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Deserved Praise For Cacapa and Taylor

Kevin Keegan is busy building up the confidence of the players he inherited from Sam Allardyce, as he tries to get the best out of the squad, through the end of this season.


Claudio Cacapa – experienced defender looking solid at the back now

Keegan has singled out Claudio Cacapa for praise and rightly so since he had two strong games for Newcastle United against top side Arsenal, and has often looked the part this season.

Keegan said today:

“We conceded six goals over the two games with Arsenal, but I felt we defended pretty well.” “When you play Arsenal, they don’t attack you in one particular area. They attack you all over the pitch.”

“If you look at the scores, you might think the center halves didn’t do a particularly good job – but I don’t think that’s the case for either Claudio or Steven Taylor.”

“Claudio played as he can do against Arsenal, which is very well. If we had signed Jonathan Woodgate Claudio would have probably have been the one to suffer, and he has responded in the right manner.”

It’s true that Taylor and Cacapa have looked good together and with Abdoulaye Faye back from African Cup of Nations duty, we doubt that Kevin will change the central defense. But we’d like to see both Faye and Beye back in the team. Beye at right back and Faye as central defensive midfield, where he has looked dominant in his last two games for the Magpies.

The only real bad game Cacapa has had was against Portsmouth – which is a well documented nightmare for the Brazilian, but he took his mistakes like a man and has fought his way back like a true professional.

He seems to be getting used to the English way of playing football and physically he can take it like the best of him, and even seems to relish it these days. He also reads the game as good as anybody.

We still have high hopes that Claudio can come through, and of course Steven Taylor is looking better and better as the season goes by. We need both of them to keep playing well and they’ve looked really good together, while under considerable pressure in the last couple of games. Not only is Steven playing well, but he’s providing the guts, pride and Geordie determination that we need right now.

All that’s needed for Steven is to sign him up on a nice 5 year deal – he’s a really outstanding talent, and his father Alf has wisely ensured he keeps his feet firmly on the ground. Steven is playing as good as he’s ever played right now.

Newcastle United need to have him sign a new contract, and the sooner that happens, the better for all concerned.

Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Rich

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Team i think will be played against Boro:

    Beye Taylor Cacapa Enrique
    Milner N Zogbia Emre Duff
    Owen Smith

    Subs: Harper, Barton, Viduka, Butt, Carr

    I dont think KK will risk using Beye or Faye in this game after just returning, hel get them ready for Villa and the close season.

  • jimmer

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #2

    clean sheet on sunday would nice.

  • Gooderz

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #3

    They have been good of late, and that is partly done to having a consistent pairing at the back. Under Allardyce, the defence was changed for almost every game and hopefully now we shall see Beye, Taylor, Cacapa/Faye and Enrique as a regular defence and finally have some solidarity at the back and getting the attacking players to show their class, particularly Emre, who could be the key to unlocking our opponents.

  • Graham

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #4

    A goal wouldn’t go a miss either

  • Graham

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #5

    Gooderz – couldnt agree more. The sooner we get a settled back 4 the better. Our midfield can then hopefully pass the ball with confidence and take the pressure off the defence.

    I dont think the defence has been our main problem this season – its the fact we havent been able to keep the ball further up the field whi has resulted in the back 4 being put under almost constant pressure.

    3-1 on Sunday thanks lads!

  • Chicken

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #6

    Rich – you said you don’t think that KK will risk Beye and yet you’ve included him in the team you expect to start.

  • MattyDread

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #7

    I think out of the four defenders brought in in the summer (Faye, Beye, Cacapa and Rozhenal) we definitely got rid of the weakest one. A central defensive pairing of two from Taylor, Cacapa or Faye is pretty good and Beye has been impressive at right back.

    If Rozhenal had been willing to play the versatile backup role he would have been worth keeping but wouldn’t have been near the first team as far as I’m concerned.

    I’d quite like to see Keegan play an adventurous 4-1-3-2 kind of formation; a decent flat back four, a defensive midfielder, three midfielders playing an advanced attacking type of role right across the park and two strikers. I think we’ve got the players to do it and it would create chances both from the wing and / or driving through the middle.

    Beye/Carr | Taylor/Cacapa/Faye | Enrique/N’zogbia




  • MattyDread

    Feb 1, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #8

    I forgot to mention Enrique – he’s also been impressive when he’s played and is sure to get better. (soz Jose)

  • Toon_Army

    Feb 1, 2008 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #9

    Cacapa has been good?!? Have we been watching different games??

  • Whumpie

    Feb 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Nice to hear some recognition that we’re well-stocked for decent centre-backs, even with Roz off on loan. Even for the future we’ve got Rammy coming through, and with competition between Cacapa (“I believe in Miracles” etc. etc.) and Faye all should be well there.

    All it needed was a man with some charisma to acknowledge how good they are and give some consistency.

    But as someone’s said, the real problem is allowing the ball through the midfield too often through slack passing and ball control. Stamping that out is the real challenge.

  • Leo*

    Feb 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #11

    i am willing to give cacapa a chance so if faye and beye are fit for the boro game i would play

    beye cacapa taylor enrique( if fit otherwise zog)
    milner barton(zog if jose is fit) faye duff
    owen and viduka

  • Tim

    Feb 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #12

    I have to say that a team of,


    Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, Enrique

    Milner, Emre, Butt, Nzogbia

    Viduka, Owen

    Subs, Harper, Duff, Smith, Beye, Faye

    Should be able to do well in the league esp. against the smoggies. There is a lot of talent there. it just needs geeing up, which KK is great at.

    If that team/squad ends up fighting for relegation it will be a disgrace and they’ll all deserve the sack.

  • Jamie

    Feb 1, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #13

    For me Cacapa has not got enough pace at the back, he is not either strong enough. Yes he reads the play great and has great experience, but in the premeirship, raw power and pace is whats needed. I much prefer Faye!

  • Tripp

    Feb 1, 2008 at 5:49 PM

    Comment #14

    Pace is key. It’s what allowed Arse their first two goals on tuesday.

    I think that the midfield should be adjusted a bit depending on who we’ve got available and who we’re playing. Against the weaker sides we should go with Barton – Emre (provided they can play well together and that Barton stays out from behind bars). Against more difficult sides perhaps we bring Faye into the DM role to help give the back 4 some cover. I like Faye in the side as much as possible, though. So perhaps Cacapa or Taylor sits.

  • hanzemre_malaysia

    Feb 2, 2008 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #15

    i’d play Faye as CB at any day. If unavailable & against teams with less treat of pacey strikers/CFs i’d go for Cacapa in CB with Faye as cover in DM.


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