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You'll never win anything with kids!

By Lee Ryder on Feb 15, 08 10:16 AM

It was Alan Hansen who once infamously spluttered: "You'll never win anything with kids."

Man United then went on to win the title, at Newcastle's expense, with kids like Scholes, Butt, the Nevilles and some bloke called Dave Beckham!

Not for one moment is Blog on the Tyne suggesting the current Toon youngsters are in that class yet.

But with time running out and Kevin Keegan left with only a few permutations of how he can put together a winning side could it be that he has little choice but to chuck in the kids in the last 12 games?

Keegan's done it before during his time with the likes of Robbie Elliott, Steve Watson and Lee Clark part of the foundations in which he laid at the club last time around.

And after already saying he will see what the young talent of 2008 has to offer since returning as boss, the likes of Kazenga LuaLua, Andy Carroll and David Edgar may be handed a chance.

Newcastle United's lack of success this season will certainly be highlighted this weekend as Mags all over the world have to sit back and watch the rest of the big guns enjoy the romance of the FA Cup.

Two away draws to Arsenal in both the Carling Cup and the FA Cup are also a big factor in the lack of that success this season but with no wins since December 15 at Fulham, and even that was jammy, there isn't much sympathy around when it comes to talking about "the luck of the draw."

If there is a positive side of stewing over a 4-1 defeat against Aston Villa, then perhaps that has to be the fact that KK may have no alternative but to mix things up for the Man United game on Saturday week - and you can hardly blame him if he did that?

Now with nothing to lose is it time to blood more young guns?

It's probably safe to assume that Charles N'Zogbia will return to left-back after suspension with Stephen Carr to sit down.

Habib Beye didn't do too much wrong at right-back but he was still part of a defence that leaked four goals.

Then you have the centre of defence with Steven Taylor and Cacapa perhaps making way for the return of Abdoulaye Faye.

Faye of course has been one of the few success stories of the season along with his Senegal colleague Beye and United will need to see some of the glimpses of talent he's shown to be recreated against Man U.

Elsewhere, two goals in two games will see Michael Owen lead the line but whether he's partnered by Oba Martins or Mark Viduka who are both ready for a run out for different reasons, remains to be seen.

Nicky Butt, Emre and Joey Barton will grapple for places in the midfield while James Milner and Damien Duff appear to have their hands firmly on starting places.

But decent performances at second string level from the likes of David Edgar, Tamas Kadar, Kazenga LuaLua and Andy Carroll were all witnessed by KK at St James's Park in the reserve draw with Man City but is it too early to throw the kids in with 12 crucial games left to play?

They won't have much fear at such a young age because generally kids don't know what fear is!

And you only have to look at Edgar's long range equaliser to see that last season in the 2-2 draw with many fans puzzled as to why he hasn't been given more of a chance.

Carroll was also brave enough to knock on the manager's door and tell him: "I should be part of this."

And if KK was to take the approach of blooding some of young players against Man U, you could argue he has very little to lose against a team who arrive here as favourites to take all three points given the poor run Newcastle are on.


WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD PLAY AGAINST MAN U? IS IT TIME TO BLOOD THE KIDS?

23 Comments

STEVE said:

Without doubt i would play nzogbia left wing with enrique lb,or tozer even.we need to have zoggy running at defenders.For me edgar cannot be as bad as butt/barton/smith/geremi,and in carroll i think we have something special there to be nurtured...lets hope he makes it and not be a let down like ameobi.Owen will start with another who for me has to be martins,we lack genuine pace throughout the side(come back dyer all is forgiven)and he is an out if nothing else,which we will certainly need vs manu.I dont know much of kadar but lualua looks lively and quick and is prepared to run at players,so i think he may get a chance.Apart from the obvious,our weaknesses have been fitness and pace,the kids will give us that so maybe they should be given a chance especially in midfield cos i dont think they could do any worse.Also i read that Atalanta are gutted to have lost zamblera so thats a good sign.If we supplement our big summer buys with good youth also,like the czech lad kalouda,it only bodes well for the future,but we must blood them at some point like roeder did with edgar and huntington.

