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Brian Standen makes his case for vacant Newcastle Manager job

7 years ago

When I was about 11 year old, I penned a letter to the then Newcastle chairman Lord Westwood, applying to be Joe Harvey’s replacement. Unsurprisingly I never did get a reply, despite the fact I maintain to this day Supermac would never have been sold if I had got the job!

Instead the very much detested Gordon Lee got the job and despite guiding us into Europe, left us in the lurch by sneaking off to Everton, but worse, he left a squad only fit for relegation the next season.

So it is some 40 years on and I am wondering whether to re send my letter as I am sure I could do no worse than some of our recent incumbents.

Now looking at my qualifications, I can confirm I have held a similar position before. Back in the late 80s, Forest Hall Constitutional Club were between managers, Lofty eventually taking the reins from Big Mal, but for one pre-season friendly I was in charge.

How did it go? Well the fact it lasted only one game speaks volumes, despite the fact I spent most time  post and pre-match hanging and removing the nets, only to return to the dressing room to find the players were already on pint number two! My skill at tactical half-time changes was not required either as only 11 players showed up, including two alleged goalkeepers!

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However, despite this minor experience I still feel I could improve performances of the current NUFC squad with a couple of basic tweaks.

To start with I would employ players in their correct positions, there would be no left footed right backs,  while Moussa Sissoko would not be deployed on the wing and Yohan Gouffran would be watching from the stands!

Corners – well it may seem obvious but maybe we might try and score from one, one goal from a corner in three years speaks volumes for the training ground, I would actually spend some time practising, in-swingers out-swingers, they do all exist!

Defensive corners – has anyone noticed the front post is left vacant, basic defending almost always utilises a player on the front and back post, we don’t seem to do this. So if we are not putting anyone on the front post, that must mean we have a spare man to leave up front, well it would seem not as at each opposition corner we have a full team back defending, meaning if the ball is cleared….yes you get the picture!

Man-management – example,  HBA. OK, not everyone’s cup of tea, but an arm round his shoulder, telling him he’s the best thing since sliced bread might just have lifted him to where we want him to be.

I learned this not off my one game of managerial experience but more from how KK  and SBR handled the likes of Ginola, Tino, Robert, Bellamy etc. For all Craig Bellamy hot headed issues, he was fine until Souness arrived.

Tactics are simple, score more than them and shoot on sight, ok not from the Jose school of tactics but it worked mostly well for KK.

I look at all the great managers, and in my eyes Cloughie was the best closely followed by Fergie. Before anyone shouts what about Jose or Pellegrini, if your budget allows you to buy the top 11 players in the world then you should be sacked for not winning the league.

Cloughie built two teams at two different clubs with no significant budget – turning Frank Clark into a European Cup winner says it all.

Fergie did eventually build and rebuild teams over and over, and while he did buy some, the basis was home grown stability (class of 92).

Oh, I forgot to add that I once had a go at EA Sports Football Manager and it is a fact Cristiano Ronaldo did agree to come to Newcastle, in fact he played most games until I chose to give him the hook. Eventually permanently replacing him with a young kid called Standen!

Guiding Newcastle to Champions League was so easy and only cost £34.99

So there you are. I am fully qualified, I have a recipe for success, will work for a moderate wage and I understand the fans, so please Mr Ashley feel free to give me a call.

Happy New Year everyone, and let us hope we get a good manager in place and not me or Joe Kinnear!


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