Premier League – Geordie messiah Keegan returns
Newcastle United have appointed Kevin Keegan as manager for the second time.
The 56-year-old was a wildly popular figure during his first stint between 1992 and 1997, taking Newcastle to the brink of the Premier League title and earning himself the nickname “Geordie Messiah”.
Club legend Alan Shearer is now expected to be named as assistant manager, having been brought to Tyneside by Keegan for a British record transfer fee in 1996.
Keegan’s Newcastle were famed for their brand of attacking football, but famously blew a 12-point lead to surrender the 1995/96 title to Manchester United.
However, the appointment will be greeted rapturously by fans who grew tired of Sam Allardyce’s direct and often turgid style.
It brings to an end an extraordinary managerless period for the club. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp rejected a job offer, prompting a host of figures – including Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer and Didier Deschamps – to be linked with St James’s Park.
On the pitch, the team hit a low ebb with a 6-0 demolition at the hands of Manchester United on Saturday that left them just six points above the relegation zone.
Keegan’s installation will bring instant credibility to club owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort, who came under fire for the seemingly chaotic way they went about finding Allardyce’s successor.
He has been out of management since 2005 when he left Manchester City after four seasons.
Newcastle have an FA Cup third round replay at home to Stoke City on Wednesday. Keegan will not be present, with caretaker boss Nigel Pearson taking charge of the team.