Reports today suggest that two of our managerial targets – Eddie Howe and Chris Wilder – are being sought after by Newcastle should they part company with Steve Bruce.
But there’s a reason why that club hired a man like Bruce, a manager without a major honour, and why they are now considering firing him. Newcastle are a basket case.
In 1993, Newcastle finished 3rd in the EPL, just behind Blackburn.
Their top scorer was Andy Cole.
These were the Geordie Land “glory years.”
They were 6th the following year and then, memorably, they finished 2nd to Manchester United twice in a row.
But the year after that, they were 13th two years in a row, then 11th two years.
This is Newcastle’s grim reality.
They boomeranged back up the league with a 4th place, a fifth place and a third place … with a striker called Alan Shearer finishing their top scorer in all three campaigns.
The following year, disaster; a 14th place finish and three different managers. One of them was Souness. God help their fans.
[snack-countdown title=”Celtic’s Countdown To Champions League Disaster” date=”06/20/2021″ time=”00:00:00″ colour=”#000″ textColour=”#FFF”]
7th place. 13th place. 12th place. 18th and relegation. 12th in their first year back. 5th the following year. Wow.
But then the long slide back. 16th and then 10th. 15th followed by an 18th place finish and relegation again.
Rafa got them to 10th. Then 13th. Those were seen as great results.
Bruce got them to another 13th but at the moment they are 17th … perched precariously about the drop zone.
This is Newcastle United’s present reality.
This is the job. Staving off disaster.
What you won’t notice in there, not since the days of Kevin Keegan, is any challenging for the title.
Even with the best management in the world, Newcastle are a mid-table team.
They are not more than a couple of squares above Bournemouth and Sheffield United respectively, the two teams who Howe and Wilder led to the impossible.
I’m just not sure what can be accomplished at Newcastle by these men, or what they believe they can accomplish.
Sure, they’ll earn more money than they would elsewhere, but is that the thing?
Don’t these men want a crack at …. winning stuff?
Someone said to me the other day that both managers would have taken the West Brom job; really?
A club heading for relegation back to the Championship, where they could be stuck for years?
I would think that would be an exceptionally grim undertaking.
So too is the idea that either of them would go for a job like Palace, another mid-table nowhere club that occasionally flirts with – and sometimes endures – relegation from the top flight.
This is Celtic.
This is a Champions League club (if we get our act together) and a title winning machine.
Do those guys understand what the difference is between a club like ours and a plucky, mid-table scratcher like Newcastle or Palace or one of the other nonentities of football who have somehow convinced themselves they are special because of the accident of geography that grants them a place at the EPL top table?
I’ll tell you, if our board can’t sell it they are all in the wrong gig.
This one should sell itself, and after that it’s just a matter of agreeing personal terms.
If we don’t have the ambition to offer what Wilder or Howe would be after – we are not talking Benitez style money here – then we should just appoint Keane and be damned well done with it.
Both men would transform us from the state we’re in right now.
Both men know the marketplace down south.
Both have proved they are miracle workers.
The dressing room clear-out has been huge and we need men who know how to build one anew.
If these guys are on the top targets list and we lose them to some bog-standard EPL struggler I will not be in the least bit impressed.
Players going to these clubs on mammoth salaries, I can understand. We can’t compete with that.
But we should be able to win a managerial race with Newcastle United, as run by Mike Ashley.
If we can’t we have bigger problems than we know.