Newcastle Accelerate Search For Manager


Mike Ashley will finally return from his business trip to the Pacific Rim today and will immediately get down to the business of accelerating the process of choosing the new Newcastle manager.

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Mike Ashley – returns from the Pacific Rim today

Chris Mort was not at his desk at the Newcastle club today, as Kevin Keegan moved into position as the 6-4 bookies favorite for the job. It seems a lot of money was placed on Kevin yesterday, and Mark Hughes moved to second favorite at 5-2.

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Kevin Keegan – now bookies favorite at 6-4

The Newcastle chairman has continued to hold discussions with individuals on the Newcastle shortlist, along with their representatives since Saturday, when Harry Redknapp turned down an offer from the club.

Mort will probably be in a position to give Mike Ashley a general update on the outcome of some of his discussions with the candidates. Mike and Chris will then decide the vital next step, who is their preferred candidate. They will then probably initiate contract talks with that candidate. We would expect tomorrow and Wednesday to be crucial days in their management selection process.

A source at the Newcastle club and close to the negotiations told the Times Online:

“The process is still very much ongoing,”

“They are meeting people on the shortlist and only after meeting all of them will they be in a position to announce the new manager.”

The list of candidates does not just include British managers, as first reported last week, although the ability to speak English is apparently a requirement. Newcastle have again leaked that Alan Shearer is not on the shortlist, as prior experience is the key criterion. It was thought last Thursday that Chris Mort contacted Shearer on his vacation in Barbados, and told Alan he would not be a candidate this time. Mort is said to have a good relationship with Shearer.

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Mark Hughes – still in contention as bookies second favorite

Although ousted as the bookies favorite yesterday, Mark Hughes is still in contention for the position, but Newcastle have not yet approached Blackburn Rovers to speak to Mark.

John Williams, the Blackburn Rovers chairman, said yesterday:

“We have not received any approach from Newcastle United for Mark Hughes,”

“We have had no contact from Newcastle whatsoever. He is doing a great job here and we obviously want to keep him.”

“We are chasing a Champions League place, so why would he want to leave?”

If Newcastle United do finally ask permission to interview Mark Hughes, Blackburn are not likely to stand in his way. Mark is ambitious, and would find it difficult to turn down a move to Newcastle United. There is huge potential at the Tyneside club with the fans, the stadium, the training facilities, and the great ambition of the club, that has gone unfulfilled for close to 40 years.

Comments welcome.


58 comments so far

  • lull

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #1

    Am i the first one?

    I am….sweet! 🙂 I’ve been silently following the situation (and comments) and saw a lot of people having picnic on this site.. well done Ed!

    Once again, our club treated like a joke and further have been fueled by our 6-0 thrashing (some say we are worse than Derby), I am only hoping the appointment of new manager will silence all.

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  • Mac

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t care who the next manager is,lets just appoint someone give them some money and concentrate on the rapidly running out transfer window. HURRY UP

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  • Ed Harrison

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #3

    Lull – let’s hope we get some idea as to who it is – think it’s either Hughes or Keegan – the longer we don’t ask Blackburn for permission to speak with Mark – the more it will look like it could be Keegan – or even Gerard Houllier – who we think could be a dark horse.

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  • chennai toon

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:44 AM

    Comment #4

    i hope today we finalise our manager……………………

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  • Leo*

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:51 AM

    Comment #5

    shearer keegan or houlier i reckon

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  • Craig F

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #6

    Keegan! Keegan! Keegan!

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  • keith

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:54 AM

    Comment #7

    Jan window is aleady half gone.. we need to real fast and get the new manager to start work immediately!!

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  • lull

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:56 AM

    Comment #8

    Forget Hughes! I’m not saying he can’t deliver success but my intuition say he’s just not the man for the job.

    I would definitely say YES to ‘The Return Of The King Kev’ (Alan Oliver take note,this could be your next highlight) , despite all the question marks. King Kev! King Kev! 🙂

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  • Scott

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    Comment #9

    Hmmmm I’m really not sure anymore. I couldn’t believe that we went for Redknapp so to be honest it could be anyone!
    I thought we might have given Klinsman a go but then he went to Bayern….so I think theres only one left. Martin Jol. How anyone can say he didn’t do an alright job is beyond me. That man never bought a player after his first year there (It was Arnesen then Commoli i think) which is why he ended up with about 50 average midfielders.
    Give him full control and he’ll play decent football, 4-4-2 however his defence won’t be the best but it doesn’t sound like Ashley cares.

