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Keegan Knows What’s Needed At Newcastle

Newcastle United have lots of work they can do in the enforced two-week break before the next game against Manchester United in just under a couple of weeks. And it looks like Keegan’s summary of the game on Saturday was spot on.


Kevin Keegan – lots of work to get done on training pitch

Keegan was rightly very disappointed with our second-half display on Saturday, after we were actually in front at the break, which is unusual these days. But in the second half the physical presence of Norwegian John Carew was to much for our defense as John picked up his first hat trick for the club. But why didn’t Kevin bring on Abdoulaye Faye to deal with his physicality and heading ability?

And Keegan was forced to substitute Shay Given with the score at 2-1, after Shay’s very dodgy groin went again. The shot for the first goal was deflected to Shay’s right, and he wasn’t able to turn quickly enough as his foot gave way and his groin went again. This is a physical weakness Shay now has and it must be at least the 5th time Given’s groin has played up since he picked up the initial injury, about 16 months ago, at West Ham.

Kevin Keegan talked about this to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today:

“That’s the sort of thing that happens when you are where we are.” “It’s the bit of luck you need at the other end.”“You wouldn’t wish an injury on anybody.” “Shay was so unlucky because one minute it’s heading for one corner and he’s got it covered.” “It got a deflection and he had time to move, but when he did he pulled his groin.” “Then he’s unable to make a save that he would normally make.”

“That’s bad luck and you put it down to that.” “It’s what we did about it after that disappointed not just me as manager, the staff and the players but the fans as well.” “It wasn’t good enough in the second half – nowhere near good enough for this football club.” “Some of the players ran their socks off for this football club on Saturday.”

“But I think others allowed themselves to be dominated and bullied in that second half.” “They have to look at themselves and along with ourselves we have to address that.” “Is it always going to be bad luck or is it something more engrained which suggests we can’t sustain something for 90 minutes?”

“We had everything you could want from the first half.” “We had a great goal from Michael and dealt well with everything that Villa could throw at us, even though they are a side with the confidence that we probably lack.”

“But you couldn’t tell that.” “We looked assured and we looked to have a little bit of belief in ourselves.” “We passed the ball well.” “In the second half you could make excuses about their goal which took a deflection and Shay getting injured during it.”

“That’s bad luck – I think he would have saved it normally.”

That’s really a very good and accurate summary from Kevin on what happened on Saturday. Those players who capitulated against Aston Villa have to eliminate whatever it was that had them basically give up the fight on Saturday. If they can’t do that, we have some good players to bring in.

Players like Faye, Emre, Viduka and Enrique all deserve a start in our next game, and we hope they get it. However, right now, we have no idea which team will turn up for that game against the Red Devils. It better be our good one if we are to get anything at all from the game.

One point would be good and 3 points would be just great. But we’ll have to wait and see, because we cannot take anything for granted from our current team, good or bad.

Comments welcome.

90 comments so far

  • ObaFan2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #1

    We have KK here to give us performances but the team is underperforming. I believe this squad has more ability than they show. The whole season the “team” has been chopped and changed around which isn’t good for individuals ( Roz is a good example ) and isn’t good for the team.

    KK, I believe has been trying to keep a consistent team to build confidence and an understanding between team mates, however this will not happen over a game or two.

    This doesn’t help either:

    “Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton could be in trouble with the Football Association after allegedly taking a swing at Villa’s Shaun Maloney.” BBC sport

    Now KK has all it’s squad members back it will be interesting to see the team sheet for Man U.

  • Bosck

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #2

    Trying to forget this season and assuming/hoping we don’t get relegated in my opinion i think the following should be shipped out from toon squad:

    Defence: Carr, Rozenhal, Ramage, possibly Cacapa

    Midfield: Barton, Butt, Geremi, possibly Smith (down on official site as a midfielder!!). If zogs still wants out no point fighting it, and either give troisi a chance or ship him out as well.

    Strikers: Viduka, Ameobi

    That would leave us with only

    GK: Given, Harper

    DF: Beye, Taylor, Faye, Enrique, Edgar, (Cacapa)

    MF: Emre, Duff, Milner, (N’Zogbia)

    ST: Owen, Martins, Carroll

    Really shows the lack of true quality (in terms of both effort and skill) that we have at the moment. Mind you also quite clearly highlights what i think should be our starting line up for the rest of the year:





    Faye must start just a decision of whether he plays directly in defence or sits in front and protects them.

