Time for KK to create Entertainers 2!

By Lee Ryder on Feb 21, 08 09:37 AM

entertainers.jpgTime to forget the nostalgia he said.

I mean who did he think he was!

Forget 5-0, forget 12 points clear, forget two attacking wingers, forget Rob Lee scoring a hat-trick of headers in Antwerp, forget the grandad collar and the Broon Ale logo and turn the page on the legends that are the Entertainers and time for new heroes to step into the picture.

Well that person was none other than Sir Les Ferdinand who in tonight's Chronicle told the Toon Army to start having new dreams.

To be fair to Sir Les he didn't say forgetting the golden era - in which he was quick to point out we won nothing - would be easy.

But admit it?

None of us are perfect enough to say we haven't at times been guilty of living in the past.

And memories of the Enterainers are certainly still ingrained in my mind almost as if it was yesterday.

If you sat in the Gallowgate End and closed and your eyes for a minute you could probably convince yourself they were yesterday.

Mind you, it wouldn't take too long for reality to kick in.

We all know about the 12 point lead Man U managed to overhaul back in 1996 but in the 12 years since, they've made giant strides ahead, the gulf today is massive.

Talk about the tortoise and the hare - this tortoise is on crutches and the hare is probably giving Ben Johnson or Dwayne Chambers a run for his money!

Remember 5-0 is out, it's 6-0 they are talking about these days at Old Trafford and with Newcastle on the brink of another potentially sound beating, Les Ferdinand's words could be a timely reminder that Newcastle need players to make a name for themselves.

United have relied on players with reputations for a long time since the days when the sweet the smell of success passed through the nostrils of the Geordie nation.

But fresh faced young guns like James Milner, Charles N'Zogbia, Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor and beneath the first team platform with players like Kazenga LuaLua, Tamas Kadar, Ben Tozer and David Edgar all have a chance many young professionals would kill for.

Not for a minute is Blog on the Tyne suggesting to build a team only on what's here now.

But the above mentioned Magpies give King Kev some great foundations to add players from the 20-26 bracket that have their best years in front of them.

Maybe they won't they be cheap but there is plenty of English talent kicking around to start building a new team with.

We've done overpaid, overweight and overseas for too long now.

KK may have to branch out to the dark corners of eastern Europe (Nemanja Vidić, Alexander Gleb or Eduardo haven't hurt Man U or Arsenal have they?) to pluck somebody that maybe nobody has even heard of, with the hunger and passion to make a name for himself.

Or will that search start closer to home in the Championship to pick out a raw kid who sees the benefits of the big stage that is St James's Park.

Surely SJP is a place to become a hero and not crumble under the weight of expectation from the towering stands that will make or break a man.

Sounds easy doesn't it?

But unless this club is going to eclipse the efforts of KK in the dugout the first time around - it's perhaps the only way to move it on.



STEVE said:

Theres nowt wrong with looking back to the good times,sometimes its what keeps you going.I think most sane nufc fans know that what we have been subjected to in recent years is a million miles away from KKs first managerial reign,but i beleive that we have the right man in charge to get us playing and maybe in a few years challenging again.We do have a handful of very good and very promising players,a good base to build on,but i bet in KKs heart of hearts he must look at some of the deadwood and think,my god,who are they and wot are they doing here? We have done overseas/overpaid/overweight before,but some of the best foreigners to grace the prem have played for nufc,ginola,albert,tino,solano,etc etc. and nobody could doubt their commitment to the cause.My fav kid for nufc is nzogbia but hes making the old wanna move to london noises,(ever been son?..its AWFUL)so if he wants to go let him,we will rebuild,things will get exciting again,hell miss out,cest la vie.Personally i dont beleive that theres enough english talent out there for us to sign to make a VAST difference to our squad,maybe moderate ones,but the good ones wont come and are ridiculously priced...look at what spurs paid for bent(who is only ok) and then look at the price of berbatov....18 and 10 respectivley unless i am mistaken.I think that theres some REAL gems on the continent who arent over the hill and would come at a cheaper price,who wanna prove they can make it in the BEST league in the world.The championship is worth a scout,but then again their english players are moderate and over inflated,a-la nugent,but who knows KK could unearth a rob lee or cahill.I just hope we dont get one trophy player who is on the wane and a couple of kids.We only got the stars later in KKs reign after the world saw that we were the place to be and were on the CAN happen again.Maybe KK wont reach the dizzy heights of his last reign,but he WILL get us playing 100% better and a team to be wary of again.Until then,like i said before,theres nowt wrong with reminiscing.......HOWAY THE LADS...

dave said:


From what I've seen of the reserves, they are poor. All the same traits as the first team - the overall pace is slow, ball retention and movement are poor and they look physically smaller and weaker than their opponents. We might get the odd one through, but the whole set-up from scouting players onwards through coaching and style of play needs to be changed. Perhaps with recent changes, its been recognised but it won't happen overnight. We need to stay up and start from scratch - top to bottom. I'd only keep given or Harper (1 needs to go to let Krul/Foster develop), Beye, Taylor, Faye, Nzogbia (if he can be convinced to stay) Owen and Milner (only if we don't get offered silly money). The rest aren't up to it, if we are going to challenge for top 6/top 4. as for the entertainers, Arsenal and Manure have that title now. If we can even get within 10% of that, I'd take it.

