It's back to business for King Kev

By Lee Ryder on Jun 23, 08 11:09 AM

It's probably one of the key stages of Newcastle United's summer programme and that is simply the sight of Kevin Keegan back at his desk.

Of course, it's a sight that no Toon fans will see and only staff at the club's Benton HQ will witness but the knowledge that KK is back will be a major thing for many United fans.

Basically, Newcastle fans regard one person and person only as the boss on Tyneside and that's Kevin Keegan, who has an impeccable record in the dugout at St James's Park and even in his second stint in charge demonstrated why he still has the magic.

With the tough start endured now well and truly behind KK, the season is likely to start after the trip to Manchester United.

And without sounding negative anything more than a defeat will be a massive bonus to build on as the new season gathers pace.

Realistically, the first round of judgements can't be properly made until the end of September by which time teams will have had enough time to stamp their authority on the new campaign.

Crazy decisions to axe Toon managers in August or September are hopefully a thing of the past because as anybody who was around when Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit or Sir Bobby were shown the door will know that the season is probably as good as over.

That's because the dreaded words of "transitional" and "period" come into play and they are words that nobody wants to hear, the truth is Newcastle have had more transitional periods than any other club since 1969 and fans are sick of them.

Now hopefully KK can start the work he's been so desperate to complete since leaving the club in 1997 which is a chapter in the club's history that everybody regrets.

Over to you King Kev.



ron lambert said:

In a way, it's good that no incoming business has been done whilst KK was on holiday. That would have rubber-stamped the rumours that ' others ' have been given his powers of recruitment. Hardly the first time in history that players have been brought in without the managers' knowledge, but at this fragile moment in ' transition ', it is a small crumb of comfort. As you said in the Oz blog, this is NUFC where anything could happen in the way of signings, but ominously the visitors here are not for the large part, their usual bubbly selves. One big shock signing like Henry will soon wipe the smile back onto their faces though. I hate my present pessimism as it's totally against my grain, I so much want to punch the air at some great news.

Charles said:

Well, well, KK's back I heard...

Now we can get back to business and wait the good news...although I'm sure Ashley would have something to say about it.

Following sources, Jean-Alain (softy) Boumsong and Albert (Knee me in the chin) Luque was the last transfer to ever have been a 10M signing. (Martins doesnt count as we only paid 4M so far.) Its time for that to break and I mean it, by signing Arda Turan and Andrei Arshavin. I think its a safe bet, and according to accounts, only for a combined 30M.

Personally, I rate Andrei more because we desperately need a striker to pair Owen and Marins. Viduka is out for a long time and it will only be sheer luck that he even feature next season on time. (Something Newcastle are not fond of)

Turan would be second-best in transfer needs. If Lennon snubs us, prepare for a bid for Arda, real badly. Under no account must Milner be released for the reds, too good a potential to throw away. Turan would be at left wing while Milner takes the right. If Lennon does come, Turan might be less a priority.

Please work your magic again, KK. We need the guidance you've shown even from the eariler stages. And now that ManU is the first, we need a striker, badly need one as I no longer fancy a chance ever again for A.Smith, unless we're playing a carling cup or FA rounds.

We also need a left back. Since Risse gone for Rome, we need to find a seasoned one to guide Enrique (Prefferly not Chimbonda).

Mike better loosen the wallet or we'll release the dogs! I do not want to see us investing on youngsters and not a single senior player in sight.





Paul Patterson said:

Whilst I’m not an advocate for diving in too early, we can’t leave it too late to sign players, we might see some action when the Euro 2008 tournament finishes, which is still a week away and leaves plenty time for players values to skyrocket. We now have to be realistic and rule out attracting any player that is wanted by the top 4 as it just isn’t going to happen.

The proposed move for Aaron Lennon is a welcome one, but why must we sell James Milner to fund it, can’t be greedy and have both? After all, wouldn’t it be great to have two players who can operate on both flanks, both 21 and both amazingly,- English. After all, if any quotas for having a set amount of them in your side, this would be a great start, aside from the fact that they are both damn fine players.

My anger towards losing, or not even attempting to sign John Arne Risse still hasn’t subsided, but I’ll let it drop for a little while and hopefully view the next couple of weeks with a little more interest, with a little optimism that we might see a signing or two.

