Current Situation Similar To Period After Kevin Keegan Returned As Manager

The very poor run we are in right now is a bit similar to the one Kevin Keegan had when he arrived back at Newcastle to take over as manager on January 16th, 2008 after Sam Allardyce had been sacked.

Every fan expected Kevin to start winning games immediately, but that didn’t happen because as good as Kevin Keegan, and Rafa Benitez are as managers – they are not supermen (unfortunately).

Kevin went eight league games plus a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in the FA Cup 4th round before getting his first win for Newcastle in his 10th game in charge.

That was a much welcome 2-0 win at home to Fulham on 22 March 2008.

Kevin Keegan – with assistants Hughton and McDermott – in early 2008

In the first 8 games in the league, Kevin had only 3 draws and five defeats to show for his efforts and we had been sliding down the league table.

In the four games after we beat Fulham 2-0, Newcastle went on to win three and draw one.

Kevin had rightly predicted during the barren initial spell that once Newcastle got a win, everything would be better because the players would have that added confidence needed to win games.

That’s where Newcastle are right now.

Once we get our next win and 3 more points – it will give the lads confidence and hopefully we can go back to the way we played in the first 9 games.

The difficulty with the team Rafa has this season is it’s full of younger players who lack experience.

In our next 6 games if we can say get at least two wins then we can strengthen the squad in the January transfer window, and we are hoping Rafa will get some funds from owner Mike Ashley to do that.

Here are the next six games we have to play before the FA Cup 3rd round at home to Luton Town:

Date              Fixture              KO time
Wed 13 Dec    Newcastle vs Everton      19:45
Sat 16 Dec    Arsenal vs Newcastle      15:00
Sat 23 Dec    West Ham vs Newcastle     15:00
Wed 27 Dec    Newcastle vs Man City     19:45
Sat 30 Dec    Newcastle vs Brighton     15:00
Mon 1 Jan     Stoke vs Newcastle        15:00

The very worst thing that can happen now is for players or fans to start to panic.

Let’s keep supporting Rafa and the players and help get that next win asap!

Comments welcome.

81 comments so far

  • martoon

    Dec 11, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #1

    Being brutally honest I think us and Stoke are probably the worst 2 teams on recent form so that game on new Years Day could be a proverbial 6 pointer!

  • lesh

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #2

    I think we all agree that things aren’t right on the pitch, in the dressing room and dare I say it, throughout the club – well, excluding Barnes who’ll be comfortable with the way Ashley operates.

    Were things in good order at the club, then yes question the dismal results of late, question the manager, question the players. BUT, things are not hunky dory and the uncertainty plus the shoddy treatment he’s had from Ashley will no doubt be affecting Rafa. Anybody that knows about what makes people tick in the workplace will understand that anxiety is transmitted from top to bottom.

    Let’s not forget that Rafa is a human being who’s affected by the air of uncertainty – his hyper and unreasonable critics should bear that in mind – and ask themselves whether they could operate in such a toxic atmosphere. No? Thought not. So go easy on the best manager we’ve been lucky enough to have over many a long year.

  • Average_Contents

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #3

    One of the worst things to ever happen to our club was king kev, well him and shearer.

    It’s ok though, mikey boy brought us back down to where we belong. That’ll show em eh!

    Fat slug out.

  • lesh

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #4

    Keegan had a bad spell and so has Rafa.

    Are there any common factors?

    Well, Ashley was lying to and pi$$ing Keegan about over player recruitment for a start.

    Anyone see any more parallels between then and now?

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #5

    Dec 11, 2017 at 1:57 PM
    Comment #5
    My team for Wednesday:

    Mbemba__Lascelles__Lejeune___Clark Tell defenders to stay put and just bloody defend as a unit.

    Start as we did last time and continue playing that way. Everton played 24hrs after us and are having to travel up here. Fresh legs down the spine, solid, balanced back 4. Natural width. No players playing in inverted positions which is a massive problem to fluidity of moves when the players in those positions don’t have the requisite quality.

    Get ball into the box – high or low, we have the players to attack the ball. Gayle coming into some form, Mitro has to be given a chance. Rather a tough nut Serb during the cold winter months than a flimsy Spaniard who has been given more than enough chances.

    I fear it won’t be anything like that, however. Joselu, Manquillo, Ritchie, Yedlin and Diame all likely to start, despite their tiredensss/lack of form/being ill-suited to position..

    It’s a must win game for me. Another loss and we’re deep in it.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #6

    I think we should go back to basics against Everton just have a solid defence who do not cross the half way line a bit like when Leicester won the league:

    Gamez RB
    Mbemba CB
    Lascalles CB
    Dummett LB
    Shelvey CM
    Merino CM
    Murphy RW
    Atsu LW
    Gayle CF
    Mitrovic CF

    Our problem at the moment is our fullbacks are getting exposed because neither of them are defenders Gamez and Dummett are great at defending and should be used for us to plug the gaps while then allowing the young pacy wingers freedom to attack and get into the box

  • Tsunki

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #7

    The idea that Mbemba, Colback Gamez etc are the star players who can turn our season around and that only the deluded Benitez refuses to see it is baffling beyond all reason.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #8

    Don’t know of anyone recalls this but we got relegated with these guys. These solid defenders.

