Kevin Keegan Gives Hope To Two Of Newcastle’s Smaller Players

Former Newcastle manager and player Kevin Keegan has given encouragement to all those footballers who are not blessed with physical size, and his words have come while he is on a visit to Malaysia, and he is rightly telling Malaysian players that there is no reason why they cannot become top players in football, if they work at it and get fit, and size doesn’t matter.

Shane Ferguson – relatively tall at just over 5’9″

And Kevin’s words can apply to some our smaller players – like Shane Ferguson as one example – who is not the size of two penneth of chips (it’s a long time since I’ve used those words), yet is doing very well – thank you very much – in the Newcastle first team.

This is what Kevin said while in Malaysia:

“These are players without much physical advantage who have proved to be really special.” In my playing career, I was so fit…and was top of the tree. Of course you need to have determination, some skills and pace…but it was my super fitness which made the difference.” “You have got to be self-inspired to achieve your goal.”

Shane is not too tall at just over 5’9″, yet he is strong on the ball, and has been called Newcastle’s man of steel by Perchinho, and he’s hard to shake off the ball.

And Shane may be called big to another of Newcastle’s smaller players – Vurnon Anita – but when you have the technique, skill and talent that Vurnon has, you can become a big success at Newcastle.

And some of the best players around are not exactly tall – Barcelona’s Iniesta, Xavi and Messi are all just 5’7″ tall –  and they are three of the best players in the world at the moment.

Yes – you’re right Vurnon Anita is an inch shorter than those three at just 5’6″ – but hey, Vurnon is one inch taller than one of the best players ever to grace the football field – Diego Maradona of Argentina – who is 5’5″ tall.

So size is hardly important when you have the skills, talent and technique in football.

And compared to some of the current Barcelona players, Kevin Keegan was even tall at 5’8″, and he was world-class when he played for Liverpool and England.

And after all, the great Pele, the best player I have ever seen, was just 5’8″ tall, so Shane and Vurnon should have no problems in coming through big time, as two of Newcastle’s best players in the future.

That’s what we’re hoping for in any case. 😀

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47 comments so far

  • veto

    Nov 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #1

    yeah i got the to small card aswell when i was at the academy, really knocked the wind out of my sails as a kid as i knew i was better than most of the lads there
    , thats the problem with our countrys training programs , we favour strength and speed over a footballers technical ability and wonder why we are not producing any more gazza’s or beardsleys .

  • Rotonda heights

    Nov 9, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #2


    Tragically it has always been that way in the UK.
    The whole mindset is wrong. People would almost rather see a blood curdling challenge than a genuine piece of skill. Small players turn far more easily and give me a Beardo over a Crouch any day of the week.

    On another subject or maybe not, when Saylor came on las night why was it that every time he got the ball he was looking to diagonally hoof it 60 yards? Even Willo brought the ball out a bit when he was on.

  • fray bentos

    Nov 9, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #3

    oh no one of those academy posters

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Nov 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #4

    You just have to look at the Premier League today to realize that size isn’t everything.Silva,Mata,
    Cazorla and Hazard just to name a few off the top of my head

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Nov 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #5

    @ Fray

    Veto has just as much right to post as you. He might be lying, he might not. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt for a change. Just look at the Spanish national side, arguably the best team in the world and I bet their average height is well under 6 feet tall.

  • dinosaur

    Nov 9, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Two thoughts on last night’s game:
    Tiote is getting to be an embarasment. He is constantly pushing his hand or elbow into opponents faces, or quietly stamping his studs on the top of their feet. Of course he also picked up his customary yellow card. It looks as if Pardew’s fatherly talks are falling on deaf ears. Do we want to keep playing a thug?

    Brugge’s firstgoal looked like a replay of Liverpool’s last weekend. Straight down the middle, Collochini one on one beaten for speed, and wham! Other teams are going to exploit this.

  • Conaldo (The Wizard)

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Comment #7

    Wow – the blog is dead today.

    Apparently Chelsea have made a profit this year, and are no longer in debt.

    They have spent like a billion pounds in the last 10 years and made a profit?!!

  • jasper

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #8

    This story still seems to have legs….

