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Kevin Keegan


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Guest Howaythetoon

KK was tactically way ahead of his time when he was our manager first time around and we were not poor defensively, we were brilliant a both ends, we just lacked leadership and experience. Had he stayed we would have eventually won a title and been a force in Europe.

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Wasn't there a transfer window where Flowers and Hendry were strongly rumoured to be coming?

 

No transfer windows back then. Hall says he went to Keegan and told him we should sign a centre half, rumour was Hendry but KK said no, we started the run with Howey, Peacock and Albert and we were finishing with them. He was right too, as mentioned earlier the goals drying up from Sir Les and Bobby Lee, the injury to Gillespie and Ginola going off the boil is what really cost us.

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For me, Keegan leaving in 1997 is the biggest what-if moment in football, given what's happened since. A proper sliding doors moment.

If he didn't leave then, or got replaced with Robson immediately, the way football looks today would have been completely different, to the extent where I feel NUFC would have continued to be a force, or at least still relevant instead the shell of a club you see today.

 

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I don’t think Robson would have seen us stay a top force tbh. I think as a club we’d peaked. We’d became a plc, our top players were having to be sold to balance the books, I don’t think Bobby coming in would have changed that. I don’t think we’d have plummeted to 13th like under Dalglish, probably around 7th-8th as the likes of Chelsea, Leeds and even Aston Villa were starting to strengthen. If he’d came in then, would he have still been around early 00s to take us back to that sort of level after the stadium extension and additional income?

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I always thought a key point was that Kevin was so self assured in his early days here and that he didn't give a monkey's when others questioned his decisions. This seemed to change during 95-96 season somewhat.

 

I remember there was negativity about Beresford (something about him having a dodgy knee or failing a medical) and Bracewell signing and Kev just plowed on through . Same with the signing of Cole there were people within football who were like "What ? He's spending how much on him ?" and Keegan was "like this lad's got it" . Even the signing of Beardsley, voices within the club weren't happy about that signing because of his age and Kevin was adamant. You can look at the sale of Andy Cole as a larger example that KK was completely sure of himself.

 

Then there definitely seemed to be a change of Special K's mentality and he started listening to the media and the naysayers. To me this started with the signing of David Batty which seemed to be on the back of people saying that we couldn't win the title playing the way we were. Then over time and with the loss of the title this seemed to validate the criticism's of him with a lot of people and perhaps in Kevin's mind. Culminating in when he left England and saying he tactically wasn't up to it.

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Wasn't there a transfer window where Flowers and Hendry were strongly rumoured to be coming?

 

 

 

Can't remember any real links with Flowers (could be wrong) but we were definitely strongly linked with Colin Hendry. He would have been a massive signing for us.

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I always thought a key point was that Kevin was so self assured in his early days here and that he didn't give a monkey's when others questioned his decisions. This seemed to change during 95-96 season somewhat.

 

I remember there was negativity about Beresford (something about him having a dodgy knee or failing a medical) and Bracewell signing and Kev just plowed on through . Same with the signing of Cole there were people within football who were like "What ? He's spending how much on him ?" and Keegan was "like this lad's got it" . Even the signing of Beardsley, voices within the club weren't happy about that signing because of his age and Kevin was adamant. You can look at the sale of Andy Cole as a larger example that KK was completely sure of himself.

 

Then there definitely seemed to be a change of Special K's mentality and he started listening to the media and the naysayers. To me this started with the signing of David Batty which seemed to be on the back of people saying that we couldn't win the title playing the way we were. Then over time and with the loss of the title this seemed to validate the criticism's of him with a lot of people and perhaps in Kevin's mind. Culminating in when he left England and saying he tactically wasn't up to it.

 

I think there's a lot of truth in there, Keegan was definitely at his best when he just did what he wanted and believed in what he was doing. He did get tactically out-manoeuvred in some games, I think Fergie's Man U seemed to impose themselves on us more than we should have allowed, but we were still a far better team then than we have been since even with tactically acclaimed managers like Allardyce and Rafa.

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I always thought a key point was that Kevin was so self assured in his early days here and that he didn't give a monkey's when others questioned his decisions. This seemed to change during 95-96 season somewhat.

 

I remember there was negativity about Beresford (something about him having a dodgy knee or failing a medical) and Bracewell signing and Kev just plowed on through . Same with the signing of Cole there were people within football who were like "What ? He's spending how much on him ?" and Keegan was "like this lad's got it" . Even the signing of Beardsley, voices within the club weren't happy about that signing because of his age and Kevin was adamant. You can look at the sale of Andy Cole as a larger example that KK was completely sure of himself.

