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[Blog] The Toon Template
Written by SouperJim on Sunday, 25th Apr 2010 11:13

Back in September, Newcastle thumped us 4-0 at Portman Road. Fast forward seven months and we've managed a very credible 2-2 draw against the champions at St James' Park. For me that indicates that the real story of our season is in vast contrast to the 'going nowhere' story that the boo boys would have you believe.

Of course said boo boys will claim it is a meaningless end of season result. However, I don't subscribe to the idea that Toon were "in party mode" and that fact had a significant bearing on the game.

Our season is over, but we still wanted to win. If anything I would think that on their last home game of the season, Newcastle would be even more motivated, to put on a show for a sell-out crowd and to protect their unbeaten home record. Ask someone who has played the game at a decent level and I'm sure they'll tell you that professional players desperately want to win every game, regardless of opposition or occasion.

I don't care what the glass half empty Keane haters think, I say we've come a long way this season. Now I'm not going to try and claim that we are playing brilliant, entertaining, flowing football week-in week-out. We found ourselves in a relegation dogfight this season after an utterly disastrous first three months of football.

However, since that point, the kind of no-frills results driven football Roy has had us playing has not only put us well clear of danger, if you discount the first three months of the season, our form would have seen us in and around the play-offs. Not bad for a team struggling for goals.

On the subject of goals, the fact that we have had more shots on target than anyone else in the division has been touted about quite a lot lately. That statistic is certainly at complete odds with the image of a useless team led by a clueless manager. It seems clear to me that none of the strikers currently on our books, with the exception of the truly exceptional Connor Wickham, have done a good enough job this season and I wouldn't shed a tear if all of them were on their way in the summer.

Jon Walters has made a decent contribution from midfield in what has in most people's eyes been a forgettable season for him and Daryl Murphy has chipped in with a few since he came in on loan. He is arguably worth keeping at the right price, although Jon Stead's record this season is actually superior if you look at his goals-to-starts ratio. Stead still has a year left to run on his contract.

While on the subject of players, let's not forget that Keane is not only building a new team, he is trying to overhaul the entire ethos at the club and pull us into the modern era. That means bringing in playing staff with the right attitude and hunger for success that can break the cycle of mediocrity we've found ourselves in over the last five years. That was always going to mean a transition period where things would have to go backwards before they can go forwards again.

Anyway, it's clear that the big challenge for Keane from here is to get the right strikers in over the summer. Clegg's most recent comments suggest that the manager will be given funds to make the four or five signings he has said he wants, with highly-rated players like Chopra and Hooper plausibly linked in the last week or so.

If Keane can bring in players of that kind of calibre, all the signs are there that we will have a very successful top six 2011 and if we really kick on we could even find ourselves where Newcastle currently sit come the end of the season.

I'm still behind Keane and what he is trying to achieve here and all the boo boys in the world aren't going to convince me to change my position.




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djbreeze added 11:37 - Apr 25
agreed
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djbreeze added 11:37 - Apr 25
agreed
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djbreeze added 11:37 - Apr 25
agreed
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yorkshire added 11:46 - Apr 25
agreed
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Suffolk_n_Good added 12:16 - Apr 25
agreed too!
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MBG added 13:54 - Apr 25
Every Town fan is behind RK but you are immature and simplistic when you dismiss as a boo boy anyone who is not awe-struck by him and is prepared to call a spade a spade. I don’t see how you can say that “we’ve come a long way this season” when we finished 9th last season and will finish no higher than 13th this season despite outspending virtually every other team in the Championship.
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marchy added 16:02 - Apr 25
Yup, right with you MBG, and would also like to remind that the three-month disaster is because of what RK did to the team, and the lack of a decent striker is down to RK not signing one last summer when the problem was just as evident.
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Surco72 added 17:21 - Apr 25
AGree MGB yesterday was a good perfromance but Newcastle were certainly not on full power and it would have been a different gear had they needed to win .
To say the season has been good apart from our dreadful start is ignoring the fact that the bad start was down to Keane playing his poor signings Martin,Priskin,Bruce,Trotter,Healy and continually changing the team and upsetting the players Wright,Garvan,Mac,Stead.
He now seems to have settled on his core so roll on next season and no more excuses about Jims old players and time to gel ,as with two relegated teams going into administration we could have the best chance for many seasons
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SurreyITFC added 17:27 - Apr 25
Totally Agree Souper Jim.
COYB
KEANO KEANO KEANO
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SouperJim added 17:55 - Apr 25
Interesting that the three of you so far who disagree with me don't appear to have actually read what I wrote, or at least have chosen not to take on board my complete arguement. Reference the line "a transition period where things would have to go backwards before they can go forwards again.".

MBG if you look again you'll notice that I didn't quantify exactly what makes someone a "boo boy", you leapt to your own conclusions right after you called me immature and simplistic. I am not suggesting that their are two sets of fans at polar opposites over Keane.

I agree that so far Roy has made very few successful signings and has paid over the odds for several very average players. Again, if you look at what I wrote I said that I think that the big challenge for Keane now is to do a better job with who signs.

