Former Newcastle manager and player Kevin Keegan has given encouragement to all those footballers who are not blessed with physical size, and his words have come while he is on a visit to Malaysia, and he is rightly telling Malaysian players that there is no reason why they cannot become top players in football, if they work at it and get fit, and size doesn’t matter.
Shane Ferguson – relatively tall at just over 5’9″
And Kevin’s words can apply to some our smaller players – like Shane Ferguson as one example – who is not the size of two penneth of chips (it’s a long time since I’ve used those words), yet is doing very well – thank you very much – in the Newcastle first team.
This is what Kevin said while in Malaysia:
“These are players without much physical advantage who have proved to be really special.” In my playing career, I was so fit…and was top of the tree. Of course you need to have determination, some skills and pace…but it was my super fitness which made the difference.” “You have got to be self-inspired to achieve your goal.”
Shane is not too tall at just over 5’9″, yet he is strong on the ball, and has been called Newcastle’s man of steel by Perchinho, and he’s hard to shake off the ball.
And Shane may be called big to another of Newcastle’s smaller players – Vurnon Anita – but when you have the technique, skill and talent that Vurnon has, you can become a big success at Newcastle.
And some of the best players around are not exactly tall – Barcelona’s Iniesta, Xavi and Messi are all just 5’7″ tall – and they are three of the best players in the world at the moment.
Yes – you’re right Vurnon Anita is an inch shorter than those three at just 5’6″ – but hey, Vurnon is one inch taller than one of the best players ever to grace the football field – Diego Maradona of Argentina – who is 5’5″ tall.
So size is hardly important when you have the skills, talent and technique in football.
And compared to some of the current Barcelona players, Kevin Keegan was even tall at 5’8″, and he was world-class when he played for Liverpool and England.
And after all, the great Pele, the best player I have ever seen, was just 5’8″ tall, so Shane and Vurnon should have no problems in coming through big time, as two of Newcastle’s best players in the future.
That’s what we’re hoping for in any case.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org