Martin Keown has been previewing Newcastle United’s return to the Premier League.

The former Arsenal and England defender sees two people as crucial to Newcastle’s hopes…

The obvious one is of course Rafa Benitez, with Martin Keown pointing out that the Spaniard ‘has managed some of Europe’s top clubs and will be crucial to any success this season’.

As for key players, Keown points to Dwight Gayle.

With pace and goals being vital in the Premier League, he sees Gayle as having a finishing style as reminiscent of Ian Wright at times, and after thriving in the Championship with 23 goals despite only 26 starts – restricted by injury, he now has his chance on the top stage.

However, with hamstring/confidence issues blighting the final weeks/games of pre-season, we wait to see just what part Dwight Gayle is set to play this season.

When it comes to be ‘Reasons to be fearful’ for Newcastle, Martin Keown thinks Newcastle will be certain to struggle if one of two things happen.

The pundit saying that if Rafa leaves, or NUFC fail to properly strengthen in these remaining weeks of the transfer window, there will be troubles ahead.

Needless to say, if both of these things did happen, it wouldn’t be just a struggle, it would be catastrophic for Newcastle United.

Martin Keown talking to The Mail:


“Rafa Benitez – Brought in too late to rescue Newcastle two years ago, Benitez showed loyalty to stand by the club and return them to the top flight. He has managed some of Europe’s top clubs and will be crucial to any success this season.”


“Newcastle have bounced back immediately and, with Middlesbrough and Sunderland going the other way, they are the pre-eminent North East club once more.

“In Benitez they have a manager with a proven track record in delivering trophies.

“Not since the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969 have Newcastle won major honours, so Benitez would become a legend on Tyneside should he win silverware.”


“Unless Benitez is given the resources he needs, there is every chance he could leave the club.

“The manager himself has admitted the club have had a ‘difficult’ transfer window so far and Newcastle will struggle if they fail to strengthen — or if Benitez leaves.”


“Dwight Gayle – When he was at Selhurst Park, Gayle’s imaginative finishing reminded me of Ian Wright, another Palace old boy.

“He thrived in the Championship, scoring 23 goals, and now he has the chance to prove he belongs at the highest level.”


“If Benitez stays at the club and is able to work his magic, Newcastle have a great chance of survival.”

  • Leazes Ender

    Fair assessment.

  • Wor Lass

    I started reading this so I could have a go at the numpty but it is actually, as Leazes says, a pretty fair assessment of the situation. He is a numpty, though …. Keown, that is ….

    • Leazes Ender

      How did you know about Skipsey?

      • Wor Lass

        I remember everything! The best bit was it was his aunty`s maiden name, if I remember correctly (which I always do!!). Was that the cause of one of your bans?

        • Leazes Ender

          Well I ask because new posters appear with regularity and give themselves names with something to connect them with stuff I’ve written, the latest in the series is Antenociticus…. it isnt a coincidence, I’ve been trolled for years by someone doing it.

          I can only presume its someone whose skin I got under like Kevin Lee (Kev1664) or his brother David (fleckman).

          • Phil K

            YOU’VE written about Antenociticus ????
            He was around a few centuries before you stumbled across him.
            Added to which, a local God from Benwell is certain to be known to far more than just yourself

          • Leazes Ender



          • Wor Lass

            I`d say the list of people who`s skin you`ve got under over the years would be pretty long! Apart from Clarko, I think the only person I ever trolled was Michael Caine. He was the reason I started posting but we eventually got on really well – it`s a shame he doesn`t seem to be around any more.

    • Jezza

      I used to know Martin Keown before he became a professional footballer. I spent some time in Oxford in the 80’s and Martin went to school with my Irish landlady’s daughter. All I can say is nice guy but not the brightest.

      • Wor Lass

        Speak as you find is always the best policy, mate!

      • Leazes Ender

        What were you studying?

        • Jezza

          How did you know I was studying there? Ha ha that’s very perceptive of you. Civil engineering at Oxford Poly.

          • Leazes Ender

            Obvious Its a seat of learning…. I never knew it had a poly though.

          • Jezza

            Very good college, Oxford Poly. I was nowhere near posh enough to have gone to Oxford University. My A levels were more than good enough to have got in but they were never going to take a comprehensive school pleb from a pit village like me.

  • Steve Pearce

    Thank you for never reading my comments about winching in Toon-knockers!

    Now my sleep will be disturbed by the sight of that hideous face drooling slavver over me as I sleep as he stands there clad only in a red and white tutu,,,

  • rickyd

    Could have easily called this article ‘Martin Keown explains his reasons to be cheerful for Newcastle’, wonder why not lol. Mackems

  • Stephen Paylor

    Reality today was that any of Arsenals subs for today’s game would be huge stars in our team. We need so many things to go right just to be competitive this season. Gayle has to be fit enough to play in over 80% of games and have his best season ever. Shelvey needs to also have the season of his life. Ritchie has to be a star this year. Mitro has to finally show his a top level forward. Aarons has to stay fit, Murphy has to be an immediate top quality player. Merino has to be the find of the season. Hayden, Clark, Perez, Diame, Atsu, Dummett, Yedlin have to prove they are ready to play at the top level. If all these things happen we can finish mid table. Not much to ask