When talking about the highest level of diplomacy in football over the past decades, Kevin Keegan must be the mastermind of negotiating with player, as long as he was the one who is in full charge.
It may be long enough and probably not suit enough to todays way of negotiate, but I still think that the King still has the charismatic performance when dealing with player, he still has that magic of influence and can be the master of negotiator.
Unfortunately, his such high charisma would mean nothing if no sufficient back-up from current Toon board of directors, and these days, we have many of them that Keegan would see it more difficult to handle than the old days at Newcastle.
Keegan was also has the eye of the tiger when targeting his player to play for him. Back in September 1992, Kevin Keegan was successful in signing Charlton Athletic star Robert Lee for a fee of £700,000. At that time, Lee is rated one of the best players outside the top division.
After appearing more than 300 occasions for the Addicks in which he netted more than 60 goals, Rob Lee signed for Toon after hearing Keegan's diplomacy about Newcastle is closer to London than Middlesbrough, who also keen to sign him from Charlton. Keegan also succeed to convince him to play more conventional attacking midfielder role than as a winger on his time with the London club.
The same role as what Rob Lee has been playing for United is now happening to Michael Owen. Under Keegan, the England striker was reborn after the King made him playing more deeper role in Newcastle's three-pronged strikeforce. Once again, Keegan instinct is right, and Owen is just like Lee, has scores more goals for United in his new role.
And when Keegan said nearly two months ago that Newcastle board should start negotiating a contract extention with Michael Owen, it was something that is more to Keegan's basic instinct because he knows Owen can be usefull for Newcastle, if we can make him stay out of injury.
The King is right once again, Michael Owen playing important key in our relegation escape, and the Toon board now looking to put an end to the speculation regarding his future before making moves for another players in the transfer market.
Both representatives of the England international and the club officials begin negotiations last week and arrange the second meeting to take place in the next fortnight. Owen himself is still keen to remaining a Newcastle player and he is full of praise for the work done by Keegan.
“We all enjoy training and playing alongside each other and he has brought a real feel-good factor into the club,” said Owen in an interview on Newcastle World. “Everyone is enjoying coming in to training every day and when you do that you do it better. He knows his stuff and he can see a player, he can see if something needs tweaking or changing and tactically he’s very good. It’s been a fantastic appointment for us and we’ve all really enjoyed his time so far.”
All I can say is, stay with us for more time Mikey, and you will see that Newcastle United is true closer to London (Wembley) rather than from Middlesbrough not very long from now.