Duncan Baines said:

Let's drop Smith for the rest of the season.

medan said:

You make some valid points Lee, last year when Roeder has all those injuries the young guns did very well and were instumental in saving us from relegation. I believe that the senior gus who are not performing should be becnched and a chance given to young players like Edgar, Lulua and Caroll.

Hey if Milan can intoduce 18 year old players and both have made a huge impact in thier drive for champoins league position then why can't we do the same.

Honestly there are 3 missing ingridients in this team that can be helped by intoducing young players:

1] Pace.. we are very slow team especailly if you take away N'Zogbia and Martins. Our defense is also very slow. Edgar, Lulau and Caroll will help with this area.

2] Hunger to win. Well need I say more. The young guns will not have that problem.

3]Stamina: Most of the players like Butt, Barton, Owen, Capcca and Viduka look like they can only play 45 mins, that is why we are a disaster in the second half of most of our games. The young guns have lost of it to spare.

Experience does count but by itself with out the other ingredienets required for a wining formulea it is useless.

Sy said:

I'd like to see some of the kids feature, Lee, particularly Carroll if for no other reason than he's shown no intimidation and put himself about against established Premier League defenders. This is exactly what Newcastle need to do at the moment - make a fist of it and get stuck in. As for the others, I'm more than happy to see them given a chance, although if we're going to do it then they have to be played in their best positions.

Having said that, from a confidence point of view, is a potential trouncing at home to Man U with frustrated fans getting on their backs a good place to start this process?

Personally I don't think so.

We have everyone back from Africa now and I believe N'Zogbia will be available after suspension, so I think we'll go down this route against the Mancs. I don't think the dross style and mentality we played under Allardyce suited our players, so I think everyone is due a crack at resurrecting themselves, particularly Geremi who hasn't yet played under Keegan and should be given another chance.

I also have a feeling Oba Martins will start alongside MO for this game, and I for one will be pleased to see it. Oba's treatment under Allardyce was shocking, and I'll be glad to see the back of this "big man - little man" striking nonsense. That's a fine principle if it works for you, but it didn't for us and in persisting with it we were naively robbing ourselves of the pace and ability of a striker who can grab you goals from absolutely nowhere such as the one at White Hart Lane last season. In times like these when we're struggling to create many clear-cut chances during a game, having your striker smash one in out of nowhere can be what turns defeats into draws and draws into wins.

Going back to talking about the young'uns, surely we should include Jose Enrique in that group. This lad will benefit hugely from regular game time between now and the end of the season, and I'd like to see us try him at left back with N'Zogbia pushed forward, but I don't expect to see this unless Duff is injured.

My squad (injury permitting) for Man U:

Given

Beye
Faye
Taylor
N'Zogbia

Milner
Geremi
Emre
Duff

Martins
Owen

Subs: Harper, Enrique, Barton, Carroll, Viduka.

Anonymous said:

Kids can win if they know how to swim. If it's their first time in the pool, then they will have no chance. Absolutely 0%.

Edgar and the other two may have a chance in the right line up with some experience, but as far as using all three mentioned above, they will get crushed.

dexter said:

I agree about bringing in the kids. I don't get the impression that the players who were beaten 6-0 will be relishing the chance to get revenge. There is a lack of fight. For a young player imagine how pumped you would be coming on against Man U at home.

I agree with everyone, the lack of energy and pace is apparent and I feel genuine enthusiasm from the young lads backed up with reliable, experienced players like Butt, Faye, Beye, Owen and Geremi could work.

We need these guys to show they are leaders. Butt is 2nd in the opta stats for making tackles this season. I think his poor passing is down to being shattered running around in a mid field with no engine room players.

Note for KK. If the players look tired bring them off.

