On this day in 2001: Kevin Keegan returns to management with Manchester City

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Former England boss Kevin Keegan made his big return to management with Manchester City on this day in 2001.

The ex-Liverpool forward and Newcastle manager had appeared shattered when quitting as England chief following a 1-0 loss to Germany in October 2000.

But Keegan threw his hat back into the managerial ring when City came calling, with the Citizens having just been relegated from the Premier League.

Kevin Keegan Manchester City
Kevin Keegan, left, with new Manchester City signing David Seaman, right, (Martin Rickett/PA)

Keegan replaced Joe Royle and immediately branded City “truly a sleeping giant”, insisting he had been refreshed by his seven-month break.

Stuart Pearce topped the billing of Keegan’s City signings, and an immediate top-flight return was secured in his first campaign at the helm.

Keegan convinced Nicolas Anelka to make the City switch for £13million from Paris St Germain for the Premier League return.

And the former Arsenal hitman bagged 14 goals as Keegan steered the Maine Road men to a ninth-place finish in a fruitful 2002/03 campaign that included a 3-1 home win over bitter rivals Manchester United.

Kevin Keegan won promotion in his first season at Maine Road
Kevin Keegan won promotion in his first season at Maine Road (Jason Cairnduff/PA)

City were unable to build on that first year back in the division under Keegan, however, with the club finishing 16th in the next term.

Keegan left the club by mutual consent in March 2005, announcing his retirement from football.

An emotional return to Newcastle saw Keegan reverse that decision in 2008, but he only lasted eight months at St James’ Park owing to disputes with club chiefs.

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