Now that Alan Pardew has gone and a new appointment is (still) imminent, we are entering another phase in the club’s history.  Quite how AP will be viewed some months and years into the future, when the emotion generated by his reign has subsided, remains to be seen. Where will he sit in the league table of his peers – ex Newcastle United managers?

This got me thinking that assuming Pardew isn’t the devil himself, who have been the worst occupants of the managerial hot seat and why?

newcastle managersI’m ignoring the ‘inbetweeners’ (The Pearsons, Saxtons, Suggetts etc) and I’m also not going to dignify Kinnear by associating him with the term ‘manager’, or including him in any civilised debate.

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For me the 3 in contention – for different reasons – are, in podium order:

Bronze – Jack Charlton

Didn’t Arthur Cox want £100k to strengthen a promoted team?? How times have changed…

What we got instead of the dizzying magic of Keegan and  Co. was Jack’s implementation of Victorian street football minus the pig’s bladder (just about).

What went on to work in international tournaments (where the result is everything) is not what makes good viewing as we came to learn very quickly.

He got rid of Waddle (after bollocking him on the pitch for driving a late free kick in rather than wasting time) and had the knife out for Beardsley too, but thankfully was ousted in time to prevent that.

Silver – Kenny Daglish

I’m not ashamed to admit I thought this appointment was a masterstroke.  He ticked every box; fantastic player, attacking minded, done it all with Liverpool and crucially as well, replicated that at Blackburn. Surely our time had come??

But no. Keegan’s tremendous team, full of ability and not a little flair was hastily dismantled and replaced with… well, largely rubbish (remember Andreas Andersson anyone – he cost £3m..).

He also shoehorned in the Anfield old-guard; Barnes (who to be fair scored a couple of important goals) and Rush (who rarely missed a chance in front of goal for us – because he was just too slow to actually keep up with play and physically get himself into the box). Kenny even got his lad Paul onto the payroll for goodness sake… Silver for you Kenny, for the disparity between expectation and result never being wider.

Gold – Graeme Souness

Not everyone will agree (that’s the purpose of the debate I guess) but for me, Souness was wrong in so many ways that he takes the gong. Here’s why:

No discipline – Sir Bobby was shamefully ousted for ‘losing the dressing room’ and we needed a tough guy to instil order and discipline across the playing staff…who then went on to attempt to batter each other on the pitch v Villa not long afterwards..

No imagination – A mate of mine was heading up sales for Prozone at the time (championed by Big Sam and Wenger initially) and all the Premier League teams were suddenly up for monitoring in-game statistics and performance to aid decision making. Except for 2 clubs. Unsurprisingly Newcastle was one and apparently our Graeme dismissed it out of hand, continuing to prefer a wee jog round the pitch and a bit of head tennis…

No shame – After getting the bullet and taking the compo, he’s regularly quoted as expressing the desire to come back to Newcastle and have another go.  Why for god’s sake – to get another cheque?? Have some shame man!

No brain – I’ll leave you with this one as my clincher. He had already overseen what would come to be recognised as the destruction of a set-up that generated twenty years of success at Liverpool and here’s an example of why; Not only did he sell Peter Beardsley in his prime, he sold him to Everton and then spent the proceeds (plus 25%) on ….Mark Walters!!  A misjudgement so monumentally stupid, that he deserved his cards and coppers just for that one act!

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  • geordie69

    I may be showing my age here, but what about Gordon Lee?

  • geordie69

    I may be showing my age here, but what about Gordon Lee?

  • Polarboy

    Daglish for dismantling that great team and replacing it with tripe will always push him up the list for me.

  • Steve1221

    I’m trying as hard as I can but I just can’t discount Kinnear

  • radgiegadgie

    Polarboy  It’s also good that people can only like your comment and not down thumb you, if they don’t like it they have to come out of the shadows.

  • Tommy Lucchese

    Souness gets fools gold all day for selling Craig Bellamy. The minute he did it the whole dynamic of the team changed

  • Carlo Gambino

    It’s hard to split the Liverpool legends. Both set about destroying teams that were created by men who understand the whole Newcastle thing to serve up a load of rubbish.
    The difference between skipping up the hill to the match and dragging yourself there.

  • SimonM68

    Carlo Gambino 
    Sorry mate – tried to ‘like’ rather than ‘unlike’ (should that not be dislike?)  and got it wrong. Not got to grips with thisnew system yet … Like Souness with Prozone..

  • amacdee

    Soz but Pardwho has to be right at the top. Hopeless, clueless manager, naive tactician and horrible human being

  • Gordonthetoony

    Gordon Lee should be in there near the top after taking over from Joe Harvey.  Useless

  • Polarboy

    radgiegadgie Polarboy Yeah, alanpardew’sbalck&whitearmy will no longer be able to vote up his/her own comment or accuse people of fixing the down votes on his/hers, which according to some was possible but the fact was that more than enough people think his/her comments are complete tripe anyway.

  • radgiegadgie

    Big Sam was pretty high up on the list for me.  His tenure was a miserable time with no optimism.

  • 2 Tone

    geordie69 Got to disagree. Got us to a League Cup final I think. Not great by any means but not in the same league as Souness , King! Kenny BFS and the Lyon Toad who’s just left us. Nobodies mentioned Ruud yet. An even bigger ego than His Smugness.

  • DownUnderMag

    amacdee But he got a 5th place finish..that should earn him god-like praise forever according to some ;)

  • Steve1221

    amacdee Naive tacticians don’t have the better of Mourinho, the fact that theres any debate over the quality of Pardew’s work here means he’s far from the top.

  • Steve1221

    DownUnderMag Not sure about Souness even being succesful in that respect, he seemed to fall out with more players than he pulled into line.

  • RobKilsby

    Daglish for me, for breaking up the great Keegan team and especially ending the Ferdinand & Shearer partnership which was just about the best the premiership has ever had.

  • Tonytoon

    It certainly goes to show how much rubbish we have had over the years that we are debating this. Unusually I agree with your shortlist although I do think that Dalglish has to take first place just because of his dismantling of the successful and exciting team which we were all so proud of. I have never felt that pride since and I can never forgive him for that. Sourpuss was also a disaster who along with Gullitt suffered from an over inflated ego which makes Pardew’s pale in comparison.

  • jinkyjimfanclub


  • BarcelonaBilly

    I jumped on the bandwagon in 1955 and at various times since have been trying to get off, but the promise of something special is always just around the corner or just over the horizon so I’m still hanging on hoping, the debate to me is fairly simple, any man who could destroy the dreams and aspirations of a million Geordies in the space of a few months has to be the worst manager in the history of football never mind the history of NUFC, Kenny Dalgleish is that man, any amateur could have tinkered with that squad and we would have won the league and…………………?