Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tooj

Keegan: Managing England is soulless and I'd tell Harry not to do it

Recommended Posts

Another great read.

 

Kevin Keegan is sitting in a TV studio before they go live with a Saturday match and he’s off and talking as if the cameras are already rolling. ‘I can go anywhere in the world and be recognised,’ he says.

 

‘A few years back we went to Disney and I was being bothered there.

 

‘My daughters got fed up with it and said that if we were going back the next day I’d have to get a disguise. So they bought me a hat with a grey ponytail, and big mirror glasses. I was wearing a big flowery Hawaiian shirt as well. We stopped to get water from a supermarket and some guy said, “Kevin, can you sign this for me please?” “How do you recognise me?” I asked him. “Your voice”.’

 

Today, Keegan declares himself happy with life at 60: golf and working for ESPN, under the studio lights chewing over the day’s live action with presenter Ray Stubbs and a guest pundit. He has no intention of following Kenny Dalglish back into the Barclays Premier League bull ring.

 

Here, though, he is being asked to turn analyst on his own career: the journey from Scunthorpe to Bill Shankly’s Liverpool in 1971, his transfer from Anfield’s new European Cup winners to Hamburg in 1977, where his perpetual energy made him twice European Footballer of the Year and won him his ‘Mighty Mouse’ legend, before he provided the heartbeat for Southampton’s Harlem Globetrotters of a team under Lawrie McMenemy.

 

He ended up at his father’s hometown club, Newcastle United, prior to retirement at 33. All that and a stellar England career.

 

‘I have no regrets,’ Keegan says of his playing days. ‘You can’t have regrets. You do what you think is right. And you have to live or die by it. I’ve always been my own boss, certainly pretty much from when I got to the top.

 

‘I didn’t have to leave Liverpool but I was fair to them. I gave them a year’s notice that I would be leaving. I went for £500,000 — a fee fixed in advance — and they bought Kenny Dalglish for £440,000.

 

‘They had the money there to buy him. They had time to sort out what to do. It was fair to them. Sometimes clubs don’t have a day’s notice now.

 

‘Moving to Hamburg proved right. I went on to win the German championship and European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. I just would not have won those things if I hadn’t moved.

 

‘Most people who come up to me now remember me for falling off my bike in Superstars; they can remember the quote with Fergie (telling Sir Alex in a live interview that he would ‘Love it if we beat them’ during the 1995-96 season run-in). They can remember I made the Brut advert and a record. I say, “Do you not remember any of the goals I scored?”

 

‘I scored quite a lot — 100 for Liverpool, but only 56 of those can you see again because if Match of the Day wasn’t there, they are lost.

 

‘I retired at 33. People asked why. “Because I’m not getting any better”. Everybody’s different. Some play on until they are 40. I don’t criticise them for that. I just thought that, at 33, I’d run my best races. I’d only be going downhill.’

 

It was a sign of the upwards-or-quit mentality that would later prove the leitmotif of Keegan the manager.

 

‘I would not say that I’ll never be back in management now,’ says Keegan. ‘It never dies in you but I don’t feel the urge. I remember Sir John Hall phoning me when I came back from Spain to live in Hampshire in a farmhouse I had from my Southampton days. I was going to breed horses.

 

‘It was a Thursday night when he rang. I’d only been back for two days. He said, “Only two people can save Newcastle United. They are talking to each other now. You’ve got the passion; I’ve got the finance”.’

 

It was sentimental stuff from one romantic to another. And for more than four years, including promotion from Division One as champions, Keegan was the Geordie Messiah. The football was swashbuckling, the city was alive. And Keegan was in his element.

 

Then he walked away on a January day in 1997 those of us there on a mournful Tyneside will never forget. Keegan said he had taken the club as far as he could.  

 

He reinvented himself as manager of Fulham, took them up, before England asked him to take them up too, following Glenn Hoddle’s demise in 1999.

 

He has rarely spoken about his managerial career with England. His comments make for fascinating reading.

 

‘I didn’t enjoy it,’ he says. ‘Simple as that. It was not a job I applied for. I was at Fulham and took over part-time. It was probably me getting carried away on an idea. If Harry Redknapp phoned me up and asked me what I thought about him taking it, I’d say, “Don’t take it unless you want a lot of free time”. I really would.

 

‘I would go to Highbury and see Aime Jacquet (manager of France) watching about 15 players of his and I would have one. I wouldn’t mind if I could have gone to see Paris St Germain v Nantes and watched 15 English lads. But it wasn’t like that.

