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Graeme Souness at it yet again – Talking about decision to move from Newcastle to Blackburn

1 year ago

Graeme Souness has an unbelievable talent.

That talent of course is…self-delusion.

In other words, don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

I am of course talking about Graeme Souness and his managerial career.

He was a quality player BUT the worst manager Newcastle United ever had, in my opinion. That also appears to be the opinion (worst manager their club ever had) of many other fans of clubs that Graeme Souness managed…what a coincidence.

This caught my eye this week…

Graeme Souness talking to BBC Radio Lancashire about moving from Blackburn to Newcastle United in September 2004:

“You look back on your career and I know I shouldn’t have left (Blackburn) when I left (for Newcastle United).

“You think the grass is greener and it wasn’t.

“I made a mistake, we had a decent team here, a team that was holding its own in the Premier League.

“We had won a trophy, qualified for Europe a couple of times.

“It was a great place to work.

“I had great support.

“I quickly realised when I left that I had made a mistake, very quickly.

“You need a bit of luck, we had some luck with the player we brought in, fabulous players. I was lucky with the players I inherited too.

“I always felt the crowd was with us, we tried to play in the correct way.

“They are very happy memories.

“I had eight jobs and this, along with Glasgow Rangers, were my happiest times in management.”

Graeme Souness with regrets about moving to Newcastle United?

They aren’t a patch on the regrets Newcastle fans had about it! The thing is though, NUFC supporters NEVER wanted Graeme Souness to join our club, we knew it would be a disaster and we were proved absolutely correct.

Let us go back to August / September 2004 and look at what actually was the REALITY!

After finishing fifth in the Premier League in the 2003/04 season, Newcastle United had dipped a bit under Sir Bobby Robson from the previous two seasons of fourth and third. However, Newcastle fans absolutely stunned when Freddie Shepherd and John Hall sacked Sir Bobby after only four PL games of the 2004/05 season, two draws and two defeats in the opening four matches but not exactly a disaster AND considering his previous three seasons in charge, the move made zero sense.

If Newcastle fans were stunned by the sacking of Sir Bobby, that was nothing compared to when they found out who was replacing him. I think appalled pretty much summed up the feeling at the time.

Sacking Sir Bobby Robson and replacing him with Graeme Souness!!!

A total joke but sadly nothing for us to laugh about.

Graeme Souness misses a few essential facts out with his pretty picture of life with Blackburn Rovers.

He had done ok early on with the Ewood Park club BUT it was a very different story when it came to his later days there.

In that 2003/04 season where Sir Bobby led Newcastle to ‘only’ fifth, Graeme Souness had Blackburn finishing in…fifteenth! Yes, the love in was very definitely over and Blackburn fans were calling for his sacking after that relegation fight.

Blackburn then started the 2004/05 season with two draws and two defeats, yes, the same as Sir Bobby had done with Newcastle before he was sacked. The difference of course was that Sir Bobby had managed a top five finish the season before, not fifteenth and a relegation battle.

Blackburn fans were even more demanding that Graeme Souness be sacked after that poor start to the season and then the unbelievable happened…just as the Blackburn board were heavily rumoured to be set to sack Graeme Souness…the then Newcastle United owners came along and actually paid millions to take the useless Souness off their hands!!!

Absolutely unbelievable.

Graeme Souness saying his great regret was leaving Blackburn BUT the truth is that nobody wanted him to stay back in September 2004.

Just as no Newcastle fans wanted him to come and totally wreck the Newcastle team put together by Sir Bobby Robson. That team that finished 4th, 3rd and 5th under the Geordie Knight, then taken down to fourteenth under Graeme Souness in 2004/05.

The worst ever Newcastle United manager in living memory, certainly the one who did the most damage at St James Park, Graeme Souness dismantling Sir Bobby’s team and forcing out some great players, replacing them with a fortune wasted on the likes of Owen, Luque and Boumsong.

Souness was sacked the following season in February 2006 after a run of six games gave five defeats and a draw. With the same players, Glenn Roeder with Alan Shearer assisting then went on a run of 10 PL wins and two draws in the final 15 games, only three defeats. Newcastle were getting dragged into a relegation battle under Graeme Souness, only for then Roeder and Shearer to take them up to seventh.

In his ‘glittering’ managerial career, Liverpool had finished 1st, 2nd, 1st and 2nd, then Graeme Souness in his two full seasons followed those with 6th and 6th in 1991/92 and 1992/93, then resigned in January 1994 before he could be sacked.

Souness next managed in England at Southampton, his one season there saw the Saints battling relegation and ending up 16th in 1996/97.

Maybe the only saving grace with Graeme Souness, was that after taking his massive pay-off from Newcastle United after doing a shocking job, he actually realised his limitations and never managed another club. Maybe he should be having a word with Steve Bruce


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