 

Then there definitely seemed to be a change of Special K's mentality and he started listening to the media and the naysayers. To me this started with the signing of David Batty which seemed to be on the back of people saying that we couldn't win the title playing the way we were. Then over time and with the loss of the title this seemed to validate the criticism's of him with a lot of people and perhaps in Kevin's mind. Culminating in when he left England and saying he tactically wasn't up to it.

 

I think there's something in that.

 

I always remember around the time that we signed Tino, I read this article by Brian Clough in one of the tabloids. He said that when he was manager of Notts Forest, during their title-winning season, he was very tempted to make sure of success by buying another player towards the end of the transfer window. In the end, he decided to hold his nerve, because a new player at that stage might be difficult to integrate, and might be seen by his existing squad as a vote of no confidence in them. For those reasons, he decided against entering the transfer market, and he now had similar doubts as to whether it was wise for Keegan to buy Tino.

 

We'll never know for sure whether things would have turned out differently if Keegan had done differently, but I've since been inclined to think that Clough made the right call. Tino was a good player all right, but he wasn't the player we needed. Including him meant that the Sir Les - Pedro partnership, which had been so fruitful, was disrupted, with Beardsley being pushed out right. The weak link in the side, and the player that should have been replaced, was Gillespie. We needed a wide player.

 

I recently saw an interview with Sir Les, where he himself said that changing the line-up to bring in Tino was a significant error. It's not that Tino can be held 'to blame'. It's just that he was the wrong player at the time.

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I always thought a key point was that Kevin was so self assured in his early days here and that he didn't give a monkey's when others questioned his decisions. This seemed to change during 95-96 season somewhat.

 

I remember there was negativity about Beresford (something about him having a dodgy knee or failing a medical) and Bracewell signing and Kev just plowed on through . Same with the signing of Cole there were people within football who were like "What ? He's spending how much on him ?" and Keegan was "like this lad's got it" . Even the signing of Beardsley, voices within the club weren't happy about that signing because of his age and Kevin was adamant. You can look at the sale of Andy Cole as a larger example that KK was completely sure of himself.

 

Then there definitely seemed to be a change of Special K's mentality and he started listening to the media and the naysayers. To me this started with the signing of David Batty which seemed to be on the back of people saying that we couldn't win the title playing the way we were. Then over time and with the loss of the title this seemed to validate the criticism's of him with a lot of people and perhaps in Kevin's mind. Culminating in when he left England and saying he tactically wasn't up to it.

 

I think there's something in that.

 

I always remember around the time that we signed Tino, I read this article by Brian Clough in one of the tabloids. He said that when he was manager of Notts Forest, during their title-winning season, he was very tempted to make sure of success by buying another player towards the end of the transfer window. In the end, he decided to hold his nerve, because a new player at that stage might be difficult to integrate, and might be seen by his existing squad as a vote of no confidence in them. For those reasons, he decided against entering the transfer market, and he now had similar doubts as to whether it was wise for Keegan to buy Tino.

 

We'll never know for sure whether things would have turned out differently if Keegan had done differently, but I've since been inclined to think that Clough made the right call. Tino was a good player all right, but he wasn't the player we needed. Including him meant that the Sir Les - Pedro partnership, which had been so fruitful, was disrupted, with Beardsley being pushed out right. The weak link in the side, and the player that should have been replaced, was Gillespie. We needed a wide player.

 

I recently saw an interview with Sir Les, where he himself said that changing the line-up to bring in Tino was a significant error. It's not that Tino can be held 'to blame'. It's just that he was the wrong player at the time.

 

Sir Les was  brilliant and I've got all the time in the world for him, but the truth is he wasn't able to adapt his game to play alongside Tino. Which is not really surprising and can easily lead one to think it was the wrong decision.

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I always thought a key point was that Kevin was so self assured in his early days here and that he didn't give a monkey's when others questioned his decisions. This seemed to change during 95-96 season somewhat.

 

I remember there was negativity about Beresford (something about him having a dodgy knee or failing a medical) and Bracewell signing and Kev just plowed on through . Same with the signing of Cole there were people within football who were like "What ? He's spending how much on him ?" and Keegan was "like this lad's got it" . Even the signing of Beardsley, voices within the club weren't happy about that signing because of his age and Kevin was adamant. You can look at the sale of Andy Cole as a larger example that KK was completely sure of himself.

 

Then there definitely seemed to be a change of Special K's mentality and he started listening to the media and the naysayers. To me this started with the signing of David Batty which seemed to be on the back of people saying that we couldn't win the title playing the way we were. Then over time and with the loss of the title this seemed to validate the criticism's of him with a lot of people and perhaps in Kevin's mind. Culminating in when he left England and saying he tactically wasn't up to it.

