Sunday, July 12, 2020
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To most rational football fans – at least those outside of Tyneside – Kevin Keegan’s return to the helm at St James’s Park looked like a recipe for yet more unemployment in the region. It was said that the days when Keegan took Newcastle to the brink of a Premiership title were long gone. The scientific approach brought to the league by the likes of Mourinho and Benitez had triumphed. Passion and inspiration were a thing of the past.

Nonetheless, Keegan was the overwhelming choice amongst the St James’s park faithful, and although you may question their benefit claims you can never argue with their love and dedication to the club.

Aside from Sir Bobby’s shamefully ended reign, good times have been hard to come by in the north-east. The meticulous pragmatism of Sam Allardyce won him few admirers and even fewer matches, brain disease belied Glenn Roeder’s inability, and Graeme Souness is Graeme Souness. Can you blame them for canonizing Keegan and his heroics in the mid-nineties?

It is his passion and penchant for the beautiful game that have won him most admirers. How can anyone forget that cavalier 4-3-3 formation? Shearer, Ferdinand, Asprilla, Beardsley and Ginola packed into a starting 11 that finished second in the league for two consecutive seasons.

It often goes unobserved that Keegan’s record in club management is actually very good. He has won promotion with every team he has managed and each of the three – Newcastle, Fulham and Manchester City – have gone on to become established premier league teams.

If there is any current of poetic justice left in the beautiful game Kevin Keegan will be the man to take Newcastle to their first silverware in more than 50 years (see how much he'd love it below). If not, we’ll be watching Inter Milan vs. Liverpool in the Champion's league final next summer.

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