Kevin Keegan was a special manager who was all about one thing; entertainment; he also managed some special players during his time with Newcastle United, Manchester City and England but who were his greatest entertainers?
GK: Peter Schmeichel
The Denmark legend only signed for City to work with Kevin Keegan. His starfish jump and crazy outbursts were quite entertaining. Plus he was quality! Image source: the42.ie
DF: RIchard Dunne
Is there anything more entertaining than seeing a big centre-back bundle the ball into his own net? Dunne has the Premier league record of 10 own goals. Oh dear, luck of the Irish? Image source: dailystar.co.uk
DF: Philippe Albert
This a man who played centre-back for Keegan but centre-forward for Belgium. Obviously. If ever a 'defender' summed up Keegan it was having a man at the back who always looked to get forward and score an absolute beauty! Image source: chroniclelive.co.uk
DF: Stuart Pearce
Psycho. Watching him smash floppy wingers for fun was great entertainment but we will forever remember his 'outburst' on the penalty spot in Euro '96. Scenes.
Image source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk
MF: Steve McManaman
Macca joined Keegan's City in 2003. The former Real Madrid and Liverpool legend was a pure entertainer. Skillful, scorer of great goals and also up for a scrap, even with his own teammates. Just Youtube Grobbelaar vs McManaman. Great stuff.
Image source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk
MF: Peter Beardsley
What a man. Keegan played with Beardsley when he was at Newcastle in 1983-84. 10 years later he brought Beardo back to the Toon and what a signing he was. The heartbeat of Keegan's entertainers and an all-time legend. Image source: nufcblog.co.uk
MF: Ali Benarbia
Ask any player who played with Benarbia to make their 'One-2-Eleven' and the Algerian get's in the team every time. He was only at Man City for two seasons but he is regarded as a City legend. True entertainer. Classic Keegan player.
Image source: alchetron.com
MF: David Ginola
Ooh la la. He is worth it -
whatever that actually means. David Ginola is the poster-boy of the Newcastle side that went 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League all those years ago. Ginola entertained us all and Keegan loved it! Image source: nufcblog.co.uk
FW: Nicolas Anelka
Anelka has had many clubs and many managers. When Keegan was looking for a new striker to take on the Premier League in 2002 after promotion, he found Le Sulk. Blistering pace, clinical finisher, great entertainment when in full flow. Image source: espnfc.com
FW: Andy Cole
Keegan spent £1.75 million on a 22-year-old Andy Cole in 1993 when Newcastle were still in the old Division One. That's like Huddersfield Town spending £30million on Tammy Abraham...kind of. Cole 'the goal' smashed in over 40 goals in his and Newcastle's first season in the Premier League. Now that's entertainment!
Image source: chroniclelive.co.uk
FW: Tino Asprilla
If any player can sum up Kevin Keegan's time as a manager its Tino Asprilla. Newcastle were top of the league, people said they needed more defenders, KK signed Asprilla. The crazy Colombian wasn't the best player Keegan ever managed but you won't find one less entertaining on and off the field. A hat-trick against Barcelona could be followed up with a headbutt on Keith Curle. No one knew what Tino would do next, not even him. Image source: chroniclelive.co.uk
King Kev took his first management job in football at Newcastle in 1992, eight years after retiring as a player at the club, and managed to keep the failing north-east side in the second tier of English football, just! Then in his first full season as a manager, he smashed the old Division One, now known as the Championship, and achieved promotion to the almighty Premier League as champions.
Newcastle‘s first season in the Premier League was remarkable, to say the least; for a club on the brink of relegation to the Third Division in 1992, Keegan’s Geordie Nation finished third in the Premier League in 1994. They did so with an attacking style most clubs in the country couldn’t handle. With Andy Cole banging in over 4o goals in a season, backed up with the likes of Peter Beardsley; The entertainers were born.
The Magpies continued to entertain for the next three years under Keegan’s guidance and by making exciting signings. They were entertaining but also successful as European football returned to Tyneside and were seemingly on their way to an unbelievable title win in 1996 only to be agonisingly hounded down by Alex Ferguson’s legendary Red Devils. In January 1997, Keegan resigned with no one truly knowing the whole reason why but King Kev was gone.
He made a comeback to football at Fulham as Director of Football later that year and took over as manager the following season, gaining promotion to the First Division. He then took over as England manager in 1999 but after an impressive start to Euro 2000, England failed to qualify from the group stage and by the time Dietmar Hamann sneaked one past Seaman for Germany in the rain at Wembley during a World Cup qualifier, Keegan was gone.
Man City came calling in 2001 and instructed Keegan to get them promoted back to the Premier League. He did, with his entertaining style as Man City gained promotion and scored 108 league goals. King Kev was back! After making some big name signings, he established City as a Premier League club and resigned in 2005.
“These people expect miracles. We know we can’t deliver them but we have to try.”
Kevin Keegan after his Newcaslte team beat Man Utd 5-0 in 1996
He made a brief comeback at Newcastle in 2008 but after being messed around by the ‘genius’ that is Mike Ashley, he left him to the mess he was about to create and retired completely from football.
Keegan will be forever remembered as a passionate manager who at times deployed an all-out attacking philosophy, he loved it! This brought him success but also failings in never being reliable enough to win something. What can’t be denied, though, is he was entertaining.