    So for next season i’d say we need:

    1 RB, 2 CB, 1LB

    1RM, 2/3 CM, 1LM

    2 CF

    Thats 9-12 players out and 10/11 players in in total and then we must give them about half a season to gel. It sounds drastic but honestly i think that is what is needed now. the players brought in don’t have to all be definate starters in all the positions but must at least be capable of challenging the starting player.

  • Pete

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Barton is a complete idiot, everybody knows that. Not that good a football player either to be perfectly honest, I say put him in jail where he belongs.

    Against Man Utd my only hope is to avoid 6-0 again, we’ll lose the match no matter what we do. My guess is 0-4. Heck.. the result could be 0-10 and I wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow

  • jeff

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #4

    I think everyone and their granny knows whats needed,and thats for the players to start actually playing with passion and commitment and doing the simple things simple like passing the ball to a team mate and keeping posession and stop throwing in the towel.We need a leader on the pitch.someone who kicks ass when things are not right…The home games against Blackburn,Fulham,Reading & Mackems are massive must win games.With the players newcastle have its a disgrace where we find ourselves.But one thing I will say..This is Allardyce’s squad,he couldnt get them playing good football or attacking football,So dont expect Keegan to work miracles straight away either. if Keegan can get us safe then next season you’ll see a totally different newcastle..Yes Keegan will get the time most managers wouldnt thats because we know the score and we know he probs wont keep half the players he has at the club at the moment….And most of all he knows what we want.Once he gets his own players actually wanting to play for him,the club and for the fans we’ll all be a lot happier..

  • Ryan Syahril

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #5

    My full support for KK to collect as many points as possible and try to avoid relegation. However KK must not repeat BIG SAM’S BIG MISTAKES:
    i) to ensure right player to play at the right position.
    ii) no favouritism… pick players base on their performance (especially to players which had been given so many chances like Smith and Barton – but play like chicken!)
    iii) don’t afraid to change players during the game if the earlier plan is not working and please react to opponent tactical change (eg: to introduce Faye when Harewood and Carew use their physical to bully our defenders!)

  • I'd Love it!!

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Comment #6

    My team for manure:







    Forster (given injured)

  • playzoginthemiddle

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #7

    As I said on Friday, I was sure Carr would start, despite being a total muppet. However, there’s a fortnight now before the Man Utd game, hopefully enough time for Keegan to assess Faye and Beye properly, and play them both. Cacapa was abyssmal on Saturday, so must be dropped. Mind, so was Taylor. It’s all well and good him saying that the defence was awful to the local press, but perhaps he should look at his own performance – especialy their third goal. For what it’s worth, I’d play Harper; Beye, Faye, Taylor, Enrique; Milner, Zog, Barton, Duff; Owen, Martins.

  • Kash2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #8

    @Bosck – Spot on mate, we need a total overhaul. The only problem is that good players won’t want to sign for us next season due to our current plight!!!!

  • Kash2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #9

    @Ed – Ed can we have a poll on which fans actually want to see Barton remain at the club?

    I thought he would have been great for us, but he’s a plonker without a brain and is throwing it all away because of his lack of sensibility! Plus he tried to have a dig at the fans a while back too!!!!

  • Bosck

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #10

    Kash2 – yeah thats the problem, i know who we need to ship out, but who we bring in to replace them, and as you say who will actually come is a different problem entirely.

  • Mr T

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Kash, I think all it’ll take is one good signing to get the ball rolling!

    I’m screaming for Jimmy Bullard here like! And/or if Wigan go down, Jason Koumas.

  • steve k

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #12

    barton was wretched on saturday. he simply cannot play in his current form, and why he was sent out in the second half with emre on the bench is a mystery. every pass he made was to a villa player.

    to be honest there’s no excuse for saturday’s performance. and players such as butt, smith and barton need to be jettisoned soon.

    i just have to question why kk hasn’t had any impact since he arrived, we’re as bad as ever. it’s a terrible start for him, i hope it gets better but to be honest i can’t see this managerial run being any better than the last few.

  • Mr T

    Feb 11, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #13

    any better than since…..Keegan?


    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #14

    Every player on the bench saturday should have started!

