Various quotes from Derek Llambias have been put put out by the Evening Chronicle this afternoon, although there doesn’t seem to be much new. However, it’s very clear the Board and Ashley himself still have a long way to go to regain the confidence and trust of the Newcastle faithful – and they know that.
Kevin Keegan – Ashley insisted Newcastle had to keep Kevin
Some of the new comments are regarding Kevin Keegan’s departure from Newcastle, last September, which of course is the one event that started the uproar. We still don’t know exactly what happened.
It’s always impossible to go back, but we often wonder where Newcastle would be in the league if Kevin Keegan had never left. ouch.
But that’s all water under the Tyne Bridge and High Level Bridge now, but at least it looks like we have a fairly decent chance of surviving in the Premier League this year. Then the club will have to regroup big time in the summer, and press forward.
Derek Llambias has been given the unenviable job of attempting to explain to irate Newcastle fans, what exactly has been going on at the club since early September.
And Derek has at least agreed that he will talk first and foremost to the local Evening Chronicle and Journal newspapers, and not the NOTW and The Sun, which is a good move.
Derek has clearly admitted that they badly miscalculated the fall-out from the Keegan saga, and that’s a great pity because they must have known the Newcastle fans were furious that Kevin might leave, and so it turned out to be. There was ample warning before Kevin finally left, that Newcastle fans would be furious, and so they were.
So to say they miscalculated, probably says they just didn’t get how important Keegan was to the fans.
Derek said various things regarding the Kevin Keegan affair, which, by the way, is still a mystery as to what really happened:
Here’s some of the quotes from Derek on Kevin:
- We tried to keep him – Mike insisted that we should keep him.
- We tried our best to keep him, but once someone crosses that line, it’s very difficult to get them back.
- Kevin – what can you say? He is the Messiah, he is a great guy. I promise you, Kevin was where we wanted to go.
- We are trying to resolve our differences with Kevin and hopefully, we will get there very shortly.”
It would be good to settle the Kevin Keegan affair quickly, and presumably the club will settle out of court, but fans should still be told exactly what happened.
If nothing is said there will be a perception the club is trying to hide something, and that wouldn’t be good, in the new transparency at the club, where they have said they will be more open with the fans.
Here are some other snippets Derek told BBC Radio Newcastle this week:
- Relegation – it’s totally inconceivable. You just couldn’t go there – and we won’t go there.
- I might be bullish about it, but you have got to have that faith.
Asked about Newcastle’s prospects of competing for a top-six position shortly Derek said:
- In the next year? I think it would be tough.
- It’s taken Aston Villa three seasons to get there. They have done a great job. I would love to be up their like Aston Villa.
- They have got a good team – no better than us – but they are up there, they are competing for that top four and it’s fantastic that they are.
- We would love to be in that position once we are settled. We need a little bit more stability on the team side and a little bit more of a solid base, and that’s what we want to give them.”
As we’ve mentioned on this site before, one thing we must have is stability, and one way to get that is to have the same manager for a couple of years, at least.
It seems that Ashley, having changed direction 180 degrees on trying to sell the famous Newcastle club, has now got his passion back for Newcastle United – and only last weekend his kids attended the Everton game with him.
Mike’s probably got the passion back because he’s been talking too much to Joe Kinnear. 😀
Llambias talked again about Ashley:
- He was hurt by the reaction to Keegan’s departure. He came into Newcastle United, he bought it for a price.
- People say he didn’t due his due diligence, but that’s the way Mike does business. He just saw it as where he wanted to be.
- He put £250M into it and will continue to go down that route.
- When he put it up for sale, he wasn’t wanted. When you are not wanted somewhere, you think, ’Well hang on, let’s walk away, it hasn’t worked out and you have got to move on’.
- But come December time, Mike and I sat down and said, ’Enough’s enough, let’s get it back on track. The team needs to know where it is going, the supporters need to know where they are going’, so Mike Ashley is back on board.
- It has gone, we are not for sale.”
Now comes the delicate period where they need to earn the confidence of the Newcastle fans back, and of course there is still along way to go.
But actions speak louder than words, and some good acquisitions in the summer, and a much bigger squad by the August time-frame, will go a long way to placating some of the Newcastle faithful.