Kevin Keegan, the England legend and former Liverpool striker, today has been named manager of Newcastle United for the second time in his career.
As much as it pains me to say, I believe Newcastle United has made the wrong decision. It’s difficult for me to say this because Keegan was my childhood hero. He was the epitomy of a professional striker when I was growing up in the late 70s and early 80s in the UK. And as much as I love his footballing career, including his success at Newcastle as manager, he’s not ready to step back in the frame at St. James Park.
Here are the reasons why:
- Keegan has been out of the game for too long. The Premier League has changed so much since the early 90s. So too has the tactics and the amount of pressure put on a manager.
- Make it business, not personal. The appointment of Keegan will do much to raise the spirit of Newcastle fans, but Keegan’s success at Newcastle was in the past. There’s no guarantee that reappointing him will bring back the success he achieved approximately 15 years ago.
- He can’t handle the pressure. One of Keegan’s weaknesses in the past has been his inability to handle the pressure, whether it was as England manager or manager of Manchester City or Newcastle. With the Newcastle United team being such a mess right now, I’m not so sure that Keegan will have the patience or fortitude to stick it out for the long run. It could take 6-9 months easily to turn this team around.
- His attacking style may not work as well as it did before. In the early 90s, Keegan’s attacking style of play that he promoted as Newcastle manager was en vogue. Nowadays, that style of play could open up huge holes in the back that could be penetrated by opposition sides. Don’t get me wrong. I love attacking football, but I’m not so sure it can work as well against a 4-5-1 formation. If not, what other tricks does Keegan have up his sleeve?