Why Keegan Comparisons Need Revising

Liverpool and Newcastle United played out what is widely regarded to be the greatest Premier League match of them all in 1996, with the Reds winning 4-3 thanks to a last-minute Stan Collymore goal.

The Reds’ latest frantic victory, which was also a 4-3 home win, lead to inevitable comparisons between the current Liverpool team and Kevin Keegan’s kamikaze Toon side of the mid-1990s. In his match report for The Times, Tony Barrett said:

This was the day when Liverpool stirred memories of Keegan’s Newcastle United by serving up a slew of reasons why their unlikely title challenge could yet be maintained and just as many why it may not…. Being great entertainers, à la Keegan’s Newcastle, will win Liverpool many admirers, but whether it will allow them to end a 24-year wait for a league title, or end up costing them the chance to do so, remains to be seen.

Of course, Barrett is mainly talking about the one match, so I’m not going to have a pop at him here, but he touched on a theme that does seem to be in the air at the moment yet is not actually that accurate.

It’s not that Liverpool aren’t entirely like Keegan’s Newcastle; they’re actually a more extreme version of those maverick Geordies.

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