Kevin Keegan has been speaking about the Premier League relegation battle and Newcastle United in particular.
About his old club he says ‘I think Newcastle will be alright…’ but admits that defeat to Sunderland next week would be disastrous and potentially mae him change his mind.
Kevin Keegan says that his tips to take the drop are therefore Norwich, Villa and Sunderland, though he does see a small chance of Swansea getting sucked into the relegation scrap as they have to play a lot of teams at the bottom, including Newcastle at St James Park on Saturday 16 April.
As for key players in the relegation battle, Keegan has identified Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey as two at the heart of Newcastle’s hopes.
The two have looked Newcastle’s best players since arriving in January, though Kevin Keegan is a little cautious about Shelvey having the captaincy already – saying he may need to ‘calm down’ (the term no doubt a throwback to KK’s time on Merseyside…).
Kevin Keegan speaking to the South Wales Evening Post:
“What might save them is Shelvey and Townsend. They are two players that at least know the league.
“Shelvey has been a good player for Swansea and he’s someone that is game ready, he hasn’t got to learn what the Premier League is all about. He has been playing in it for years.
“I don’t know his character well enough to say whether he’ll be a good captain. Maybe he needs to calm down a bit, but he is still young and still learning.
“I’d have to see what he’s like around the training ground to decide if he’s a leader, but he has a lot of experience for his age after playing for Liverpool and England.
“Townsend is someone who has played for England so can bring top quality.
“If you’d asked me a few weeks ago, I’d probably have said Swansea had real problems, but going to Arsenal and winning changed things.
“I think Swansea will be alright but they’re not safe yet. They have still got to play a lot of teams around them and that’s where it gets tough.
“Newcastle are in a lot of trouble but in the Premier League, if you take away the top six or seven, then anyone can be in trouble.
“It’s not quite a level playing field but it’s a good time to be a smaller club. Television money means clubs like Swansea and Bournemouth have greater resources — and just look at what Leicester have done.
“Villa, Norwich and Sunderland would be my tips to go down.
“I think Newcastle will be alright…but my opinion could change if they lose to Sunderland next week. That’s a huge game for both clubs.”