Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'd Love the Chance to Restore West Ham's Spirit, Says Keen

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'd Love the Chance to Restore West Ham's Spirit, Says Keen

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Dyer Football Correspondent

KEVIN KEEN has been boss of West Ham twice before, once for three days, the other time for a week. He's back in temporary charge again, as the club look for a manager to replace Avram Grant and this time, he wants the job permanently.

Keen has spent 18 years at Upton Park, nine as a player and the other nine as a coach. This season, he admits, has been the most difficult of the lot.

"I think my wife would tell you it's been the most frustrating time in my 28 years in football," he said. "It has been really tough. I like Avram as a person but we had different ideas at times. That's just how football is."

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has said there are 12 possible candidates for the manager's job and Keen hopes his name is on that list.

Brian McDermott's success at Reading couldn't be better timed for Keen. The Championship club decided on continuity and went for him rather than a bigger name and now they are one match away from a return to the Premier League.

"Of course I want to stay but circumstances will dictate what happens," added the 44-year-old.

"I'd love to be given the chance if it was offered. It would be fantastic. I know the club inside out -- I've worked with the first team under Alan Pardew, Alan Curbishley, Gianfranco Zola and Avram Grant. I've seen the way they work, the things they've done well and the things I would have perhaps done a little differently.

"Apart from Alan Curbishley, the other three didn't have a West Ham background, that upbringing, the influence of Ron Greenwood and John Lyall. There was someone at the dinner the other night -- he was a West Ham fanatic who was in the building trade and he asked me who were the best players I played with.

"I'm asked the same question quite often and my answer is always Alan Devonshire and Billy Bonds, for different reasons. …

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