    I honestly don’t think Hughes would be a good choice, Shearer would take us down, Keegan would be funny but no more than that and we could never get Jose, who btw would play as bad football as Fat Sam.

    Anyway i think we’ll have a manager by the Arsenal game (League) and let the Circus carry on

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  • adam

    Jan 15, 2008 at 1:59 AM

    Comment #10

    im happy they not going for a british manager. its time for a change. the other top clubs like arsenal, liverpool and chelsea have non brits, with man utd the exception (but then saf is the best ever).

    lets go for scolari or van gaal

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  • phoonCK

    Jan 15, 2008 at 2:04 AM

    Comment #11

    ED, i think you are still refusing to accept we’ve been trounced 6-0 by Man Utd? Hahaa.. our goal difference should now be -12, not -6.. though i would like to wake up from that dreadful nightmare too!

    Anyway, i would be content to have Kevin Keegan installed as the Manager and maybe Shearer lining up to be his asst to learn the ropes.

    By the way, i think we could forget about getting Mourinho, Benitez or Hitzfeld. They would not be interested. We were once one of the giants in English football, but that was probably 10years ago. We were once on top with Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal. Chelsea weren’t even close. But now we are just a mid-table team fighting for UEFA Cup at best, with the likes of Tottenham, Everton, Blackburn and West Ham (no offence). What we should do, as fans of Newcastle, are to lower down our expectations of the team and look for consistent qualifications into UEFA Cup and league positions in the top 8. To be there challenging with the Big Four (i’m sure you know who they are), we need more than a couple of years to achieve that, provided we have the right manager in this time. Hopefully Mike Ashley and Chris Mort can show they are really different from FFS. I really hope they do.

    Howay the lads!

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  • adam

    Jan 15, 2008 at 2:23 AM

    Comment #12

    i disagree phoonCK. if you aim high you will achieve better results. but if you aim to do just enough you will always stay the same and never get anything. thats why its great we are aiming high, and need a manager that has the same ambition. sam is a perfect example, he aimed for 12th

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  • john

    Jan 15, 2008 at 2:27 AM

    Comment #13

    i hadn’t really thought of rafa until today; but he could definitely get things turned around.

    we need someone who is top of the list…someone who has actually won some hardware. we’ve had too many little fish lately.

    i’m just hope mcclaren isn’t on that short list

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  • Adam B

    Jan 15, 2008 at 2:54 AM

    Comment #14

    ED – gotta be honest mate, im getting tired of reading all your repeat blogs….nothing has come out of nufc officially since the weekend so how about you just relax and enjoy retirement instead of trying to fill your blogs.

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  • geordie_jordan

    Jan 15, 2008 at 3:20 AM

    Comment #15

    the waiting is the hardest part…..

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  • adaaaam

    Jan 15, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    Comment #16

    i m not sure keegan can recreate the magic but i cant help feelin excited about the prospect of his return, then again though, nostalgia doesnt win silverware

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  • coolsmurf

    Jan 15, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    Comment #17

    hope he settles this fast, this is getting so ridiculous…

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  • Ryan Syahril

    Jan 15, 2008 at 3:43 AM

    Comment #18

    KEEGAN & SHEARER!
    From day one after i heard tht we sacked BS, I wrote here and in other forums tht KEEGAN & SHEARER is the BEST SOLUTION what we need now. Nobody know and understand NUFC, the ToonArmy’s culture and their hope better thn King Kev and Big Al. People like Mourinho, Van Gaal, Lippi and the other ‘big names’ are experienced and have good track record BUT they need MORE TIME and MONEY in order ‘to show something’ to the loyal ToonArmy. But the appointment of Keegan and Shearer WILL CREATE IMMEDIATE FEEL GOOD FACTOR TO THE ST.JAMES’ PARK!

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  • banned

    Jan 15, 2008 at 3:54 AM

    Comment #19

    well, keegan seems to be the obvious choice now.

    though, i ‘m still hoping for a continental manager who can drive us forward.

