Tackling Savage and Keegan

Footballing goliath Kevin Keegan and blonde bombshell midfielder Robbie Savage shirked no challenge on the pitch (not to mention dance-floor for reinvented Robbie), but how would they cope in the pressure cooker of the stock market?  Mark Southern put in an early reducer to test their mettle.

As first published in The Exchange Magazine, 2011

Being ex-footballers it comes a little surprise that Robbie Savage and Kevin Keegan are competitive.

Savage, a combative midfielder, made a name for himself as the fierce spark in the Leicester City engine room before leading Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers through successful seasons in the notoriously cut-throat top tier of English football.

Keegan is nothing short of legend across the British Isles, but particularly in Liverpool, where he won three First Division Championships and a European Cup, and Newcastle, whom he managed into the Premier League and to two runners up spots behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.

Despite stepping back from the front line of British football both Keegan and Savage are still heavily involved with the game they love.

As well as offering insightful commentary of English football as it unfolds in 2012 across a number of different media outlets Robbie and Kevin will team up on ESPN to give match-day analysis all season of some of the best games in the Premier League and FA Cup. They are renowned for not pulling their punches and have both been known to take provocative stances on the state of the British game and its footballers, which is just one reason ESPN’s football coverage is must-see for soccer fans.

When it came to being our celebrity traders, both ex-pros were quick to tackle the markets with the tenacity that helped make their names on the pitch. Robbie dived right into the forex markets, electing to trade USD/JPY. This was immediately profitable, scoring the Welshman a solid win to kick off his campaign.

This opening day win was backed up by another success straight afterwards, when a punt going long on the UK 100 found the back of the net, bagging Robbie a £240 profit.

After a promising start Robbie elected to take on the gold markets as he thought this could potentially be where his biggest profits would lie. Initially this decision looked to be a mistake, and he immediately suffered losses when an increase in market confidence drove gold price downwards. However, undeterred Robbie pressed on and hit the market with a counter attack, scoring a brace of big wins to finish his trading season with a very profitable trading account.

Kevin also had a feeling that trading gold would be the surest way to a steady profit, and kicked off his celebrity trader account by shorting the commodity. This was a wise move and netted the former Liverpool ace a strong profit, but having seen Robbie score in the USD/JPY market he elected to switch tactics and dip into the forex markets instead.

This substitution proved to be an error, with all three trades in the USD/JPY market being closed for a loss. However, sensing that the change hadn’t worked in a style reminiscent of the days he prowled the St. James Park sidelines, Keegan reverted back to his original plan and went full throttle on the offensive. Going long on gold was the tactic of choice, and it was the correct action to take. Although he left it late, a profit of over £550 in his final trade lifted Kevin to a strong celebrity trader win.

Once we get back to the subject that’s their bread and butter, it’s unsurprising that both pundits have a lot to say about what football fans should expect from the next nine months.

And just like during their time on the trading floor, it’s not often they the two pundits can find something to agree on. When asked about the upcoming season Robbie is adamant that come May it will be Manchester United, armed with a deep squad containing both youth and experience, that will be holding the Premiership trophy aloft in celebration. Kevin, an ex-Manchester City manager himself, is quick to counter Robbie’s assertions, and believes that it will be the blue half of Manchester that will be crowned Premier League champions for the first time (and their first title in the top tier of English football since 1968).

And when it comes to the other end of the table they’re still unable to find a lot of common ground. Neither pundit believes Swansea will survive their first season in the Premiership, but that’s as far the agreement goes. Kevin picks newly-promoted Norwich and Wigan, who themselves seemed destined for relegation in 2011 before escaping on the last day of the season, to fall into the Championship, but Robbie plumps for QPR and one of his old teams, Blackburn Rovers to join Swansea in going down.

But what if they could buy stocks in footballers themselves? Well, for Robbie the only way to go would be the blue chip players, and that means Lionel Messi and Christian Ronaldo. Kevin, on the other hand, would put his money on a low risk, dependable stock and cites Alan Shearer, whom he managed at Newcastle and England, as the consummate pro who you could rely on to perform each and every week.

The key to making a fortune though is spotting a trend early, so are there any young players they’d be prepared to take a punt on?

The question gives both men the opportunity to show just what a wealth of knowledge they have about the English game, and as the list of up-and-coming talent goes on and on the names become more and more obscure. Topping the list though is Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who both men believe has the potential to become one of the best players in the world. Sounds like a solid investment indeed.

Unfortunately us traders can’t buy our favourite footballers quite yet, but as Robbie and Kevin proved this month footballers can certainly trade the markets.

As well as providing coverage of Premier League and FA Cup all season long, this year ESPN also offers ESPN Goals, a free app for smartphones that delivers exclusive video of all the goals scored in all 380 Premier League matches throughout the current season. Check out www.tv.espn.co.uk to subscribe.


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