Pardew to leave Newcastle? Who next?
DURING his time at St James’ Park/Sports Direct Arena/TK Maxx Enormodome/Whatever It Is Called Now, Alan Pardew has had a fraught time of it. Fans wanted him sacked, then he took his side on a decent run and fickle Geordies got off his back, and now, it looks like Pardew has had enough.
He’s been granted permission to talk to Crystal Palace about their vacancy, after Neil Warnock got the chop. It might seem like a strange move, but let us look at it this way – Pardew might get to be Palace’s manager for the next 3 or 4 years if he does well. Can you imagine him still being in the Newcastle hotseat in 3 or 4 years time?
So while Pardew looks after his own neck, there’s the small matter of who might take his job in the North East. More pertinently, who is crackers enough to work for Mike Ashley, with a load of mental fans, at a club that is notoriously laughed-at by the rest of the league for being such a consistent pantomime?
Well, let us look at some of the likely names.
Hull manager Steve Bruce is a favourite to take the job. For a start, he’s a Newcastle fan. The fact he managed Sunderland won’t mean much to most Magpies. He’s also currently working for a chairman who is more unstable than Mike Ashley (Assem Allam, who wants to rename Hull City, Hull Tigers, even though almost all the fans hate the idea). With Bruce, Hull got to the FA Cup final last season and, with Hull struggling in the Barclays Premier League, it’d be a good time for Newcastle to lure him away.
The Argentinian defender is a bizarre favourite with the bookies to take the Newcastle job and the fans seem to like the idea too, even though Jamie Carragher burst out laughing on television when he was asked about it. Even the Independent think that he’s all set to take the job. Having been at the club since 2008, he certainly knows how things are.
The laughable Tim Sherwood will be linked to all manner of jobs for the foreseeable future, mainly because he’s ranty enough for the press to like and of course, wears a lovely quilted gilet. Sacked at Spurs last May, he’s highly thought of in certain circles and is inevitably ready to take on a new job after some time out.
It’d be stupid to not mention Kevie Keegle because Newcastle fans love him so very, very much. While he would be a potentially disastrous appointment, it would be a very Newcastle thing to do and, most importantly, be very fun for everyone looking on. Just imagine the 8-5 scorelines and Keegan playing Newcastle sides with 7 strikers. It’d be marvellous. We’d love it. Absolutely love it.
Pulis has done sterling work at Stoke and Crystal Palace and would provide a no-nonsense stability that Newcastle, as a club, sorely need. Although, with Pulis falling out with the Eagles co-chairman Steve Parish over transfers, Pulis would need certain financial guarantees from Mike Ashley if he was going to take the job.
FRANK DE BOER
After being courted by Tottenham last year, Frank De Boer is another of the Barcelona alumni who will be drawn to the Premier League (others include Mourinho, Luis Van Gaal and Ronald Koeman). Currently at Ajax, the money and glamour of the English top-flight could see him fancying the Newcastle job. However, at Ajax, he’s got a family of people around him that will be tough to drag him away from.
Eddie Howe is one of the brightest young English managers in the game, currently doing incredible things at Bournemouth. It is inevitable that a bigger club will snap him up soon, so the current Newcastle job would be a decent punt for those who like an outside bet. Whether Ashley is willing to give a veritable rookie a shot is another matter, but Howe is very highly rated and the chairman has to stick-or-twist on him before someone else lures him away.