Sunday’s News of the World features a good slapfight between sources close to Newcastle (read, Mike Ashley) and sources close to Kevin Keegan (read, Keegan). It makes Keegan look like an utter moron – which certainly validates my view of the man.
Keegan is the embodiment of everything that is still wrong with English soccer. Everyone in the sport knows that he is an idiot, but yet, they still give him jobs because of that “passion” be brings.
In that vein, I fully expect his next stop to the Toronto FC.
The best bits of the NOTW article are after the jump.
KEVIN KEEGAN saw himself as the ultimate circus master commanding a line-up of superstar acts that would wow the soccer world.
David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Jonathan Woodgate and Anton Ferdinand were all on his £200million Newcastle United wish-list.
One highly placed Newcastle source claimed: “If only people knew the real truth of what’s been going on . . . because in the end it was ridiculous.
For no matter how many times Ashley’s executives explained the club’s structure and transfer policy, which was to be overseen by Wise and Jimenez, Keegan refused to accept he would NEVER be given the final say.
As a club insider explained: “Kevin just seemed incapable of grasping the situation, understanding the club’s policy and working to a budget no matter how many times he was told.
“Right from the start, at his interview for the job, it was made perfectly clear to Kevin the way the club wanted the job done.
“Jimenez chaired the meeting and laid it out plain for Kevin. This was not going to be a Chelsea scenario with Newcastle paying big money and massive wages for established stars.
“The club was going to be run like Arsenal and the emphasis would be on scouring the world for the best emerging young talent and bringing it to the North-East, like Arsene Wenger had done with Nicolas Anelka, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Adebayor and Cesc Fabregas. We talked of building the club up over the next three to five years so that we could compete at the top again. Kevin sat there and agreed and took the job on those terms. But then he wants to try and sign Beckham! It was unbelievable.
“You wondered what planet he was on.”
“Kevin was again told in no uncertain terms how things would be done,” claimed the source.
“Yet in June he tells us he’s spoken to Frank Lampard’s agent and claims Lampard wants to come to Newcastle . . . for £200,000 a week!
“On another occasion, Keegan and Arthur Cox sat in a meeting claiming that they’d just had Theirry Henry on the phone discussing a move to Newcastle.
“It was so bizarre you wondered if he was doing it on purpose to try and get sacked.
“There was no getting through to him. He’d say ‘We can get anybody. We have to do it if we want to succeed.’
“But what he wanted would have cost the club £200m in transfer fees and wages. Kevin had been told over and over again that he had around £12m to spend on buying players.
“We wanted him to use his expertise to spot the next Dimitar Berbatov or Cesc Fabregas but it just seemed like he didn’t know any young talent at all, only established mega-stars.
“They’re the sort of deals Kevin should have been chasing but he didn’t know anybody but the blindingly obvious.”
Sources close to Keegan, though, claim he made his own enquiries about Schweinsteiger and knew that Newcastle’s proposed deal of £3.5m was less than HALF of the amount other clubs had offered.
But the seeds of discontent were sown long before transfer deadline day as another Newcastle insider admitted: “It’s common knowledge we have been looking for a centre-half.
“Kevin’s suggestions? Jonathan Woodgate, Richard Dunne and Sami Hyppia! Now where’s the resale value of any of those players?
“To be fair, he also mentioned Anton Ferdinand and we tried hard to get him but he just wouldn’t come.
“Apparently, Anton’s brother Rio is not a big fan of Keegan as a coach after his stint with England, and that’s what scuppered us.”