Kevin Keegan’s 1996 ‘I would love it’ rant against Manchester United has been voted the best quote in the 20 years of the Premier League.
eegan’s Newcastle had allowed a 12-point advantage to ebb away, and after beating Leeds United1-0 to keep their own hopes alive, the Newcastle manager launched into a tirade against Sir Alex Ferguson’s suggestion that teams would try harder against Manchester United in the final fixtures of the season than they would against the Magpies.
“When you do that with footballers like he [Ferguson] said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce,” began Keegan.
“I’ve kept really quiet but I’ll tell you something, he went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that. You can tell him now, we’re still fighting for this title and he’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something. And I’ll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it. But it really has got to me. I’ve voiced it live, not in front of the press or anywhere. I’m not even going to the press conference. But the battle is still on and Man United have not won this yet.”
Keegan’s famous words were on a shortlist of five memorable quotes from the Premier League era, and won a vote taken by leading football figures, journalists and commentators.
Earlier in the week Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick for Manchester United against Manchester City last year was voted the best goal in the modern history of the division, while there are also several other categories still to be revealed.
THE FOUR QUOTES KEEGAN’S RANT BEAT
ERIC CANTONA, 1995: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea. Thank you very much.”
ALAN HANSEN, 1995: “The trick is always buy when you’re strong so he needs to buy players. You can’t win anything with kids. You look at that line-up Manchester United had today and Aston Villa at quarter-past two when they get the team sheet, it’s just going to give them a lift and it will happen every time he plays the kids. He’s got to buy players, as simple as that.”
SIR ALEX FERGUSON, 2003: “We have to carry on doing our best. It’s getting tickly now – squeaky-bum time, I call it. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks and the standard of the Premiership is such that nothing will be easy.”
JOSE MOURINHO, 2004: “Please don’t call me arrogant because what I am saying is true. I am European champion so I am not one of the bottle. I think I am the special one.”