Kevin Keegan was today branded a relic of the 1970s after admitting: ‘I don’t like listening to ladies talking about the England men’s team.’
The former footballer and manager, 72, said he has a ‘problem’ with female pundits discussing men’s football at a live event in the West Country.
The ex-England and Newcastle United manager, who also enjoyed a glittering playing career, has sparked criticism, although he himself admitted that ‘the opinion may not be shared’ by others and said some female pundits were better than the men .
Speak in front of an audience of around 250 attendees in Bristol An evening with Kevin Keegan OBE, he said he didn’t like listening to an English football star give analysis Gareth Southgate‘s team.
“I’m not too excited about it, I have to be honest, and it may not be a shared opinion,” he said. ‘I don’t like listening to ladies talking about the England men’s team during the match because I don’t think it’s the same experience. I have a problem with that.’
“When I see an English footballer saying about England versus Scotland at Wembley and she says, ‘If I was in that position I would have done this’, I don’t think it’s quite the same,” he said.
Fans and pressure groups have criticized him, even though he has not criticized the likes of Alex Scott, Eni Aluko and Karen Carney, who regularly present, commentate and analyze the men’s game.
Women in Football, which campaigns for a change in attitudes towards women working in football, said: ‘There is more than one reason why Kevin Keegan is seen as an icon of the 1970s.’
Kevin Keegan has made an extraordinary claim that he has ‘a problem’ with female pundits talking about the England men’s team
Keegan said he did not think female experts were in a position to comment on their male colleagues, especially at international level. Alex Scott is perhaps the best known
However, Keegan insisted that some female experts were better than their male counterparts
Women in football were among the critics
The 72-year-old insisted his stance was not intended to denigrate women’s football and women’s pundits, but some have said otherwise.
“The presenters we have now, some of the girls are so good, they are better than the boys. It’s a great time for the ladies,” he said, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“It’s a great time for the women’s game. When I was England manager (from February 1999 to October 2000), I went to coach the England ladies and I had an idea of what the quality would be like and they were so much better than I thought they would be.
‘I took part and then I thought: ‘I’ll get out of here’. I couldn’t get the damn ball and one of them nutmegged me, that finished me off.’
He also praised BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan.
“There are some very, very good female presenters and I work with one every two days, Terry Yorath’s daughter Gabby (Logan),” he said.
However, he claimed that female pundits were unable to comment on men’s football.
“I don’t think it matters that much.”
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.
“I worked with Brian Moore, who was the best. At a World Cup final he said: ‘Kevin, don’t talk too much, let the pictures speak for themselves,’ he said.
‘Many experts now talk too much. Don’t keep talking, talking, talking. They don’t want people like us anymore, our time is over, it’s time for the next generation.’
Keegan praised BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan in his speech