Keen leaves for Liverpool as Sam rules out move for Lee
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 July 2011
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Allardyce reveals there is one more space in his backroom staff
Kevin Keen has left West Ham as a first-team coach to join Premier League side Liverpool in a similar capacity.
The 44-year-old, who has served nearly 20 years at the club as a player and coach, will team up with former Hammers assistant manager Steve Clarke at Anfield, as part of Kenny Dalglish’s backroom staff.
Keen, who has signed a three-year deal with Liverpool, admitted that the time felt right for him to move on to pastures new and test himself at the highest level.
“I have been at the club for nine years as a player and nine years as a coach,” Keen told whufc.com.
“I have learned so much from good managers, the likes of Paul Heffer and Tony Carr, and also from those people who don’t always get the credit.
“A part of me will always be claret and blue.
“It is the right time for me to move on but you never know what will happen in the future.”
Keen, spent three matches as caretaker manager during his time at West Ham and failed to win any of them.
Most recently, following the dismissal of Avram Grant, Keen took charge of the Hammers’ last Premier League game at home to Sunderland.
Despite putting his name in the hat for the then-vacant managerial position, a 3-0 defeat in that game ruined his chances of being offered the post on a full-time basis.
However, Keen admits that despite leaving West Ham, he would love to see the Hammers back in the top flight, and believes that the club can achieve promotion at the first time of asking with manager Sam Allardyce and his new coaching staff.
“I am extremely confident with the squad that is there,” said Keen.
“Even if West Ham lose a couple of top players, this time next year Liverpool will be playing West Ham in the Premier League and I can’t wait to be back.”
Liverpool boss Dalglish was delighted with his new backroom recruit.
“I’m delighted that Kevin is joining us to work alongside Steve Clarke coaching the first-team squad,” he said.
“He has a good reputation about him. He is highly respected in the game and will be a great addition to our technical staff.”
With Keen’s departure from West Ham coinciding with the resignation of Sammy Lee from Liverpool’s backroom team, it was suggested that the former Bolton Wanderers manager would be reunited with Allardyce at Upton Park.
However, the West Ham boss confirmed he would not be teaming up with Lee again.
“We are looking to bring in one more coach, but it will not be Sammy,” confirmed Allardyce.
“Sammy is a first-team coach, but I have Neil McDonald and Wally Downes here already, and the only place I need to fill is that of someone to link the Academy and developing players to the first-team squad.
“We are looking at people at the moment and hopefully we will have someone in place in time for the trip to Switzerland at the end of the week.”