The worry I (Still) have is with the deadly trio in the boardroom, I read today (Journal or Chronicle) that any move Keegan makes for Lennon would be a good one, especially as it has the approval of Dennis Wise and his co-horts.

So What? Does that mean that if it didn’t he wouldn’t be approached? Would Dennis Wise say ‘Er no, that’s not the player I or we have in mind?’ What kind of set-up is that to have?

I don’t for a minute suggest that having no scouting team is a good idea, but surely in the past, the scouts were employed by the manager, paid for by the club, but none the less, managers choice alone.

The club have made a bad move in appointing Kevin Keegan, if they think that they can manoeuvre things around so that Dennis Wise can call the shots and even become manager at a later date, as the fans would be VERY hostile to those kinds of thoughts.


M Simpson said:

I think we are being a little imaptient. When you look at other teams in the prem, not many have brought new players in. I think Wigan have brought in the most but they are hardly players to set the place alight. All the talk is on acquiring Arda from Turkey and even Arshavin from Russia, but they are hardly players who would wish to come to a mid table club not even in Europe. Realistically Aaron Lennon is about the best we can hope to aspire to, or even Crouch, I see Riise has gone to Roma. KK will have to settle for unknowns and hope to work his magic for the rest of the incoming players. If we make Europe next season then we will be in a better position to attract the likes of Arshavin (If he hasnt gone stella by then)

Hepstyle said:

I know that I am revealing myself as somewhat less of a supporter than those of you who have grown up Tyneside or have always cheered for NUFC, but can anyone explain to me the specific chain of events that led to the financial problems that Ashley et al have been trying to turn around? I know that one reason why we didn't sign anyone in the winter transfer period was this financial problem, and some might argue that this is also why we haven't made stronger bids for the likes of Modric. How did things go so wrong, and why do we not have more to show for it?

MArk back from Washington said:

Why would we want to sign Henry...ow yes thats right another cast off from one of the top four. I hate to say this but I tend to agree with Terry, the first signs of the boards true intent are starting to come through. Whilst a big moneyplayer such as Ashley coming in may sound financially sound for the club, thats all it is, financial. All I have heard over the past few months is sell our best players...why are we thinking about selling our best players like milner and then buying others to fill the same slot..ow yes another cast off (dont get me wrong Lennon is not a bad player but he is not playing for a reason. I am still left with the bad taste in my mouth that Ashley still doen't get what the whole package of owning a premiership club means. Its not a toy and it is going to cost money. If Ashley is not going to accept that and the fact that success does not come cheap then he needs to get out now. He got of to a good start with the fans, myself included however my thoughts are rapidly changing as I fear he doesn't have the stamina to run a big club, a club with a purpose. In short I think it is time for Ashley to put up or shut up and learn that this is just the way things are or is he going to to be another Shepard, all mouth and no idea what he is doing or more dangerously be a shepard he thinks he knows what he is doing. Come Ashley this aint no tesco's there is no bargin shelves in this super store.

Either start stacking the shelves or treat this like a summer job and leave and go back to school at the end of the summer and learn the trade for real before coming back out and applying for a real job in the football world.

John said:

good to see KK back, its the hard slog that starts now, i stick by what i said before, Newcastle will not sign anyone in double figure values, be interesting to see what happens, but i feel for any player we want to sign, they have to have KK in front of them, so he can use all his magic to get them here, much like he did with ferdinand,shearer,ginola, etc, if its left to wise and co, they just will go elsewhere i believe

STEVE said:

KK BACK,thank stops the lunatics from taking over the asylum at least....howay king kev....bring quality in.....we're counting on ya..


Hi Lee - It looks like we are in for a hard season-I am nervous about the constant talk of Milner going-Lennon has still a lot to learn -firstly he cant cross a ball -his crossing is woeful -he does not score many goals -he certainly cant head a ball and after an amazing start to his premier campaign -he now looks distinctly moderate- I would prefer to keep Milner. I think its about time Mike Astley came clean with the fans-First we are told he cleared £150 milliom pounds of the clubs debts last year and now we are told Martins was bought on the never never-Just what is going on here ? I repeat what I have said many times on this message board if 52 thousand fans every game gives us no impetus -how on earth do the likes of the rest of the premiership survive -apart from Man. U. Arsenal-we are the best supported team in the top level even Liverpool and Chelsea cant attract that number -and even with new grounds I dont beleive they ever will -when they have done it for ten years I might change my tune.The players we should be getting are Berbatov and Bentley. Wake up MA or sell this is Newcastle United we dont want second class players -we have had too many of them the last few years. If KK wants to sell Milner I will accept it -he is the only one I trust-in fact he is the only one we have got to trust. It will be interesting to see what unfolds the next few weeks-if MA thinks he can muck Kevin around -he better think again- any messing and there will only be one winner with the fans and it wont be the London gang.

