18 January 2008
Kevin Keegan's return to the pantomime of Newcastle United will, in the minds of those not garbed in black and white, be a disaster. I've no sympathy for Newcastle United or their deluded, ludicrous supporters, but I have plenty for Keegan.
My view is that he is setting himself up for yet another noble fall, just like the one he took last time round at St James, like the one he took with England as the Wembley bulldozers hovered, like the one he took with Manchester City as he bought dud after dud to try (and fail) to haul them from severe mediocrity.
Along comes Mike Ashley with an offer to become manager (but only after Harry Redknapp said no) again and Keegan, typically for a man known to let his heart rule his head, accepted.
His barking mad managerial career now has yet another delicious, tabloid-friendly twist and it won't be dull. But I wish he'd never become a manager, even though on the motivational side he's always been rather good at it.
Put simply - Keegan was a fantastic player and now barely a soul cares about it. Captain of England, 50-odd caps, twice European Footballer of the Year, winner of almost every domestic honour with Liverpool, the first high-profile Englishman to make a foreign pilgrimage in order to better himself, icon of Newcastle's promotion in the mid-80s. He was quick, brave, forever seeking to improve, loyal, honest, dignified, intelligent and tri-lingual. And now, thanks to his mad career in management, hardly anyone knows or remembers that.