Contrary to popular belief, Newcastle United is not a poisoned club. Nor are they jinxed with injuries. At worst, they’re a poorly run club who has made one bad decision after another after another.
With news that a Nigerian consortium are interested in buying Newcastle, Toon fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that current owner Mike Ashley only has a limited time in charge. A new owner, whether they’re from Nigeria or another country, is inevitable, but simply changing owners won’t be enough to change Newcastle’s fortunes.
Instead what’s needed is a sound plan that is backed by financiers willing to spend money in the transfer window coupled with an understanding and desire to embrace the Geordie spirit.
It’s time for the passionate Geordies to feel like their club is theirs again instead of being run by a “cockney mafia” (Ashley and Wise). Dennis Wise needs to be sacked as soon as the takeover occurs as well as executive Derek Llamblas. But what’s crucial is that the new owners of Newcastle United bring in someone to the club who has a deep connection with the city.
I don’t feel there’s a Geordie out there who has the experience needed to manage the club at the highest level. Instead, the new owners need to convince someone like Alan Shearer to come in again as an assistant manager to work with a world-class manager.
Newcastle fans need a charismatic leader who knows his football and has a passion for attacking football as well as the ability to know when to play gritty football to pull out a result.
The list of managers available that fit those criteria are few and far between. One candidate that should be considered is Roberto Martinez, manager of Swansea, who has transformed the Welsh club into a side playing beautiful and effective football even in the “kick and run” Championship League.
Martinez has made shrewd transfer signings in the summer. Plus he has the experience of playing in England and managing in the country albeit at lower levels with the Swans.
No matter who the next manager will be, he needs the financial backing in the January transfer window to bring in star talent as well as to replace the dead wood (Alan Smith, Cacapa, Shola Ameobi and Nicky Butt) and trouble makers (Joey Barton).
Ultimately where it matters the most is on the pitch where the Magpies need a massive confidence boost as well as hunger to win. Earlier in the season, Newcastle showed glimmers of hope but there’s still so much work to be done before Newcastle United is anywhere near a decent side.
No matter who the new owner is, they need to improve communication with the fans and players. The club needs to have a plan with realistic goals that they can share with its fans so that they’ll be patient, to an extent, and that everyone will be working towards a common goal. With Newcastle, there is hope. The sooner they get an investor who is qualified to run the club, the better.