Former Manager Blasts Newcastle – It Soured My Experience Of Management

Graeme Souness has said that he did not enjoy his time as manager of Newcastle, and if he had stayed at Blackburn Rovers and not left for Newcastle in September of 2004, , he would probably have still been in management.

eme souness craif bellamy

Graeme Souness with Craig Bellamy

Freddy Shepherd fired Bobby Robson in late August of 2004, after in his last three seasons of his five years at the club, Newcastle were 4th, 3rd and 5th in the Premier League, but 5th was not good enough for Shepherd, because we were not in the Champions League.

After the surprise sacking, Shepherd’s number one choice for manager was Geordie Steve Bruce, but Steve didn’t want to leave Birmingham City – a decision he has since regretted and he is now manager of promoted Hull City.

So Newcastle ended up with Souness, and that was not a good choice as far as the fans were concerned, although Graeme made a good start in his first year at the club.

Graeme was asked about whether he should have stayed where hew as – with a struggling Blackburn side he had got promoted from the second division:

“I definitely regret leaving.” “I had four of my happiest years in management at Blackburn, and I do think now it was a mistake to leave.”

“Newcastle had gone almost 50 years without winning a major trophy in England, and like many people before me, and after me, I thought I could be the one who could win that trophy.”

“I had won 11 trophies in three countries, and 25 trophies in my career as a player and a manager, and I thought I could be the man to do it.” “But if I hadn’t left Blackburn then, I would probably still be in management now.”

“My time at Newcastle soured my experience of management.” “I enjoyed working with John, with Tom Finn and the chairman at the time, Robert Coar.” “That’s not always the case at clubs – certainly it wasn’t at my next club.”

In 2004 Newcastle had gone 35 years since winning the Inter City Fairs Cup in 1969, and 49 years since winning the FA Cup in 1955, when we smashed Manchester City 3-1.

Souness didn’t exactly get along well with all his players, and he was at the club when Newcastle made three of their worst-ever signings.

First of all he had a falling out with Craig Bellamy in January of 2005, and then in the summer brought in Michael Owen to replace the Welshman – and we know how that deal went – and after four years Michael hardly ever played because of injuries ( he made only 79 appearances in four seasons) and Newcastle were relegated in 2009.

His signings also included Jean-Alain Boumsong (£8M) from his old club Rangers, after the Scottish club had picked him up as a free agent the previous summer, and Albert Luque (£10M), who are generally regarded as two of the worst Newcastle signings ever.

When Graeme was fired in February of 2006, Glenn Roeder came in and did very well, with the help of Alan Shearer, and Newcastle finished that season in 7th place and qualified for Europe after we got 19 points from our last seven games.

Glenn was fired a year later after a mediocre season in the league, and then Sam Allardyce was appointed manager, and a couple of weeks after that Mike Ashley bought the club.

Sam was sacked the following January, and in came Kevin Keegan – who lasted until the following September.

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14 comments so far

  • Indian Magpie

    Jun 4, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #1

    What I have heard is that he was about to get sacked from BRFC.

  • Indian Magpie

    Jun 4, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #2


    Please Luque was a great player for deportivo, didn’t happen here does not mean he was a bad player

  • county down magpie

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #3

    “I won 11 trophies” he forgets to mention that he inherited dogleash’ team that was hard not to win anything with and some in turkey where its as predictable as the Scottish league. Such an arrogant bas+ard whom I couldn’t stand to hear talk about our club, and still can’t for that matter.


  • toon22

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #4

    Sold players and replaced them with “Proper players “like Boumsong and Owen.
    Guy was a f*&king joke of a manager,he would be perfect for unwashed….

  • TorqToon

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #5

    Souness is a proper tool!

    Poor manager and generally not very nice person.

    Says live on sky sports that Luis Suarez should never play for the club again after bite incident, then in an interview with LFC states they should do all they can keep him!!!?! Clown!

    Wonder what today will bring?! Sissoko to be sold?? Yanga off to Monaco??

    Ah the joys of the toon….!!

  • Ben3arfa

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Souness’ mad transfer market dealings are what almost ruined us as a club.

    I remember him buying donkeys like Boumsong and Amdy Faye and alienating fan favorites at the time like Bellamy and Robert

    Even though Pardew is a jackass, I still see him favorably when compared to the moron Souness

  • hazzy

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #7

    I quite like him as a pundit as he never sugar coats anything but as a Manager, he was an utter shambles.

  • Indian Magpie

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #8

    Souness also sold Liverpool captain steve Mcmahon, he was on a 6 yera contract, and a testimonal he told him that he can go.

  • GeordieDan

    Jun 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #9

    Bloody hell even TorqToon’s feeling low about our club this morning!

    Your the lad who cheers me up with your optimistic transfer bits and pieces mate.

    Now I’m really depressed. 🙁

  • hadthetshirt

    Jun 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10

    It soured his experience as a manger.It soured mine as a fan and season ticket holder.I gave my season ticket up when he was boss.I never enjoyed 1 single game under his management.Sour grapes souey.

  • Munster Mag

    Jun 4, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #11

    Miserable Hun bastard. Sadly reminds me of Pardew. Had one good season then complains all night long about injuries. Sadly he is a credible TV/newspaper journalist, and knows his stuff. And when he spouts on about NUFC’s over expectant fans people listen to him. Knob.

  • arctoa

    Jun 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #13

    Souness was pretty close to getting fired at Blackburn, so I’m enjoying his historical recreations. His appointment, at the time, was almost as incredulous as when we brought in JFK a few years later.

  • davis_toons

    Jun 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #14

    “Pardew is a jackass” – haha..tbf he wasnt really that bad, at least for his management skill. Not in terms of technical.

    At least pardew have not yet created a hell out of the club yet…almost got us relegated but that was also due to various other reasons.


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