  • SecretSausage

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #9

    Please dont get too upset. Only 3 weeks to go until we are super excited.

    The deal is done. Just look logically at the evidence. We’ve got a number of decent sources all saying positive stuff. Then the curry incident only backs it up. There is no way in the world that they have a business meeting in a restaurant. That was a celebration dinner. The dealing will be done by other people, not those two. They will just give the go ahead. I think we can consider it done and now the people in the background will just be putting the final touches together.

    All the rumours were correct. Happy days on their way.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #10

    Now what was our GD then?…. :O

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #11


    On last thread. Agreed, if Dummett is fit then straight in at LB, drop Lejeune and restore our best CB pairing.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #12

    secret sausage

    much as i desperately want to believe it i’m sorry but that doesn’t sound very convincing, more like wishful thinking.

    no report from shire, sparky, hibbit and frank pingel’s cum sock for a while now.

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #13


    that’s not what i’m suggesting at all, i think it’s a much bigger thing than just on the pitch,

    just say at your job, you are one of the better ones, then suddenly you make a mistake and you are now made to feel like an out sider, now do that with 5/6 in a small work force, the atmosphere could become quite toxic, new players coming in trying to fit in, no fault of there own there put in a position where they kind of have to pick sides.
    under P45 it was just HBA really, but right now the fans are shouting for mitrovic and he sits on the bench, suddenly there is a small number of popular players out in the cold, why wouldn’t it cause what we se on he pitch ?

    something more than just average players is wrong at the club. and whether people like to hear it or not, my money is on Rafa being the problem, he is creating a devide within the squad

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #14

    At the risk of the Bus not stopping yet I feel the need to re-post this for Amanda

    Dear Amanda

    As an extra incentive to spend a bit more and buy the club, I just want to point out that Newcastle Upon Tyne has just been named as the top tourist destination in the world.

    It also has some top notch Curry restaurants.

    It is a win win prospect with the absolutely best supporters in the world.

    You’ll be devastated if you miss out on this fantastic opportunity.


    On behalf of most of us bloggers and fans of NUFC

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #15

    when i say popular, i mean popular within the squad

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #16

    It’s odd, my under 14’s have been top of their league all season but the last 2 matches we’ve lost and I am now thinking how to rectify it, either by dropping players or changing formation. We started off 4-4-1-1, then changed to 3-5-1-1 which we’ve used successsfully for a good while till the last 2 games.

    It just shows even at that level how intense and stressful coaching is becoming. I’m afraid of throwing out some of the good stuff from 3-5-1-1 and having a sweeper and playing 3 across the middle with wing backs gave us good cover, with a link striker feeding a very rapid guy up top.

    But to show how crazy the options are becoming these are just a few below. Who’d be a manager !!!!:-







    4-4-2 with a diamond midfield shape.



  • SecretSausage

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #17

    rotonda the news i got was that it was 100% happening and the words used were unlimited funds once done. they are going to take us to the very top.
    since then we had all the positive things mentioned by those ITK’s and also the curry incident.
    Im fed up with how it is at the momnet but im also confident the deal is done. ive never posted a date before but the guy that told me said it was before dec 17th. ive no idea why that date but would be funny if it was then.
    chin up buddy, its sickening now but about to change.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #18

    When aah was a lad wih had a 2 3 5 formation that nivor changed, warked alreet for us.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #19

    Catchy I’d love to know how you think that has actually happened. The conspiracy theory that a whole bunch of great players have been alienated seems a lot more far fetched than the squad is just not fit for purpose in this league.

    I’m convinced we won’t hear about the issue with mitrovic until the January sales are over. In any case he isn’t going to rescue this team. He never before, he won’t now.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 11, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #20

    @Rotonda – have you thought about going the Big Sam route, 4-3-2-1 7 defensive outfield players, 3 attackers, keep it tight and try and score from set pieces and hoofing it into the corners?

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #21

    We could do with a Jimmy Scoular, John McGrath or Bobby Moncur (young player version) now.

    Although Jimmy would probably get the occasional booking in the modern game.

  • Tsunki

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #22

    Cheggers goes pop!

  • Jib

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #23

    Essex Geordie Bill
    When aah was a lad wih had a 2 3 5 formation that nivor changed, warked alreet for us.

    They put air in car tyres now Bill.

  • jayphoto

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #24

    Growing up I played in a couple good sides, the least progressive and most primitive when it came to tactics was Villa youth! Literally never learnt anything there other than 4-4-2, centrebacks hoof it, plan was always get it to the wingers, wingers run with it and get it into the box, 1 big striker flicking on for 1 rapid striker..
    Played semi pro for a team age 16 after that and it was the opposite,nowhere near the level of villa but the manager was obsessed with the 90’s Italian teams, loads on positioning etc. Was the first manager I ever heard talk about leaving space behind and having a sweeper keeper, years before I saw it catch on in pro game

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #25

    Secret sausage

    cheers for that. I guess if we don’t hang on to believing it will happen, the alternative is too awful to contemplate. Ash is such a law unto himself if he can kick us where it hurts he’s never missed an opportunity previously


    think it’s quite popular with pulis, pardew and moyes too!

