I would love it, absolutely love it if they beat them….

There’s not many things that surprise me in the world of football these days, probably because my amazement threshold has been stretched to its limit in recent years.

But the announcement that “Geordie Messiah” Kevin Keegan is returning to manage Newcastle United was one that stopped me in my tracks. An undoubted marmalade dropper in sporting news if ever I heard one. At least it would have been if it hadn’t broken late afternoon.

The Guardian’s ‘The Fiver’ column best summed up the appointment under the banner: “Sensational and Presposterous Breaking News…”

Keegan is the Toon’s most successful manager and steered them from second division obscurity to twice running Manchester United to the wire for the Premiership title. He is revered as a God on Tyneside and will forever hold a place dear in the hearts of the Geordie faithful.

For the past few years Keegan has also been running his “Soccer Circus” which, while being a cheap and easy gag, ought to stand him in good stead for the task ahead at St James’ Park.

They say you should never return to the scene of your previous triumphs but Walter Smith is currently proving that to be false while Graham Taylor and Harry Redknapp have also proven to be successful second time round at Watford and Portsmouth.

I for one am very much looking forward to seeing Newcastle once Keegan has got his hands on them and ripped up the defensive manual. He will also bring some much needed charisma to the post-match interviews. Who could ever forget his foaming at the mouth “I would love it” rant at Sir Alex Ferguson during their epic title battle in the 1995/96 season.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I can’t see Newcastle mounting a similar challenge under Keegan a second time around. Football is much more sophisticated than when Keegan was last involved and new-fangled inventions called “tactics” and “defence” play a much bigger role than the up-and-at-em days of King Kev’s reign.

However, there is no doubt that if he delivers the attacking brand of football the fans crave they will love him for it and although it is unlikely to stand the rigours of an entire season, he will stand a good chance of bagging their first major trophy since 1969 in one of the cup competitions.

Regardless of what happens, there are exciting times on the horizon at St James and I, for one, would love it, absolutely love it if the Great Permed one could deliver once again for the Toon.

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