 

‘I found the job soulless. It was hard to fill in the time. I found myself going and training the blind team, the deaf team, working with the ladies’ team.

 

‘It’s very difficult and it saddens me to say it but it’s a better job for a foreigner than an Englishman at the moment.’

 

Under Keegan, England qualified for Euro 2000 but did not progress beyond the group stages. A 1-0 defeat by Germany in the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign saw him resign in the toilets of Wembley before the old stadium was demolished.

 

He was wounded by his treatment at the hands of the press.

 

‘The media are the media,’ he sighs. ‘The one who had the easiest ride was Terry Venables, because they were all his friends. I never had one friend in the press. Nobody was getting inside information from me. I don’t have that sort of relationship with any press guy.

 

‘That’s because I don’t trust the press. Some of the guys are OK. But if they ask me something off the record, I won’t tell them anything. There is no such thing as “off the record”. If there was, why would they ask?

 

‘I’ve worked with them all. I’ve worked with some of them since they were young lads, so I probably know more about them than they do about me. But trust them? No.

‘I don’t need a press man to do me a favour. That’s where I am in the game. It’s annoyed some of them. I know how the press work: they’ve written the story and they just want you to give them the headline.’

 

Seemingly happy to oblige, or at least try to, he adds: ‘When you’re England manager, it’s like being Prime Minister. They are trying to get a certain answer out of you.’

 

Keegan returned to management at Manchester City less than a year later, in May 2001. He spent four years there — leading the wobbling club to the Premier League and stabilising them — but finally he was unhappy that the owners did not invest enough to combat the team’s performance ‘levelling off’.

 

‘They were not spending enough to move up,’ he bemoans. ‘We were fighting for between seventh and relegation. We had run our race.’

 

Now that City are rich beyond belief, he says: ‘They will win the title in the next four years. It is inevitable.’

 

It was three years before he would watch football again. Instead, he put his energies into creating a Soccer Circus. His eyes fizz with magic when he talks of that ambition, even though it impacted unfavourably on his bank balance.

 

Self-styled as ‘the world’s first interactive football attraction’, it has been franchised out and spread to Dubai.

 

‘It does work very, very well,’ he says of the skills and fitness concept. The Circus, he says, fights obesity, keeps kids off the streets and is educational.

 

Every school, he decides, should have one. He talks about taking the Circus to India. Keegan the evangelist is at his full-flowing best.

 

Its impact on his bank account saw him return as Newcastle manager; the best example of why you should never go back.

 

His relationship with the new board who appointed him did not work out as well as before. Keegan put up with it for eight months because he needed the cash, but he ultimately parted company and successfully sued them for £2million.

 

He now says: ‘All my other chairmen were great. But at Newcastle — I don’t need to call them liars because that’s what the courts called them.’

 

Now he is watching the man who replaced him as a Kop idol at Liverpool so gloriously, and as manager of Newcastle less favourably, succeed at Liverpool: Kenny Dalglish. It neither stirs Keegan into pulling on his tracksuit nor makes him recoil at one day returning to club football.

 

‘They have a long way to go to make it to the top four,’ he says of Liverpool, currently fifth and resurgent. ‘Steven Gerrard will come back. You assume that Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll — raw but the best header of a ball I’ve ever seen and I don’t say that lightly — will be back. And you have to fit Dirk Kuyt in, so he’ll have to play on the wing, and he’s not a winger.

 

‘Then you start to think if Liverpool scare people as they used to. No. You would respect them totally. But not be scared by them. They have to build a new stadium and that means finding £300m. On top of that they have to rebuild the side.

 

‘Kenny will be telling everyone not to be fooled by this run. It’s come at a time when there’s no real pressure. He deserves the job 100 per cent, 110 per cent if that’s possible.’

For himself, the ‘Liverpool era is written. I don’t look back. I do not want the Liverpool job. They ask me to go back to Hamburg every month, but I don’t. I just don’t like to dwell on the past. I’m 60 now and I am still looking forward.’

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/...edknapp-it.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kevin Keegan is sitting in a TV studio before they go live with a Saturday match ................ I remember Sir John Hall phoning me when I came back from Spain to live in Hampshire in a farmhouse I had from my Southampton days. I was going to breed horses.