Deaco said:

I disagree with what has been said. Whilst we have some decent young players at the club we still need to be buying some names.
If we are meant to have the cash (just like Chelsea did) they went and bought big, look at them now! A solid place in the top four. If we want to get there in the next few years we need to spend big and that includes reputations. Players have a reputation for a reason. The difference with the "reputation players" we bought previously is that they had "previous reputations" (kluivert) we need ones with "current reputations". The problem is attracting them here

Duncan Baines said:

I think Keegan's chances of doing well in the next two seasons (if we are still in the Premier league) rest almost entirely on how big his transfer budget is - £80 million and I think we could come 4th or 5th, 15 millon and I think we could be as bad (or worse!) next season.

jac mills said:

Another "right on" observation, Lee. I am beginning to think you must be one of the Three Wise Men!

Yesterday I watched the Arsenal/Milan game and hope that many NUFC supporters saw it. On display was young talent that had me licking my chops. To have even two of those great youngsters at SJP would help blow away the clouds of doom that hover above Newcastle today. Players like Fabregas, Hleb, Pato, Kaka, made the game as exciting as any I have seen in a long time. They were quick, intuitive, tough, but best of all, looked a though they could have played for 190 minutes -- with breath to spare. These players, of course, did not come into being overnight. They have been nourished in football systems that look ahead, at least ten years out, and more. And the stark reality is that KK must do the same if he is to reconstruct a team that can be more than a one-season wonder. KK has a difficult job at SJP. He really has only two alternatives:

1. To start a "build-from-youth" program -- and that will take time and money, maybe more than Mike Ashley and KK are willing or able to devote.

2. The lesser of the two options would be to spend millions of pounds (probably more than 50 million) to add two or three "established" players to use the talent he has available now -- which, to me, is sparse. This is stop-gap, at best.

Les Ferdinand is correct saying NUFC cannot live in the past. Memories and a quid will get you only a cup of tea, maybe. If Ashley is serious about his commitment to NUFC for the long-term, he must charge KK with devising a plan for today, but heavily augmented with attainable objectives that will pay off five years hence. NUFC fans will still be at SJP during a team-building program, so Mr. Ashley need have no fear of losing his support base. They'll fill the seats, come hell or high water!

But as we all know, the art of business is making money, now, and as much as possible. And therein lies the crux. NUFC need a visionary owner, or group, dedicated to building a football dynasty. If you don't aim for the top you'll never taste it. You may never even get a whiff of it.

Pie in the sky? Maybe. But I don't think so. I have never seen a business anywhere that remained viable by thinking about yesterday.

Paul Patterson said:

You don’t necessarily have to go back as far as 1996 to see good entertaining football at St James’ Park- Sir Bobby got us playing a good brand of football.

He mentioned in the Chronicle the other night, that his philosophy was to get fresh, young, quick players into the squad and let them do the running for the older heads, which at the time we had loads of.

The difference this time is we don’t have many older heads I would really want to keep- Given- definitely, Butt- maybe, Duff- possibly, but the rest are still very young and very quick, there is a good list- N’Zogbia, Milner, Lua-Lua, Carroll, Martins, and all the young guns brought in recently.

These need to be supplemented with good, quality, slightly older heads, not to the level of 34/5 year olds like John Barnes, Ian Rush and Stuart Pearce, who once rattled round the pitch not too long ago, but 27-30 year olds, who have European experience- not an easy task to recruit them though.

One or two players should be shipped out as soon as possible, they probably DON’T know who they are, which is rather sad on their part that they think they are actually up to the standard required .

Names like Smith, Barton, Cacapa, Carr, Viduka, all very big names, but they all have a very similar problem, they are not good enough, either that or they have personal problems, or they don’t fancy playing if the temperature drops below clement levels.

All must be shipped out for whatever money can be raked in for them, which won’t be much, who thinks we will get more than £8m for the lot, because I don’t.

One man who seems to have dropped way down the club, seemingly un-noticed is Shola Ameobi, a player who I don’t hate, just can’t see any redeeming features in his game- some may point out a great European record of goals, and some might just say they were against Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers of the continent, all valid points, but he really isn’t a footballer.

