Toon: The Candidates (2)

Monday, May 7, 2007 10:48 | Filed in Newcastle United

Just over a year ago, and exactly one manager ago, I considered the Toon managership candidates. At the time, I wanted O’Neill or Ottmar Hitzfeld. As we all know, O’Neill went to Aston Villa, where with a large pot of money to spend, he’s been a resounding mediocrity, so I think that was a useful body-swerve there. Hitzfeld, unemployed at the time, is now managing Bayern Munich again, so we can probably give up on him.

Who does that leave us with?

Big Sam? It’s beginning to look suspiciously like Big Sam is about to be parachuted into St James’ Park, something which I’m dubious about. Sure, he gets the right fighting attitude instilled in his players, but he still does look like Mike Bassett. And then there is the cloud left over him by the Panorama thing — not that he’s been found guilty of anything — but I’d not like to see Newcastle being dragged into any legal battles he instigated or otherwise got involved with.

However, the single biggest reason I don’t really want Big Sam here is that Bolton are not what I’d class as a “footballing” side. And that’s what I want to see at St James’ Park. The flip side of course, is that he’s available, he’s a “big name”, he’s capable of taming egos and he could well be a success. So I’m somewhat ambivalent about Sam on the whole. Wouldn’t be one I’d go for, but I’d be prepared to give him a chance.

Some would also point out his an ex-Sunderland player. Frankly, that matters not a jot. If he was an ex-gun runner and murderer then I’d still have him if he could bring success to the Toon. Whatever has gone before matters little compared to making Newcastle a success.

Chris Coleman? Stuart Pearce? Paul Jewell? Naah, you’re all right. We do need someone who is a big name, who understands what it is like to manage a big club. Someone who is used to pressure and for whom the pressure cooker cauldron of St James’ Park will come as light relief.

Who fits the bill? Well, one name springs to mind, very much used to working with big egos, has proved he can be a success at clubs with a small transfer budget, and with a massive one, has one European trophies, has won the league title in more than one country, and most importantly, is an cocky, arrogant son-of-a-bitch, but generally able to carry it off because he is good enough. Most importantly, he’s under significant pressure at his current post and may be replaced at the end of the season…

Step forward José Mourinho. Well Freddy? Reckon you can compete with the big boys? Prove it.

Wishful thinking aside, a couple of other names that were mentioned last year can likely be ruled out for the same reasons:

  • Keegan — always a mistake to go back
  • Shearer — no badges, no experience

So where does that leave us? Needing a big name — because I think we do, this time — needing someone either available or at a smaller club; needing someone committed and passionate; needing someone who produces “footballing” teams, and needing someone who is driven to achieve success.

Hmm. Roy Keane doesn’t fancy changing red-and-white to black-and-white, does he?

It goes to show how impressed with Keane that I’ve been this season that I’d throw him in here, even though it’s a non-starter. Why would he want to swap? He’s got transfer money, he’s got a decent chairman, and he’s got a bunch of lads he’s just been promoted with. Who would want to swap that for Freddie Shepherd, tuppence-ha’penny and a bunch of overpaid and under-performing misfits?

But that’s the sort of person we need. Someone driven. Someone passionate. Someone who’ll win. Someone capable of turning the club around: of not just “cutting out dead wood” Souness-fashion (alienating people, making them leave) but of turning around players careers, getting the best out of them and making us a success.

You know, if it wasn’t for the “footballing” thing, my list of desirable attributes for the next Toon manager (assuming José to be a non-runner) is sounding more and more like Big Sam… but whether that’s because there’s simply no-one else out there, or because he’s the right man, I’m just not sure.

Sam, if you can promise us “sexy football”, I’ll give you my vote.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Comments to Toon: The Candidates (2)

  1. Ian Sparham says:

    May 8th, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Aah, only this time last year we had the Hitzfeldforthetoon site. God, the hours I and others used to spend updating that bloody thing.

    It’s a fact that the only Manager Freddie who has appointet who was in current employment was Mr Souness. Every other, from Dalglish onwards has been available. You might argue that ‘Big’ Sam’s availablilty is suspicious in itself – but nonetheless it would fit in with Freddie’s modus operandi. The only other candidate I’ve heard mentioned is Sven who – goodness – is also unemployed at the moment.

    At least Allardyce might carry out the grass-roots upward rebuild of the club that is sorely needed. He’d change pretty much everything except the chairman, I would imagine. More’s the pity. Given that we’re likely to have more money than Bolton, but not as much as Chelsea, I think Allardyce is probably the best we can get.

  2. mark fairlamb says:

    May 9th, 2007 at 10:19 am

    BS and bolton have recently been quite pioneering in their fitness and injury rehabilitation techniques. this should in theory sort out the kieron dyers of this world and then the only problem left is the motivation, which seems to be Mr Allardyces forte.
    having said that though, i think the toon will for the forseeable future be underachievers, no matter how much money they spend / who they sign.
    after all, keegan spent a huge wad of cash and always got the players up for it. and what did he win?

  3. garment business daily says:

    September 10th, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  4. test says:

    September 20th, 2011 at 2:24 am

    What’s Mandatory When Choosing Women…

    [...]With the right skills you can be good at many more things and doing almost no mistakes..[...]…

  5. rulett trükk says:

    September 20th, 2011 at 5:58 pm


    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

Leave a comment