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The debate on the next manager starts here:


James
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http://www.newcastle-online.com/2006/10/24/the-debate-on-the-next-manager-starts-here/

 

 

Let’s face it. Glenn Roeder will never do the job for Newcastle that all fans hoped he would do no matter how hard he tries. And the time will soon come when the club will have to admit that the good person that is Mr. Roeder is not good enough, shake his hand and wish him all the best. However, that would lead the club in a bit of a stew, for there are no real candidates from within the club who can be perceived as ideal caretaker boss material, and hence a much quicker appointment would be required this time around, and hence, to get ahead in the inevitable merry-go-round, I feel that I must get ahead of the game and reveal my own preference for the identity of the next manager of Newcastle United.

 

To predict the future, one must look at the past. The initial reaction from Freddy Shepherd over the years has been to appoint a manager who is going to fix the problems that are currently afflicting the club. At the time of his departure, Keegan’s Newcastle just needed to defend better if we wanted to win the league. Shepherd appointed Dalglish, a defensive manager, who changed an excellent attacking side into this boring defensive unit, which stopped producing results. Inevitably Dalglish was sacked and replaced with the sexy Ruud Gullit. When Gullit walked, we had a team who were lacking in any confidence or game plan. In comes Sir Bobby Robson, fabled man-manager and yet another polarisation.

 

This appointment turned out to be a success, for Robson not only offered a polarisation from the previous manager, he also happened to be the best manager of his generation, and also had the support of three of our most influential players ever – Gary Speed, Rob Lee and Alan Shearer, who all helped keep the young players in check. When things went stale, it had appeared that Robson had lost the support of some of our big name younger players (a catalyst of this of course being the decision to sell Gary Speed), so our chairman had a stroke of inspiration which only he could have, and sacked Robson, replacing him with hard-man disciplinarian Graeme Souness – the manager of an ill-disciplined, low in confidence Blackburn side which were bottom of the table.

 

Under Souness, we put in our worst string of results performances since the appointment of Keegan, with several players looking shot of confidence. Souness was also a very high maintenance manager, requiring a large transfer kitty, big name players and an entourage (or should I say coaching staff?). When Souness was inevitably sacked, caretaker boss Glenn Roeder showed himself to be the polarisation of the Souness regime, restoring the players confidence, and stringing together a good run of results during his honeymoon period. Many fans believe that this made Shepherd aware that Roeder was a low maintenance manager, and that this was the decisive factor when it came to finalising the decision on who to appoint.

 

For me, Roeder has demonstrated two major flaws with his management of the club. The first flaw is his obvious inability to operate in the transfer market, an outcome of his indecisiveness and his last minute bidding, which was inevitably going to fail. The other flaw is his inabilty to react to how a match is unfolding – he has bought substitutes on too late to make a difference, and has not made any successful changes of personnel or tactics to react to the second half fight-backs by the opposition, which has now occurred against Fulham, Everton, Bolton and Middlesborough, resulting in nine dropped points against average teams. All experienced Newcastle fans know that Roeder’s days are numbered, it is no longer a question of if, but when.

 

So when it happens, who will the favourites be? You can bet your bottom dollar that Alan Curbishley, Sven Goran Eriksson, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Alan Shearer will all be linked. Yet I do not feel that any of these individuals would be the right appointment at the present time.

 

Alan Curbishley may appeal to many on the club’s board as he has demonstrated an ability to perform decently in the Premiership despite a low maintenance level, and has shown an ability to get the best out of his younger players. However, he had failed to raise Charlton above mediocrity, and failed to get the best out of his so-called better players like Dennis Rommedahl, who had been signed in an attempt to raise Charlton above this mediocrity.

 

Sven Goran Eriksson would be a high profile name, who has enjoyed regular success in both the Italian leagues and at international level (if you consider three consecutive quarter-finals in major tournaments as successful), and in his early days as England boss, he demonstrated an ability to get the best out of the slightly poorer and more inexperienced players in the squad. And perhaps the recent performances by England under McClaren demonstrate that the Swede did have some sort of managerial ability in spite of recent claims from the media. However, indications of him preferring a more negative style of play, the apparent inability to look past certain favourite players, and the fact that he seems to fail to take his sides above a certain level means that he probably wouldn’t succeed at this club, and he is unlikely to endear himself with the fans either.

