Sir Bobby Robson has a new book out called My Kind Of Toon.
The Newcastle United club has been dragged through the mud these last several weeks, with significant ridicule and mockery at the way things have been handled at the club, but we will not dwell on that right now.
The great man still thinks everything is in place for a good experienced manager to come in and take Newcastle United where they belong – to the top.
Of course as many managers have found out, there are unique pressures and stresses that accompany the top job at St James’ Park, and many managers have been failures at the club over the last 10 years or so. In fact the only one who hasn’t is Bobby himself, since Kevin Keegan resigned the first time.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the book:
“Other managers, most with an elevated profile, have struggled at Newcastle, but I certainly do not regard it as some sort of poison chalice,” “It really should work. It has been a buying club, chairmen have attempted to find money for their managers, they have a fantastic public and a full ground.”
“It is my opinion that only Manchester United and Arsenal have bigger names and stadiums. Newcastle may not have Chelsea’s finances, but we’re a bigger club.”
“It’s all there for a manager to be successful, provided he makes sensible buys, knows the game well, is tactically adept and can motivate players and enforce discipline. But relationships are vital.
“The manager and his directors are crucial to each other. If it’s a good partnership and they are backing each other up, if the scouting network is solid and the purchase of players is sensible and correct, there’s no reason why Newcastle can’t be in the top five or six every season.”
“The fact they haven’t got that far tells its own story. Managers are not magicians and we need proper tools to do our jobs, not wands. The most crucial aspect, as it always has been, is being given significant time on the grass.”
Joe Kinnear is the latest manager to experience that extra pressure at Newcastle, not least of all from some journalists, and of course that resulted in Joe’s tirade at the press last Thursday. It’s certainly like a goldfish bowl in Newcastle, and Bobby talks about those extra pressures:
“I don’t doubt that a young, inexperienced manager coming in to that world would find it a skirmish and a highly difficult proposition. So, for that matter, have many older chaps.”
“The highs are higher at Newcastle and the lows are… well, sometimes I could have done with my old pit helmet to explore those depths. I have described the feeling in the town as expectancy, but perhaps there is a better word – yearning.”
“With 52,000 yearning fans in the stadium every other week, appeasing them and respecting them, understanding their pride and plugging into their dreams, is a huge responsibility.”
“There may not have been cups or titles to celebrate – the next manager to provide them will go down in history as a legend – but for all the reasons I’ve mentioned, Newcastle is a big club and it needs a big manager.”
One person who we know will read the book, if he hasn’t already, is Joe Kinnear, who seems determined to immerse himself in the world of Newcastle United, and as we’ve seen in the last 10 days or so, it doesn’t take Joe much to be extremely enthusiastic about Newcastle United.
Join the crowd.