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #15

    ‘Keegan Knows What’s Needed At Newcastle’

    Does he though? I have my doubts for the main reason:

    ‘We arent lacking creativity, we are lacking confidence’

    That is slightly true but even with confidence we are creative enough.

    (Great Escape Theme Tune)

  • GP

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #16

    Jimmy Bullard? Koumas? Are you high, Mr. T? We’re trying to become a top six team here in the long term and you suggest those two? You must have a very limited knowledge of world football. Try watching a match outside of the premierleague.

  • Chicken

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #17

    Jimmy Bullard – ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha 🙂 that is funny man

  • Sims

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #18

    I think you’re spot on mate. Every player on the bench should have been playing.
    Harper, Enrique, Faye, Viduka and Emre. Take out Given, Carr, Cacapa, Butt and Smith.
    I suspect that Keegan likes his boys Carr, Butt and Smith but on form they are poor. How a crap right back gets in infront of a Spanish U21 player is beyond me.
    That’s what worries me tho’……………Keegan should have spotted that before Saturday.

  • Macas

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #19

    Keegan was never any good at making substitutions to change a game until it was far too late. And as for the Bullard remarks, people may laugh but unfortunately I wouldn’t say he was any worse than any other midfielder we have at the moment, and better than most of them!

  • Sims

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #20

    Chicken……………how can you be so flippant towards any player when we have a bunch of tosh playing in the middle of the park ? Bullard would never even come into my thoughts but he’s a quality player and you know what………….he’s a damn sight better than any Central Midfielder we’ve got.

  • nightfall

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #21

    kevin’s an idiot..he’ll play enrique against man utd and surely he won’t be able to put his best perforamnce against a team like that so he’ll probably be dropped for next matches… play him against teams we CAN beat… for fcuk sake…kevin’s just another gambler… i don’t get it…first sam and now kevin…like sbd. wants to sabotage our club…

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #22

    Ye Bullard is a good player but im not sure about Koumas.

  • Bosck

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #23

    People should stop having such stuck up ideas about a player just because he plays at a “smaller” club.

    In case anyone didnt notice, we lost 4-1 to villa this weekend, the same villa that Jimmy Bullard almost single handedly beat the other week. Not saying we should necessarily sign him but being at a smaller club does not automatically mean you would not be good at a big club.

  • Chicken

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #24

    Bullard looks like someone’s gran – all he needs is a blue rinse and one of them shopping baskets on wheels.

    He looks half decent cos he plays for a crap team.

    If that is the best we can hope/wish for then we are even more fooked than I first thought.

    Having said all that – I’d have him any day of the week over Joey Barton.

  • jeff

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #25

    we’ll beat Blackburn at home
    beat Fulham
    beat Reading
    Draw with Mackems

    and hopefully get a victory away at birmingham
    Thats another 13 points before end of season.

    yes we are playing crap but there are also crap teams below us.

  • steve k

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #26

    The sad truth is we’ll need to improve with Bullards before we attract Decos.

    Even if I was a massive Geordie fan there is no way I’d move to Newcastle if I was a player, at least not at the moment.

    We have a squad that has never played well together, it’s a complete disaster.

    I feel incredibly negative about the Toon at the moment, simply put I’m just tired of having my Saturdays ruined by our performances.


  • GM

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #27

    I dont think our current form will influence players come the end of the season, as long as we are still in the premiership. Look at mancity they were crap last year but come the summer sven managed to get a shed load of good players in and look at them now, I’m just hoping we do the same, think everton were in a similar boat as well a couple of years ago, they finished 16th or something, then the following year qualified for uefa cup, now they have a chance at champions league spot, thats what we need to aim at.

  • scott9

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #28

    yes bullard is just what we need i dont no if he would come though cause i think he likes living in london anyone see we have been linked with celtic mcdonald could be a good signing

  • Tom_Toon

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #29

    Im watching the movie: Shoter at the moment to learn tips on how to sniper Butt and Smith.

  • jeff

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #30

    Steve K………..So much for loyal support….you know supporting through good times and bad times…….stay asleep mate too many of your type supporters are spoiling football anyway …

  • steve

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #31

    I dont think KK has a clue whats needed, why play

    Smith instead of Viduka ( I reckon Sholas a better striker than headless Smith)

    Barton instead of Emre (its a football club not fight club)

    Carr instead of Enrique (jeez he aint even a good right back)

    Cacapa instead of Faye

    All in all it’s depressing – we need to stay in the premiership and to do that we need to use our best players – Butt, Smith and Barton need to have a spell out the team

    jeff – if he wasn’t a loyal supporter he wouldnt be having his saturdays ruined just like the rest of us!