 

Regular readers of Newcastle-Online will be aware of the supreme abilities of Ottmar Hitzfeld – the only manager to win the Champions League with two different clubs. However, although it would be great to be proved wrong, I feel that Hitzfeld would be doomed to fail at St. James’ Park. Initially, I would expect him to improve results and performances, but he would try to change the culture of the club, and due to our unique makeup, I can anticipate certain major shareholders, some of the players, and a core minority of supporters being resistant to this culture change, and Hitzfeld (or any similar foreign manager) will most likely find themselves out of the door before they can even lay the foundations.

 

A common attribute of a team enjoying a period of relative success is that the name of the manager and the name of the club can be mentioned side by side, i.e. Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United, Bobby Robson’s Newcastle United, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, Paul Jewell’s Wigan and Chris Coleman’s Fulham. In contrast, Souness never deserved to be mentioned in the same sentence as the club, while Roeder, although he is deserving of being the club’s captain, coach and babysitter, it is not right to describe our team as Glenn Roeder’s Newcastle United.

 

To rephrase all that, a successful manager makes a club his own, and to do this he must possess both ability and an affinity with the club. A manager may not have a natural affinity, but he can create it through reshaping the club’s structure culture or by enjoying some success in the process. This is what the likes of Hitzfeld would do, though unfortunately, as mentioned I cannot see a manager being able to oversee a cultural or structural change in the foreseeable future and thus the likes of Hitzfeld would be inappropriate for the managerial role. Sam Allardyce would also have to be ruled out for the same reasons, and in fact, I suspect this was the main reason he chose to reject us in 2004.

 

Finding a successful manager who would require little change at the club is unlikely. Shepherd missed the boat with Martin O’Neill last season for whatever reasons, leaving a big black blot on Fat Fred’s copybook as far as many fans are concerned. As it stands, there is no-one who fits this bill who also happens to be available.

 

Therefore, we will have to find an individual with a pre-made affinity with the club. The first name that I would expect many to think of having read the prior statement is Alan Shearer. Undoubtedly, such an appointment would split the fans down the centre, many would expect him to bring back the days of Keegan, while others would be unhappy at appointing such an inexperienced manager.

 

Inexperience is not necessarily a bad thing, as all good managers have to start somewhere. Knowledge of things like tactics and coaching are only a small part of the make-up of a manager, and limitations in these areas can be compensated by surrounding yourself with an outstanding backroom staff. This is something which the likes of O’Neill do to great success. Another example would be the important role Jurgen Klinnsman’s backroom staff played in getting Germany to the semi-final of the World Cup. Therefore, what really needs to be looked at when considering whether a player can make a good manager, is to look at their character, personality and people skills.

 

When you look at Shearer, you see stubbornness, you see aloofness, and you see him announcing live on the BBC that Rooney should lay into Cristiano Ronaldo at training as an act of revenge. Alan Shearer does not appear to have the mindset of a manager – confrontation is the last thing we need right now. It is wise to remember the old adage that great players do not make great managers. We laughed at Sunderland appointing Roy Keane – many described him as the ‘new Souness.’ That tag could just as easily be used for Shearer if he was to become manager.

 

The timing of the appointment would also be wrong – Shearer still has too many friends at the club, and this would make it too difficult for him to make tough decisions. This is a huge contrast to Keegan’s return, for when Keegan came here to manage us, the only things that had not changed were the city and the fans.

 

Shearer does have his attributes however, mostly his international reputation, and the huge influence he continues to hold. In fact, he is probably the only individual who can stand up to the antics of Shepherd and the local media. Consequently, I would encourage Shearer’s appointment as either a Director of Football or Sporting Director, as I feel that he would both improve our operation in the transfer market, and could protect the manager, especially if they happened to be friends.

