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June 2008 Archives

Eren Derdiyok is the latest name that is being linked with Newcastle United then and a quick check on the Swiss international's background suggests if Kevin Keegan can pull the deal off, it could be one of his shrewdest moves yet in the transfer market as Toon boss.

KK of course has gone Swiss before and was on hand to deliver right-back Marc Hottiger in 1994 with the defender proving to be a success at St James's Park.

And Hottiger gave Derdiyok the thumbs up in a Chronicle interview over the weekend with Newcastle reportedly closing in on their first summer buy.

You can never get carried with friendlies but for Newcastle United fans they'll certainly be able to make an accurate measurement of where their side are at after the pre-season programme, which was announced today, is completed next month.

The now almost annual trip to Hartlepool will revive fond memories for Kevin Keegan with Victoria Park (or Victoria Ground as it was then) the scene of Peter Beardsley's second coming with the Toon in 1993.

KK then makes an emotional return to Doncaster for a game at the still sparkling Keepmoat Stadium for game two before the big boys enter the fray.

So then Milner must stay - or at least that seems to be the opinion of large sections of Newcastle United fans and seemingly Kevin Keegan.

Interest from Liverpool and Aston Villa (once again, are they obsessed?) looks set to be resisted for the winger and quite rightly so.

At the end of the day why would you sell one of your better players to two rival teams in the Premier League and at a time when United need as many quality performers as possible?

It's back to business for King Kev

By Lee Ryder on Jun 23, 08 11:09 AM

It's probably one of the key stages of Newcastle United's summer programme and that is simply the sight of Kevin Keegan back at his desk.

Of course, it's a sight that no Toon fans will see and only staff at the club's Benton HQ will witness but the knowledge that KK is back will be a major thing for many United fans.

Basically, Newcastle fans regard one person and person only as the boss on Tyneside and that's Kevin Keegan, who has an impeccable record in the dugout at St James's Park and even in his second stint in charge demonstrated why he still has the magic.

They are moments that you just always remember.

Where were you when we signed x, y or z?

For Newcastle fans there are so many to choose from whether it be Keegan, Beardsley (second time around) or Shearer.

Keegan's first coming was simply off the planet, while Peter Beardsley's arrival as Premier League football hit Tyneside really shook the foundations of St James's Park and Alan Shearer, well fans turned up in droves just to catch a mere glimpse of the £15million man wearing the black and white shirt after he'd turned down Man U for a second time.

Another day, another story linking Oba Martins with a move away from Newcastle.

It might sound like a crazy idea but if you were to actually listen to the man himself in his two years on Tyneside so far, then it would be quite obvious that the only way Martins will leave St James's Park is if the Magpies allow it to happen.

On numerous occasions Martins has at least told this writer he is determined to stay and become a real legend.

Any hopes Newcastle United had of making a flying start to the new season were quickly steamrollered today when the new Premier League fixture list handed us the toughest start possible with a daunting trip to Old Trafford.

Oh no there was never a chance of a quiet opener against Hull at home or even a quaint visit to Fulham - no, no only a game against the Premier League and European champions!

At one stage in Premier League history Newcastle of course were 12 points ahead of Man U, but that seems like a distant memory these days.

So in the end they were all raving about the performance of Gianluigi Buffon as the A-list celebrity goalie kept Italy in the tournament - but in a week when Andy Carroll has been linked with a move away from Tyneside, it's worth baring in mind the Geordie ace has had the Serie A stopper in a spin once already in his young career.

Buffon grabbed all of the headlines as he kept out Adrian Mutu from the spot to save Italian blushes but Carroll's potential has already been highlighted against the world star.

Don't forget the teenager's first and only senior strike couldn't have been against a better keeper when he beat Buffon to score during a 2-0 friendly win last summer.

And while obvious cries of "it was only a friendly!" may be instantly polluting the airwaves, there was nothing friendly about Buffon's attempt to decapitate Carroll moments after he'd beaten the £40million man.

It's always easy to get swept away by tournament football but flapping over players Newcastle should be signing from Euro 2008 could prove to be a pointless exercise, I mean ask anybody who watched Stephane Guivarc'h.

Let's be honest United's summer of wheeling and dealing is likely to start as the Euros draw to a close, KK is back behind his desk and the countdown to the new season is officially under way.

Certain people jumped up and down and got excited about signing Arda Turan but most Toon fans won't be getting excited about that, even if the Turk is eventually contacted by Newcastle over a possible move.

Memories of David Rozehnal in a black and white shirt will never be inspirational but his departure to Lazio yet again sees another player with a good reputation heading for the exit door without fulfilling his potential.

Rozehnal always came across as an honest bloke but after arriving from Paris St Germain to bolster his medals collection with Newcastle he left just a few months into his move from France for pastures new.

Regardless, of a few dodgy performances for Newcastle you don't become a bad player overnight in football although their seems to be a list of those who check in at United before heading down the slippery slope.

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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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