RAY WILSON said:

Hi Lee -Yes to the young ones -we dont have many options left-How many times this season have some of the senior pros let us down -many times and let us down big time. Last year Edgar did nothing wrong against Man U. -he kept the whizz kid quiet and even found time to score a great goal- Why oh why has every body ignored him since- I would plump for him or Jose at left back and include either one on the bench-Martins has to play up front with Owen-Charlie has to be either left midfield or further forward on the left where his pace and crosses can be utilised- Duff promises much -but delivers very little- I would not shed any tears if he is left out- Carrol must be given some time on the field either with Martins or with Owen-Whatever KK does it has to be better than last week. The time has come for some of the seniors to be dropped completely - namely Carr, Duff, Barton,Butt-Also why is young Tim Krul never mentioned when we talk about future keepers and goalkeeping strength? Does KK know anything about this lad ? The talk on the continent a year ago was he was considered the best thing since Schmichel -and have to say on the one senior appearance he made for us in Europe last year -he sure gave me the impression that it was not idle talk -the lad was brilliant-Has any one told KK. Time is running out now from any more excuses from some of our senior pros-they need to let the manager and the fans know that they want to play for Newcastle. We have not had one great performance from them this season -we have had some moderate ones with some luck attached to them and as we all know some really awful ones -so no more excuses first team they all need to raise their game -by a long way to get out of this mess. No more standing still when they lose the ball,no more ball watching when they should be defending the goal line and less handballs and stupid fouls in dangerous areas -they have been done so many times at set pieces this year it is driving us all mad. CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A PERFORMANCE THAT COUNTS - we have not had one so far this season.

James 09 said:

With the current bunch of muppets (there are some exceptions) who are either solely here for the wages or just simply are not good enough (perhaps both) - I think blooding a few of the younger lads in the right circumstances would be a decent idea.
Mind you, I think Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po might deserve a run-out after some of the performances we've been routinely subjected to.

Ricky said:

I agree Lee, blood some of the youngsters, what have the established first teamers got that they haven't, very little I would suggest. The worst the youngsters can do is go out there and get beat, their senior counterparts have been doing that for weeks with little sign of change.

jac mills said:

Lee

I haven't seen NUFC's young players. I see only the games on US TV and so far this season, nothing to write home about, with the likes of Viduka, Duff, Butt and Owen still in the picture, week after boring week. Your column on playing youngsters is timely, appropriate and right on, and KK should pin it on the team bulletin board. Now is the time for KK to show spirit. He has to build a team with a solid foundation, one that is going to be strong, forceful and loaded with promise. The older guys cannot supply that anymore. KK's job is to retain PL status, but also to "blood" the youngsters. That will take careful balancing, but if KK is the manager everyone thinks he is, it can be done.

Ryder's reply: Take it from me Jac, I go to reserve games home and away and we have got some great young guns coming through

Anonymous said:

Carr dropped, Enrique at left back, N'Zogbia left midfield, Emre in the middle with Butt or Preferably Geremi if he is fit. Drop Smith for obvious reasons and Duff along with him. Both work hard but dont produce anything near the quality that is needed. What has happened to Duff, he couldnt get past me these days! Stick Martins up front as first choice partnered with Owen and Viduka as back up on the bench. We then need to try to play some passing football out wide or through the middle, feeding the forwards. Our forwards cant be knocked for anything they have done this season( with the exception of Smith). How can they do their stuff with absolutely no supply from the rest of the team apart from long balls from our own box to live off. Lets play some football, it may take a while to get used to it, but if we start now we might just have the hang of it by the start of next season. W#hether people see it now or not, the resigning of King Kev is a masterstroke. I dont know if we will win any titles or cups, but you can gaurantee we will compete with every team we play and finally be a side worth watching again.

GeordieNZ said:

Sorry sent that last post without my name or email address.