roy c said:

Can't understand what's going on at SJP. We now have a billionaire owner, 3rd best support in the Premiership behind Manu and Arsenal, a great manager in KK and we're still acting like a second-rate Club. Why aren't we going for the best players? We're being associated, according to the press, with a load of hasbeens like Chimbonda or neverwases like Michael Dawson of Spurs -wasn't he marking Oba when he scored that 'supergoal' against Spurs. Even Spurs fans think he's rubbish. I know you can't rely on the press for letting facts get in the way of selling a paper but there are no signs of anything happening to make the fans think that we are attempting to be where we should be - in the top 6 at least.
I hope KK stays and sees out his contract but with the current set up and what apears to be decision making by Committee rather than Manager, I have my doubts.
Hope I'm totally wrong.

davwind said:

CHARLES what planet do you live on?"
Its time for that to break and I mean it, by signing Arda Turan and Andrei Arshavin. I think its a safe bet, and according to accounts, only for a combined 30M." Why would ARSHAVIN come to the north east? NUFC will end up with BENYOUN and not ARDAN! Smell the coffee!


"Either start stacking the shelves or treat this like a summer job and leave and go back to school at the end of the summer and learn the trade for real before coming back out and applying for a real job in the football world." Taken from the board - there are no "real" jobs in football - the whole thing is a flight of fantasy. The "spend spend spend" mentality of football is about to come to end - clubs are up to their eyeballs in debt. The Boro owe £85m - Man Utd / Liverpool have to pay £30m to £50 servicing their debts. Football cannot divorce itself from the real world. Ashley is being realistic - NUFC are the 4th biggest spenders in the Premiership - what has this achieved??? Answer - sod all. Ashley is taking a pragmatic long-term view - he did not become a billionaire by wasting money.

Davichc said:

KK has a plan, you can bet on it. If MA was not backing him as he presumably promised he would when KK signed then he would be well within his rights to walk.

He has done it before, and I don't mean ManC and England, I mean when Sir John went back on his promise of funds for transfers in the 92/93 season.

What you are seeing IMO, is a properly run transfer policy, the club are not shouting about spending this much or that much but playing it close as they should to prevent inflated prices/expectations from other clubs when we try to buy a player from them.

KK is back, he will know who he wants to get in and he also knows he will have to replace the ones he has let go. I give no credence what so ever to the scare mongers who say it is wise and co pulling the strings, KK is the man and again ,he would walk if this were not the case.

Had ya pash and wait and see what happens over the next few weeks, if I am wrong then I will be as sorry as the next man but I honestly believe that it will come good by the middle of July and that we will start the new season with a far improved squad of players compared to last season.

Charles said:

Mr. Davwind, I know you have the rights to sound your opinion, but I don't really see what is the problem.

For one thing, why not complain about Shearer as well while you're at it. Nobody expected him to play for us when the time came. In fact, I remember there are pessimism about in the air, some even condemned those who "hoped" he came.

Andrei Arshavin may or may not come, who knows. With good inducement and willingness to spend, I can see a slight chance but now you're complaining about no chance at all.

If you're being realistic, then I'm sorry to have bumped into you with some hope in my hands. Perhaps you should wipe off any spending this season as well, because I'm quoting you, "Smell the coffee"

Gerry Hagon said:

I agree with everything you say, Davichc.

Be patient!! Wait and see!! There are no Freddie Shepherd type shortcuts to running a football club - and don't we know it? Ashleys declared policy of buying young and laying the coaching foundations for their development is obviously the right one. However, I am sure if KK wants an outstanding £20m player Ashley will fund it.

I am completely happy to leave the running of SJP in their hands but what joy if we could get hold of Arshavan.

Deaco said:

I can only hope that by releasing 4 first team squad players (Rozehnal, Carr, Emre, Ramage) with what appears to be atleast 2 more on the way that we have replacements lined up.

