Peter Young
1 August 1999
England Football Online
Contact Us Page Last Updated 17 December 1999
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Comment: Keegan's Optimism

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England's manager babbles on

England manager Kevin Keegan is becoming less and less convincing a month ahead of England's last chances to keep alive their qualification for the Euro 2000 finals.  Keegan is quoted in today's papers as saying: "I thought we would win those games against Sweden and Bulgaria.  I really did.  But we still have it in our hands to qualify, and I'm the eternal optimist."   Last week he was talking up the possibility of a resurrected Paul Gascoigne furnishing the spark missing from England's midfield.  This week he's bubbling about England's young prospects and particularly 17-year-old midfielder Joe Cole, who has yet to break into West Ham United's first team.  

That what Keegan chooses to focus on after leading England to the brink of a devastating failure to qualify is a faded and jaded star who hasn't played for England since before World Cup 1998 and young players who are untried at the international level and inexperienced even at the club level should be cause for concern.  Keegan's pitches to the press resemble the proverbial drowning man clutching at straws, at the opposite pole from the image he imagines he casts as an optimist brimming with confidence and enthusiasm.  Most of the English football media, largely responsible for getting rid of Glenn Hoddle and installing Keegan as his successor, continue to swallow Keegan's babblings without serious question.  England fans are left to clinging to straw hopes that what Keegan talks about and what he thinks about are different things.