GeordieNZ said:

Carr dropped, Enrique at left back, N'Zogbia left midfield, Emre in the middle with Butt or Preferably Geremi if he is fit. Drop Smith for obvious reasons and Duff along with him. Both work hard but dont produce anything near the quality that is needed. What has happened to Duff, he couldnt get past me these days! Stick Martins up front as first choice partnered with Owen and Viduka as back up on the bench. We then need to try to play some passing football out wide or through the middle, feeding the forwards. Our forwards cant be knocked for anything they have done this season( with the exception of Smith). How can they do their stuff with absolutely no supply from the rest of the team apart from long balls from our own box to live off. Lets play some football, it may take a while to get used to it, but if we start now we might just have the hang of it by the start of next season. W#hether people see it now or not, the resigning of King Kev is a masterstroke. I dont know if we will win any titles or cups, but you can gaurantee we will compete with every team we play and finally be a side worth watching again.

jac mills said:

Lee

Thanks for that encouraging info on the young guns at NUFC. Care to list any names I can hope to see? And when do you think they will blossom into first team status?

Ryder's reply: I think you will already know about Carroll, quick, big, strong and knows where the net is - has plenty of bottle too.
David Edgar is another who has plenty of courage and confidence and won't let anyone down if he plays across the back four.
Tamas Kadar has only just signed for the club but has shown glimpses of why he's here at left-back but there could be a bit more of a wait to see him.
Elsewhere the progress of keeper Fraser Forster suggests he is big find for United but he's going to have a battle to get past Shay or Harps.
Kazenga LuaLua is also an exciting attacking midfielder on his day and if United unleash him at the right time he could prove to be a handy young player.
People talk about Middlesbrough's great youth set up but it seems the main difference is that Boro seem willing to give them more of a chance.

Ronnie Lambert said:

As Jac Mills said, some of the older ones are not showing any spirit. They seem to be paralyzed in the headlights, passing sideways, backwards, anything but pushing through midfield. Even Emre, who seems to have a good few admirers is no great shakes at being creative. He is consistent with falling down, writhing about whilst the opposition attacks, mouthing-off to ref and retaliating violently...usually getting carded for his troubles. Young Kazenga Lua Lua looked fearless, packed with energy and talent when he came on against Stoke, and he could be the find of the year if he was given a chance. He looked much more composed on the ball than his predecessor of the same name, and he is exactly the type of player we need to unlock defences and push through a killer pass to Owen and Martins. Edgar too can do it on the big stage. Remember the ' Special One ' jealously naming him after he scored against the Mancs, at a time Jose was suffering a bout of team injuries? You can't make wholesale changes with too many kids but you've got to bang one or two in at times like this. How did Milner crack it at 16, or Stevie Watson, Clarkie etc.? A gamble, and KK likes a flutter I'm told, very often pays off. It only needs a bit of nerve, if you're certain of their ability of course, but c'est la vie

Dave B said:

Lee – You state that we have nothing to lose now so let’s throw in the young guns.

Unless I’ve been inhabiting a nightmare for the last 6 months I’d contend we’ve actually a great deal to lose – our Premiership status for example.

jac mills said:

Lee

Care to share your prediction for the FA cup this year?

Ryder's reply: Chelsea

jac mills said:

Lee

Okay, a dinner bet for the next time I visit home: I say Man U.

If we're both wrong, I'll buy you a couple of pints, anyway.

Bert Shaft said:

Chucking Edgar in against ManUre last season didn't do any harm did it.


(or was it the season before!)

Anonymous said:

my team for man utd game:

Harper

Beye
Taylor
Edgar
Enrique

Milner
Faye
Emre
N'Zogbia

Carroll
Martins

Subs:
Given
Tozer
Lua Lua
Owen
Viduka

Archie Brand said:

Sorry to have to be so negative, but Smith and Barton are a waste of space - I agree with the consensus that we should have Zoggy up into midfield, and Enrique back in defence. Enrique would be great if he would just put his foot through the ball instead of trying to walk it up the park.
Sorry again - don't see Carroll as the answer to our prayers - he's just Crouch without the talent.
Edgar and LuaLua - yes! with the latter having shown some good touches splitting defences he could help move the play on a bit.
Just keep us up for now, Kev, and lets remember he's playing with Sam's players.
As for the Toon Army out there -Rome wasn't built in a day - keep the faith!

M Sebastian T said:

Unless I have missed something neither the reserves nor the youth team has been doing well. So the throw the kids in against Man Utd approach is unlikely to work. Seems to me like a recipe for a record hammering.

It all sounds like desperation!

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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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