Kevin Keegan has today admitted he was unable to stop Newcastleâ€™s season drifting into the definite threat of relegation.
Kevin Keegan – took 9 league games for first win
Kevin took until his tenth game (ninth Premier league game) of his second spell as Newcastle manager before registering his first win. But of course since then we have won every match, which is what Kevin had always said, but it does raise some questions as took us so long to win.
Keegan talked to the Newcastle journal this morning:
â€œWhen I came here, we were 11th but when you looked up we were, I think, 10 points below the next team (editor note – the gap was only six – see table below)â€
â€œSo half of you, much as you did not like to admit it, thought it is much easier to get dragged into that than to get up there.” â€œWe had to win three games not to move anywhere.â€
â€œThat is not easy in the Premier League and until the weekend we had not won three (consecutive) games (all season). When we beat Reading that was the first time this season, so it (the league position) was not a major surprise.â€
â€œI could see us more likely getting sucked into it than not, though I thought we would get better results quicker.â€
In fact these were the league positions after our last game before Bolton (Kevin’s first game in charge on 19th January), which was the 6-0 hammering at Manchester United on 12th January.
Pos Team Games GD Points 9 Blackburn 21 0 33 10 West Ham 21 7 32 11 Newcastle 22 -12 26 12 Spurs 22 2 24 13 Reading 22 -17 22 14 M'Boro 22 -17 21 15 Bolton 21 -9 20 16 Birminhgam 22 -10 20 17 Wigan 22 -15 20 18 Sunderland 21 -20 17 19 Fulham 22 -16 15 20 Derby 22 -37 7
Weâ€™re not exactly sure what point Kevin is making here, because we should just look at the results, and in the first 8 league games under Keegan we got just 3 points â€“ that has nothing to do with where we were in the table.
But in any case it maybe feels a little better that we struggled initially because it puts in focus just how Kevin got the team playing so well, and dug us out of a big hole. And you cannot say Keegan cannot take criticism.
In the bad times he handled himself wonderfully well – a real gentleman, and so loyal to his players, who are now paying him back – big time. 😀
What a guy.
Comments very welcome.