Kinnear’s Emphasis On Defense Paying Off

We remember well when Newcastle conceded a goal in the first half against Blackburn Rovers, in the first half of the first game Joe Kinnear watched at St. James’ Park, when he had his head in his hands at the inept defending of Newcastle.

Joe Kinnear – has improved the Newcastle defense immeasurably

But how that has changed under the leadership of a wily and experienced manager, who has started to bring the very best out of the Newcastle players.

Joe said today:

“I’m delighted,” “People are harping on week in, week out that we haven’t been winning away, so it puts that record straight.”

“We’re hard to beat away from home first and foremost and then it’s a case of taking what we can and creating opportunities at the other end.”

“We’ve got that mentality into the players now. We’ve been getting a bit of criticism recently because we’ve had so many draws but the philosophy ain’t going to change.”

And it’s been obvious that defense has been the top priority for Kinnear, having been a right-back himself at Tottenham for 10 years, and insisting week in week out, that Newcastle become a lot more resilient than they have been for many a season.

Joe continued:

“When I came they were lacking in confidence and direction and they probably didn’t work as hard as I do at coaching on defensive situations,”

“We normally have four days a week working on the defense because I believe it’s the most important part of football.”

“It’s always difficult to teach strikers to score goals – they either have it or they haven’t – whereas defensively you need to work on that as a unit day in, day out.”

“I know people were saying we were getting too many draws for the position we were in but if you look at the teams we’ve been playing, they’ve been decent results.”

“In our last three away games we’ve claimed clean sheets,” “When I took the job we were 10 points behind Blackburn, 10 behind Man City.”

“We’ve gradually got ourselves up and running and now we’re a few points in front of those teams and very close to the rest. I don’t know many teams who come here and win by three goals.”

We hope yesterday’s performance is the start of a new dawn under Joe, now that he seems to have sorted through a number of Newcastle’s playing problems.

And it will be great to get 5 new players in during the January transfer window – we can’t wait.

And the players can go into every game thinking they can win the game, and certainly their confidence in the second half yesterday looked sky high.

Joe has said his game plans are put in place to win every game, and that’s what we’ve liked a lot about Joe – he plays decent football, and that’s what we also loved about Kevin Keegan, and what we didn’t like much about big Sam, who was too often willing to just hang on

In retrospect Kevin Keegan’s resignation from Newcastle has given Joe Kinnear the greatest management opportunity of his life, and he’s making the most of it, that’s for sure.

To win 3-0 away from home is a good performance, in anybody’s book.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • ad

    Dec 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #1

    oh, i know now.
    only 1 massive WIN, JK is trying to tell everyone he should be given credit for this

  • Bob-s

    Dec 15, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #2

    Please use the English word – DEFENCE (not defense) – it’s the only thing that (slightly) spoils your website

  • StevieA

    Dec 15, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #3

    I said weeks ago that Joe is trying to build from the back, if he does that then he will get the job full time I have no doubt about that.

    The biggest thing we have been missing is stability and a good solid team. We now have stability and the team is getting pretty solid too, by that I mean hard to beat.

    If Joe is given the chance to give the players who are going out of contract new contracts (which looks like it’s happening this week) and also get’s chance to bring his own players in, during the January window then I really think we can climb the table. Other teams are falling at the moment and the league is closer than ever in my opinion, so if we are hard to beat home & away it’s only a matter of time before we are in the top 10 I think.

    Being solid is the key, if Joe get’s the right balance between defence and attack then he could very well become our permanent manager.

    I mean why not? He has impressed me a lot and I have never seen a manager want to manage so much, he really gives the impression that he loves every single minute no matter what. He in enthusiastic and just needs a chance to show what he can do with a good team. I say we should give him 2 years at least and then reassess the situation then, he is managing us for all the right reasons though and took the job when the likes of Venables didn’t want it.

    Joe has really impressed me and I am sure he has impressed Mike Ashley too. Well done Joe.

    So far so good!

