Aston Villa, another team struggling in the league, have just appointed what many of us saw as the ideal manager for us to recruit in the summer – Remi Garde.

Is this another missed opportunity?

We are used to closing the gate after the horse has bolted here at NUFC.

Lack of further investment saw Keegan leave and the club’s fortunes plummet before that money was invested under new managers, albeit too late and on the wrong targets and after many of the top players had been sold off as the squad was decimated.

Just imagine where we could have been profile-wise with another few years of sustained challenge at the top.

It’s not just the Keegan days, we seem to constantly miss out on players as well, certainly our recent mis-management has seen a slew of players head to different clubs and while they have seen top form and relative success, our own recruits from the bargain bin have been a mixed bag of underperformers and those who have turned out OK, have been quickly sold on for a profit.

Now it appears we could be about to see if our manager choice will also follow this path.

Garde has no track record in the English game, but his record itself is very impressive.  Not just for results but for what he brings to the club as well – he has a track record of improving players and also producing a very good youth system, both things that would be perfectly suited long-term to a club who can’t  compete financially with the giants of world football any more (hell we won’t even compete with the likes fo Swansea and Southampton any more).

McClaren is struggling, yet we are supposed to be grateful that we are putting in decent performances, as if performances are more important than points at this stage – newsflash, they aren’t.

He also has yet to inspire me that he is changing anything behind the scenes…we have youth players on loan which is great, but not if they can’t get a game when they come back.

We have already seen McClaren reluctant to play anyone who isn’t able to help him out…we saw the same wishful squad policy of tried and tested names who could paper over cracks in tactics from Pardew.

Garde could have been a great long-term solution for the club, someone who could have steadied the ship while building for a brighter future.

Time will tell if our ‘easy option’ will be the correct one.

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