Managerial Review: Kevin Keegan (second spell in charge)


Keegan shortly before his first game back as manager. Picture courtesy of The Times.

Of course Kevin Keegan's second spell as manager of the club ended in tears as well as anger directed towards Mike Ashley.

Keegan's return in January 2008 sparked wild celebrations on the night Newcastle beat Stoke in an FA Cup third round replay. Later that week, he stepped out of the tunnel as Newcastle manager once again as we took on Bolton in a game that ended in a hardly eventful goalless draw.

A difficult run followed with only three draws and five defeats from his first eight games. Around nine weeks after landing the job, the first win finally came with a 2-0 victory over Fulham at St. James' Park thanks to goals from Mark Viduka and Michael Owen. This win instigated a recovering run of form to finish the season in mid-table by achieving a further 11 points from the last six matches.

Summer 2008 however was a time for the club when turns of events really began to unravel and become clear to the fans. The so called cockney mafia were controlling the things that Keegan justly felt the need to control like transfers. Incoming players like Xisco and Ignacio Gonzalez proved to be the last straw for Keegan as well as missing out on the opportunity to sign Luka Modric, only for the now Croatian superstar to be told by the cockney mafia that he was not good enough to play in the Premier League, allowing him to move to Tottenham instead.

This fiasco of transfer dealings still exists today with Mike Ashley simply refusing to spend more than £15m on a player therefore making it impossible to break our record signing which sadly remains as the money-grabbing b*****d Michael Owen.

As far as the football was concerned, the 2008/09 season hardly began before Keegan understandably walked away. The first win was on the board after victory over Bolton, a draw on the opening day at Old Trafford looked good and through to the League Cup third round after beating Coventry City.

King Kev has recently released his autobiography earlier this year and gave his side of the story of the travesties that were occurring behind closed doors at the club. Considering that, despite two relegations since taking over, Ashley and co.'s attitudes have not changed which goes without saying that the situation is concerning to say the least.

Date: 16th January 2008 to 4th September 2008 (232 days)

Records

League: Played: 19, Won: 5, Drawn: 6, Lost: 8, Goals for: 20, Goals against: 30, Goal difference: -10, Pts: 21. Win ratio: 26%

Home (league): Played: 9, Won: 4, Drawn: 2, Lost: 3, Goals for: 10, Goals against: 9, Goal difference: +1, Pts: 14. Win ratio: 44%

Away (league): Played: 10, Won: 1, Drawn: 4, Lost: 5, Goals for: 10, Goals against: 21, Goal difference: -11, Pts: 7. Win ratio: 10%

Domestic Cup: Played: 2, Won: 1, Drawn: 0, Lost: 1, Goals for: 3, Goals against: 5, Goal difference: -2. Win ratio: 50%

Home (all competitions): Played: 9, Won: 4, Drawn: 2, Lost: 3, Goals for: 10, Goals against: 9, Goal difference: +1. Win ratio: 44%

Away (all competitions): Played: 12, Won: 2, Drawn: 4, Lost: 6, Goals for: 13, Goals against: 26, Goal difference: -13. Win ratio: 17%

Total: Played: 21, Won: 6, Drawn: 6, Lost: 9, Goals for: 23, Goals against: 35, Goal difference: -12. Win ratio: 29%

Season by Season

2007/2008

Premier League: 12th (Played: 16, Won: 4, Drawn: 5, Lost: 7, Goals for: 18, Goals against: 29, Goal difference: -11, Pts: 17. Win ratio: 25%)

FA Cup: 4th Round (v Arsenal)

2008/2009

Premier League: (Played: 3, Won: 1, Drawn: 1, Lost: 1, Goals for: 2, Goals against: 4, Goal difference: -2, Pts: 4. Win ratio: 33%

League Cup: Awaiting 3rd Round tie (v Tottenham) at the time of departure.

Landmark Matches

First match

Newcastle United 0 Bolton 0 – (19/01/2008)

Biggest win

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 4 (Nicky Butt 45, Geremi 52, Michael Owen 65, Obafemi Martins 83) – (30/03/2008)

A fantastic Sunday afternoon was in store at White Hart Lane as we achieved one of our biggest wins at Spurs a weeks after King Kev got his first win back as manager. Darren "my wife would have scored that" Bent opened the scoring for Tottenham but Nicky Butt equalised just before half time. With the scores level at the break, the Magpies capitalised on poor defending which gave them the license to get forward as often as they could and the taking of chances in excellent style produced a comfortable win. Considering that the clocks went forward that weekend in 2008, we were on GMT - Geordie Massive Total.

Last win

Coventry 2 Newcastle United 3 AET (Scott Dann own goal 21, James Milner 38, Michael Owen 97) – (26/08/2008)

The Toon required extra time to beat Coventry in what turned out to be Keegan's final game for the club. On the topic of final games for the club, James Milner ended his four-year stay on Tyneside with a goal before moving to European fighters, Aston Villa (yes, European fighters, Aston Villa). Now Crystal Palace defender, Scott Dann had an interesting game as he scored at both ends of the pitch including his last minute equaliser from Aron Gunnarsson's long throw into the box. This is the first of (currently) two Scott Dann own goals against us, the other one coming away at Blackburn in February 2012.

Further landmark matches

Biggest defeat: Newcastle United 1 - 5 Manchester United – 23/02/2008

Last match: Arsenal 3 – 0 Newcastle United – 30/08/2008

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