 

‘It was a Thursday night when he rang. I’d only been back for two days. He said, “Only two people can save Newcastle United. They are talking to each other now. You’ve got the passion; I’ve got the finance”.’

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/...edknapp-it.html

 

 

But but but....SJH knew nothing about it !!!!! How can this be :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan :lol:

 

Grow Up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan :lol:

 

Grow Up

Fuck off you suicidal miserable bell end. It's a shame the key thing in Logan's Run wasn't a real concept with cunts like yee.

Edited by McFaul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan :lol:

 

Grow Up

Fuck off you suicidal miserable bell end. It's a shame Logan's Run didn't have a real concept with cunt like yee.

 

Pish, I'll answer properly tomorrow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan Keeeeeeegan Keeeeeegan Keeeeegan Keeeegan :lol:

 

Grow Up

Fuck off you suicidal miserable bell end. It's a shame Logan's Run didn't have a real concept with cunt like yee.

 

Pish, I'll answer properly tomorrow

:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keegan says on page 205 in his book "Neither George Forbes nor Peter Mallinger knew that on Monday 3 February 1992 I was being asked to take over as Newcastle Manager on the Wednesday. When it came to the crunch, it was Fletcher, Shepherd and Douglas Hall who wanted me to replace Ossie Ardiles".

 

Further down the page he says about a meeting they had " I was not very impressed with him (Hall Snr). It was obvious that he wasn't comfortable with my proposed appointment. I could understand why, because he has put his name to an article by Bob Cass in the Mail on Sunday three days earlier which claimed that ossie's job was safe, and I knew that his family had built up a strong friendship with Ossie's. I was also concerned that neither Mallinger nor Forbes was present. Whatever Sir John thought about the situation he was in the minority. The other 3 laid the cards on the table: the club was on its way down and they had to do something very quickly if they were going to halt the decline. It seemed to me that Sir John was being given no choice.

 

He seemed anxious to get away - his original reason for coming down to London with his wife Lady Mae was to buy some trees in Kew Gardens. But I would not let him slip away until I knew how much money would be available to me for players. He told me that there would be 1m straight away and a further million if it was required. That was what I wanted to hear. It might not sound like a lot of money these days, but then I felt it was as much as I needed"

 

Further down he says "I must have been the only manager to be appointed without the knowledge of the chairman and vice chairman, neither of whom was informed until an hour before the press conference at which the news was made public. And even the future chairman - the man with the money - indicated that it was his colleagues rather than himself who wanted me."

 

A few pages later, on page 213, he says "What I did not know what that Sir John hall was playing political games with the other directors, Bob Young, George Forbes, Peter Mallinger and Gordon McKeag, in the matter of funds he had promised me. He was quite prepared to put in his share of the money I needed, which amounted to 40 per cent, but he told the others that they had to find the

remaining 60 per cent. That was not fair, because none of them had been given a say in my appointment, or even known about it, let alone an opportunity to turn down or agree to my original demands. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't their problem and I never held anything against Forbes and Mallinger over the issue.

 

All this was going on as a sideshow to the relegation battle and I decided that enough was enough. I filled Terry {Mac} in on the details and told him that we had no alternative but to go. Sir John had to keep his promises, regardless of his problems with the others and how much they might or might not put in."

 

Later, on pagef 214, he says "The player I wanted, Darren McDonough from Luton, was only going to cost £100,000, a fraction of the 1m or even the 2m pledged to me to get the club out of trouble"

 

Then, after the Swindon game, while driving out of the ground with Terry (Mac) - " I'm finished here and none of you know. I was furious, not with Forbes, Mallinger or the other directors, but with Sir John Hall".

 

He then says he wasn't bluffing, and went back to Hampshire, he knew that SJH would phone though, and when he did, says on page 215 in his book "SJH could not get Kevin Keegan to manage Newcastle on empty promises, especially when 36000 fans believed in me. He had used me to get those people involved, and now he was reneging on our deal. I told him all this when he rang, as I knew he would. He urged me to calm down, and it was then he said that the only 2 people who could save the club were talking to each other at that moment, and that I would get the money he had promised. From that day, SJH knew that as long as he was honest with me and kept his word, he wouldn't have any problem working with me"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Would have him back tomorrow.

 

There is only one KK. :lol:

 

sadly, there are some people who still think he was a "failure"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

Recent tweets

Toontastic Facebook

Donate to Toontastic

Keeping the lights on since... well ages ago
TT-Staff


×