In a somewhat surprising announcement over the weekend, former West Ham coach Kevin Keen was appointed by Liverpool as the club’s new first team coach. It is expected that current first team coach Steve Clarke will move up to become the Reds new assistant manager, to replace the departed Sammy Lee.
After Lee’s departure, Keen’s name was not mentioned as being in the running with former Red Gary McAllister and former Chelsea coach Paul Clement being the prime candidates, but Steve Clarke must have had a word in the ear of Kenny Dalglish as the Scot and Keen worked at West Ham together.
Keen himself had only recently departed West Ham after he was looked over for the role as manager for Sam Allardyce. Keen had been put in charge temporarily for the last match of the season against Sunderland and stated he wanted the job permanently. Talking about his ambitions, a familiar phrase cropped up:
“There is a real opportunity to go back to the days of pass and move and make sure people tackle like [former player and manager] Billy Bonds and want to run through brick walls for this football club.”
No doubt Keen’s attacking philosophy and total commitment to the approach will have convinced Dalglish he was the right man for the job. Always famous for the attack minded approach under Ron Greenwood in the 60s and 70s, the Hammers have always subscribed to a similar style of play to the Reds and Keen was very much a stalwart of the London club in the 1980s, playing for the club for 10 years.