I’m not sure who is more deluded; the Newcastle fans who really believe David Moyes, Rafa Benitez or Brendan Rodgers could be the next NUFC manager, or the newspapers who run the articles and expect the punter in the street to believe them?

After almost nine years of Mike Ashley have Newcastle supporters really learnt nothing.

Ashley’s first managerial appointment was Kevin Keegan and the fans were elated, both because of the anticipation of the football that would be played and also the fact that they trusted him. If KK had taken the job then obviously Ashley had accepted that he had to trust somebody who knew what he was doing and would let him get on with the job…

On taking the job Kevin Keegan was told he would have the final say on transfers and due to the way he runs the rest of his business empire, Mike Ashley thought that when it came to the crunch his employee would just accept the reality and do as he was told.

Wrong. KK was never going to be a yes man, he knew what was needed to turn Newcastle United round and walked out in disgust – successfully suing the club for constructive dismissal and an admittance at the tribunal that Keegan had been lied to.

Joe Kinnear arrived and it became obvious he would say and do anything he was told to do by his boss, struggling against relegation he happily sold two first team players in Given and N’Zogbia, with less than half of that money spent on Nolan and Ryan Taylor.

Alan Shearer was begged to come in and given the thankless job of saving the team with a handful of games left – after relegation Ashley asked him to put forward his plan for promotion and when Alan Shearer told him how he wanted to do the job and the players he was looking to sign…he binned him, Shearer actually never being told formally by Ashley that he was no longer wanted.

Chris Hughton – undoubtedly seen as a soft touch. Mike Ashley though found that under that calm exterior was a man of belief and principles, so despite doing an unbelievable job of walking the Championship and getting stability in mid-table of the Premier League – at the first opportunity he was sacked. Rumours were that he wasn’t prepared to accept the selling of Newcastle’s best players and having no say on recruitment.

Then next up..Alan Pardew.

From that moment over five years ago we knew the score, or at least should have.

Rather than looking for the very best manager around, they came up with somebody out of the blue.

Recently sacked from then third tier Southampton, not one sensible reason could be put forward for him getting the job. Apart from the fact he was so desperate that he was prepared to accept any limitations that came with the Newcastle role.

No say on transfers coming in, no say on which players were sold and always toe the line when speaking to the media. If Mike Ashley wanted a line spun, then Alan Pardew would read from the script.

John Carver – need I say more? He performed all the duties that Alan Pardew had done but with even more enthusiasm, he was truly the puppy that was excited by everything – every day he must have pinched himself as he couldn’t believe he had got the job – his for the long-term unless he really screwed up…

Steve McClaren – failed at another Championship club, one top ten finish in the Premier League in his entire managerial history. Failed everywhere but a cup run at Boro and the title at FC Twente – years since any Premier League club would have seriously considered him.

More of the same – no say on transfers (we were told this would be the case with whoever got the job) and yet more nonsense at press conferences. With the revelation a couple of months ago that Steve Black was responsible for coaching McClaren before press conferences, hence repeating key phrases and words multiple times. Plus emails sent to fans in McClaren’s name in an amateurish ongoing PR campaign by the club.

Can people not accept after these five+ years, Mike Ashley would never appoint a manager again, or not in what we would consider the normal way of of a club in the Premier League. You know, where you go out and get the best person for the job, recognise them for their expertise and pay for them to get on with the manager’s job.

Instead, the only sure thing is that Mike Ashley will only employ a manager/head coach who will be happy to accept that they pick the team, train the players, and nothing else.

Newcastle United will not bring in a Rafa Benitez, David Moyes or Brendan Rodgers – even if Ashley approached them they would laugh at the idea.

They probably all know that Newcastle could be a great job to take on and have every chance of success…but not while Mike Ashley is running the club and the daft conditions he attaches to the job.

If/when Steve McClaren goes, only one thing should be expected – to be underwhelmed by the choice of replacement and for it to be somebody who you would never have chosen in your top ten choices…

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