this time about the lads he’s been training with these last couple of weeks.


 James Milner – came into pre-season training super fit

Kevin gave another exclusive interview with nufcTV on Friday, and he seems to have said more in one day than he did in the previous 3 weeks – but hey, we’re not complaining – it’s always good to listen to the Maestro.

Kevin told nufcTV:

“The lads have been back about 12 days or so now and they have worked very, very hard,”

“I told all the staff when I came in that one thing you have to be in the Premier League is very, very fit and that’s been the onus.”

“Whilst other teams have been jumping on planes and playing games we have been working on our fitness and hopefully that will give us a base for the season.”

“I have always believed that what you do at this time of the year gives you that base to build a season on.”

“Most players will tell you that if you miss part of a pre-season or get injured during it then it takes you a long time to get to where you want to be.”

“The boys are working really hard, we might not be the most skillful side in the Premier League because there are some great sides in there.”

“And we might not be the biggest squad, but there’s no reason why we won’t be as fit as everyone else – so that’s the aim.”

Good thinking by Kevin there on the fitness of the team, and the boss is still missing a few of his first team players as he continued:

“We haven’t got Geremi back yet or Faye,”

“We haven’t had Mark Viduka training with us because obviously he needs another couple of weeks with his Achilles.”

“Young Carroll hasn’t been training because of an accident on holiday and Tamas Kadar has missed a bit because of his knee operation.”

“Also, LuaLua has missed out because of an injury playing tennis.”

“But the rest of them have worked really hard. We’ve got some terrific athletes at this club, some that we probably didn’t realize during the season.”

“And to be fair we’ve got one or two that have got a bit catching up to do.”

And, when asked if any one of the Newcastle squad had returned in particularly good shape, it was no surprise when Keegan immediately said:

“James Milner is a particularly fit boy.”

“In all my time in football I might have played with and played against players as fit as him, but anyone fitter than him I doubt it.”

“Damien Duff and Charles N’Zogbia have worked very, very hard and I’ve been very impressed with Obafemi Martins.”

“Players who sometimes, because they are quick, you might not think do the long running as well but they’ve surprised me.”

“We’ve got a new fitness coach in, new ideas and I’m 100% certain that we will be a very fit side this season because of the players’ attitude to the training.”

Good words again from Kevin, and we’re now looking forward to the game with Hartlepool this afternoon, when Kevin has said he will put out a strong side.

Can’t wait.

42 comments so far

  • ObaFan2

    Jul 19, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #1

    Once he starts he cannot shut up…. ha ha great again to hear from KK and he’s full of praise for his squad.

    One thing he likes is a united dressing room and sounds likes it is and he will only add people who will fit in like Spidey.

  • Leo

    Jul 19, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #2

    who is achillies, viduka has been apparntly spending alot of time with her?

  • Leo

    Jul 19, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    Comment #3


  • sirjasontoon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    Comment #4

    C’mon KK we got spideman now we want superman !!

    Keegan Keegan Keegan !!

    Keep pushin for more transfers and lets keep positive : )

  • sirjasontoon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:48 AM

    Comment #5

    ps I know Keegan and the boys will land some class before kick off time the positive vibes are coming back…ignore all media,bow down to the messiah and watch him work some miracles once again.

    I would want no other man in charge of the toon KK was born to take us forwards and he knows it !

  • Parky93

    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:56 AM

    Comment #6

    i can still see us landing one of the greats of todays game. we need something like the new tino asprilla. a new phillip abert we need his old players in todays players. i am sure KK will land a huge player that will make more top quality players come flocking to St. James’ and we will be the team to break the top 4 in seasons to come.
    Get up KK!! keep up the good work


    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #7

    Have not been on for a while due to life interposing. But it doesn’t look like I have missed much. Doesn’t matter how fit the squad is, if it is too small for the demands of the season then we will have problems.

