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Monday, 22 September 2008

Kenny Dalglish? Is there a time warp on Tyneside?

First Newcastle United rolled back the years to bring Kevin Keegan back to the club. Now with the Magpies in turmoil as Mike Ashley tries to sell the crisis-hit club, the latest name being linked to fill the void left by Keegan is King Kev's replacement in 1997, Kenny Dalglish.

Now the Messiah's return came as somewhat of a shock after being out of the game for three years, but Dalglish hasn't been in charge of a club for almost eight years! If this rumour is true then it's easy to see why so many outsiders view Newcastle United as a joke club. Former Leeds United and Aston Villa boss David O'Leary has already been linked with the position of caretaker manager and eight managers have reportedly turned the job down as Ashley tries to secure a buyer for the club, but if Dalglish really is in the frame how long will it be before Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder are mentioned?! It just seems that Ashley's options are very, very limited at the moment.

Despite selling some of their best players and failing to replace them with the big name stars that the fans crave, the passionate Geordies were expecting a decent season from the Magpies with Keegan at the helm. An inspired draw at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season certainly boosted the confidence of the team and the fans and it looked as though Mr Motivator himself was going to work miracles with his thin squad of players. However, the sale of James Milner and interference from above reportedly got too much for Keegan and the King decided to walk.

The fans, who were delirious when Keegan walked back into St James' Park in January, were furious when news broke that Keegan had left the club and began protesting for the former England boss to be reappointed as manager and for Ashley, Wise and Llambias to leave the North East immediately. With his position at the club untenable, Ashley succumbed to public pressure and placed the club on the market, but the multi-millionaire is unlikely to sell without making a profit on his investment, which may mean this fiasco could rumble on for weeks to come.

It's been almost three weeks since Keegan walked out of Newcastle but they are no closer to finding a replacement, leading fans to speculate that Keegan will be reappointed as manager by the new owner. However, Newcastle need somebody in charge now with a bit of experience before they are cut adrift at the bottom of the Premiership. Dalglish guided the Magpies to a second place finish and an FA Cup final in his 18-month stint at the club, but he was hardly flavour of the month with the majority of the fans. Would he be welcomed back by the Newcastle fans even as a stop-gap measure? I doubt it.

* Calling all Newcastle United fans. How would you feel about having Kenny Dalglish back at St James' Park? Would David O'Leary get your vote? How concerned are you about your league position? How vital is it to get an experienced head in charge? How confident are you that Keegan will come back to the club once Ashley is gone? When do you think Newcastle United will be able to get back to concentrating on matters on the pitch? We'd love to hear from you.

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