Friday, January 18, 2008

Fog on the Tyne

In his business dealings Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is no doubt as ruthless as most multi-millionaires. After a few months immersed in the madness that is north-east football he is sufficiently drunk on sentiment to give in to the clamour for the easy option and appoint Kevin Keegan. (This after a week spent unsuccessfully pursuing three other options, which he presumably thought were better bets.)
The appointment may or may not work but it is definitely not a rational act. It's the desperate, desperate desire to be loved. It's the cornered teacher giving in to the difficult class by buying them all an ice cream. It's Pontius Pilate giving the crowd Barrabas. It's pathetic.
And when in due course things don't go according to plan and he has to issue a statement calling on the fans' patience, I hope somebody points out to him that it was one his own employees who headlined the press release "Geordie Messiah to return".
Fans en masse are children. It is the job of owners to tell them what they can and can not have, not give in to their most shrill demand.


  1. Anonymous2:39 pm

    I don't agree that KK isn't the best man for the job; he is. They have tried 'winners' before (Dalglish, Robson), a 'sophisticated' foreign coach(Gullit), proven Premiership over-achievers & 'result-grinders' (Alladyce), someone promoted from within (Roeder). Each failed. All other candidates (Redknapp, Houllier, Hughes, Deschamps) fell into the above categories, so it's no wonder he's gone back to their most successful former-boss. Having just watched his press conference, no-one can think he won't give his all, and no-one can blame the Chairman for taking the uniquely romantic and pragmatic road.

  2. Newcastle need to get over themselves, thinking that they are a "big club" they've never won owt not this century or the last! They need a good manager who they commit to (fans included)for the long term to try to build towards some susccess and put "romance" to one side for a few years. That or like "mr doyle" "maybe they like the misery"

  3. Like Mr Maconie said on the radio on Wednesday night, if he's turned it down they'd have offered the job to Ant Aand Dec.

  4. Select quotes from Sky news and elsewhere so far ref Keegan who was holding a press conference earlier today:

    "Well, of course he is a hero on Tyneside, they all love him there. They're hoping that he can deliver the results for them he did before; (reporter rapidly backtracking) well he didn't, the results were actually nothing, but he did bring a lot of excitement to the club..."

    "Keegan asked for patience from the fans. They've already been waiting for more than 50 years"

    It strikes me that supporting Newcastle is like supporting England.
    The same romantic dreaming souped up by desperate managers, romantic (or cynical) directors and a massive merchandising operation which one suspects is one of the most important aspects of the whole circus. Then, the same petulant response from fans, press and owners alike when the bubble gets popped yet again.
    Anyway, twas ever thus I suppose. I hope Shearer does get a role up there, if only to get his spoilt face off the telly.

  5. Interesting. We like to think we are a great football nation. In truth we're a great football market.

  6. Anonymous11:11 pm

    Didn't Keegan himself say on quitting the England job that at the top the job required a level of expertise he doesn't possess? So how is he going to compete with the likes of Wenger and Ferguson, which surely is Ashley's intention, when he couldn't do it before? It's not as if he's been honing his expertise in the last few years. He said the last match he saw was his last match as Man City manager.
    Remember, when the going gets tough, Keegan starts running.

  7. Keegan deserves to be remembered as a great player and not as a woeful manager. Sadly, the opposite will happen.

  8. you miserable old sod, David. It may all end in tears, of course, of one sort or another, but the news brought a smile to my face (and I'm a Wolves fan). There's no need to be quite so down on the whole thing is there? Would it have been better if Ashley had appointed Gerrard Houllier instead? I hardly think so.

    The thing that I find interesting about the whole thing, and Keegan mentioned it in his unveiling, is the apparent fact that Newcastle Utd fans would rather watch their team lose every game in brilliant attacking games than watch them grind out championships winning 1-0. I just plain don't believe them. I can see the attraction of KK coming back, and I can see why (given the choice) you would generally always rather watch Manchester Utd and Arsenal than the likes of (say) Chelsea, Reading or Bolton.... but were they smiling about how great the football was in 1996 when Man Utd hauled down that 12 point lead? No, they were crying into their overpriced shirts from Soccer Tat, or whatever chain it is Ashley owns and Fat Freddie Shepherd so scorned.

    Anyway. Cheer up David, for heaven's sake!