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  • Steve

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:10 AM

    Comment #20

    I must agree with Ryan. I believe this is a special club, and we cannot just leave it to anybody. It requires somebody who understands that nature of the club and its support. Whilst i’d love a foreign manager, and have been agitating for a move in that direction, I do believe Keegan and Shearer could be a success. They understand what the crowd want to see. They also understand what it is to play for the shirt (something I think a lot of our current crop don’t understand). They would no doubt demand this of their players, and kick them in the eye with a boot where necessary. I can’t help but get excited about such a combination. The point is, unless Hiddink walks through the door, I’d be thrilled to see King Kev return. I know i’m stealing somebody elses material from another thread when I suggest this, but I believe this combo would be sensational:

    Director of Football: Sir Bobby
    Manager: Keegan
    Asst Manager: Shearer

    Three men who all know and understand the club, and have been key ingredients in the relative success of the club in the last 15 years. Ie/ Champions League, Top 4 etc.

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  • Aussie Toon

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:15 AM

    Comment #21

    Yep Keegan coach Shearer Assistant. I would rather attacking 4-2 wins than 1-0 losses to Derby anyday. The way Sam played got him sacked. Whoever we play let us take the game to them 🙂

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  • The Rooster

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:20 AM

    Comment #22

    Looking for a good or great manager?, i know who i would have at West ham if Curbs was sacked.. Franco Baldini

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  • nufctj

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:34 AM

    Comment #23

    Since Liverpool’s Yankee owners seem intent on undermining Rafa, why not give him an easy out? Rafa Benitez for Toon skipper. Shearer as Asst.

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  • hadrian

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:43 AM

    Comment #24

    we’d love it !!
    interesting to read the nufc.com boys reckon ashley didnt give that interview to notw ? :O

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  • Ausgeordie

    Jan 15, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    Comment #25

    If we are going to score goals we need some decent strikers. They are tough to find these days and its clear Viduka and Owen are past there best. I still think Oba is a danger abut am starting to see why he was considered a supersub. Defoe and Gudjohnson would be amazing up front with Oba as back up.

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  • hadrian

    Jan 15, 2008 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #26

    Hughes is bringing amdy faye back into the prem at balackburn
    houlier at liverpool tried to buy joey barton, alan smith and cissie.
    van gaal likes to play without wingers .

    your telling me you want any of these .
    gotta be king kev. if its not a manager the majority support , mood on tyneside wont be lifted and the new manager will have an uphill struggle before he begins.

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  • Dayat_shearer

    Jan 15, 2008 at 5:37 AM

    Comment #27

    i really hope it is Jose Pekerman
    Its time to look beyond our eyes…!!!

    Toon ferever!

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  • lull

    Jan 15, 2008 at 5:40 AM

    Comment #28

    hadrian – cant agree more!

    Yet, whoever in charge after this, let’s make sure he have our backing

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  • David Dutch

    Jan 15, 2008 at 5:42 AM

    Comment #29

    We all have our own ideas of who should take over, the only thing is we have nothing to do with it. It is purely up to Mike Ashley and Chris Mort, yes I believe MA listened to the fans and agreed that he was not watching the kind of football that he wanted to see, so the change had to come sooner rather than later.
    Who will take over is anyones guess all I ask is that it is someone who will get the team playing good attacking football where we play with flair and the attitude of ‘If we have the ball – they cannot score!” I want to watch a team I am proud of – win or lose – because of their attitude on the pitch, their pride in wearing the B’n’W shirt. having supported them for 55 years I have seen some dross served up it is time for the whole club to get a kick up the backside and long term plans put in place to put the fortress back into St. James’, let other teams be frightened to come here and I include Man Utd etc, and a team that when playing away from home believes in their own ability to attack defences, bring back the entertainers.
    Whether Keegan can do it again I am not too sure, he could give a short term fix regarding motivation, Alan is not right for the full role. He has a manager’s head and I believe will one day be the right man to lead my team but maybe not just yet.
    Who we need is….well that is up to Mike and Chris and no amount of pontificating on this blog will make one scrap of difference I just hope it is sorted out soon so we can get the media off our backs they have caused most of our troubles over the years anyway.
    High expectations, of course we should aim for the highest honours every season, but if at the end we have played attractive attacking football, instead of chess, I will be happy even if the trophy cabinet remains bear. We have not won a domestic trophy since I was a lad but then again I could name a whole list of team who are in that position, it is the media that go on and on and on, not the loyal toon fans who are happy if their team gives them pride, if we pick up trophies – fabulous, but just give us our pride back first.

