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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
World Cup Scouting - Kieron Dyer
Sven-Goran ErikssonKieron DyerSupportersNewcastle boss Glenn RoederShould Kieron Dyer go to Germany?

By Andrew McKenzie
BBC Sport at The Stadium of Light

On 8 May, head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson will name the provisional squad of 23 players that he believes can win the World Cup for England.

As the day grows ever closer, speculation is intensifying as to the exact make-up of the group that will board the plane to Germany.

In the latest of a series of scouting missions, BBC Sport and the fans run the rule over Newcastle's Kieron Dyer.

As the 27-year-old tries to stay fit enough to feature in Eriksson's plans, we checked him out in the Magpies' 4-1 win at Sunderland in the derby on Easter Monday.


Dyer made his Ipswich debut on Boxing Day back in 1996 - three days before his 18th birthday.

He may have looked like a boy but he played like a man and was a virtual ever-present for the Tractor Boys for the next two-and-a-half years.

Newcastle star Kieron Dyer
Born: 29/12/78, Ipswich
Clubs: Ipswich, Newcastle
Career games: 334
Career goals: 41
England caps: 28
He suffered agony in the Division One play-offs of 1999 as he scored twice but saw Ipswich lose out to Bolton on away goals.

The blow was softened that summer by a call-up to the England squad and a 6.5m move to Newcastle.

He was handed his England debut by Kevin Keegan in September 1999, only two months after arriving at St James' Park.

Dyer started as England beat Luxembourg 6-0 at Wembley but, despite a promising start to his international career, Keegan opted not to take the young midfielder to Euro 2000.

Injury problems began to disrupt his career but there remained plenty of admirers and Manchester United were linked with a 20m move in the summer of 2001.

England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson was clearly another admirer and named Dyer in his squad for the 2002 World Cup, despite only seeing him play 45 minutes in a white shirt.

Dyer was a candidate for the problematic left-wing position, while his versatility made him an able deputy for David Beckham on the right as well as at right-back or in central midfield.

A series of niggling injuries, combined with some off-the-field problems, meant Dyer was again a doubt for Euro 2004 but Eriksson gave him the nod.

But, despite his undoubted ability and ample opportunities, the general feeling is he has yet to fulfil his potential either for club or country.

A total of 28 international appearances - 21 of them coming off the bench - is a poor return for Dyer, who is also still awaiting his first goal for England.


This season has been yet another injury nightmare for Dyer.

Only once in his seven seasons on Tyneside has Dyer made over 30 league appearances for the Magpies, despite being one of the first names on the team-sheet when fit.

His hamstring problems returned and then he suffered further breakdowns when the side effect of the drugs he was taking to treat an illness made him more prone to muscle injuries.

Dyer, who admitted his injury problems left him feeling suicidal, has started only four Premiership games this season and the match against Sunderland on Easter Monday was only the second time he has completed 90 minutes.

Against Newcastle's local rivals Dyer started as an out-and-out striker alongside Alan Shearer.

But, with the Magpies struggling to get a hold on the game, Dyer was starved of service up front and was forced to feed off hopeful balls over the top.

To his credit, he took it upon himself to drop deep and try to make things happen, looking the most likely of Newcastle's players to create an opening.

After 58 minutes Dyer was moved back into central midfield to accommodate the arrival of Michael Chopra as a second forward.

Dyer played only a bit part in any of the goals as the Magpies won 4-1. However, once Newcastle found themselves in control of the game he brought a calming influence to central midfield.

This was not Dyer the destroyer who puts fear into defenders when the ball is at his feet. This was Dyer the container who lets the ball do the work.

The lung-bursting runs were replaced by sideways passes but Dyer, who played for 75 minutes against Wigan two days before, will be happy to have got a rare 90 minutes under his belt.


Probably not worth the risk because of the fact he has been injured for most of the season. What Dyer needs now is a good pre-season with us and hopefully he will be ready for the start of next season.
ArcticGeordie via 606 messageboards

With Shearer and Owen injured, Dyer should play the last three games and we will see then if he is fit enough. He's a good squad player and gives us options if we decide not to go with a fifth striker. He could probably do the same job as Defoe or Bent and also has the ability to play any of the midfield positions.
Jeff, Newcastle fan

Dyer would be better suited to England than to Newcastle - he is the perfect player to bring on to keep the opposition pegged back or add options to attack. Fitness wise, he is never a certainty. If there were fewer players struggling to recover he would have a much better chance.
GeordieHalfBreed via 606 messageboards

If he stays fit, yes. He can play centre midfield, right wing, forward, or just behind the forward/forwards. Dyer has experience too, and will be desperate to show what he can do. True, not necessarily starting XI, but perfect for a super sub.
Luque-shot via 606 messageboards

If it comes down to a choice between whether Jenas or Dyer get on the plane then I'd say take Dyer, he's capable of terrifying defences whereas Jenas is merely capable of swimming around his bowl.
Rocky Chops via the 606 messageboards

Should Dyer go to the World Cup? I can answer that for you in one word: No.
Gavin, Newcastle fan

Dyer for England - you're having a laugh. An undoubted talent at times but the word that most springs to mind is frustrating. Frustrating that we pay him 80k a week for less than 20 games a season, frustrating he refused one of the best managers in the game's request to play on the right, frustrating he was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons all of the time....need I go on?
Passtheprozac via the 606 messageboards


Newcastle caretaker boss Glenn Roeder has handled Dyer's return to fitness delicately, opting to use his wounded star as a super-sub until he was convinced he was ready to return.

Before the win over Wigan on Saturday, in which Dyer looked close to his brilliant best, Roeder said: "I've had a good chat with Kieron and he now feels he's ready to start a game for us, and I agree with that.

"He tells me he has every confidence that his legs can take it."

But Roeder also hinted Dyer's problems this season mean it would be better for the player to be resting this summer rather than taking on the best in the world.

He added: "What I'd love for him is to be fit at the end of the season.

"He hasn't been in this position much in recent seasons and it would be great for him if he had a summer free from worrying injuries.

"Between now and the end of the season, he will have time on the pitch.

"Whenever he is on the pitch there is always a possibility of something good happening for us."


A fit Kieron Dyer, firing on all cylinders, would be on the plane to Germany.

Unfortunately, England could not guarantee he would still be fit when the plane landed.

Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, Jermaine Jenas, Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent
As MalcolmSm1th (NUFC 177) argued on the 606 messageboards: "Imagine a quick England break with Rooney, Owen and Dyer..."

But this answer came from one arm aloft: "It's easy to imagine Owen and Dyer quickly breaking down."

Dyer might have timed his return to form and fitness just right in 2002 and 2004 but this time it looks like he might have left it too late.

While Dyer was once the man Eriksson turned to when he needed a lightning spark of a super-sub off the bench, now he has other similarly explosive options.

Dyer's only hope is that he can show he is over his recent problems by playing Newcastle's final three games of the season.

But even then he might be relying on injuries to the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent.

With too many of Eriksson's players carrying too many niggles and knocks, the England boss cannot risk taking another gamble to Germany.

Scouting for England
14 Apr 06 |  World Cup 2006
Dyer left 'suicidal' by injuries
13 Dec 05 |  Newcastle United


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