 

So if not Shearer, who?

 

The new manager needs to be someone who has a pre-made affinity with the club. Someone who can quickly gain the loyalty of the players. Someone with experience of working with both high-maintenance and low maintenance players – perhaps someone who has already shown that he can handle and protect the likes of Craig Bellamy without stifling their ability. Someone who has shown that he can work with the younger players. Someone who has played at several very different clubs under very different managers. Someone who has shown that he is the real club captain on and off the pitch. Someone used to being in an atmosphere where teamwork and performances come before individuals and reputations. Someone who isn’t averse to sticking in some constructive public criticism where needed. Someone who unlike Roeder, has shown that he can motivate the team to attack for ninety minutes and has demonstrated an ability to react positively to unfolding matchday situations.

 

As far as I can tell, there is just one man who fits that bill, yet he is inexperienced as both a manager and a coach. Yet I believe that surrounded by excellent coaches such as Kevin Blackwell, Phil Brown and Alan Irvine, and with the likes of Terry Venables or Graham Taylor being brought in as a mentor, this person would make an excellent Newcastle United manager.

 

Heck, with a coaching set-up like that, he could even afford to put on his boots and play an occasional spell in the midfield or left-back – it would at least get our subdued crowd going.

 

For me, Gary Speed is the man for the job.

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Guest Armchair Pundit

From the reliable *cough* Soccer Voice:

Eriksson and Beckham united in Man City, West Ham or Newcastle ?

 

Stuart Pearce, Alan Pardew and Glenn Roeder are all under pressure at their current clubs. Don't be surprised if the duo Eriksson / Beckham ends up together in one of these clubs.

 

West Ham has allready been linked with Eriksson and Beckham is at the moment saying "stop" to any new contract talks at Real Madrid. Eriksson has been linked with a number of top jobs and if he decides to go into management again, he will probably like to bring David Beckham to his new club.

 

Eriksson is known for his abillity to bring out the best in key individuals and using their unique skills to his advantage. Beckham has this abillities and can win football games on his own with a special free kick or a great and unique pass that very few does. So don't be surprised if the partnership again will be taken up as soon as Eriksson is back in management.

 

I wonder, if it were a possibility, how well Sven would do here?...

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From the reliable *cough* Soccer Voice:

Eriksson and Beckham united in Man City, West Ham or Newcastle ?

 

Stuart Pearce, Alan Pardew and Glenn Roeder are all under pressure at their current clubs. Don't be surprised if the duo Eriksson / Beckham ends up together in one of these clubs.

 

West Ham has allready been linked with Eriksson and Beckham is at the moment saying "stop" to any new contract talks at Real Madrid. Eriksson has been linked with a number of top jobs and if he decides to go into management again, he will probably like to bring David Beckham to his new club.

 

Eriksson is known for his abillity to bring out the best in key individuals and using their unique skills to his advantage. Beckham has this abillities and can win football games on his own with a special free kick or a great and unique pass that very few does. So don't be surprised if the partnership again will be taken up as soon as Eriksson is back in management.

 

I wonder, if it were a possibility, how well Sven would do here?...

 

if you were to refer to paragraph eight:

 

Sven Goran Eriksson would be a high profile name, who has enjoyed regular success in both the Italian leagues and at international level (if you consider three consecutive quarter-finals in major tournaments as successful), and in his early days as England boss, he demonstrated an ability to get the best out of the slightly poorer and more inexperienced players in the squad. And perhaps the recent performances by England under McClaren demonstrate that the Swede did have some sort of managerial ability in spite of recent claims from the media. However, indications of him preferring a more negative style of play, the apparent inability to look past certain favourite players, and the fact that he seems to fail to take his sides above a certain level means that he probably wouldn’t succeed at this club, and he is unlikely to endear himself with the fans either.
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Gary Speed. A track record second to none in identifying talent, man management, tactics, and driving his teams to success! ;)

 

What a bizzare choice to, as you put it, inspire confidence in players and supporters. Maybe a few years down the line but right now he would be given even less leeway than Roeder if things continued to fall apart.

