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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 17:26 GMT
What they say about Keegan

Kevin Keegan
Keegan was in charge of the Magpies from 1992 to 1997
Kevin Keegan has made a shock return to football after being appointed Newcastle manager for the second time in his career.

The 56-year-old comes back to top-level management for the first time since he left Manchester City in March 2005.

So, what is the reaction around the sport? Here are a selection of views from top players and coaches, past and present, and you, the fans.


"I had a sleep in the afternoon leading up to the game and shortly after I woke up the news came through. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. My phone started going mad with people phoning and texting me. I am very excited by the news. I know how highly he is regarded and he will give the players and the fans a massive lift. I'm looking forward to working with him."
Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given

"Mike Ashley has put a lot of money in and their decision is to go for a lot of experience. I am sure they're looking forward to having a successful spell under his reign. Kevin will improve the players confidence and, if you do that, overall performances will be improved on the pitch.

"But football has changed nowadays. Players are going to go to clubs who are playing in the top competitions like the Champions League. I think it's going to be a lot harder now than it was then to persuade players to go to Newcastle - but Kevin is a persuasive character.

"Alan Shearer would have been a fabulous choice for them but you can tell that the fans are delighted with Keegan. Shearer will make a great manager in his own right."
Former Newcastle boss Kenny Dalglish
(BBC Radio Newcastle)

"If you asked 99% of the fans he would be the name on everyone's lips. The football that was played under him at Newcastle was the best for many a year and the fans will just be hopeful that something like that can return again. He is a manager that you only need to look and listen to for 10 minutes and he gets you buzzing and you want to go out and play for him."
Former Newcastle player Steve Watson
(BBC Radio 5 Live)

"I'm very excited like most of the people in the north-east of England. It's great news. I'm pretty confident in the way he works, he's loved by most of the people there so it is going to be fine. He was a great guy and every day was an enjoyment to be part of any training session. He was involved in any five-a-side we did in training."
Former Newcastle player David Ginola

"He brought fantastic spirit into the squad and dressing room. He's a guy who is really close to the players. This is what we miss these days in football.

"It's a season to remember already - he's come back. The players will love playing for him as we all did. It's just what (owner) Mike Ashley and (chairman) Chris Mort and everyone at Newcastle needed. It's great for the club."
Former Newcastle defender Warren Barton

"The fans will be piling in hoping Kevin can turn it around and give them what they want."
Former Newcastle manager Jim Smith

"He's a terrific personality, a man of the people."He's been working very very hard at his soccer circus in Glasgow - he won't have to be running round the track to get himself fit. He'll be ready to slot in straight away with body and mind."
Lawrie McMenemy
(Managed Keegan as a player at Southampton)

"It's a bit of a shock and a very nice surprise. But I'm delighted he's coming back because we need a big man - someone to lift the whole place. Kevin is the man to do just that. The fans have been wanting to get back to the Kevin Keegan days. It's always more difficult second time around but Kevin feels he can do that."
Former Newcastle defender Bobby Moncur

"Having Kevin Keegan back is very much the first building block in what could be a very successful Newcastle United. The fans have been dragged down and it did need somebody, not just for the short term but for the long term, to get everybody excited again."
Mark Jensen, editor of Newcastle fanzine The Mag


"I'm delighted. Saint Kevin was one of the only two managers we've had in the last two decades who've actually been passionate about the club as opposed to just the money. Just watch the response he gets from the fans."


"What are Newcastle thinking? I know he's a hero on Tyneside but I can't help thinking this is a huge backward step for the club."

"Fascinating for football fans everywhere to see how he does. I don't mind saying that even as a Villa fan, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Newcastle play under Keegan. The big question will be can he do it again?"

"The players and fans will love him, he is a great motivator and a stylish manager who will get us back to great football."

"I think Keegan is a good appointment for Newcastle. Perhaps he's not the best person in the world to shore up the leaky defence, but maybe he's learnt things and he'll buy some decent and proven players."

"It's like meeting up with an old flame - seems great at first but it's never like the good old days."

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Debate: Newcastle fan's view
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Keegan's coaching career in photos
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BBC Tyne reaction
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