We can report on the latest Newcastle Manager favorites with the William Hill Online Betting (look under Manager Markets), where real money is being placed on various candidates. Frenchman Didier Deschamps is the new surprise favorite tonight.
Didier Deschamps – French World Cup winning Captain
An hour ago we thought weâ€™d be reporting Gerard Houllier as the favorite but surprise surprise as Frenchman Didier Descjamps has come out of nowhere to be top favorite. Somebody must know something thatâ€™s going on and placed a huge bet for this to happen.
The latest betting is as follows:
Didier Deschamps 15-8 Gerard Houllier 2-1 Mark Hughes 5-1 Kevin Keegan 11-2 Alan Shearer 7-1
The former Juventus, Chelsea, Valencia and France midfielder, recently guided Juventus back into Serie A. Deschamps, who captained France to victory in the 1998 World Cup finals and the 2000 European Championships, gained his first experience of management at AS Monaco, whom he took to the final of the 2004 Champions League. Monaco lost that final 3-0 to Porto, who were then managed by Jose Mourinho, before Deschamps moved to Turin.
However, news earlier today had suggested Gerard Houllier headed a new short-list of candidates with talks expected to take place even today. However, surprisingly the French football federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes this afternoon moved to dismiss reports that Houllier was to take the Newcastle post.
“I talked to Gerard by telephone – he is on business for us in the United States at the moment – and he told me ‘every time an English club is in difficulty my name comes up’. Gerard’s word is enough for me. He works for us,”
“Gerard had an extraordinary image in England, I’m flattered to hear his name all over the place, I tell myself we made the right choice, everyone wants to have him.”
That’s surprising because Escalettes had earlier said he was ready to accept that Houllier might leave:
“I would not stand in Gerard’s way if there was something else he wanted to do,”
“I am not surprised he gets offers. He turned one or two down to rejoin us and they were better financially than we could offer him.”
So things change and it’s a different day and we have a different favorite. But since Mort and Ashley are meeting somewhere down south, probably in London, this news may have some validity, because we expect an announcement in the next day or two.