 

I think there's something in that.

 

I always remember around the time that we signed Tino, I read this article by Brian Clough in one of the tabloids. He said that when he was manager of Notts Forest, during their title-winning season, he was very tempted to make sure of success by buying another player towards the end of the transfer window. In the end, he decided to hold his nerve, because a new player at that stage might be difficult to integrate, and might be seen by his existing squad as a vote of no confidence in them. For those reasons, he decided against entering the transfer market, and he now had similar doubts as to whether it was wise for Keegan to buy Tino.

 

We'll never know for sure whether things would have turned out differently if Keegan had done differently, but I've since been inclined to think that Clough made the right call. Tino was a good player all right, but he wasn't the player we needed. Including him meant that the Sir Les - Pedro partnership, which had been so fruitful, was disrupted, with Beardsley being pushed out right. The weak link in the side, and the player that should have been replaced, was Gillespie. We needed a wide player.

 

I recently saw an interview with Sir Les, where he himself said that changing the line-up to bring in Tino was a significant error. It's not that Tino can be held 'to blame'. It's just that he was the wrong player at the time.

 

Sir Les was  brilliant and I've got all the time in the world for him, but the truth is he wasn't able to adapt his game to play alongside Tino. Which is not really surprising and can easily lead one to think it was the wrong decision.

 

Personally I thought Les went missing in the second half of the season whereas Tino seemed to be fine when the pressure was on. That finish against Liverpool in th famous 4-3, he was cool as a cucumber. So yeah, while I'm a big Les fan, think that wasn't quite the whole story there. Those figures for goals and finishes bear out his effectiveness and I agree with Optimistic that he got scapegoated a bit.

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When it all comes down to it this is what did us. I still can’t believe what happened tbh. When Batty scores at Blackburn I was convinced we’d just get there, I then watched the Forest game on a night out in town and can’t begin to describe how I felt when Woan scored.

 

Fenton

 

 

Miss control by Batty https://www.premierleague.com/video/single/1785310?PLAYLIST=15723

 

 

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I do feel somewhat relieved that I wasn't old enough to really live the heartache. I try and think of the times I've felt most heartbroken: it's the cup exits - the likes of Lisbon, Marseille, Alkmaar, Partizan, daft ones like the Wolves 2-3 - with no guarantee of us ever actually going on and winning it anyway. Surrendering that title, God, some of those moments must have made a person feel suicidal. :lol:

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What was the thinking behind bringing Tino in - was there a particular shortcoming that he was trying to fix?

 

I think it was just a chance to bring a world class striker to the club, almost an insurance policy in case the goals dried up as the pressure of winning the title mounted. Which they did tbf.

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I do feel somewhat relieved that I wasn't old enough to really live the heartache. I try and think of the times I've felt most heartbroken: it's the cup exits - the likes of Lisbon, Marseille, Alkmaar, Partizan, daft ones like the Wolves 2-3 - with no guarantee of us ever actually going on and winning it anyway. Surrendering that title, God, some of those moments must have made a person feel suicidal. :lol:

 

I've never got over it. I know I never will.

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I do feel somewhat relieved that I wasn't old enough to really live the heartache. I try and think of the times I've felt most heartbroken: it's the cup exits - the likes of Lisbon, Marseille, Alkmaar, Partizan, daft ones like the Wolves 2-3 - with no guarantee of us ever actually going on and winning it anyway. Surrendering that title, God, some of those moments must have made a person feel suicidal. :lol:

 

I was only 15 but remember the doubt creeping in when we lost 2-0 West Ham, followed by that mad 3-3 at Man City, points dropped against poor relegation threatened teams. Next game was Man Utd on the Monday night, still haven’t watched that game back, just remember relentlessly battering them for 45 minutes and somehow couldn’t beat Schmeichel then we fell for the sucker punch and everything changed.

 

The run-in was absolute torture, Man Utd seemingly always playing and winning before we had kicked a ball just piled on the pressure. Blackburn loss hurt the most, total gut punch that we never recovered from, still can’t get over how we were 5 minutes away from grinding out a huge 3 points and ended up on the floor with nothing.

 

We stood applauding the players on their lap of honour after the Spurs game and my dad said to me ‘you’ll never see us come this close to winning it ever again’, I didn’t believe him at the time but I’ve never forgotten.

 

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  • Rich changed the title to Kevin Keegan (now retired)
  • Disco changed the title to Kevin Keegan

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