With Newcastle’s need for a manager to replace Alan Pardew, there are two ways to look at this: who would be right for the job, and who would take the job.
For me, the best man for the job just took a new position last month. At Everton, under similar restraints as he would have at NUFC, David Moyes always found a way to keep his club competitive. Unfortunately for the Toon Army, he’s now at Real Sociedad, and it’s very unlikely he’s available.
A lot of speculation has focused on Frank DeBoer, but Ajax have said he’s not available either. It’s not clear whether Ashley wants to either pay the salary of a big-name manager or if he would give such a manager any more say over transfers than he gave Pardew.
As for who might take the job, Steve Bruce at Hull seems to be linked to the Newcastle job every time it comes open. He’s been very vocal about coveting the job, having grown up in the northeast as a Toon supporter. You won’t find a lot of NUFC fans who want him at their club, though.
Other managers who have recently left other jobs have been mentioned are people like Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood. Pulis left Palace because he didn’t have control over transfers, so how could he come to Newcastle under similar conditions? And Sherwood’s stay at Spurs was reportedly ended because many of his players were in open rebellion. Both Pulis and Sherwood are on West Brom’s short list as well, so one of these might not even be available for very long.
Under strong consideration is current team captain Fabricio Coloccini. For the past year, Coloccini has been rumored to want to go back to Argentina, and the speculation is he stayed Tyneside because he had been promised a managerial role down the road. Naming Coloccini player-manager would have the added benefit of keeping him in the club, which is already frighteningly thin in central defense. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the managerial badges to get the job right now, so he would not be able to get the job unless an arrangement was made with the other Premier League clubs similar to the Glenn Roeder situation in 2006.
My guess is Steve Bruce gets the job. He’ll take less money and less power to get to run his childhood team. But it’s very unlikely that much will change unless Mike Ashley changes the way he runs his club.
Since Moyes is presumably not available, there’s one guy who hasn’t been mentioned by anyone as a candidate who I would love to get the job: Ray Hudson. Sure, he’s considered by many as a bit of a buffoon as a color analyst for beIN SPORTS. But he was a heck of a manager when he held the job for Miami Fusion in MLS.
My background in soccer includes being a season-ticket holder for the now-defunct Fusion. In their final season, they were arguably the most entertaining club in the history of MLS, and several of the players from that 2000-2001 season have become managers themselves – Jeff Cassar at Real Salt Lake, Jay Heaps at New England Revolution, Pablo Mastroeni at Colorado Rapids, and Preki at Chivas USA, Toronto and currently Sacramento (NASL champs this year). Two of that club’s youngsters, Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman, have gone on to tremendous careers, while Fusion goalkeeper Garth Lagerway is one of the most respected executives in MLS.
Hudson grew up in the Northeast, having been born in Gateshead, and played for Newcastle United for a few years before moving to the old North American Soccer League. I don’t know if Ray Hudson would have any interest in taking the Newcastle job, or if Ashley would even consider him, but it would sure be entertaining.
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