Well, the inevitable happened.. Allardyce has parted company with the club... I've blogged on this before ( see this as an example) - but I'm still not sure if it was a media conspiracy against Allardyce (especially the BBC), Ashley getting sick of getting stick on the terraces (because that's what appeared to be happening at Stoke) or just the fact that the mob voice finally got heard. On reflection over the past few days it was probably a combination effect and whilst I still think that continuity was important it was becoming increasingly obvious that Big Sam had bitten off more than he could chew.
So the next round of media frenzy has started. When I first heard the suggestions that Harry Rednapp was being approached as the next ringmaster at the circus my heart sank. Why on earth would we want the previous incumbents best mate , someone who generates a similar amount of press dislike (well, he hasn't spoken to the BBC in a while anyway), and is currently on bail awaiting news of a corruption charge. Most importantly - he's won nowt. Bonkers, completely bonkers suggestion. So I was really pleased to hear today that he's turned us down. Never before has a rejection felt quite so good.
The other names in the frame appear to be (along with my musings on positives or negatives)
Rednapp - See above
Jol - limited in experience, but that's where my money would be going
Keegan - don't do it Kev.. leave us with our memories of your greatness, you really can't come back again - besides that you;ve never learned to make a sensible substitution
Shearer - does he really want to take a gamble on tarnishing his heroic status? Does he want to leave the comfort of MOTD studio
Souness - No, no and trice no
Pearce - humm - not talked about much; could do a job and at least would have the respect of the players (I'd suspect that Steven Taylor would be quite pleased as well)
Mourino - again the phrase has been bandied about "awaking sleeping giants" which might have some merit. But why would he want to come to the NE of England? Unless Ashley's pockets have got a lot deeper
Hughes - the new bookies favourite... Flawed in so far as he plays dull football, and is as dour as Souness/Roeder were/are.
As for the others Bruce, Keane (!!!!), Coppell and McClaren - see the comments above re Souness... Urgggg... One of the other thoughts that quite appealed to me was John Collins. I know he's not got much experience at all (after all, I think I could manage a Scottish team, and probably play for them as well) but is youth and knowledge of the game might make him a contender. Combined with his apparent dignity and careful handling of the media - you never know it just might work.... Mind you, the rate that the Comedy Club is going at the moment there is more likelihood of Joan Collins getting the job.
Today's game?? Just Manure away... A place since we haven't won since 1972. Its not going to change today. My friend Colin, is convinced that we are going to win - and is talking about putting money on this... Keep it in your pocket, Col. Toon will loose by at least 3 goals - I was there for the 5-1 loss (Steve Clarke's only game in charge) and I remember the awful feeling of that the rudderless ship that was Newcastle United was about to sink. It didn't - but we've been dodging those icebergs ever since... Its chilly in Manchester today....