 

Anyway, I still find it pretty shabby to be talking about another manager already. Direct your ire at Shepherd by all means, but continually hammering the manager with this kind of speculation does nothing to help the team imho, and as we have seen in the past, does little to affect the fat ones decisions in the end anyway.

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I disagree that we should have a manager who already has some affinity with the club. In fact, that's the kind of thinking that we need to get away from.

 

I'd agree with BD. There needs to be a change at Boardroom level first, because I don't think anyone can succeed under our meddling Chairman. Then, at the time, look at the position on the football side, and decide whether a change is beneficial there as well. It's very unfair to heap the blame on Roeder for our current position.

 

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BTW does he have the Pro-License? I would bet that the Premier League will not allow any more unqualified managers to manage after the starts Glenn and Gareth have had (if they will even allow Southgate to extend his 12 week stint)

 

I think the Premiership chairmans were taking the piss when they voted to allow us to appoint Glen Roeder. They'll have been thinking: "Great, that'll put them lot out of contention for at least another season!"

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Guest Gemmill

That article has cheered me up slightly, as I've realised there are people out there that given the chance would make even worse managerial appointments than Freddy Shepherd.

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BTW does he have the Pro-License? I would bet that the Premier League will not allow any more unqualified managers to manage after the starts Glenn and Gareth have had (if they will even allow Southgate to extend his 12 week stint)

 

I think the Premiership chairmans were taking the piss when they voted to allow us to appoint Glen Roeder. They'll have been thinking: "Great, that'll put them lot out of contention for at least another season!"

 

You only just realised that? :p

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http://news.dipag.com/pictures/lowres/20060710/Marcello-Lippi-with-trophy-0000008733.jpg

 

http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/oct23i.html

 

Marcello Lippi has insisted that he intends to return to football early next year, even if it’s not with a big club.

 

The former Italy Coach was linked with a move to Manchester United after he left the Azzurri bench, but decided to continue his vacation after the World Cup triumph.

 

“I have certainly not left football, my intention is to return when I am fully recharged,” said Lippi to RAI International.

 

“I've only taken a pause to reflect, just as I did when I left Juventus some years ago. I hope I will be contacted between February and March.

 

“I’m ready to discuss with any club that proposes me a serious plan for next season – I won’t necessarily end up training a big club.”

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I don't want Sven but then again I don't want Curbs or Bruce.

Would you take Pearce if Man City let him go ? coz as much as we like the bloke he is not the big manager we need, Hitzfeld as always is my first choice for the job

 

This club has been in a downward spiral since the very second that Fred sacked  Sir Bobby, from the moment we have sufferd. Shocking decision to sack SBR when he did, shocking decision to to give the job to Souness, then he had no option to let Roeder take the job because its looking like there is not a manager out there that does really want this job.

All of the above is 100% Freds fault  and do you have any faith at all that he can and will get us the right new manager ??

 

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The main purpose of this piece was not necessarily to endorse Gary Speed as potentially the next Newcastle manager, but to:

 

a) raise doubts as to whether a top manager that would want to change the culture of the club could succeed with such conservative individuals as Shepherd around the place. Therefore, as long as Shepherd remains in charge, we have to find an excellent manager who can conform with the club - and that makes it a lot more difficult to identify any candidates.

 

b) To point out that Shepherd’s suppossed last throw of the dice i.e. the appointment of Shearer would be a bad move, as there are other players out there who make better management material than Shearer ever will.

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Someone up and coming who has proven results from abroad. Backroom staff should be Shearer, Rob Lee, Lee Clark, Gary Speed, Peter Beardsley and Glenn Roeder. Then he'd be able to cope with english football. Terry McDermott can take a walk.

 

Paul Le Guen is doing shit at Rangers, i'd fancy him anyway. Otherwise Spalletti(Roma) or Quique Flores(Valencia) both seems to be great, probably none of them would be interested in coming here though.

 

Dave Penney - did brilliant at Doncaster from what I've heard. Could be a decent assistant or something. He's free right now right?

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