And it has been a living hell ever since!
The Toon were relegated and now Ashley is trying to sell the club.
For the record ... Keegan's last game as Toon boss ...
ARSENAL 3 TOON 0
GUNNERS: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy,Eboue (Walcott 72), Fabregas, Denilson (Song Billong 69),Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie (Vela 63).
TOON: Given, Coloccini, Jose Enrique (Bassong 44), Taylor, Gutierrez (Barton 89), Guthrie, Butt, Beye (Edgar 89), N'Zogbia, Owen, Ameobi.
Robin van Persie netted twice as Arsenal silenced any talk of a club in crisis with a 3-0 romp over Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League clash at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners continued from where they had left off against FC Twente in their midweek Champions League qualifier to outclass the Magpies.
Dutchman van Persie - who endured an injury-plagued campaign last season - struck from the penalty spot after Charles N'Zogbia handled after 18 minutes, which was no more than the resurgent hosts deserved.
Another well-worked goal from the Dutchman followed before the break, with Brazil youngster Denilson hitting his first Premier League goal after more breathtaking, quick passing from Arsene Wenger's men - who if they can maintain such displays look again set for a sustained title challenge.
Arsenal had started in determined fashion and had a great chance to take the lead inside three minutes.
A corner from the right was flicked on by Bacary Sagna at the near post, and the ball fell at the feet of William Gallas.
However, the Gunners captain - who has netted twice already this season - somehow blazed his shot over the bar from no more than a yard out.
Kolo Toure then came forwards and flashed in a low drive from 25 yards, which Shay Given turned behind at full stretch.
There was little respite for the Magpies as Arsenal maintained a high tempo, under the watchful eye of England manager Fabio Capello - at the Emirates Stadium for a second time this week.
Then just after Newcastle looked to have got a themselves a foothold in the match, they conceded a penalty.
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor dashed past his marker and into the right side of the box, before cutting the ball back across goal, where it hit N'Zogbia on his trailing arm.
Van Persie stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, which was coolly dispatched low into the bottom right corner past the dive of the Newcastle keeper.
With the cushion of an early lead, Arsenal started to showboat, passing the ball around with consummate ease.
Cesc Fabregas - in his 200th appearance for the Gunners - tried his luck with a speculative 25-yard effort, which flew over.
Samir Nasri got away down the left, before floating over a cross with the outside of his boot - and only a deft touch from the fast-retreating Fabricio Coloccini denied an on-rushing Adebayor a tap in.
After 31 minutes, van Persie curled a 20-yard free-kick up towards the top-left corner, but Given was at his acrobatic best to make a flying save.
Newcastle finally created a decent opening after 37 minutes when Jonas Gutierrez, the Argentina international midfielder, got clear down the left and cut a low centre back across goal.
Michael Owen was lurking at the far post, but just as he shot, team-mate Shola Ameobi got in the way and deflected the ball off target.
Arsenal went up the other end and carved open the visitors' defence again with van Persie feeding Adebayor.
However, the big Togo frontman, under pressure from two defenders and the advancing keeper, could only slot the ball wide.
It was, though, soon 2-0 with four minutes to go to half-time.
Emmanuel Eboue played Adebayor in down the right, and continued his run into the penalty area to collect the return pass.
The much-maligned Ivory Coast midfielder then produced a clever back-heel, which rolled into the path of van Persie - who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Newcastle were positive following the restart and only the woodwork denied Kevin Keegan's men a way back into the match after 56 minutes when Nicky Butt's flicked header from a left-wing corner dropped onto the crossbar.
It was just one of those days for the visitors as Arsenal wrapped up the match with another superbly-crafted goal in the 59th minute.
Nasri worked himself space in the box, before tapping the ball back to Adebayor.
The Togo frontman simply laid it off sideways, where Denilson was on hand to slip the ball back past the oncoming defender and a wrong-footed Given.
Arsenal could have further extended their lead before the final whistle.
Van Persie smashed in an angled drive from almost on the goal-line, which ricocheted off the underside of the bar at the near post.
Given then produced a fine reaction save at point-blank range to keep out Toure's header and also was at full stretch to turn away Nasri's curling free-kick before substitute Theo Walcott pulled an angled drive wide after another swift counter-attack.
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, recently released from jail and facing a violent conduct charge from the Football Association, came on for the closing two minutes - to resounding jeers from the home crowd.