Joey Barton claims Keegan is 'bang on' with view on female pundits
Joey Barton claims Kevin Keegan is ‘bang on’ after ex-Newcastle boss said he doesn’t ‘like listening to ladies talking about the England men’s team’
- Keegan doesn’t like listening to female pundits commenting on men’s game
Former footballer Joey Barton has backed his ex-manager Kevin Keegan after he admitted to having ‘a problem’ with female pundits talking about the men’s game.
Keegan, 72, was branded a relic of the 1970s after he told an audience at a live event in the West Country last week: ‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team’.
The former Newcastle and England boss made the comments to approximately 250 people in Bristol who attended An Evening With Kevin Keegan OBE. Keegan said he did not like listening to ‘an England lady footballer’ providing analysis of Gareth Southgate’s team.
Despite facing a major backlash, Barton – who played under Keegan both at Manchester City and Newcastle – has publicly shown his support for the under-fire Liverpool legend.
Voicing his support on X, Bristol Rovers manager Barton – who attacked one of his own players for being an ‘idiotic boy’ on the weekend – wrote: ‘Kevin Keegan. Ballon D’or winner 1978. England manager. He’s bang on.’
Ex-footballer Joey Barton (pictured) has backed his former manager Kevin Keegan for admitting he has ‘a problem’ with female pundits talking about the men’s game
Keegan, 72, was branded a relic of the 1970s after he told an audience at a live event in the West Country: ‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team’
Voicing his support on X, Barton – now the Bristol Rovers manager – wrote: ‘Kevin Keegan. Ballon D’or winner 1978. England manager. He’s bang on.’
Barton’s backing comes in stark contrast to fans and pressure groups who have slammed Keegan, even though he did not criticise any individuals such as Alex Scott, Eni Aluko and Karen Carney, who regularly present, commentate and analyse the men’s game.
Keegan – who managed Barton at Man City from 2002 to 2005 and Newcastle in 2008 – had sparked fury by admitting: ‘I’m not as keen, I’ve got to be honest, and it may not be a view shared.
‘I don’t like to listen to ladies talking about the England men’s team at the match because I don’t think it’s the same experience. I have a problem with that.
‘If I see an England lady footballer saying about England against Scotland at Wembley and she’s saying, “If I would have been in that position I would have done this”, I don’t think it’s quite the same.’
Reacting to the comments, Women in Football – who campaign for change in attitudes to women working in football – said: ‘There is more than one reason why Kevin Keegan is seen as an icon of the 1970s’.
One football fan said: ‘Kevin Keegan is a football dinosaur, things have changed immeasurably since his opinions were relevant’.
The 72-year-old insisted his view was not intent to belittle women’s football and women’s pundits – but some have argued otherwise.
Joey Barton played under Kevin Keegan first at Manchester City and then at Newcastle (above)
Keegan is also remembered for his furious rant about Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1996, when his Newcastle side were in the running for the Premier League title
Women in Football were among the critics
Former England star Lianne Sanderson said last night that Keegan was ‘irrelevant’ and she joked that she would ‘love it’ if he would shut up in a nod to his famous rant
‘The presenters we have now, some of the girls are so good, they are better than the guys. It’s a great time for the ladies,’ he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
‘It is a great time for the ladies’ game. When I was England manager [from February 1999 to October 2000], I went to coach the England ladies and I had this perception of what the quality would be like and they were so much better than I thought they were going to be.
‘I joined in and then I thought, ‘I’m getting out of this’. I couldn’t get the bloody ball and one of them nutmegged me, that finished me off.’
He also singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise.
‘There are some very, very good lady presenters and I’m working with one in two days’ time, Terry Yorath’s daughter, Gabby [Logan],’ he said.
However, he claimed women pundits were not in a position to commentate on men’s football.
The former Manchester City and Newcastle manager also accused modern pundits of ‘talking too much’ and suggested analysts of his generation were no longer wanted by broadcasters.
Keegan said he did not think women’s pundits were in a position to commentate on their male colleagues, particularly at international level. Alex Scott is arguably the most famous
However, Keegan insisted some women pundits were better than their male counterparts
Keegan singled out BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan for praise in his speech
‘I worked with Brian Moore, who was the best. At a World Cup final he would say, ‘Kevin, don’t talk too much, let the pictures do the talking’,’ he said..
‘A lot of the pundits now talk too much. Don’t keep talking, talking, talking. They don’t want people like us any more, our day is gone, it’s time for the next generation.’
Keegan resigned from his role as England manager in 2000 after the national team lost 1-0 to Germany in what was the last game at the old Wembley stadium.
Having been subject to boos from the crowd, Keegan walked into the dressing room and quit, saying: ‘They don’t want me.’
Under his management, England failed to reach the finals of Euro 2000.
He had the worst win percentage – 38.9 per cent – of any permanent England manager.
Keegan is also remembered for his furious rant about Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1996, when his Newcastle side were in the running for the Premier League title.
After Sir Alex had publicly cast doubt over the quality of Leeds and Nottingham forest – Newcastle’s next opponents – Keegan exploded with anger in an interview.
Jabbing his finger at the camera, he said: ‘I’ve kept really quiet, but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimation when he said that.’
‘You can tell him now, if you’re watching it, we’re still fighting for this title, and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something. And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them, love it!’
United went on to win the title after Newcastle drew with Tottenham on the final day of the season and they won 3-0 at Middlesbrough.
Former England star Lianne Sanderson said last night that Keegan was ‘irrelevant’ and she joked that she would ‘love it’ if he would shut up in a nod to his famous rant.
Sanderson, who won 50 caps for her country, turned to punditry following her retirement in 2019 and has appeared on TalkSport and Sky Sports.
Sanderson has been left incensed by the Liverpool legend and took to X, formerly known as Twitter, yesterday to vent her fury.
‘I won’t be doing any interviews about Kevin Keegan’s comments. I won’t be bringing light to misogyny. He’s irrelevant,’ she said.
‘But I would absolutely ‘Love it’ if he would Shut up! Those comments are not needed. It’s a shame people feel threatened by some of us. Unlucky for those people!’
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