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  Saturday, 7 October, 2000, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Keegan shocks the football world
Kevin Keegan
Keegan calls it a day as England boss
Former England skipper Alan Shearer led the shocked reaction to Kevin Keegan's resignation in the wake of the World Cup qualifying defeat by Germany at Wembley.

Shearer, who witnessed the defeat from the sidelines having himself given up the international scene following Euro 2000, praised Keegan for his honesty but admitted to being very surprised by the speed of the decision.

"I'm shocked," revealed Shearer. "But on the other hand you have to give him credit for being so honest and coming out and saying this at the end of what has been a difficult two weeks for him.

"When somebody does that you can't ask any more of them.

Alan Shearer
Shearer says the players have a responsibility

"But one of Kevin's strong points is that when he feels something he does it. I'm similar in that way, but I'm amazed because it would have been right to go on to Wednesday and get the right result.

"But you have to admire his honesty and his openness and it must have been very, very tough for him to come out and say what he has.

Hurt

"He must be hurt and he is obviously very, very disappointed. He took us into a tournament in the summer and he had players, and I include myself in that, who let him down and let the country down.

"The players as well have to take responsibility and I'm amongst that group because for the majority of Kevin's time I was in there playing and we haven't as a team done well enough."


Perhaps Kevin didn't prepare the team in the way he should have. If there was doubt in his mind, it might have come through to the players.
Terry Butcher

Another former England skipper, Terry Butcher, was less forgiving in his reaction and felt that Keegan's unease in the position had probably filtered through to the players before such a key game.

"It was a very difficult game but that's your job as England manager - to overcome hurdles. He didn't pick a team to win the match.

Belief

"I never thought he would resign and I am shocked. There was not that belief among the players today.

"Perhaps Kevin didn't prepare the team in the way he should have. If there was doubt in his mind, it might have come through to the players."

Speculation obviously now centres around who will succeed Keegan but the bookmakers' favourite Terry Venables attempted to distance himself from the situation.

Terry Butcher
Terry Butcher feels Keegan's thoughts affected players

Venables said: "It's well documented that they (The FA) didn't want to go back before Kevin took the job, which meant going back to me, so I think that rules me out."

West Ham boss Harry Redknapp told BBC Radio Five Live that he could not see why anyone would want to succeed Keegan.

Abuse

"I cannot think of a worse job. Whoever takes it, three or four months down the line will be getting abused," said Redknapp.

"The simple truth is, no matter what side you pick, we don't seem to look good enough. Since 1966, apart from Terry Venables, can you name anyone who has even got close as England manager?

"Bobby Robson got to the semi-final of the World Cup after some very disappointing games in the qualifying rounds and look at the abuse he received, even during that campaign.


"I cannot think of a worse job. Whoever takes it, three or four months down the line will be getting abused.
Harry Redknapp

"Graham Taylor got slaughtered, everybody gets it and I don't see why anybody would want the job."

Top football psychologist Watt Nicol has worked extensively with Keegan since he took on the England post and Nicol believes the commercial pressures of modern football only increased the pressure on him.

"Your paymasters are the Premiership clubs who demand players play a number of games every season," said Nicol.

Commercial world

"When an England manager gets his squad together most of them are unfit and you can do little work with them.

"In addition, the days when a manager could tell a player to jump and they did are long gone.

"It is a commercial world and for a football man like Kevin this is a very hard thing to accept."

Sports Minister Kate Hoey added that she felt Keegan had come to his decision with the England team's best interests at heart.

"I respect his decision, but the important thing now is for everyone to focus on rebuilding the team morale for Wednesday's match against Finland."

None of the England players from Saturday's game have yet been available for comment.

Kevin Keegan

England's crisis

The succession

Keegan's mistakes

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