I’ve just seen a poll elsewhere which says who fans want to see as the next Newcastle Head Coach.
The overwhelming favourite in that poll, with somewhere near 40%, is Remi Garde (pictured).
His only managerial experience is 3 years at Lyon. Lyon is one of the 3 or 4 biggest teams in France – so you would sort of expect them to be in the top 3 or 4 positions in the league.
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Before Garde took over, Lyon experienced a golden age. Under Paul le Guen, Gerard Houllier and Alain Perrin, they won the league every year from 2001 to 2008. In the 3 years following that they finished 3rd, 2nd and 3rd. Under Garde they finished 4th, 3rd and 5th.
In his defence it is pointed out that he had very limited finances available to him.
On his record, the best that can be said of him is that he achieved mediocre results under a tight budget – does that remind you of anyone?
Perhaps there’s a part of us that thinks an exotic foreigner is bound to be better than a boring old Englishman – the next 3 places in the poll I was mentioning were all Europeans, and (with the exception of Frank de Boer) I would lay money that not many of us had heard of any of them before Pardew’s departure.
But think on this. A guy called Daniel Finkelstein does an occasional column in The Times where he looks at things we all think are true about football, then looks at the statistics to see if they back them up.
One of the things he looked at a while back was the effect which managers had on their teams results over the long-term. He took it as his starting point that, as a general rule, the more money a team spent – the higher it should expect to finish.
So then he looked to find out which managers managed to get their teams to over perform (i.e. to do better than the money spent should lead them to expect). In the Premier League era he only found 3 managers who consistently beat the odds – Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Sam Allardyce.
Now that article was written a year or two back and I daresay things may have changed since then. But maybe if we’re looking for someone to finally bring some silverware to St James’ we should be looking closer to home – and if history is anything to go by, it wouldn’t harm to have a look north of the border.
So here’s a suggestion from left-field – Derek McInnes. Manager of Aberdeen, currently top of the SPL.