    Leo The only Achillies I have heard of is a bloke, so if Viduka is in some sort of liasion then it has to be a bit sus. 🙂

    See you have an ad for Primark Ed, or as my missus calls it Pri-Marche. She likes to try and make it sound a bit more up market. No not really, more of a joke. She still shops there though. Do you have them stateside

  • Ivan

    Jul 19, 2008 at 2:03 AM

    Comment #8

    Where is michael owen?

  • Malaysian Toon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 4:59 AM

    Comment #9

    Where is Owen??
    Didn’t you know Ivan? Owen’s middle name is Achillies and apparently Viduka has been keeping him busy 😛

  • Malaysian Toon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 6:02 AM

    Comment #10

    All the talk from KK about current players he has is really good to hear but then again that’s what we would expect from the players isn’t it.
    Nothing new about players being fit in pre-season and impressing.
    What really is good news to me is the fact that KK seems geniuenly happy about things which is alays a good sign. Let’s face it, the way the club is being run these days since MA took over is that the cards are being held close to the chest when it comes to transfer dealings. But if KK is happy then there must be something going on behind the scenes that only the powers that be know.
    Still being a toon fan I can’t help be anxious about our next few signings (the word few is being used generously here). I don’t care if they’re big names or not just as long as they turn out to be big players when it matters most….when Manure come along for the opening game.

  • The Entertainers

    Jul 19, 2008 at 6:19 AM

    Comment #11

    Everyone is quick to remind us how much we have undeachieved.

    This doesnt mean we have poor players, it means we have good players who have not performed at the level they are capable of.


    These are international players or who have played with some of the very best teams in Europe in the past in the top competions.

    The dury is out on these guys, but i have to say Keegan is the right man, no the only man who can get something out of these players and may well surprise us next season.

    Heres hoping.

  • Ericles

    Jul 19, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    Comment #12

    Leo – she’s a heel!

  • Ericles

    Jul 19, 2008 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #13

    Got a funny feeling KK is feeling happier in himself recently. More incoming in the offing? Perhaps he knows something the Mirror, the Sun, and the Mail don’t know. Hope so.

  • DC Magpie

    Jul 19, 2008 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #14

    worryingly close to Big Sam’s words running up to last season. “we may not be the (best) but we will be the fittest.”

  • Alex

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #15

    Well said The entertainers
    With Keegan being a positive upbeat sort of guy the players will enjoy training and playing for him. Unlike allardyce keegan will choose the proper players in their proper positions , no more using smith as a midfielder when he is a striker or using Nzogbia as a full back or changing the defence every couple of games and not allowing them to gel as a unit , this will improve the performances of some of the players we have and of the team as a whole. Quality when used properly counts , keegan proved with the 7 game unbeaten run that we have more quality in the team than was evident under Allardyce. I have a feeling under keegan that Zog will get the CM position that he wants and with Jonas on the wing we are going to rip a lot of defences apart this season. Just like we did spurs 🙂

  • Bobby Ollox

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #16

    The Euros this year were a revelation – teams who played attacking, cleverfootball did well – and a lot of it reminded me of how KK wants his teams to play.
    I think we will have trouble attracting the big players now – but if KK has done his magic and put right all the damage that alardarse did , and gets the team playing with enthusiasm and confidence, then come next season we will have a reputation again that attracts the right people.

  • toonoot

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    Comment #17

    Great carnival down at the Ouseburn today and tomorrow. Bands on all the usual pubs (Cluny etc) tonight. Try to get there are talk live to fellow toon fans. No need to wear our stripes – we know who we are!