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #26


    i think rafa is desperate for a ”sweeper / keeper”. watching the city keeper yesterday playing keepball with his defenders even under extreme pressure was incredible, never went long.

  • bettyswallocks

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #27
  • jayphoto

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #28

    The issue with mitro looks pretty clear to me! Obviously isn’t trusted and doesn’t follow instructions! Seen enough live games and benitez reaction to him on the pitch to suggest he doesn’t do what hes told… Rafa famously doesn’t play players that don’t follow the plan. It was apparently why Mbemba got benched for 6 months after the Wolves game last year.
    On Colback, his giving away fouls and losing possession nearly cost us promotion, I didn’t think he was good enough last year, he was offered a way out and chose to sit on the wage (his right to). Not a player we should let absence grow the heart fonder for….
    Saivet suprises me, never thought hes looked awful for us, was a captain at Bordeaux and can play a lot of positions, but then Galtier had nothing good to say about him at A.S.S.E last year so maybe attitude?
    Gamez always looks decent too, weird one that, another who has captained sides in his previous club
    Personally I’d try and find a system to accommodate Shelvey and Merino in the same side. I think both need to play next to a hayden tho, so options would be a 4-3-3 which we look well set up for, or Merino dropping back into a playmaking centreback almost like how he was used at Dortmund and a couple times for spain u21 in a 3-4-2-1 line up but think we lack the left wing back for that to be really effective. Personally id love to see a 4-3-3 of Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune Dummett, – hayden, merino, Shelvey- Atsu,Gayle, Ritchie with Aarons and murphy pushing the wide men from the bench

  • catchy in norway

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #29


    again, change and add what ever words you like, i never said great.

    what i said, was popular players are being treated unfairly, and it won’t take long before they form a little click, and it’s a them v us scenario.

    conspiracy? maybe, but there has to be some reason why so many are not in his squad that are better than IMO are better than those getting game time.

    and i’m only going of what carragher says, he likes to create conflict. so it is possible

  • geordiemark

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #30

    Essex Geordie Bill

    how about John McNamee, players these days would shit themselves coming up against him 🙂

  • jayphoto

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #31

    @Rotonda – agree think hes desperate for that sweeper keeper, its why he put together the Caballero deal (that Ashley blocked). Was surprising how accurate schmeichal was with his feet, helped start more than a few Leicester attacks and his willingness off his line kind of negated the lack of pace of McGuire and Morgan as his starting position blocked the over the top in behind ball…
    That position is increasingly more crucial to good sides, previous good keepers with poor outfield skills are being made obsolete (see Joe Hart) unfortunately our keepers distribution is utterly horrendous…

  • hibbit

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #32

    a small piece of news I’v just received

    Mike Ashley’s lawyer Andrew Henderson is flying to the USA this evening for a meeting with him i honestly don’t have a clue why !!!

    that’s all information i got make of it what you will ???

  • lesh

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #33

    catchy in norway

    Give it a rest bonny lad. You’ve made your point and your constant attacks on Rafa are getting beyond a joke.

    You’ve made a name for yourself as an obsessive and insensitive person who must regret the need for the sleep that stops you spewing your bile. Each morning, a day of challenge and opportunity? In your case Catchy, it’s a good time to play your only LP record again, and again and….


    Tek nee notice i Jiblets, ah think ee’s heed’s knackered wi tryin ti be clivor. That google’s thi best thit’s cum alerng and even he cin manage the copy in paste thing.

  • geordiemark

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #34


    lets hope he shoves a pipe bomb where the sun doesn’t shine oops sorry

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #35


    Aye an aah bet yee can dee it with oot a pump. 🙂

  • SecretSausage

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #36

    oh thats interesting

  • Our Toon

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #37


    Ritchie isn’t following instructions either though so the issuebwith Mitro can’t be as simplistic as that. Ritchie has been awful and left yedlin exposed time after time, he was then picked to play LB against Chelsea who are strongest down there right. Messed up royally in that game and then selected again at weekend and got into an argument with rafa during the game.

    I don’t buy the following instructions theory, I honestly think it’s alot more simplistic and that rafa picks players he’s bought as he’s bought them for a reason!! It’s as simple as that

  • geordiemark

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #38


    youd have thought this day of age they would have just faxed it over to big mikey boy

  • nut meg

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #39

    hibbitt….to sign on the dotted line i hope !

  • lesh

    Dec 11, 2017 at 3:32 PM

    Comment #40


    Maybe Henderson’s flying out to bail the drunken lout out of the slammer. Ashley’s supposedly there on business, probably buying some company or other so I don’t see anything unusual about his legals flying out to join him in negotiations.


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