  • jordi

    Dec 15, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #4

    to be fair to JFK the defence has improved since he took over but how much is due to him and how much to the ‘right’ players coming good? If Taylor had been available would Bassong have got a look in at CB or would he still be vying with Enrique for LB?
    Truth is we’ll never know I guess but working on defending for 4 out of 5/6 days training has got to make some impact?

  • jordi

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #5


    I wasn’t impressed when I heard JFK was the ‘interim’ manager.
    I thought he was going to have a meltdown during the ‘F-in Press Call’.

    If he keeps us up though he’s done a very good job in very difficult circumstances and I’d like to see that count for something.
    If we get into top 10 he’s done a very good job.

    And let’s not forget his wages will be tiny compared to other ‘named’ managers so he’s automatically Ashley’s favourite for the job 😉

  • sirjasontoon

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #6

    Bob S in Ed’s defense Shat It!

    Let’s not get carried away..good result and not the one i expected…hopefully we will build on this and crush the sorry spuds.

    January window will be critical and hopefully we can do some wheeling and dealing.

  • ToonTonic

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #7


    Nice post Ed

  • ToonTonic

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #8

    I meant to say….

    Im 7th Wahoooooooo


  • StevieA

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #9

    Jordi – Joe Kinnear clearing the air with the press on his first or second day in charge is the best thing he could have done. At the time he didn’t know whether he would be there in 6 to 8 weeks so he spoke his mind and why not?

    It took the pressure off the players and put the focus on him for a while. The papers are full of bs and anyone knows that these days. He took them to task over certain things and it’s worked out very well for him.

    I was impressed when he took over and thought he would be a good appointment. Give him a chance was my philosophy and if he does well give him the rest of the season.

    He has done well because if you look at the league table you will see we are now only 6 points from Everton in 7th. That’s how close the league is.

    The biggest difference between us and Everton is the defence and Joe is working on that 4 out of 7 days? If we get the right signing in then from what I have seen we could be top 10 or 8 in no time. To put things into perspective we are 3 points from Wigan in 9th.

    It works but ways I know but we are on the up and I can see a real difference. We are starting to play through balls down the flanks, the defence is working as a UNIT and the strikers are doing a lot of running. Midfielders are tracking back. Given is throwing the ball to the wingers.

    All this adds up, it shows the team KNOWS what it’s doing. We never used to know, they seemed to make it up on the day.

    Good signs for me having watched football for over 20 years.

  • nufc123

    Dec 15, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #10

    sky sports website

    breakin news


  • robtoon

    Dec 15, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #11

    good team performance, good tactics, we had the run of the green yesterday probably best performance of season- or man u or chelsea-
    but lets not get carried away we did wen er beat villa 2-0 then lost to fulham so lets see what happens once we’ve played spurs at home n wigan away and take it from there.. 2 very big games

  • tino97

    Dec 15, 2008 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #12

    Its good that our defence is getting some credit. Its the first time on match of the day that I have heard the words ‘good’ ‘Newcastle’ ‘defence’ being used in the same sentence. But with the league being the way it is we are only one loss from disaster, or one win from the top half!

  • Punk Skunk

    Dec 15, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #13

    At last,
    a consistant back 4!..

    …Anyone see motd last night?..
    …One pleb started sayin’ our defense was doin’ well…I thought, woah, will wonders ever cease?..
    …Then all they said was : Given’s been excellent & Owen was top class…No mention of the defense at all…Just goes to show what they think of us…Probably didn’t even know who plays in defense for us?..pundits-shit ’em!..

  • Piers

    Dec 15, 2008 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #14

    Our defense has been first class. Give credit when credit is due……Kinnear has done a terrfic job, he should be given the praise. Last year, we were one of the teams that had the most goals against, not this year!!

  • Toon_Ksk

    Dec 15, 2008 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #15

    I bet we will make just one signing in the transfer window and that will be a goalkeeper. Exactly the player we don’t need.


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