Two Newcastle United Legends Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan met up on the eve of King Kev’s 70th birthday – and what a brilliant piece it created for The Athletic.
Yes, read that again, Kevin Keegan is 70 years old on Valentine’s Day. Big love to him from all of us that revere the man and what he did and almost did for our Football Club. Even more poignant when you consider that we slipped to 17th in The Premier League this weekend.
Keegan clearly still has a feeling for NUFC and one that never seems to go away. An old boss of mine never liked Keegan but conceded that he was a master of saying the right thing to the right people.
In his quotes, which you can read below, he alludes to the fact that NUFC could even be great under Ashley if he appointed the right men behind the scenes. Perhaps two of those could be Shearer as an Ambassador and Keegan himself as Director of Football?
“You have to give people hope. It won’t go on forever.
“Someone, somewhere, will see the benefits of that great football club. The problem with Mike Ashley is that he didn’t really know what he was buying. He doesn’t get it.”
“But if he doesn’t understand what it’s about, he should hire people, employ people who do. Even if he keeps the ownership, he just needs to put bright people in charge. That’s all Newcastle needs. If you could put three or four of the right people in there …”
“The best day they’ll have is when he sells the club because anybody – and I mean anybody – can run it better. It cannot be run worse than it is.”
“I don’t care what anybody says, it’s a special club. It’s not like any other club. If you’d said in 1927, the last time they won the league, that nearly a century later they wouldn’t have won it again, people would have laughed at you!”
“They’d won it four times by then. You can never foresee. It just needs running. It needs direction, leadership. It needs understanding of what it is. It needs some care. If you take Newcastle by takings, crowd, whatever, it’s something like the 17th biggest football club in the world.”
“That means it should be amongst the top four or five in England. Yes, Man United are bigger. Yes, Liverpool are bigger, but they’re only bigger because they’ve won things.
“It could all change with new ownership. You never know, it might just be around the corner.”
Now some might say that Keegan is yesterday’s man and his views are not relevant. But for me they are fresh, correct and make sense.
We know Ashley would never invite him back in any capacity but a new, committed ownership if they come in could do worse than look at King Kev for a role within The Club.
Comments that he made to Shearer in the interview will further still endear him to the NUFC fanbase and let’s face it he always seemed to know what to say to keep us onside. That said, I always thought he was genuine and knew what he was talking about.
Perhaps King Kev is too far removed from the Premier League to be an effective DoF but one thing is clear – if he were involved with the Club it would be an awful lot more hopeful and more like the Newcastle United we want back!