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  • azza jones

    Jan 15, 2008 at 5:50 AM

    Comment #30

    I have been reading these posts and every possible website regarding NUFC I agree it has to be Keegan & Shearer combo as gaffer & assistant…….That is the consensous of the people and I think the people are the club.

    Get rid of Steve Round, Nigel Pearson & the rest of the 500 back up staff that the fat man brought in THEY ARE ALL MUGS!!!

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  • KKN39

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:00 AM

    Comment #31

    Houllier – will save us from relegation with more French imports but we’ll be a mid-table team at best, coz he’s only got the managerial calibre for a EPL midtable team at best
    Keegan+Shearer – their charisma will sail us thru this season like Roeder did in his first; however it really worries me coming summer; the ecology of football has changed since era of King Kev and the last out&out English striker
    Scolari – if we ever wanna play like Arse he’s the man to save us from sh*t left off by Souness n Sam, just like Wenger single-handedly transformed Arse from Graham’s boredom; but does our management have the foresight and guts to install the true revolution?
    Bruce/Hughes – no thanks, all ManU legends come to SJP became true disaster, now we have Butt n Smith, so no more pls
    Mourinho/Hiddink – ok dreaming a whole week wont make it come true the next
    Van Gaal – his magic is truly over, his era has just gone and he can only make a living in 2-tier leagues (like his once best child Kluivert)

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  • oz andy

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:03 AM

    Comment #32

    king kev is not the answer! we need to move forward into the future not take nostalgic memories from the past and think they’ll deliver us the success we all crave. the shortage of quality managers is an issue across the board – unfortunately newcastle’s ineptness to run a top flight club only serves to highlight this fact. I don’t have an answer to our problems but one thing I would say is that now is not the time to make more rash decisions and appointment yet another manager who is ill equipped to run the club. if we capitulate to stoke and a get stuffed by the arse we are in no worse position than we are now. hopefully ashley/mort have taken stock and understand what needs to be done and make an appropriate appointment. as sad as it sounds the new managers immediate task will be to win four more games and a couple of draws and avoid relegation so we can look forward to august 08.

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  • Marc Kobrin

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:09 AM

    Comment #33

    just saw on sky news that houllier said he d be interested – PLS GET HIM

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  • hadrian

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:22 AM

    Comment #34

    like i said in another thread , houllier tried to sign joey barton and alan smith at liverpool . infact most of his signings were shocking and liverpool won their trophys while he was on the sick .

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  • Len

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:32 AM

    Comment #35

    What a mess. Playing staff disorganised and totally demoralised. Results getting worse. Heading for relegation battle. Supporters totally unrealistic. No manager. No plan. No hope.

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  • UTD111

    Jan 15, 2008 at 6:55 AM

    Comment #36

    Is your glass half empty Len? lol

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  • AdamCF

    Jan 15, 2008 at 7:46 AM

    Comment #37

    I reckon Kev with Ashley and Mort wanting youth may be the way to go. I think with Kev bosses previously didn’t care much for the future, whereas, now Ashley/Mort want young blood through the team it may be different. And this will bring long term success :))

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  • Nick Dryden

    Jan 15, 2008 at 7:57 AM

    Comment #38

    To the idiots who say KK never won anything.
    Could you see Allardyce ever getting us to 2nd place, no matter how long we had given his negative, sterile and soul destroying crap that passed for football!!

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  • evildick

    Jan 15, 2008 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #39

    give King Kev a crack! why not? I think only KK or Shearer would capture the imagination of the toon army.

    Houllier would be better than Hughes though …

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  • James

    Jan 15, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #40

    I think if they were 100% about Keegan he would have been in the job at the weekend.

    The fact they want to speak to a number of candidates says they are not sure about Keegan.

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