It emerged last night (Tuesday) that Mike Ashley and Derek LLambias are laying out their vision of the club, and asking potential managers if they think they can be successful – or even want to even try to be successful.
Mike Ashley – tough negotiations by Ashley with candidates
If the vision Ashley has is relying on youth and building our own players from within, and there being no stupid money available to buy news players – the Arsenal model essentially we are OK with that.
We did see the article yesterday about £20M being available to the new manager – and we ignored it – because it was obviously nonsense. Don’t believe it – it’s not going to happen.
So we don’t think there’s anything wrong with Ashley”s vision to follow Arsenal – but not all managers will fit into the profile of managers who can or want manage in that environment. Those that want lots of cash available, like Martin O’Neill, will not even be interested – and neither will Newcastle in them.
It turned out that Chris Hughton was good in that model, because he was a good man-manager and he was also an excellent coach, and the club made significant progress in the 16 months he was in charge – it’s hard to argue with the results Chris produced.
But it could be that some managers will turn away, and we are now afraid that the best candidate – Martin Jol – may have already told Newcastle he’s not interested, although we don’t know that for sure.
This is what a club insider said last night:
“They have talked to two or three people, laying out the terms and conditions and then asking, ‘Are you brave enough to take it on?’”
“We will find out which one is brave enough to do that on Thursday or Friday. Mike wants the club run to Ashley rules, not football rules.” “That means no signing-on fee and no big compensation clauses in their contracts. There can be no rewards for failure.”
“The new manager will not be handed a treasure trove of cash. Mike wants an experienced manager at one of the biggest clubs in the land, but he wants one on his terms and those terms are simple.”
“Every penny has to be spent wisely and the club must continue to head in the right direction towards the top end of the Premier League table.The bottom line is that Mike wants value for money and just as in his businesses, he expects to get it.”
It seems that Mike is trying to get a manager in on the cheap – that’s another way of saying it – so why didn’t he just stick with Chris – who wouldn’t want an inordinate amount of money to stay at Newcastle for another two or three years.
But that’s water under the Tyne Bridge now – and we all have to move on.
Asked what Jol’s job prospects were, the club source said:
“Martin has put himself in a good position, but he would have to accept these terms and conditions and it would not be a way he has worked before.”
There was talk last night that one of Martin Jol’s former clubs Hambuger SV are keen to sign him, and we think he could end up there.
Alan Pardew remains odds-on favorite to become the new manager – and there is news that Ashley met with him last week at a London restaurant, so it looks that the writing was already on the wall for Hughton, even before the West Brom game, and probably why Pardew has the lead on other candidates.
Pardew may be an experienced manager, having entered the management fray back in 1999, but whether he’s good or not is a completely different question, and his appointment will be treated as a damp squid by Newcastle supporters, and probably the players too.
Nothing in his background suggests he has what it takes to be successful on Tyneside, but we’ll just have to hope we are dead wrong.
The new manager will probably be announced tomorrow – Thursday – but Ray Wilkins, the former Chelsea coach surprisingly moved up in the betting last night and was around 5-1.
We’re not sure if Ray would be a good manager, but he would be a tremendous coach to have at the club, because of the way he gets on so well with players – but how we could afford his wages as a coach and not the manager is a good question.
Glenn Hoddle, the former England manager, who failed so spectacularly as Spurs manager, has also entered the fray as a potential new Newcastle manager.