The best squad...Keegan's or Robson's? - 14/03/2003
That was one hell of a game, and for me, Newcastle have really arrived on the European stage. A lot has been said about the quality of the performance and all I’ll say is that I endorse all the praise wholeheartedly. I also heard that Freddy Shepherd reckons that the current team would beat the Keegan team. My thoughts? Well, put it this way, if I wasn’t playing I’d queue overnight to get a ticket!! To be honest, when you look at the squads, I’d agree with the Chairman.
We had a brilliant side capable of playing some fantastic football – and often we’d blow other teams away. However, and no disrespect to the squad of the mid ‘90’s, we just didn’t have the strength in depth of the current day players. Bobby Robson has not only assembled a great group of players, but there’s loads of durability in the side. Look at players such as Aaron Hughes – he can play right across the back line, then look at say the right midfield role; Nobby’s a class player but he’s now fighting off challenges from an English international in JJ and there’s also Brian Kerr pushing for a place. How well did we do upfront in Barcelona? Very well – and that was without Al and Bellamy. I could go on, but you get the message. However, if the best 11 from Keegan played the best 11 from today (who knows what the best 11 is???), then I think it’d be about 7-7!
Seriously though, can you imagine if those teams met each other and everyone played to their potential? OK, you might say that they could cancel each other out, but for me, it’d be an absolute classic – and I don’t think you could pick a winner.
Talking of the present strength of the squad, where and how would you improve it? Not an easy one! Remember that Tuesday night’s performance was without Dyer and Woodgate – that tells you the strength in depth that Bobby’s achieved. Saying that, one Inter player who really did look the business was Cannavaro, OK he isn’t the most popular of players after his performance at St. James, but all things considered, he would be a great signing. The fact that he’s just been made Italian captain shows how highly rated he is. Having said all that, Inter aren’t exactly known as a selling club, and I’m sure Bobby is targeting quite a few players for a potential move to the club…if only I could have my time again!
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