The last ten (permanent) managers at St.James’ Park have stirred up many emotions, there have been highs and far too many lows.
Where would you rank them though, who have been the best and the worst? Here is my own personal perspective on the St.James’ Park hotseat.
Kevin Keegan – A real miracle worker who possibly saved the club, taking a team heading into the third division and in two years turned them into a top three Premier League outfit. Only to agonisingly miss out on the Title two years later with the greatest modern day Newcastle United eleven we’ve seen so far.
Kenny Dalglish – On the surface he came in and continued KK’s work by confirming Champions League qualification and then a Cup Final appearance. In reality though he took apart a brilliant team in only 18 months and we went from second to thirteenth.
Ruud Gullit – A world great as a player but somebody whose man management was shocking, ending up in conflict with Alan Shearer and Rob Lee amongst others. His ego was bigger than his managerial ability and like Dalglish, a Cup Final didn’t cover up his deficiencies.
Sir Bobby Robson – Did a similar job to Kevin Keegan and lifted Newcastle out of the doldrums and into the Champions League. Made inspired signings in Bellamy and Robert which once again lit up the likes of Shearer, Solano, Given, Speed and Dyer, if only he’d succeeded Kevin Keegan…
Graeme Souness – A similar ego to Gullit and supposedly brought in to instil discipline. Was on the verge of the sack at Blackburn when Newcastle ‘swooped’ for him and we soon found out why. Instead of taming Bellamy the manager got rid of him and we were only heading one way if Souness had stayed.
Glenn Roeder – The archetypal nice bloke and clearly had the club at heart, a track record of relegating clubs was the reality though and while with Shearer’s assistance he got the team into 7th, on his own the following season it was pretty dismal.
Sam Allardyce – The thought of his style of football was bad enough but the signings of Viduka, Geremi, Barton, Smith and others were disastrous. The lion’s share of the blame for the Ashley v fans problems stem from the shocking job Fat Sam did, leading to the owner losing any possible ambition at the time.
Joe Kinnear – Probably the biggest joke of a manager we’ve ever had and it wasn’t funny in any way. A massive contribution towards relegation, how on earth he was ever appointed must even baffle Ashley.
Chris Hughton – A manager who was appointed because he was cheap and available but who astonished everybody with the job he did, not least the owner. Despite the magnificent job he did, it became clear that Ashley didn’t want him and was shoddily sacked mid-season with Newcastle in mid-table.
Alan Pardew – His appointment was met with disbelief as surely if Hughton was to be sacked they had to have something special up their sleeve. Whatever the reasons for his appointment the only thing that matters is the outstanding job he has done, the sky could very well be the limit.
1. Kevin Keegan
2. Sir Bobby Robson
3. Alan Pardew
4. Chris Hughton
5. Glenn Roeder
6. Ruud Gullit
7. Graeme Souness
8. Joe Kinnear
9. Sam Allardyce
10. Kenny Dalglish
At the top Keegan just edges out Sir Bobby but we can all dream that Alan Pardew can overtake the two of them, what a story that would be.
At the bottom, I think Joe Kinnear was the daftest choice ever but in terms of the damage they did to Newcastle United Allardyce is just edged out by Dalglish.
At least that is one ‘Title’ Kenny has won this season!
What do you think?