Friday, May 09, 2008

That way madness lies

In the light of the rather bizarre furore stirred up by his comments about the difficulty of breaking into the top four, King Kev's come out on the defensive: "I know people might be disappointed by me saying we might not win the league, but there would be a real danger of me being whipped off to the old nuthouse if I started saying that".

Inevitably, the media seem to have understood "people" as a reference not to themselves but to Mike Ashley, and billed the pair's meeting on Friday as a "summit meeting", as though Keegan's been summoned to London like a naughty schoolboy.

Shame that Chris Mort's reaction to Keegan's initial statement flatly contradicts the view that there's some kind of split between manager and hierarchy, then: "I thought Kevin's comments were quite sensible. I'm not sure what people's expectations are but I don't think most Newcastle fans would be greatly surprised by what he had to say. There are those who are naturally optimistic but it does no harm to come out with some realism and say that if we get fifth we will have done well. He's right. I wasn't taken aback by Kevin's comments. He says what he feels. We have just come out of a relegation battle so you can't have people surprised when the manager says we aren't going to get into the Champions League."

Of course, there are things that need to be ironed out - most significantly, our summer transfer targets and the budget we'll have to spend on them - but that's far from meaning the pair are on collision course...

In other news, the surgery Mark Viduka needs for his niggling Achilles injury could sideline him for up to six months. Might that just edge Peter Crouch further up towards the top of our shopping list?


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