Some supporters praise “knowledge, integrity and respect” of former manager

Image for Some supporters praise “knowledge, integrity and respect” of former manager

With the summer transfer window approaching some Newcastle fans took a glance back into the past at an era gone by when the club smashed the world record transfer fee to bring Alan Shearer back to Tyneside. Tuesday the 30th of July 1996 is a day that has gone down in history for the Magpies as they issued a statement of their ambition to attempt to win the Premier League, even though it ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.

Shearer himself though could hardly have been more effective, scoring an incredible haul of 206 goals during his ten year’s back home at St James’ Park. He won the hearts and minds of fans and justified every penny of his £15m fee.

Kevin Keegan was highly emotive and emotional during the striker’s unveiling to the media, and it has been suggested that his words are the antithesis of anything that would come out of the club under Mike Ashley.

For many supporters it was the intent which Kevin Keegan spoke, highlighting Newcastle’s ambitions to improve upon their second-place finish in the Premier League the previous season, which won them over. Both Shearer and Keegan have taken the managerial role under Ashley’s ownership, but neither lasted long nor got the propper chance they deserved, in the St James’ Park hot-seat.

One hung on Keegan’s promise that the Magpies would not sell their best players, an image the club no longer has with the five most expensive departures coming during the ‘Ashley era’.

In the late 1990s, St James’ Park enjoyed some of the finest football to grace its turf as the Toon finished second in the Premier League in consecutive seasons, along with reaching back to back FA Cup finals. Aside from the fifth-place finish and subsequent Europa League campaign, younger Magpies fans have not seen the team finish higher than tenth in the top-flight. Those who were old enough to witness Keegan at the helm lauded the side he created and the ethos of the club at that time.

Meanwhile, others questioned what the point was in supporting Newcastle under their present guise and questioned the owners’ commitment to acting in the clubs’ interest rather than his own.

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