Mike Ashley made a critical decision at Newcastle in January, when he sacked Sam Allardyce after just 8 months at the helm, and then brought Kevin Keegan back to the club, to the delight of most Newcastle fans everywhere.
Kevin Keegan – bold appointment by owner Mike Ashley
But things didn’t turn around initially, and in fact they got a lot lot worse. Newcastle went a full 13 games without a victory in the Premier League and achieved only 4 draws during that time. 4 points from a possible 39 is the worst run Newcastle have ever had in the Premier league and Kevin was manager for the last 8 of those games.
After the Liverpool 3-0 defeat we were just a scant 3 points above the drop zone but Bolton, who were 3rd bottom at the time (and still are), had a much better goal difference. That’s the worst position we got to. After that we gained a good draw at Birmingham , with a great second half performance, and have since won our last 3 games fairly easily, if the truth be told.
It was a risk that Mike took, but he didn’t want to have to appoint a new manager in the summer and have the next season again be yet another rebuilding one. Of Course the gossip press have had a field day with both Newcastle and Kevin Keegan, and they have hardly been compassionate in their comments about Newcastle and Kevin Keegan over the last 3 months.
But Kevin has in fact done the job, and the team is now playing as well as it’s played since the great Bobby Robson managed the club. Make no mistake, Newcastle fans’ hopes for next season will once again be sky high come the summer months.
The only difference now is that Kevin’s hopes for the club will if anything be even higher, and he will be wanting to do some really good business in the summer transfer market. He will get lots of help from Mike, Chris and our recruitment team of Dennis Wise, Tony Jimenez and Jeff Vetere, who have been working hard in the market since January.
From the way Kevin has managed the squad he inherited, it now looks surprisingly strong, with youngsters like Carroll and Edgar pushing through, and former established first teamers like Smith, Duff, N’Zogbia and shortly Milner, fighting to get back into the first eleven.
Kevin was called a miracle man when he first came back to the club, and of course the press scoffed at that – given the poor results we achieved initially. But where are they now that Newcastle have been transformed?
We cannot wait for next season to arrive when Kevin Keegan can again demonstrate that he ‘s lost absolutely nothing of the skills he had when he was first at the club.
Roll on next August, indeed.