There are a few schools of thought on the type of person the next Newcastle manager will be this time.
Firstly, Mike Ashley will employ one of the old guard, one of his mates, or something equally baffling. This is born from experience (he’s hardly been adventurous with his appointments; Keegan (it’s romantic or something), Kinnear ( a mate), Shearer (again with the romance), Pardew (a mate).
Pretty sure he’s over the romance thing now, too many bridges burnt and it’s not like he’s bothered about getting the fans onside. If he did go for an established British manager he’d hope to know the character of the man, and if he employed one of his cronies/chums he knows they’ll acquiesce to his demands/restrictions without complaint.
Secondly, Ashley could employ a young upcoming foreign coach. It’s cheap, and the continental managers are more likely to happily slot into a Head Coach role, certainly more than a Brit. This way he won’t be butting heads with anyone when he sells Perez for £20m and replaces him with a plastic bag caught on the wind.
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Also bear in mind, ‘we’ made £4m when someone took Pardew off our hands, we could expect the same kind of payment if Tuchel, Garde or whomever became attractive to a ‘bigger’ club.
Thirdly, he may give the gig to Carver. Cheap and internal, like Hughton, knows the players and knows how the club is run, both in the boardroom and in the boot room. It’s the biggest gig he’ll ever get and as such he’ll happily toe the party line (A medical marvel that those injured for the Cup are all returning for the league, isn’t it John?), without rocking the boat or refusing any other metaphors you want to throw his way.
Now I think Big Mike would have a problem with each of these options, but think that the 2nd is actually most likely.
The first option – He’s fast running out of mates, most of the old guard are in jobs and it would cost a lot of money to break their contracts. They’re no guarantees of Premier League safety and most of them are British and therefore want to be in control of transfers. Not many would go along as meekly as Pardew did and none would do it for so little.
On the third option (stick with me, this’ll make sense), I can’t imagine even Mike Ashley (or the man I think is making the football decisions; Charnley) thinks Carver is the man to take us forward long term. He’s clearly limited and one thing Ashley won’t risk, is Premier League safety.
Finally, the second view:Look at our work in the transfer market. We’ve got a good scouting network that looks for under-valued members of staff that will join a mid-table Premier League club with a view to using said club as a stepping stone to bigger things.
This is fine for players because the modern footballer’s career is more mobile than it once was, but a classic British manager’s movement was always seen as a hugely disruptive situation. They were in charge of everything from sorting the travel to spending £10m on a raft of exciting talent.
Now look at Newcastle; players aren’t necessarily bought because they’re required, wanted or whatever. They’re bought more often than not because they’re under-valued in the market. So it’s not about a manager building a dynasty, it’s about a coaching team moulding the collected players into a competent unit that can guarantee Premier League survival.
Imagine there’s a young professional who is respected, but hasn’t yet made the step up to a bigger league. Imagine they’re available for little as their contract is nearly up, and they won’t demand the high wages of a home country pro. Imagine your scouts have assured you they’ll be capable of performing at a sufficient level to achieve your targets. Now imagine he’s a coach. (Name the film, actor and supporting male)
If Carr is finding the players, and Charnley is buying and selling them, wouldn’t it be best to find a coach who’s used to that scenario? Therefore a foreign coach?
What’s his problem with that? Is Ashley willing to gamble on a total unknown? Foreign players can always be flogged, even if they struggle; “Premier League is too physical”, “never really settled in the area” etc.
Managers… it’s harder to shift them on for any kind of profit and if they fail.. well it doesn’t matter if you have Owen, Viduka, Martins, Coloccini, Enrique, Jonas, Duff et al, you’ll still go down. It’s much harder to gauge whether a coach will be a success, than it is a player. You can critique an actor’s portrayal, an orchestra’s performance, but it’s much harder to evaluate the producer or the conductor, isn’t it?
Talk of McClaren, Hoddle and Howe are simply the papers being papers (Got to name an Englishman, don’t you?). Can’t see any of them wanting the job with the restrictions that exist, can’t see Ashley breaking any of their contracts and the former and latter are in the middle of projects they won’t want to abandon.
I’d be delighted with Tuchel, Clement, Garde, or De Boer. The latter is probably a pipe dream born from an old quote where he called NUFC a sleeping giant, once. The other 3 are capable, passionate, respected coaches. They tick every box for Ashley’ wallet and many boxes for a lot of Newcastle fans.
Honestly? I’d expect Carver to have the reins until the summer, then Garde/Tuchel or Clement to take over.
That’s a gamble for Ashley as it’s not certain Carver is capable of dragging us over the safety of 40 points.
Nor is it certain that these players are capable of doing it on their own (as they did when we finished 5th).