Lastly, again I see glass half empty merchants coming up with the "roy the tinkerer" negative arguement. I can't say I've agreed with every starting 11 that Roy has picked this season and in some games he has got things totally wrong, however, in others he has got it right on the nose and made tactical switches that have won us points, particularly at full-back. It is incredibly short sighted to just say "pick your best 11 and stick with it" without considering exactly WHY Roy has "tinkered".
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WadzillaBhoy added 07:54 - Apr 26
Agreed,
Keano is the man to take us back up where we belong.
COYB
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blueherts added 14:00 - Apr 26
Souper - Agree partially but am still not sure about keane as a Manager
We are rebuilding - one year in to his reign - going into pre season we have maybe six/seven players plus youngsters who will be part of plans next year
So - Keane, who admitted that 'anyone can get a team to mid table in the C'ship'
so in my books ( and by his own admission) he aint cut it
We have him for another year so I hope above hope he can get it together pre season - get the right personnel ( behind the scenes-incl some experience) and start doing instead of talking too much
Talk is cheap - and he is the master of that - start acting on what you preach
I still doubt him but want to be proved wrong like every other supporter
We shoudl be comparing us to when he took over not the Newcastle match
That was his team not someone elses
Year on Year we have not progressed , except to realise that we have some duds at the club - many signed by keane


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blueherts added 14:00 - Apr 26
Souper - Agree partially but am still not sure about keane as a Manager
We are rebuilding - one year in to his reign - going into pre season we have maybe six/seven players plus youngsters who will be part of plans next year
So - Keane, who admitted that 'anyone can get a team to mid table in the C'ship'
so in my books ( and by his own admission) he aint cut it
We have him for another year so I hope above hope he can get it together pre season - get the right personnel ( behind the scenes-incl some experience) and start doing instead of talking too much
Talk is cheap - and he is the master of that - start acting on what you preach
I still doubt him but want to be proved wrong like every other supporter
We shoudl be comparing us to when he took over not the Newcastle match
That was his team not someone elses
Year on Year we have not progressed , except to realise that we have some duds at the club - many signed by keane


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SouperJim added 14:45 - Apr 26
I agree that Keane has been the victim of his own words pre-season. The "anyone can get mid-table" comment is particularly damning now. It's also not lost on me that the way he really over-hyped our chances, saying he wanted to get us up in one year etc, has served to add extra pressure and criticism when things haven't gone right.
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dobbie73 added 14:56 - Apr 26
Yep, decent blog. Have to agree!
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The_Stotts added 22:46 - Apr 26
For everyone's record I am not a "boo boy" or a "keane hater"...I am a fan of ITFC and it pains me with what we've had to watch this season..there's only one man at the helm (Roy) - he's responsible for the players that come and go,the team selections,coaching staff & the "style" of football we play.

Many apologies to Roy's fanclub but I obviously don't have the blind faith in him that so many on here seem to have just because he played lots of times for manchester united and lots of people have heard of him (oh and he gives honest interviews - yes, honest but surprisingly uninspiring).

The table speaks for itself and I can't to my memory think of a season when we failed to even get into the top half once (embarrassing)...at least Magilton had us in the top half for most of his reign and I think if you'd had a little more patience with him he would've had us in the play-offs this season...Keane talked about wanting to throw up when sunderland suggested an open top bus when they got promoted - well I wanted to throw up at the end of last season when Jim got sacked after beating Norwich - all of a sudden there was a public outpouring of love for "good old Jim" from people who'd been slagging him off for months on end - where was this support for him uptil then?

Yes it's easy to say "oh we could've turned some of our 20 draws into wins" but there could've been defeats there too and we could now be approaching relegation this weekend - think on when come october Keane's still got us fannying around in the lower reaches...I for one hope & pray that Burley & Curbishley will still be available to get us up the table.

This season has been abysmal..shame on anyone who thinks otherwise.
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Lightningboy added 22:55 - Apr 26
Good points Stotts...spot on re Jim too.
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hogster1970 added 09:52 - Apr 27
well yes oh a whole it has been a poor season, out of 45 games so far about only 5 06 has stuck in my mind of good games and last sunday proberly the best performance, and thats what it is down to performance or in this seasons case lack of it.

i do hope that keano can have a good summer in the transfer market, i am hot sure about murphy, but hooper sounds good and chopra to, i would try and bag hooper as he has loads to proove and will be very hungry to score goals, i think conner will do very well next year, that boy is huge and no central defender will knock him of the ball easliy, he rminds me so much of dalian atkinson in speed and strength.

but like others have said end of october is the time, if we are playing well and sitting in a strong postion then great , but if we are playing poorley and at the bottom of the table then keano will have to go
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hype313 added 15:01 - Apr 27
Don't want Curbishley, Don't want Burley, Don't want Keane, Don't want another dire season like this one. Want passion, youth, experience, grit, never say die attitudes, ITFC Ethos and finally united fans....am I asking too much?
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Lightningboy added 16:07 - Apr 27
I can't remember the fans being so split down the middle as they have been this season...like others have said,I reckon Keane's got til september/october..if things are no better then surely ME will take the correct action...just hope Burley's still available then to come in and sort things out.

Seems like Keane's only answer to his shortcomings as a manager is to throw even more money at the problem..i.e.."these players aren't working for me,let me bring in another batch"...and so on......
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Vexorg added 10:39 - Apr 28
I fail to see how anyone can take any positives out of this season. A club run by a faceless tax dodger with a failed athletics manager as his mouthpiece.

Mercenary players playing tedious football for a mercenary manager and scraping a bottom half finish.
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DrJeckyll added 16:24 - Apr 28
there is positive and negative in everything, i see now who truly wears the tinted glasses :-)
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