Early Doors

The backlash starts here

Early Doors

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After Thursday's events at Heathrow, Alan Shearer's characterisation of Newcastle under Kevin Keegan as "kamikaze" was, to say the least, unfortunate.

The Sun's news and sports departments are obviously not on speaking terms, with the smoking wreckage of a Boeing 777 adorning the front page and the headline "Kamikaze Keegan" on the back.

Unfortunate timing apart, Shearer's comments were presumably made in blissful ignorance of the facts that Japan resorted to such attacks only when the Second World War was a lost cause, and that the pilots involved tended to die in a massive fireball.

In an era when the average attention span has been whittled down to around 4.2 seconds, can the public be expected to care about Keegan for more than a day or so?

Early Doors spends most mornings asking its goldfish where the car keys are, and can honestly say it is bored of Keegan before he has even presided over a football match.

Perhaps it is the non-stop fans' forums from 'Shearer's Bar' and an endless stream of ex-pros telling Toon fans to "strap yourselves in!"

Do we really need to know what Steve Howey and John Beresford think? Get Tino Asprilla on the phone and Early Doors will listen (at the evident risk of the call being tapped by the FBI), but Darren Peacock? Don't care.

All we know is that it is going to be an absolute rollercoaster ride of 4-3 losses and 5-4 wins - for their opponents.

Even that seems like a stretch when you consider that Keegan's first team selection may well contain both Andy Carroll and Kazenga LuaLua. You can take the youth team striker to a barn door but you can't make him hit it.

Anyway, the claim that Keegan is some attacking messiah is based on evidence from over a decade ago, when he had a team containing GOOD PLAYERS like Peter Beardsley, David Ginola, Andy Cole and, er, Paul Kitson.

Early Doors likes attempting to prove general points with very specific facts, so here's a good one:

In Keegan's final season with Manchester City in 2004/05, only two teams' matches produced fewer goals: Blackburn Rovers and, curiously, Manchester United. A vintage season for catenaccio fans in the north-west.

King Kev has a press conference at St James's Park this afternoon. If it is anything like the nauseating 'unveiling' of Michael Owen, expect Tyneside to be lousy with self-important Sky presenters and replica-shirt-clad Geordies bunking off work.

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HEADLINE OF THE DAY (by a long way): "Stevie G face hideously disfigured" on the front page of the Star. You turn frantically to pages four and five to discover that - oh, the larks! - it refers to Liverpool's fancy dress party at which he dressed up as an old codger.

But while the costumes on show were undoubtedly impressive, Early Doors suspects that - like the average GCSE coursework paper - the work may not have been the candidates' own.

Are we meant to believe that Lucas Leiva chose to come as Geri Haliwell (frighteningly short dress and all), that Xabi Alonso wanted to dress as Del Boy and that Daniel Agger is a massive fan of That Guy With Tourette's Off Big Brother?

NAME OF THE DAY: JamesOn Curry, a Chicago Bulls basketball player arrested in Idaho yesterday for urinating in public.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The people of Portsmouth know I will not spend my life at this club. If I shine, if a really big club wants me, I know already that everything will go well." Early Doors is guessing Lassana Diarra may not be a fans' favourite at Fratton Park after eyeing the exit door just seconds after signing for Pompey.

FOREIGN VIEW: A land where Romario can score 1,000 goals is clearly kind to party boys, so it was no surprise to see Adriano score two debut goals for Sao Paulo as he begins his loan from Inter.

COMING UP: It takes us ages to put together our Premier League previews, so please read them. Also, there's more from the European Championship of handball!

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