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'Water-Carriers!' - Kevin Keegan Displays Surprisingly Cutting Side In England Verdict

'Water-Carriers!' - Kevin Keegan Displays Surprisingly Cutting Side In England Verdict
By Conor Neville
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Kevin Keegan, a man most would have associated with stupid optimism, is surprisingly clear-headed and eviscerating in his assessment of the current crop of England players.

He's currently doing punditry for BeIN Sports alongside political exiles Richard Keys and Andy Gray. And Graeme Souness too - who must spend his days shuffling from TV studio to TV studio.

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In writing off the present bunch of England players, Kev deployed a phrase popularised by Eric Cantona, the man who prevented him taking the shimmering prize to Newcastle.

Too many of the English lads are mere 'water-carriers', piggy-backing on the inspiration provided by their foreign colleagues.

England players don’t play key roles domestically, so why should we expect them to go to a tournament and do well when they are playing bit-part roles for Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool or Manchester United?

Week in-week out, they are water-carriers a lot of them. The guys who are doing the invention and leading their teams in the Premier League are not English.

That’s hard to change, since it means you need to be good enough, but there’s better players out there.

NOTE: We're not sure this is correct use of the phrase 'water-carrier' which specifies a particular kind of workmanlike creative vacuum who plods away in midfield. He merely exists to service his more gifted teammates.

Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are not archetypal water-carriers.


I will give you a prime example of that. Liverpool, two years ago, had Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling. Suarez was the orchestrator, but all three looked fantastic together.

The leader was definitely Suarez, and the other two played second fiddle. Then Suarez goes to Barcelona and you expect the other two to step up, but that’s proved too much for them.

Keegan fancies Arsene Wenger for the vacant managerial role. As someone who has been down that hard road, Kev reckons that the job becomes easier if you're a foreigner. He characterised his two years as England manager between 1998 and 2000 as the 'most frustrating of his career'.


Read more: 'The England Job Might Suit Him Because His Man-Management Style Wouldn't Grate So Much'

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