KK stated that we needed 5-6 top quality players to come in. Surely he now means 10 with these departures. It would be a travesty to be faced with another "Roeder Day" of Sibierski, Rossi etc. on deadline day.

Lets hope that the good money being paid out to Wise and Jiminez shows a return on investment. Money is clearly available because we were seriously in for Modric (16m) and Woodgate (7m). Theres a speculative 23m to start with! Lets spend it WISEly!

davwind said:

CHARLES I really admire your optimism but really in the current climate I don't see MA splashing out " only £30 million" on your idea of creativity. I can't believe your comparing the signing
of Shearer to this discussion! Do you think his advisors can't get £90,000 a
week from BARCELONA or the ARSENAL? Robert Smith is the guy that has seen the future of football. MA is not going to thrown silly money about on your whims! And just an aside here hasn't anybody spotted a defender or two that could stop you leaking shed loads of goals instead of yet another attacker?

Steve said:

Running a business like a business, who'd have thought it?

The financial mismanagement of the past 20 years left the club with large debt, speculating vast sums on players who turned out to be terrible (I don't need to list them, we all know!).

I'm quite enthused by the fact that the papers are left guessing about us chasing 40 different players, because it looks for once as if we're actually trying to operate like a business does, looking to the long term and negotating behind closed doors and not in the public domain to inflate transfer fees.

If a quality player comes along at a good price, fair enough, but why keep paying over the odds in fees and wages for people who don't want to be here?

Let's see what we're saying this time next year, by which time hopefully any dead wood has been cast aside and we are looking at Keegan's squad and Ashley's long term plan.

In the meantime, the reality of no European football needs to be considered in our transfer of top players is foolish unless we go down the old path of paying way too much for little commitment, and I doubt Mr Ashley made his fortune that way.

Keegan had an exceptional team here 10-12 years ago without too many big names, just some really good footballers. I can live with that sort of football again!

Howay the lads!!

Bill said:

Like many fans I have bought my season ticket for the next three years (£1334). So when I read that we are thinking about signing Dawson from Spurs my heart sinks! I do not want my season ticket funds to be spent on third raters like him. As for Lennon - why do Spurs want to sell him? Obviously, he is not thought good enough by Ramos. So why should he be good enough for us? (And Chimbonda is pure paper talk, isn't it?!)

I am prepared to accept that the likes of Arshavin will not even think about us at the moment. But surely we must still be able to attract talent better than the above without paying the silly wages given to Smith, Emre, Geremi, Viduka, Duff and .... Owen?

gordon said:

Why should we keep milner hes useless,along with taylors 4 years of constant mistakes,milners only scored 10 goals in 4 years thats right.

David said:

Bravo Steve! Well said - at last some sense. I'd hate to be locked in a room with the rest of them whinging on - its bad enough on match days!

Mal said:

All the talk about selling milner, buying dawson etc. is simply filling up and selling newspapers. Can anyone offer one single quote from any newcastle source to back up these claims? So why are people getting upset about it? Let's judge on ACTUAL results in a few weeks time and then we can also comment on the Keegan/wise partnership and whether it's working. Again the papers keep trying to make out there is a problem between them - we don't know so let's wait and see. Like one or two others I hope our days of paying big money for rubbish are over, and if the rebuilding is going to take 2 or 3 years then so be it. It would be great to have a longer term business plan for once.

Ken said:

While i agree with running the business as a business the need to keep the customers onside is usually paramount,Newcastle have made no effort in this regard since the take-over (The management structure is unclear always a recipe for disaster)No clear signal from the ownwers other than invest in youth. (I dont pay the money to watch reserves or the youth team)And our PR GURU AKA Kevin is silent. I just smell an unhappy ship I pray I am completely wrong. We need a clear statement of intent from MA and KK on their taget for 08/09 and their ambition for the next 3 years in line with the season ticket heist.

Stuart said:

KK said at the end of last season that he only needed to add 3 or 4 quality players to the squad. That must mean we now need at least 8 new signings as we've let 4 go! That will soon be 5 when Shola's gone. I don't think we'll be bringing that many players in to be honest. I get the impression that Ashley has realised he can't make money out of the club and wants to cut all the costs and sell the club on. Hope i'm wrong. Time will tell i suppose.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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