Kevin Keegan managed England back in 1999-2000, and he was simply not much better than Steve McClaren, if truth be told.
Kevin Keegan – in second spell as manager at Newcastle
Keegan has had ups and downs in his career as both a player and a manager, and it helps if you can take responsibility for the bad times as well as the good, which happen in any career
But that seems foreign to Kevin, as when things go wrong it’s never anything to do with him, and he seems to still be in denial about the disaster at England, when he walked out on the National side after Germany beat England 1-0 at Wembley.
That was on 7th October 2000, after England lost to a former Newcastle player – Dietmar Hamann’s goal for Germany in a 2002 World Cup qualifier, and the very last game to be played at Wembley Stadium before the stadium was rebuilt.
This is what Kevin Keegan said about managing England:
“I didn’t enjoy it. Simple as that. It was not a job I applied for. I was at Fulham and took over part-time. It was probably me getting carried away on an idea. If Harry Redknapp phoned me up and asked me what I thought about him taking it, I’d say, ‘Don’t take it unless you want a lot of free time’. I really would.”
“I would go to Highbury and see Aime Jacquet, then manager of France, watching about 15 players of his and I would have one. I wouldn’t mind if I could have gone to see Paris St Germain v Nantes and watched 15 English lads. But it wasn’t like that.”
“I found the job soulless. It was hard to fill in the time. I found myself going and training the blind team, the deaf team, working with the ladies’ team.” “It’s very difficult and it saddens me to say it but it’s a better job for a foreigner than an Englishman at the moment.”
“The media are the media. The one who had the easiest ride was Terry Venables, because they were all his friends. I never had one friend in the press. Nobody was getting inside information from me. I don’t have that sort of relationship with any press guy.”
“That’s because I don’t trust the press. Some of the guys are OK. But if they ask me something off the record, I won’t tell them anything. There is no such thing as ‘off the record’. If there was, why would they ask?”
“I’ve worked with them all. I’ve worked with some of them since they were young lads, so I probably know more about them than they do about me. But trust them? No.”
“I don’t need a press man to do me a favor. That’s where I am in the game. It’s annoyed some of them. I know how the press work: they’ve written the story and they just want you to give them the headline.”
“When you’re England manager, it’s like being Prime Minister. They are trying to get a certain answer out of you.”
When England were beaten 1-0 by Germany in that World Cup qualifier, Kevin simply resigned in the dressing room following the game, and England struggled to get someone in to replace him for the next game in a few days time.
England even wanted then Newcastle manager Bobby Robson to fill in, and he wanted to do it, but Newcastle Chairman Freddy Shepherd put a quick block on that.
England finally got Peter Taylor, the England U21 manager, to fill in for the next game, and then of course Sven Eriksson came in and qualified England for the 2002 World Cup.
And of course on 1st September 2001, England simply hammered Germany 5-1 in Germany, and qualified in second place behind Germany in their qualifying group.
Kevin Keegan won only 38.9% of his games in charge of England, and that made him statistically the least successful permanent England manager ever.
His England manager record from February 1999 through October 2000 was played 18, won 7, lost 4 and drew 7.
Those are the facts and Kevin should deal with them.
Hey, we all have our failures, and it’s probably best that we be responsible for those too – as well as the successes, which are slightly easier to handle. 😀
Of course we’ll never forget how simply brilliant Kevin Keegan was in his first spell as manager of Newcastle United, for those magical years of 1992 through 1995.
That was the highlight of Kevin’s management career, and he put Newcastle firmly on the football map as The Entertainers, and we’ll never forget that contribution Kevin made to Newcastle United.