Kevin Keegan seems like he will accept Alan Shearer at Newcastle as his assistant manager, but Kevin has to make sure Alan will accept the job under Kevin’s conditions – because he’s the boss.
Kevin Keegan – being introduced to the crowd yesterday
Alan must be available to be at Newcastle’s games if he is to be the number 2 at the club, so how that fits with his BBC responsibilities has to be sorted out. It may not be able to work if he’s still at the BBC.
Letâ€™s see what Kevin said to the Mail on Sunday today and try to sort out whatâ€™s going on between Kevin and Alan:
“If Alan doesn’t see himself as a No 2, then he’s not going to come here, is he?”
“Am I going to get him in as joint manager? I will speak to Alan once I have got the Bolton game out of the way. I won’t go chasing him around.”
“He’s said his thing in the papers and the only time we’ll really know whether it’s on or not is when the two of us speak.â€
“If he says to me ‘I don’t want to be No 2’ and that is his line then there really isn’t any point in having a long conversation.”
Thereâ€™s no way we can have joint managers, it just doesnâ€™t work. You always need one person in charge â€“ one neck on the line if you like who you can congratulate in times of success and hold responsible in terms of failure.
We also think it’s completely non-productive to talk about these things to the press – Kevin should get with Alan and stop talking about various scenarios to the press. The same is true for Alan. After all we know the press will only try to cause some mischief over this.
Shearer travels to Africa tomorrow on business, and hopefully the two of them can talk or meet today, to sort something out before Alan leaves.
“I think there is an involvement for Alan at this football club, and involvement at this moment could be on his terms.â€“I know he has other obligations and commitments.”
“I know that because when I used to work for TV, you make a promise to people and whether it is to a football club or the BBC or whoever it is, it is a promise and a commitment. But it might be that we can chat about it.â€
“What a fantastic player to have around the club, to help people with the art of goal-scoring and just talking to the players. But, if you can’t be there on a Saturday because you have to do TV work, then you can’t even think of yourself as a No 2.â€
“I will probably say to him, ‘I’m here now. Do you see any role for yourself?â€ â€” that would be the sensible way to approach it, but Alan and I need to have that conversation and it’s not for the Press. He might say he’d love to do it, but it’s too early.â€
“Sometimes, when you have the conversation through the Press, things get missed out but, when we have the conversation ourselves, nothing will be missing.”
Keegan’s then denied any potential bad feeling between the two of them had anything to do with his non-appearance at Shearer’s testimonial match in 2006:
“I’d like to think there is no animosity there but, if you’re asking me if Alan rings me as much as he used to, then no, he doesn’t,”
“I couldn’t come to Alan’s testimonial because I was on a family holiday in the States. Things like that, sadly, maybe have affected him but it hasn’t affected me.”
“It’s possibly true that it did offend him in some way but for me to fly all the way from America . . . I wouldn’t have expected him to do that for me.”
“I would have thought we’re still great friends. For all his playing career and from the minute I met him and signed him in David Platt’s farmhouse in Cheshire, we had a fantastic relationship and a very honest one. Yes, we are two people who say what they think, but that’s good.”
“That doesn’t mean to say I don’t respect them,” “If you talk about the way it finished, it was disappointing. Sir John Hall couldn’t even be bothered to say goodbye to me, yet we were the two guys who saved the club five years earlier.â€
“But I understand all those things. I’ve seen Sir John since and said hello to him. I wouldn’t probably go out for dinner with him and all those people, but you must not cloud that with a sense that I don’t respect them â€” I do tremendously.”
This is what we would suggest Kevin Keegan does sometime today:
- Don’t negotiate the partnership in the press
- Offer Alan Shearer the number 2 position
- Ensure that something is able to be worked out between the BBC and Shearer to the satisfaction of Kevin. The best solution would be for Alan to give up his position at the BBC, if that is possible. Whatever is worked out has to be 100% acceptable to Keegan and Alan has to be able to attend all Newcastle’s matches.
- Shearer must accept he may be number 2 for at least 5 years, and that Kevin is fully in charge of the playing side of the club. Kevin will be Alan’s boss at the club.
If something can be worked out like that, it would be a good deal – otherwise it will be too dangerous and could compromise Kevin’s ability to make Newcastle United successful again.
What do you think?