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #9

    @ Conaldo

    I doubt all the wizardy you posses up your sleeve could not save the blog today I’m afraid 🙂

  • Big Pappa Cissé

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #10

    Could save rather 😉

  • toonarmydownsouth

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Comment #11

    Aint going to happen he’s apparantly got a trigger in his contract that if west ham stay in the league then they automatically buy him so the loan payment of i think £5 mil? Is basically a deposit!

  • Ketsbaia9

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #12

    We need a pacey player rather than Andy Carroll. Miralem Sulejmani or Loic Remy would be good signings. There’s no way we would go back in for Nolan.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Comment #13

    Kets…Don’t we need two more strikers? I personally think Andy Carroll would still have a role at the club and I imagine a significant one.

    Not essential, but not the backward step some claim, imo. I’d be happy to see him back playing for us.

    Wouldn’t complain about Remy mind 🙂

  • Ketsbaia9

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #14

    We could do with Remy and Konate plus another 6 players.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Comment #15

    What do you think is a reasonable timeline to get approximately 6 new players in?

  • Graeme

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Comment #16

    There is probably more chance of signing Messi than of Nolan and Andy coming back to Newcastle!!

    Mind, if Messi fancies joining a decent team, he’s more than welcome in my book lol

  • Graeme

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Comment #17

    Ibiza – to Newcastle?

    If we really need them, maybe 2 or 3 years. If we just like the look of them and know beyond doubt they will improve the team immensely – maybe 4 years.

    We don’t want to be seen to do these things in haste!!

  • wreker16

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #18

    We are not gonna get 8 players, end of. Which 3 (more realistic even if it’s not realistic) would u get as first choice?

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #19

    Got to love the Scousrers really. Bless ’em. Someone left this comment on SS:

    “I know exactly whats going to happen (dont hate me toon fans) BA is coming to Liverpool and Carroll is going the other way”

    Read this and thought, hmmm, I suppose stranger things have happened. I suppose if Ba has told the club he is looking to leave (pure pure PURE speculation here for the sake of the idea), so they think we’re getting £7m, who can we get in for that figure? Hmmmm….Maybe Andy Carroll would be considered good business, given £28m profit and back to where you started in a way. However, the dear dear bin dipper then progressed:

    “i expect us to get another player or cash considering BA’s buckled knees. Id bite your hand of for that”

    Firstly, keep those gnashers away from my limbs (Can’t help but think of Suarez here…). Ba plus another player or money for Carroll who you don’t want and can’t seem to score at the minute? Get real.

  • ToonJovi

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #20

    I agree on comments about Tiote! sell him for 25mil and buy Wanyama 10mil and Carroll 15mil? 🙂

  • BelfastMagpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #21

    It would probably take us 3 years to sign 6 players lol

    I’ve just convinced myself that we’re signing no one.

    That way I wont be dissapointed. 😛

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #22

    Graeme….We’re thinkers, not doers and wont be rushed. Plus didn’t you know, everyone waits for Mike 😉

    As for Messi at SJP, pretty sure I’ve seen a picture of that recently….thinking about it, maybe it was my Fifa cover?

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #23

    Belfast….I’ll break you down, don’t you worry. Come January 1st you’re gonna be like a kid at Christmas. Most likely suicidal b February 1st mind.

    Toonjovi….I would sell him at £25m, don’t think that figure is likely mind.

    I think some have forgotten what a decent player Tiote is. Hasn’t had a great start and needs to get his head together. What was it though, 31 cards in 61 games? I had actually convinced myself he’d improved his discipline, but that’s not good reading.

  • BelfastMagpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #24

    No chance mate.

    The transfer window always ends in dissapointment for me. lol

  • BelfastMagpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #25

    I like your man Wanyama too.

    But I read Lennon values him at 25million.

    So I think we can forget about that one.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Comment #26

    Belfast….Not buying it 🙂 At some point you will let yourself believe, even if just a little. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t feel right without at least a bit of angst.

  • Ian Toon

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #27

    Jasper@ 8- It could well have legs. There is no contractual deal between Liverpool and West Ham beyond the end of this season. West Ham made an initial bid to take Carrol on loan which would have led to a permanent £ 17 million deal at season end if they avoided relegation. This was turned down by Liverpool. Following which West Ham spent £ 11 million in signing Jarvis. Liverpool thereafter agreed to pay part of AC’s £80,000 pw wage. There is no automatic deal at season end all bets are off . As things stand Liverpool and AC are not encumbered beyond the end of the season and would be free to negotiate with all interested parties. Pardew is well aware of this as are it appears all but the armchair pundits.
    Hope your having a great day free from the blog.

  • BelfastMagpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Comment #28

    Im predicting the Debuchy saga to raise its head again like. 😉

  • Graeme

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #29

    Ibiza – a question for you!!

    Rather than player numbers – what would it cost to buy only one player? A striker who can score goals as often as Tiote picks up cards?? Will he be signed in January??

  • toonLYF

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Comment #30

    on the Carroll topic – I would absolutely love to see him come back to replace Ameobi when he retires. Shola is doing a super job this season, and has warranted his starting position over Cisse almost every game. Sadly, i can see this being his last full(ish) season; i think the season following will be his official last, where he will be a bit-part player.

    Enter: Andy Carroll.

    As for the Tiote slaters…let me guess, he’s the a poor player and a thug this week. Next week against Swansea, if he puts in one of his “man possessed” performances, he’s the best DM in the league. Get a clue man.

  • Super Magpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Comment #31

    About Carroll

    I’d take him back as long as we don’t pay more than £10m.
    He is not worth a penny more than that and we could probably get better strikers for that price.

  • toon smart

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Comment #32

    My bet for the january transfer window are:

    1. Erik Pieters – LB that can play CB when needed – good friends with Krul and has already seen the club

    And thats it.

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #33

    Graeme…..As many goals as Tiote gets yellows? It can’t be done! Personally, I think we’ll see a young striker coming in, rather than someone already established and knocking them in. As for figures, I really don’t know where to start. I’ve seen decent incoming strikers ranging from £0 – £9m.


    LYF….Spot on.

  • Super Magpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Comment #34


    Tiote’s problem is that he can’t control his aggression. If he done that he would be a top player. I don’t think he is the best DM in the league, he is not consistent enough to be put in that bracket.

    Although he is consistently getting booked. 😉

  • toon smart

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #35

    Other outside chances are:

    1. Miralem Sulejmani – contract expiring in June 2013 and Ajax are letting him go. Could be purchased for a small fee but i could imagine the powers at be waiting to the summer when he is on a free.

    2. Young CB – Age range 21-23 played 50+ 1st team games for their respective club – so any player fitting that category that can be bought for about 1-2 million

  • Super Magpie

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #36

    Predictions for this weekend?
    Mine are:

    Arsenal 1-0 Fulham
    Aston Villa 0-3 Man United
    Everton 3-0 Scum
    Reading 2-2 Norwich
    Southampton 1-1 Swansea
    Stoke 3-1 QPR
    Wigan 1-1 West Brom
    Chelsea 2-1 Bindippers
    Man City 2-2 Spurs
    Toon 1-0 West Ham

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Comment #37

    Can see Pieters still being on our radar. Still think the Douglas deal might not be over either. Then there’s Debuchy….

    I’m pretty confident in saying we wont be getting all three….or will we Belfast???

  • Ibizatoon - Back by popular demand

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #38

    Super….Most of those scores look good. Got to say, whilst I think we can win, I’m not so confident about keeping a clean sheet on Sunday.

  • toonLYF

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #39

    predictions…my favourite game 🙂

    Arsenal 1-2 Fulham
    Aston Villa 0-2 Man United
    Everton 4-1 Scum – being kind!
    Reading 1-2 Norwich
    Southampton 0-1 Swansea
    Stoke 1-1 QPR
    Wigan 2-1 West Brom
    Chelsea 3-0 Bindippers
    Man City 2-2 Spurs
    Toon 1-0 West Ham

  • toon smart

    Nov 9, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #40

    @ Ibiza

    Definitely not Debuchy. We tried and it all went messy and i don’t think it can be sorted out.

    Douglas – I think he is going to wait to the end of his contract and see who gives hom the best offer. That could be us but i am sure his agent will maximise his advantage.

    Pieters – for all the reasons stated above and the fact that the Simpson contract situation doesn’t look like being resolved and the suggestion made to Santon by Pardew that he will be played on the right


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