KEVIN KEEGAN IS NO SAINT Southampton need someone better than bitter boss

THOSE of us weaned on football in the 1970s will always adore Kevin Keegan the player. What a shame he is now seen as a joke figure.

Like Bobby Moore before him, Keegan was a real working-class hero. Not the most naturally gifted footballer but one who with hard graft, determination and desire became the best in the business.

The charisma of Keegan the player was infectious - a trait he took into management.

I well remember the day he was unveiled as England boss a decade ago. After listening to him for 20 minutes, even we pot-bellied hacks were convinced we could all pull on a pair of boots and walk on water at Wembley.

That's what Keegan the manager does so well. He inspires. He lifts the spirit. At first.

But then he gets all bitter and twisted, throws his toys out of the pram when things don't go his way, stomps off in a huff, leaving other people to pick up the pieces.

He's done it with Newcastle (twice), Fulham, England and Manchester City. Most recently, when he was naively appointed at Newcastle to appease disgruntled fans, it was clear he had lost all the old spark.

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So I don't understand why Matt Le Tissier's consortium vying to take over at Southampton would even consider Keegan as manager.

Just because he played for them heroically in the early 1980s doesn't mean he is the right boss now. I doubt if he knows the name of a single Saints player.

As for the players, they are all too young to be mesmerised by a 58-year-old.

Keegan might be a good idea for a while. But the trick will be for him to get Southampton up, then for the club get rid of him before the inevitable petulance kicks in.

Better still for Keegan to turn it down and allow a grown-up generation to forget his shortcomings as a manager and reminisce on what a great player he once was.

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