The Newcastle United revolution under Kevin Keegan in the 90s, was a story that captivated not only Tyneside but countless neutrals far from St James Park.
One of them was a certain nine year old (in 1996) boy growing up in Dundee, Ian Cathro.
The only one of Steve McClaren’s backroom team to keep his job when the Rafalution blew into town, Cathro says that as a kid, he remembers how that Kevin Keegan Newcastle team ‘invokes an emotional response from you.
The United coach looks back now and says that the Keegan team were so ‘loved’ and that the ‘people lived their lives through them’.
Comparing that era to what happened last season, Ian Cathro is brutally honest, saying ‘To be part of a failure like that cuts deep’.
Like everything else at the club these days, Rafa Benitez has a big say in its credibility. To be kept on by Rafa Benitez when McClaren, Simpson and Black all departed, gives fans confidence that Ian Cathro can be a part of a successful Newcastle United in the coming season and beyond.
Having the experience as number two at Rio Ave in Portugal and then especially with Valencia in Spain, maybe Rafa Benitez saw him as perfect link person with the rest of his Spanish backroom contingent.
Having been kept in the background under Steve McClaren, it will be interesting to see if Ian Cathro takes on a more visible presence this coming season including assisting Rafa Benitez when it comes to media duties.
Ian Cathro talking to the Scottish Sun:
“The only thing that ran right through the season was failure, on everybody’s part.
“The only thing that invokes is disappointment and, primarily, pain – it forces you into a different type of reflection.
“We deserved to go down, no doubt about that. We consistently failed.
“I’d be completely false if I said it was a good experience, I can’t see that yet.
“I’d accept in a period of time that might change because I’ll have seen the value in it but not at the moment.
“There were a lot of situations I hadn’t lived through because I’d been in technical teams who had been successful.
“In everything that I’ve done it’s my first failure. I have to accept that and deal with it. It needs to be fixed.
“The football club means so much to people and it’s got incredible potential.
“When I think about the Newcastle I remember as a kid, they were challenging for honours. Kevin Keegan’s team was one that invokes an emotional response from you.
“They were loved and people lived their lives through them. To be part of a failure like that cuts deep.”