Analysation

Should ESPN be paying Kevin Keegan for his thoughts?

Former England boss not best-placed to provide half-time analysis

“I don’t need to tell you what to do etc”

Tuning in to watch Fulham vs Hull City last night, thespoiler was relieved not to be forcefed the thoughts of Kevin Keegan, who ESPN have wheeled out for some of their bigger matches this season. After all, Keegan’s own brand of half-time chat isn’t exactly earth-shattering, as an international footballer friend of thespoiler once revealed.

Despite starting with a victory over Poland, Keegan soon ran into trouble, and the side were being held 0-0 after 45 minutes at home to Sweden, in a match they had to win to secure qualification. The players entered the dressing room in expectant silence, in search of some tactical nuance, or perhaps the famous Keegan inspiration that would guide them through the second half, and towards EURO 2000.

Instead however, they were told by the gaffer, “I don’t need to tell you what to do. You’re all top, top international footballers. Just get out there and play. You are all top players who know the game.”

Inspirational mind games perhaps. But when the side were being held in Bulgaria at half-time a few months later, and then trailing at the break to Scotland in the play-offs soon after, Keegan’s repetition of this mantra began to wear thin.

Up popped the hand of a particularly brave player, “Boss – clearly we do need to be told what to do, as we keep finding ourselves in these effing messes.”


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