By now I would have expected some degree of improvement in his game, sadly he’s gone backwards and needs a new club along with the rest of our wasters.- He’s also two years off a testimonial, which makes me want to cry, that so many managers have seemed fit to keep him here for so long.

What Kev will do in the summer, providing were still in the same league, is anybody’s guess, can he attract the players, the money will certainly be there to?

Either way, lets hope we are forced to forget the first time he was here- if he wins a trophy, the first time he was here will be practically forgotten.


Aditya said:

There is simply no point on dwelling on the past and recallin how well we did beacause due to the huge splashout of money by host of clubs in our leauge the competition nowasdays is like never before that one can see from the liverpools condition.They just had few off games and all of the sudden even 4th place seems to be difficult for them.Hence if we want a team to be consistently perform well in the future there should be a very good scruitiny of which players to be brought in.
The key for that is to look at the perticular positions which need to be strenthend.I think likes of Milner,Zog(if stays) and Duff cover up the wingers slot.So no need to spend there.A good creative midfilder, obviously a defender(although only a centre back)beacause I think Beye,Enrique(given appropriate chances)are good enough and a Target man would be great.Imagine sombody like Dunne,Hleb included with currnt squad..I think we would be much better..

Siomi said:

I think Ashley and Kevin have assessed the reality and have gone the only sensible way forward.

Players with reputations who have already achieved success elsewhere, but who are on the wrong side of 28, might come to the club if offered a lorry load of cash.

The problem is that these players are expensive and the drive and determination to win something has been replaced by the drive to earn something for a nice retirement. 'Older heads' who are driven to succeed are looking at the clock and won't come to a club that are unlikely to achieve anything major in the next few years.

Quality players at their peak (in their twenties) won't come because it will be seen as a step backwards, and given the choice of signing for the top four in England, Italy, Spain and France, who on earth would choose us?

The answer is to find the potential quality players before they reach their peak, players under twenty, who would love the chance to be part of a big premiership club that is interested in developing and supporting their talent and career. Hence the appointment of Mr Wise (though I am not sure why he is THE man).

Arsenal are the model and Wenger is the mentor. Even 'we can sign anybody we want' Manchester United are realising the economic sense of this strategy.

But you know, it doesn't matter who you sign, they have to be given opportunities to play and to feel part of the dream. I am looking forward to young players transfering to the club with names I have never heard of (and probably cant pronounce!).

jac mills said:


How about the REAL truth regarding the take-over rumours and NUFC? There will always be mischief makers stirring the gossip pot, but the latest again today about Shearer and a consortium (similar to Niall Quinn and the Irish consortium at Sunderland?)now is making the rounds, even in the U.S. All "troubled" clubs draw speculation, of course, but is NUFC in such dire strife? The club would be well served in times like this, it seems to me, by having an aggressive communications program to keep the fans up-to-date on its plans. Maybe that already has been done and I missed it. If so, pardon the intrusion.

I will watch the MU/NUFC game on US telly tomorrow!! All parts of my body that can be crossed, will be.

dexter said:

I would like to suggest that we look forwards and try to build the club in a similar way to everton. Moyes has taken gambles on players from the lower leagues, jagielka, lescott, overseas players like arteta and seasoned campaigners like neville.

I don't agree that we have good youngsters, after all if they were any good surely they would be able to force their way into an underperforming team.

Man city have shown what you can do with 40m if it is spent wisely. I would love to see us splash some cash on a player as quick and direct as petrov and a player with the guile and artistry of Elano. If we can get more pace in the side I think our defence will have more options to make a pass. We don't seem to be able to keep the ball and that's because of a lack of pace and movement.

I am disappointed with Smith whose movement is terrible. Viduka can be great on his day and Emre is always injured. If you look down the spine of the team we are strong at the back. Given, Faye and Butt are solid players. up front we are light and we'd really benefit from a player like crouch or even emile heskey who can hold the ball up. Something we've missed massively since shearer retired.

If we could get a target man, creative midfielder and keep zog and Milner we could have a pretty tidy team. What does everyone else think?

Ray Wilson said:

