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.
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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