If you look at the betting market for who’s going to be our next boss, there’s little to choose between Patrick Vieira and Steve McClaren at the time of writing.

Both of these men are nice enough guys and are probably capable managers – though there are complications on both counts with the latter party of the statement. But one shows ambition whilst the other is to settle for mediocrity – and most fans would prefer to roll the dice with Vieira even if that is the slightly more risky strategy.

But first let’s have a quick look at the record of Steve McClaren. In short his record at Middlesbrough was patchy and mediocre – and the same can be said for his spell as England boss. The anomaly is FC Twente where he enjoyed notable success. This was followed by a miserable spell at German club Wolfsburg, then a brief and notably unsuccessful period at Nottingham Forest, a kind of “OK” second period at FC Twente, and the same again at a disappointed Derby.

His record is a strange one. If left to manage he can do OK at times – but notably not at others and our fans aren’t the most patient in the world.

So to the other main candidate, Vieira – as yet untested other than his job as reserve team coach and Elite Development squad manager at Manchester City. This, of course, is no real test of Premier League leadership and he may want to try his hand in a big hot seat like the one at St James’ Park. If he does take the job, you can safely bet that our odds of being relegated from the league in next year’s Premier League betting will be quickly cut from their current 5-1 in the relegation betting. Patrick Vieira had a reputation as a tough and uncompromising but still supremely skilful player at his peak – and he will expect that style to be repeated by any team he coaches.
patrick vieira

At the same time, he hasn’t been tested and football history is littered with the stories of great players who have moved on to be exceedingly disappointing managers. The two sets of skills required are the “same but different”. This explains why some great players go on to be great managers but most don’t.

Nevertheless, the appointment of Vieira to the job would be a bold move by the club and if there’s one thing Toon supporters appreciate it’s the willingness to have a go. The experience of Sam Allardyce, in particular, at St James’ Park demonstrated just how much our fans long to see open and attacking football. Had Allardyce stayed at Newcastle, you can be sure we’d be firmly ensconced in mid to upper table in the same way West Ham United have demonstrated this season. But none of us want that. Instead, we want to see a man at the helm who at least tries to be big and bold and attacking in the style of play he dictates. This is why Kevin Keegan was so loved. And, to be fair, we probably won’t get that with McClaren. But with Vieira, we just might. And the chance to have a real go at shooting for the top is what the fans want. We’d rather see bold ambition followed by failure – than absolute mediocrity. And Vieira would bring with him that welcome whiff of possibility.



  • andrewkellly

    This is a fantastic read and sums it up nicely. We long for exciting football, we don’t mind failure, as long as we have a go and play exciting football, a defeat is easier to take when your team attacks, has flare players, and shows promise going forward

  • NottsToon

    There’s more chance of me getting the job than Vieira. People need to forget that, he’s just another guy who’s name has been used to add credibility to a manager search that ended weeks ago with Derby not getting in the play offs.

  • Little Davey

    NottsToon  unfortunately my friend you are probably right.
    Looks like a PR stunt to get more season ticket renewals before the deadline.
    I’ll bet it is working too.
    But it could well backfire on the regime if they take us for mugs yet again.
    If Schteve gets the job, as we suspect, it will be more of the same, with a cup run to the latter stages, maybe to the final, but not to win it. Followed by mid table stability.
    Target for the season ?  Top 10 :lol:

  • mrkgw

    This article sums up the mood perfectly. Equally though, I doubt that the club will go for Vieira as he would probably expect to Manage rather than being told by Charnley what to do.

  • Fozzyworld

    Any rugby union fan will tell you how fickle the French can be. I have a feeling in my water that if we give our French players to a French coach (Viera) they can be class.

  • Fozzyworld

    Hi Notts,
    If there was nothing in it why would Viera perpetuate it by his silence?

  • killyted

    we need a manager who knows how to set up a club,ie players,it staff coaching,medical scouting the full works.has viera got that?

  • NottsToon

    Your guess is as good as mine, but as any half decent investigator will tell you, don’t perceive a lack of evidence as evidence.
    There could be many reasons, including it making a handy bargains chip in any other contract negotiations with City, Bayern or Febernache.

  • Chemical Dave

    Looks like notts is right again, fatty will be furious at wally getting the job, what with him having nothing to do with selecting the new manager and all that.

  • Americanmag

    Remind me dale I’ve forgotten what keegan won