Hi lee. I cant see MA wanting to spend eighty or ninety million on world class players in the summer -and I cant see world class players coming when they have the pick of places to go to. I think realistically KK needs to look at what we have once the season is over and decide who can stay and who can go. There are some problem positions to be sorted out and there are some positions we are safe in. Midfield creation is our biggest problem and we need at least two more players who can create. I thought when we signed Barton that one of those areas would be his -but as we all know he has been a huge disappointment and looks a shadow of the player he was at city-When we got him from city I really thought we had got a genuine international class player-what happened to him only Joey Barton knows-last year he looked at times as good for city as Gerard is for Liverpool and for so many games he was their main man-He has showed nothing since coming to Newcastle and I wonder if he has been a one season wonder. We could be o.k. with Taylor and Faye -the latter has been impressive -but we still need more central domination -especially at set pieces-Villa proved that in their second half demolition job on us. Sadly it looke like Charles wants to go -the grass always looks greener sometimes -maybe he should talk to the other two frenchmen who left is feeling the same way. Milner, Carrol,Martins,Owen,Krul, Foster,Faye,Given,{Our next goalkeepin coach} plus Edgar Lua lua and a few more of the kids. Stephen Taylor can be the next John terry -but thats up to him. -We need him also to stay-after that -not much left Butt-has been sound -but passed his best-Emre flatters to deceive,Barton -cant decide-needs to sort himself out. We have not got much left have we -overall its a massive job for Kev We cant score goals and we concede too many -so midfielders,forwards,and defenders are all st fault -Where on earth does Kev start?.

M Sebastian T said:

The problem is very simple. Toon supporters need to stop believing their team can simply pay for a few players and guarantee success. Stop dreaming boys!

What is needed is a REAL LEADER. I do not think that KK is a such a manager even if he once was. Newcastle United has become a joke to everybody outside of Tyneside. Undoubtedly times will only get worse before they get better. Toon are certainties along with Derby and Bolton to be relegated.

If KK leaves with or without the boot at the end of this season, everybody will have lost count of just how many managers there were since Old Bobby.

Perhaps that is the answer to bring back Bobby, or Glenn or Sam. Yes it is all a pathetic joke!

Liam said:

We have forget about the past and start from scratch.

No point using the same old players, when you know they can only do so little. I agree with most of people here that we should try out our young players.

That way, we will have more choices.

Raw talents are what NUFC needs most, not reputations.

Every game i watched is the same old thing, and they are always losing matches, the same way like they did in the past matches.

The central midfield is the weakest link not the defence. Butt and Barton can't stop the attacks and can't start attacks. With a weak central midfield, you will always be overrun and struggling.

Our frontmen are good enough but totally useless without support especially from midfield. Now they have defend and help out in the midfield that they can't focus on scoring goals.

Tactically, we are using the ball in a very slow manner, instead of shooting the ball when having chances, we pass the ball into wildness. One-touch football is the way to go!

Our goalkeepers are passed their prime and have been with us for so long. We need to use new blood and we have them in Forster and Krul.

A better tomorrow will come faster if we just concentrate on snatching up every single talent in the North-East. That way, we can spend lesser and have more committed players.

Lastly, i hope Sir Bobby could be our advisor or something. Freddy is mad and he should be thrown out long ago. Sacking Bobby for a few bad games, is simply pure stupidity and madness.

Campbell Waddell said:

How many fans out there truly beleive KK can mould another team good enough to emulate the original entertainers.

Where on earth do we find players of the quality of Beardsley, Ferdinand, Ginola, Asprilla, Shearer, Lee and Albert and how much would it cost to get them.

We have sadly become the laughing stock of the Premier League, we're miles behind in terms of ability and there is a serious problem in terms of confidence, unless we can start to win some games there is a serious threat of relegation.

Lets forget about the entertainers 2 and concentrate on getting safe this season, we may have some promising youngsters but this is not the time to blood them.

The fans have to to be reallistic and not think KK can wave his magic wand to sort this club out it's going to be much harder for KK this time around.

We have players for the future in Milner N'zogbia Taylor Beye And some good young reserves, but we need much more from the older more experienced players like Viduka Owen Duff Barton and Butt they have to stand up and be counted.

Kevin Keegan must be wondering what the hell has happened to club that he left in very good shape albeit at the expense of the reserves.

I honestly feel KK will become totally frustrated and throw in the towel before his contract is due run out.


Let me see - how does it go? KK is the Messiah and Terry Mac is a good coach!!! "We need a clearout then KK will buy some world class players....!!!" When exactly is this mind numbing, dead brain garbage going to stop??? NUFC are a badly managed football team and are in freefall. Of course when KK leaves - we need to recruit a world class manager. Time to wake up and smell the coffee!!!

Donaldo Curry said:

We never going to get a team like the team nicknamed the entertainers again WHY??? KING KEV has been brought back to attract these type of players! Fat sam could never attract cold never mind classy players for a start, only keegan shearer or jose M would get time woff wor fans.For me given must leave more or less every shot goes in!!In my eyes this team would cost mega bucks but ASH MUST SPLASH HIS CASH in the summer. krul beye taylor nesta/cannavaro bridge quaresma diego carrick charlie boy berbatov owen. bentley kalouda giles barnes ? Basically i feel the midfield is pants dont on players and succeed in beating the man and creating or scoring a goal, OR SHOOTING OR DECENT THROUGH BALLS .ROLL ON THE SUMMER LADS


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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