  • James

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #32

    Interesting words from Fat Sam


    He says Newcastle is too small a club for him!

  • Kash2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #33

    I like Jimmy Bullard, he’s an old school midfielder who has glue on his boots (thats why the ball sticks close to him when he dribbles). If it wasn’t for injuries he would have done wonders for Fulham.

    Maybe it will take only 1 signing to get the ball rolling, but we have a terrible problem with consistency with our players. We need a few good signings and then some potential players for the squad. At least that way there’ll be plenty of competition and keeping players on there toes.

  • Kash2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #34

    I was saying last week how Given always hoofs the ball upfield. I was eating my words on Saturday when Carr and Cacapa looked like amateurs trying to play the ball out of defence. That was the worst example of playing from the back!!!!

  • Chicken

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Uh oh!

    I’ve just seen the Barton incident on SSN.

    Looks much, much worse than I first thought – he appears to throw 2 punches at the Villa player.

    Surely this has to be the very last of all JB’s last chances now.

    If KK comes out and stands by him, or tries to defend him, it’s only gonna put more distance between KK and some of the doubting fans (myself included).

  • Matt

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #36

    Don’t know why you think we have to attract average players to move up the league.
    All depends on what Cashley wants to do, and how much dosh he has to spend.
    Look at Man City. Very poor league position last year and they have gone out and bought virtually an entire squad.
    Why can’t we do similar?
    We already have the forwards (virtually), we have some midfield talent (but not enough), we have some backline talent (Beye, Faye and hopefully Taylor & Enrique).
    If we make some bold statements early in the transfer window then I think we could get some great players. Although we look miles away if we added an Elano, Petrov, Corluka, a great CB and some other creative talent we would have a very formidable side.
    First we need to stay up. Have to beat Blackburn, MUST beat Sunderland, Reading, Fulham all at home.
    We should be able to get something away at Birmingham.
    Other possible points from West Ham (a), Portsmouth (a little less likely) and Everton(a) on the last day depending upon whether their table position is secured.
    And I’m not sure that we will need 40 points. There are so many teams scraping around 22,23 points that are rubbish.

  • Kash2

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #37

    We need to get rid of the chaff from our squad. I would get rid of as many older players as possible, and try to recruit younger talent with more of a hunger to play football. We want players who aren’t afraid to go out on to St. James Park and express themselves on the pitch!!!!

  • ToonUSA

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #38

    When are we going to get a good shake up of the team from KK. Look at what Ramos did at Spurs droping the players with the big egos and now they are flying high. I am not sure if KK is taking the time to get there as well but i am praying to God it happnes soon. All the reports seem to be about him praizing the players…and whats this about MO getting a new contract please nothing against the lil bugger but at this point and time none of our current starts deserve a new contract NONE of THEM. All we can hope for is for Carr, Butt, Smith and maybe even millner not to be available for a game or two. This is my team for ManU game





  • Matt

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #39

    With regards to our team makeup. How about looking to what we did with SBR
    Bought a lot of young talent and played an attacking style.
    So sell off our old hasbeens. As an Australian I hate to say Viduka, but probably has had it…he just gets injured too often. Sell Butt (sorry give away Butt).
    Bye bye to smith, cacapa, and most of our old players.
    Get in arrogant youngsters (see Tottenham previously and Arsenal).
    Would be good to watch!
    Would work with keegans attacking passing style…

  • Bosck

    Feb 11, 2008 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #40

    As others have said i think given the current situation a number of the players we should bring in should be solid if unspectacular players that whilst they might not be rated by everyone, they will help to build a solid base for a year or so:

    RB: Hunt
    CB: Shittu, Hyppia
    LB: Shorey/Konchesky

    RM: Bentley/Kightley
    CM: Barnes
    CM: Bullard
    CM: ? maybe a star name
    LM: Surman. Morten Gamst Pedersen (but Blackburn won’t sell both wingers).

    CF: Ashton
    CF: Kitson

    Basically buy a solid squad for next year and then maybe throw in a couple of star names but i’d rather get a solid side to play consistently for next season rather than a bunch of star names who still don’t gel.


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