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Three Resting Managers Who Could Replace Alan Pardew

6 years ago
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I, like 99% of Newcastle supporters, am desperate to see the back of Alan Pardew. Not just to aim a cheap punch but also to get rid of him.

I have to say I’ve been something of a laggard in joining the majority on this matter. Two years ago I was feeling some long lost pride in being a Newcastle fan. Last season, apart from a semi-entertaining Euro run, the football on show, and the results, were dismal. However, having seen us survive, I felt that Pardew should get a bit longer to turn it round.

It was more of the same this season though. Even when we were winning games in the first half of the season we were never taking control of games. Those famous victories against Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd were all quite lucky, when you take into account the possession and chances created. Exceptionally so in the Spurs game.

The second half of this season has been disgraceful. I won’t bother to write the long list of reasons that Pardew should be sacked. Anyone reading this article will be well aware of the gaffer’s incompetence. What I will instead discuss are some candidates that could potentially take us forward if we receive that much desired news, in the next couple of days, that AP has been disposed of.

I would have loved us to go in for Roberto Martinez when it became apparent that he was available. However, he is under contract now and got a great little squad that he’s not going to walk away from. Instead, I look to managers that are currently out of work that could do a job at the Toon.

Roberto Di Matteo

We all know about Robbie aka ‘The Hood’ from Thunderbirds. He did a cracking job at MK Dons and WBA. Most importantly of all though, he stepped into the breach at Chelsea and helped them win both the FA Cup and Champions League. Yes, he played eleven players behind the ball against Barca but he did it effectively. He wouldn’t be my number one choice but as far as young managers go, this guy isn’t a bad shout. He conducts himself professionally and he does try and blood youth. Think Bertrand versus Barca.

Here are his stats with winning ratios;

MK Dons (2008-09) 52.92%, West Brom (2009-11) 48.19%, Chelsea (2012) 57.14%. Overall Win Ratio 51.41%

Michael Laudrup

I’ve seen a lot of people calling for Michael Laudrup. I have to throw my own weight behind this as well. Considered one of the greatest players of his time by many, he would bring the attacking, possession focused style of football that the fans yearn for. He’s also lived within a budget during his management career so far. Not to mention he’s won his fair share of trophies. Besides the Capital One Cup that he led Swansea to last season, he also has a Danish Supercup, two Danish Cups and a Danish Superliga from his time at Brondby.

Ideal to replace Pardew?

On top of that he was well known and regarded for his development of the youth team over at Brondby and gave a lot of youngsters their chance in the first team.

He also reached the Spanish Cup final with Getafe, losing to Valencia.

His win ratio hasn’t been as impressive as Di Matteo’s but he has managed lesser teams and would surely have a stronger set up at Newcastle than he did at any of his former teams;

Brondy (2002-06) 57.58%, Getafe (2007-08) 42.37%, Spartak Moscow (2008-09) 28.57%, Mallorca (2010-11) 30.95%, Swansea (2012-14) 34.52%. Overall Win Ratio 44.41%

One matter that would concern me is that he has quit from three posts and been sacked from two. He hasn’t been at a club for two full seasons other than Brondby. He quit Mallorca after citing frustrations with the club’s Director of Football. Imagine him having to put up with Ashley. I wouldn’t want someone coming in, turning it around for a season and then walking away. Creating turmoil once more.

Guus Hiddink

A real shot in the dark this one. At 67 he can’t be a long-term prospect. But give him three years and set a real contingency plan in place and who knows what could happen.

If Bobby Robson had been allowed to stay on until he saw fit and name his successor we may have had Jose Mourinho take over in the mid-noughties. It was Bobby that turned Jose from translator to coach at Sporting CP and went on to take him to Porto and Barcelona! Imagine if Freddy Shepherd had shown some foresight in this respect. We may have had the Special One rather than the Sour One (Souness).

Hiddink’s honours are almost too numerable to mention but he’s won 14 trophies, including the FA Cup at Chelsea, whilst being there on a short-term basis.

His motivational skills are astonishing. I’m sure everyone will remember South Korea reaching the semi finals of the 2002 World Cup but do you remember that he was the man in charge. Yes it was on home turf but what have South Korea done since?

He also took Holland to the semis in 1998. He got Australia through the group stage in 2006 and took Russia to the 2008 European Championship semis. The bottom line is he encourages players to achieve more than, perhaps, others expect them to. His list of clubs and win ratios is even more extensive than his list of honours and rather than write them all out, I will just record the overall win ratio.

At 57.80% over 14 different managerial roles, Hiddink’s stats are extremely enviable. Would he come? Probably not. However, if Ashley decided to start re-investing some of the money he’s milked out of the club he could offer Hiddink a great final contract and a small treasure chest. With £50 million, a fraction of what the big clubs have been spending, Hiddink could reshape this squad into the battling, competitive unit that we all desire.

There are many other options out there. David Moyes (44.58%) is a stable manager and I’ve heard a few people talking about him. Chris Hughton (40.26%) is an old fan favourite although Mike Ashley would be very unlikely to renege on his decision to sack him. I hate to admit it but we have probably outgrown him now too.

Harry Redknapp (40.49%) may be looking for a new job if QPR don’t get promoted. He’s a manager I personally despise, think to the Ba and Remy incidents for justification, and he is highly unlikely to move from his South Coast dwellings. He is another, like Hiddink, that would be an excellent short-term man to get the Toon playing attractive football again.

If you’re wondering about Pardew’s stats, his overall win ratio is 42.48%, which isn’t bad. However, at Newcastle it is 37.65%, way below the other contenders I’ve mooted here. His average is boosted by his time at lower division clubs, especially a League One Southampton where he achieved a win ratio of 53.13%. His overall Premier League win ratio is a paltry 36%.

For me, the stand out candidate has to be Hiddink. The way he has overachieved time and again is outstanding. The football he had Russia playing in 2008 was startling to behold. They beat a formidable Holland side, in the quarters, that had smashed Italy and France 3-0 and 4-1 respectively in the group stage.

We do have a strong first team at Newcastle. We have a magician waiting in the wings in Ben Arfa, who we shan’t see again if AP stays. With the right manager and a good investment this summer we could have a decent season next year. We all want to see Mike Ashley out but he’s not making any noises to suggest this will happen any time soon. For now, I’d settle for a bit of money in the club and a decent manager.

You can follow Billy on Twitter @billymerlin

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