Quite a lot of praise coming this morning for Geremi, following his great play over the last few games for Newcastle United.
Geremi – playing his best football now for the club
The 29-year-old Cameroon International returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in February having helped guide his team to the final, but they were finally defeated by defending champions Egypt.
The former Chelsea player and free agent has three assists and a goal on Sunday – his first for the club – during our back-to-back victories over Fulham and Spurs, and in doing so has won warm praise from his manager Kevin Keegan.
Kevin told Newcastle World TV today:
“He’s a real good man to have around your club,” “I know from talking to people that he got in the team and was made captain after he signed in the summer.”
“Then he had a couple of bad games and found himself out of the team.” “So there was that in mind when he came back from the Africa Cup of Nations.”
“I had a look at him and thought, ‘Is he a winger or is he a full-back?’,” “And everything I saw on the training pitch made me say, ‘I have to find a place in the side for him’.”
“He is so experienced and his delivery from set-plays is fantastic.” “He got himself a clever goal against Spurs and I was delighted for him.”
Geremi is what we would call a confidence player. When he’s confident on the field he’s an excellent player, but under Sam Allardyce, with not making the starting 11 too often, and having several poor games to boot, his confidence suffered and his play also suffered. The two tend to go hand in hand of course.
Kevin Keegan is a terrific manager for players like Geremi, because Kevin believes exactly what he says and that’s one reason he can get the very best out of his team. He really believes his players are the very best, and he reminds us a lot of the great Bill Shankly of Liverpool, whom he played under at Anfield of course.
Nobody’s players were as good as Bill Shankly’s, when they were playing for Liverpool, and he honestly believed that, just like Kevin does now.
There’s an old saying in business – you get what you expect from people – and if you expect your players to be great – they will more times than not be exactly that.
It reminds us of what the great Jock Stein said about Bill’s players:
â€œI donâ€™t believe everything Bill tells me about his players. Had they been that good, theyâ€™d not only have won the European Cup but the Ryder Cup, the Boat Race and even the Grand National!â€
You just cannot get a more passionate manager than Bill Shankly, it’s just not possible, and he transferred his own passion to his players and started the Liverpool revival back in the early 60s. Bill became Liverpool manager in December 1959 and was manager until July, 1974.
But back to Newcastle United today – just watch Newcastle move forward now, as they finally have that little bit of confidence, which means so much in the game of football.