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King Kev
by Clint Wayne
2008-01-22 09:56:38
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Stunned isn’t the word, it's not even sensational, it's far beyond that. The news that Kevin Keegan was returning to Newcastle United marking the homecoming of a hero that many are calling the second coming of the Messiah has shocked a nation but sent the football crazy Geordies into raptures since it was announced.

His appointment as Newcastle United’s new boss is just the latest in a 25-year love affair with the club after forging legendary status as a player at the club in the early-80s, Keegan returned to the Toon in 1992 for five years at the helm that was a rollercoaster ride for the team that the media romantically named ‘The Entertainers’ in tribute to their flair players and attacking style of play that brought a breath of fresh air to the newly formed Premiership.

As a former European Player of the Year himself, Keegan’s brand of exciting attacking football attracted the kind of gifted footballers to the club never seen before in the North East.

Within two years the all-star team, featuring the immense talent of Peter Beardsley, the flair of David Ginola and the goal scoring exploits of Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and the record breaking £15 million arrival of a sheet metalworker’s son from Gosforth named Alan Shearer, soon had them challenging for the top-flight’s top spot and venturing into Europe.

Although they never won any trophies their football deserved, they entertained the whole country and famously blew a 12 point lead to Manchester United. There were fantastic entertaining games to drool over including a 5-0 trouncing of the Champions and a five goal European thriller against Barcelona featuring a Tino Asprilla hat-trick.

Apart from a few good years under manager Sir Bobby Robson the football Newcastle fans have had to endure since Keegan’s departure has been at best average so with Kevin Keegan's return to the St James' Park hot seat after more than a decade away it is hoped that this is the first building block in a return to happier times for Newcastle United.

With the backing of new billionaire owner Mike Ashley, Keegan can make the team challengers for silverware again, as they were during his first spell in the mid-1990s but the important thing to remember is that this is just the start.

As recent manager Sam Allardyce's negativity rebuilt side huffed and puffed against the Premier League's lesser sides the fans have been dragged down and it needed somebody special to get everybody excited again.

Keegan's appointment is sure to create a feel good factor among fans of the club who have been starved of success and his knowledge of the area and the club's fanatical support means he knows what is required and that he has the charisma, motivation skills and man management to bring the best out of players.

The man who single-handedly hauled the club out of the dark days of the late-1980s and early-1990s and established it back among the elite is back where he belongs at St James's Park and bringing a smile back to those forlorn supporters.

Choosing the man who is so close to the hearts of every Newcastle supporter was a masterstroke, and has reinvigorated the whole Geordie Nation. It remains to be seen whether the dream ticket of a Keegan-Shearer partnership comes to fruition but Shearer's steely determination would surely be an ideal foil for Keegan, whose strength lies in his motivational skills.

The supporters of other clubs who have had a field day at Newcastle’s expense since Allardyce's abrupt exit may not be laughing for too much longer.

King Kev is back, and so will be Newcastle United.

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Asa2008-01-22 09:59:17
Fingers crossed that entertaining football returns, plus some of the pride...

Thanos2008-01-22 10:21:59
And Alan Shearer as Kevin's assistant!!!

Asa2008-01-22 16:56:58
I wonder if some readers may think that this is the positive article about Keegan's arrival, while the negative is covered in "the most evil man in town" by Bohdan Yuri!

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