Thursday, January 10, 2008

Newcastle's brown

Not pictured: success. Or foreigners.

Fat Sam is gone, perhaps unfairly, but gone all the same. The void left by his bulbous body on the sidelines is far from being filled; the rumour mill went bonkers yesterday, spouting out several names, many of which have already hinted or gone on record as saying they're not interested.

But really, is it any wonder? Who would want that job right now?

Shearer has been quickest to talk himself down from the hot seat, and our favourite ginger wheeler-dealer down south is briskly doing the same.

Mourinho? Children, please. This is a job we're talking about, not a hobby. Perhaps if the Magpies had 50 million pounds in the bank to spend on transfers, and the team was in decent shape already, he'd be on it like Spaniards on paella. [Any anyway, we all know Jose's really saving himself for Rafa getting fired, so he can sulkily take over a team that arguably requires much less work]

The product on the pitch isn't especially bright, either. When you boast the likes of Shola "My Hobby is putting the ball over the bar" Amoebi on the books, there isn't much room for excitement.

Viduka's over the hill and perpetually moaning, your captain's about to pack off for the ANC, Joey Barton's a failed project, Duff's slowly coming back from injury, Nicky Butt fouls more than he does anything else, and Michael Owen's a hobbled shadow of his former self.

All the newer faces shipped in from Europe to shore up that defense -- Abdoulaye Faye, Jose Enrique, Cacapa, Beye, Rozenhal -- have failed to adjust to the EPL thus far, something that surely hastened Allardyce's exit.

The team is also mired in the sticky mess of Fat Sam's cautious, unimaginative style of play that's better suited to the Lancashire coal mines than the turf at St. James's.

Add it all together, and it's hardly a great incentive to rush to Tyneside and assume power, but you wonder who'll take the bait.

Alan Shearer could never be considered as a serious option, simply because he doesn't know the first thing about managing a team [see: Gareth Southgate]. He was a superb player who did it all on the pitch, but he'd be better served starting small away from the spotlight and working up to the EPL if that's a career path he wants to take, following the example currently being set by Paul Ince at MK Dons. And honestly, considering Shearer's comfortable niche as yet another bland face with an accent on BBC's Match of the Day, are we really surprised that he's in no hurry?

Regarding 'Arry, he's got a much better side down at Fratton Park and no real need to move. I'd take Portsmouth over Newcastle any day. Young team, tons of foreign talent, and decent chemisty. Pompey even cast the first stone in issuing a formal statement echoing that sentiment, despite all the media hubbub to the contrary.

Any other names? The same old procession follows:

Martin Jol, who I'm sure is eager to fail somewhere else in the EPL right now

Jurgen Klinsmann. Just curious, but has he ever gone on the record as being even remotely interested in coaching anywhere in England?

Marcello Lippi. We all love fish and chips, but the food's better in Italy, not to mention the ladies. Jumping from a World Cup win with Italy to the grim English North-East is suicidal.

Mark Hughes. Possible dark horse [sorry, grey horse], but he's just about grabbed a mandate for himself at Ewood Park, and moving to a shambolic Newcastle team would be a backward career move.

Steve McClaren. Don't call us, we'll call you. The fella under the umbrella during that dismal night against Croatia shouldn't worry about his phone ringing off the hook just yet.

The short-term future looks grim for the Magpies, but it'll get better over time. Look on the bright side, after all: Kevin Keegan's shooting up the ranks at the bookies.

1 comment:

ΓΌ75 said...

Rumo(u)r alert!

SkySports sez Shearer is actually going after the post now.