A big day for Newcastle United fans and the club itself is a week on Monday, April 6th, let’s make no mistake about that.
Joe Kinnear – let’s pray with him for Newcastle survival this season
That’s the day that Joe Kinnear will go to his doctors and undergo a battery of tests on his condition, following his heart surgery on 13th February.
For the sake of Joe and his health, we hope that the results of those tests show that Joe is fully fit again, and ready to undertake the job of taking Newcastle to safety this season.
However, a nightmare scenario is that Joe may either not come through the tests as well as had been hoped, or he comes through the tests OK, but then his doctors recommend Joe not returning to Newcastle for several weeks.
Either case could happen, and quite honestly his doctors must be rather leery of allowing Joe to take charge of Newcastle right now, given the monumental stress that will entail. And there seems no way, however serious Newcastle’s position is in the league, that Derek Llambias would dare go against the doctors’ orders. Derek has already said the club, if anything, will need to hold Joe back, given his enthusiasm to get back.
If Joe’s return is delayed, which we all know is possible if not probable, Newcastle could be in big trouble, because as far as results go we just don’t think Chris Hughton is equipped to spur the lads on to save the club.
We hope we are wrong on that but when you look at his record of 10 games in charge this season, including the WBA game, he has just 5 points from those games – the win at WBA and draws against Everton (with 10 men) and Hull City.
Chris has presided over defeats against Hull (2-1), West Ham (3-1), Tottenham (2-1 in Carling Cup) and Blackburn (2-1) back in September when he was filling in for the departed Kevin Keegan, and then defeats against Bolton (1-0), Manchester United (2-1) and Arsenal (3-1) since taking over from Joe Kinnear in February.
There were some good performances recently against the Red Devils and the Gunners, but with nothing coming out of those efforts in terms of points, and we don’t know if the lads can turn that around against Chelsea, but time is now starting to run out.
If there is any delay in Joe coming back to manage Newcastle, we have to hope that Mike Ashley and derek Llambias have a Plan “B”, and will bring some experienced manager in for the rest of the season.
It doesn’t have to be Terry Venables, as there are plenty of other experienced managers out there only, too willing to come in for the challenge, and the huge payoff they would no doubt get, if Newcastle do survive this season.
One definition of good management is expecting the worst and planning for it, so we hope if the worst does happen and Joe’s comeback is delayed, then the club will immediately implement Plan “B”.
If we have no Plan “B” we are playing with fire, and could be fatally burned, and would probably deserve it.