    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Well lets hope they STAY FIT! thats always been the problem, i hope KK is happy because the players he wants are in the bag & under our new cards to the chest policy we’ll wait until last minute before we unveil them? there’s no doubt more than ever we need quality in, We’re sorted for GK best 2 in league, RB: Beye is quality, back up may be good tho, CB: happy with Taylor & Faye but we need Leader in there a Quality CB who can read the game, LB: Bull coming along nicely but would like experience in like shorey,RW: Jonas,Jimmy Sound! DM: butt class! need to start looking at replacement tho, faye can do job there 2, AM: get in quality playmaker, LW: Zog if stays, Duff could come back from the dead this season? ST: Owen/Oba/Viduka any of 3 or all 3! need alternative to vids as he’s always Knackt! Gomez/Gomis?

  • Ericles

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #19

    Alex – Smith is a what? Seen the Mail gossip. Oh no. Chimbonda please go to the Mackems – their shirts are worth throwing on the ground!

  • Ericles

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #20

    Parky 93 – could not agree more. If there is a Tino or an Albert out there KK will find them.
    A “Philippe” is just what we need. A few surprises in store soon I am thinking and KK will bring a smile to all our faces. No has-beens running on fumes for NUFC anymore. Thinking Guttierez is a sign of things to come. Want to entertain the crowds while we thrash the so-called top 4. Possible!

  • AndyNUFC

    Jul 19, 2008 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #21

    To be honest i’ll be quite happy with being a club that makes the most out of not much. It’s all very well saying “oh, Duff’s crap, get rid of him straight away!”, but the best thing Keegan could do as a manager is inspire him, give him confidence, and give him another season’s chance. If that doesn’t work, with Keegan backing him, he truly isn’t fit to play for the club. Apart from Ameobi, i’d keep everyone currently at the club, and would like to see Edgar played more often and sign Bassong on a pay-performance based contract like Owen. I would concentrate on bringing a centre forward in next, my desired choice being Ashton. Then I would look for a truly out and out attacking midfielder, or somebody in the ‘free role’, like how Ashley Young is played. Depending on whether Geremi can actually provide adequate cover as a right back, i’d leave the defence for next season. If we signed Bassong then we’d probably have too many centre backs anyway. What let us down last season was a poor midfield and strikeforce particularly first half of the season. If you aren’t keeping the ball in midfield and/or finishing the chances, then it always just amounts on pressure to the defence anyway, so I don’t blame the defence straight away like everyone else.

  • toooooon fan

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #22

    anyone know a way of watching the game today

  • autibo

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #23

    andy – agreed mate. i think the defence was made to look so poor because of how poor the midfield were at retaining possession. we need players who are comfortable with the ball and know how to use it sensibly rather than invite pressure with mis-placed, hurried passes. the likes of malbranque and benayoun may not be world-beaters and they may not be too exciting but they’d be a huge improvement on our current midfield and would give us some much needed guile and flair in there

  • LondonToon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #24

    How do you think we are going to line up today?

    442 or 433?


    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #25

    If we are trying to sign young talented players, then why not try and get david bentley from blackburn. He has great potential, yes he will be around £15million, but in the long run it is worth it.Also jeremy menez from monaco, such great skill and one for the future.

  • Ericles

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #26

    Read the online Journal article about Krul. Surely we are not going to lose him? The paper gives the impression he wants to leave. Stuart Rayner’s piece is devoid of any enthusiasm or passion to keep a promising keeper who could have a great future at NUFC. I am not surprised Krul could leave Tyneside if you have got friends like Rayner and his deadpan reporting. Whose side is Rayner and the Journal on? Heerenveen? Chelsea?

  • Hadji

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #27

    Andy….We need Duff,last season he missed the most important part of the season due to his injury.If KK brings the best out of him this season,then we definetly have a matchwinner in our squad.I still remember his games against Barcelona,when he was tearing them appart.
    We need to have more faith in them

  • Malaysian Toon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #28

    I think the 433 last season was down to lack of personel in midfield and the only strong point at the time seemed to be the 3 forwards. This season will probably revert to an attacking 442 with gutirez on right n duff/zog’s/someone new on the left.


