The Guardian and Simon Williams are reporting today that it’s very likely that Alan Shearer will stay on as manager of Newcastle United, whatever happens in the last 5 games of the season.
Alan Shearer – here for the long haul?
But the article doesn’t have any real startling new stuff, just the hints that have been coming from Alan and Iain, probably unwittingly – like maybe offering Mark Viduka a new contract in the summer, and still looking at players we can get in during the summer.
And the statement that Alan would have some significant input to the transfers in the summer. Of course Alan hasn’t managed in football before, and he will not have known what the day-to-day life would be like as a manager, but it seems that he has already been more than attracted by the sheer challenge of the job on all fronts, and he seems to revel in that.
This is what Alan said yesterday:
“There are so many emotions. You’re up, you’re down, I don’t know how to describe, it to be honest. You have a million things going through your head. You can’t switch off at all.”
“I think it would be wrong to say I’m enjoying it when we’re not getting the right results but during it I’m enjoying the battle. I would enjoy it a hell of a lot more if we got some points.”
“I knew the size of the task going into it. I knew that the players were low on confidence and I knew there were a lot of injuries.”
“But I still believed, and still do believe, that we have enough to get ourselves out of it. I think with tactics and psychology, there’s room to improve on everything.”
Alan will also want to sit down with owner Mike Ashley this summer, and have a long discussion, and there will be a different conversation, depending on whether we get relegated or not.
First of all whatever happens, Alan will want assurances that he’s the boss with control over everything he wants control over, including transfers. And he will need to know how much money will be made available in the summer for new players. We’ve heard £10M, but that’s probably just a convenient figure that someone has made up (it wasn’t us – honest).
If we can stay up in the Premier league, it will be about restructuring the squad and getting new players in, with possibly even more than £10M in new funds available to Alan, as well as money he can get from selling some of our under-performing players, and there are quite a few of them this season, who will not be at the club in August.
If we do end up getting relegated (heaven forbid), it may be a more intense conversation about what Mike is willing to do, and whether the club needs to trim most of it’s top players, or whether Mike can afford to keep a few of them Alan would want.
Then it would be a question of whether those players want to stay and play Championship football, and we know quite a few of them like Michael Owen, Oba Martins and Jonas Gutierrez will not, because they want to participate in the World Cup next year, and that will impede their chances of that. We also will not be able to afford their wages.
Either way we think Alan will want to clear the decks at the club, and also bring in coaches and others who are already associated with the club in some way, like Rob Lee and/or Gary Speed.
Even if we do get relegated it could be a busy summer, and it will all be about coming straight back up, and getting a squad together that can do just that. We should also win a lot more games in the Championship next season, that’s the good news, and if we can get a good start, there’s little doubt the crowds will start coming back.
We hope it will not come to that, because it will delay Newcastle getting back in the top six of the Premier League for at least a season, but if Alan is to become the manager we think he can be, this may be the start of a new and successful Newcastle United era.
But we hear that every summer, we know – however, it’s also true that big disappointments can also turn out to be huge opportunities.
Let’s hope that will be the case in case we do get relegated.