    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    Comment #29

    This should be the team for next season
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Harper- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Beye- – – – Taylor – – – – Ben Haim – – – -S. Warnock-

    – J.Menez- – Bentley- – Guthrie- — -J.Gutierrez-

    – – – – – – – – – -M.Owen- -D.Ashton- – – – – – – – – – –

    Maybe on the odd game rotate martins and owen.

  • Kurt

    Jul 19, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #30

    Just a question here

    Have this kid from Plymouth signed yet ?
    Heard nothing about this boy in weaks.

  • timberhead toon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #31

    Can see some positives coming from SJP on the attitude and spirit of the lads. Need a few signings and was a little gutted about Aimar but after a lot of thought and reading I’m not as bothered now.

    Today will be 4-4-2


    Subs made up of kids

  • DanToon

    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #32

    Sounds like he’s tryin’ to big up the players he’s got prob coz there aint no more comin’ in! Best be or we are f*@ked!

  • AndyNUFC

    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #33

    Too right Malaysian Toon, now though it seems like we have such quality in midfield. Gutierrez/Milner can both switch flanks. Duff can hopefully make a miraculous turnaround, there’s nothing more i’d love then to see him prosper in a Keegan team. Now, i’m going to take a firm opinion here, and that is Smith will do a good job for us next season. Both Barton and Guthrie are central midfielders, not so much defense. Butt is out and out defense, but with aging legs. The one thing you would say about Butt is that he plays with passion and is not afraid to put himself about… but his passing is awful. That’s pretty much Smith all over but he was a scapegoat for his use as a striker. I also fear that although N’Zogbia obviously has the pace and dribbling ability, his passing won’t be enough to cut it as our prime attacking midfielder… hope he can prove me wrong though. Also with us reverting back to a 4-4-2, I worry for the future of Martins as I know that it’ll be a big/small partnership… and KK will never drop his super captain without good reason.

  • AndyNUFC

    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #34

    HowayTheLads, please don’t even think of us signing Bentley… or deploying him in a central role.

  • Michael

    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #35

    Nice to hear that Charles N’zogbia is working hard.


    Jul 19, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #36

    why is this andy?

  • Leo

    Jul 19, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #37

    ericles i was having a go at being a journo ofcourse i knew that achillies was a part of the heel lol.

  • David Dutch

    Jul 19, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #38

    I am usually going on here asking for calm and an end to specualtion but I must say that after coming back from sunny Spain am disappointed with the progress we appear to have made in the transfer market, players turning us down because we will not meet their personal terms or is it just paper talk. MA did not build his empire by refusing to speculate so I cannot see him changing his modus operandi now. What is concerning, again if the press can be believed, is that agents are talking to Wise not to KK, I thought he was brought in to look for youngsters not established players. You cannot bring players into a team at the last gasp and expect them to slot in immediately especially if they come from overseas. I have always said that Newcastle are famous for bringing a player out of that luxury 3 bed appartment behind the platinum club that no one knew we were talking too. Let us just hope that the 3 beds are taken up with players who want to play with us. If we do not bring in that frsh skill I am afraid that we will be in for another frustrating season – or is this just me ‘cos I have left 40 degrees of lovely sunshine behind and swapped it for the rain and wind of the North West coast.

  • AltaBatalJoneN

    Jul 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #39

    I will get really sad if we sell youg Krul.. I would rather sell Given. Raises more funds, and he is over the top, I think.. + I don’t like him and his big mouth, always running to the papers complaining about everything.. In fact he always seem to have an opinion about everything and let everybody know..
    Harper as 1. keeper and promote Krul as reserve. And then we have young forster as 3. choice and Søderberg as 4. choice. Perfect, and in thread with our new politics regarding youngsters. Lets build a team for the future!!

  • smithy

    Jul 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #40

    i know what u mean about krull. but we have to keep givven when hes on form hes one of the best goalkeppers in the world. besides, hes always stuck by us. ( 4 about 12 sesons and counting)


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