Saturday, 2 February 2008

Alpha Male

I've been thinking about Dennis Wise, Kevin Keegan and the upper echelons of the Newcastle United management team and the barely hidden power struggle that seems to be going on (I don't get out much these days) It strikes me that the need for a top dog can add stability if its the right man, but if its not, it leads to conflict.

An on field example is the way that Stevie Gerrard runs the show at Liverpool, everything that the team does is set up to make the most of his talents. This is fine whilst that focal point is doing well, but if the 'main man' has an off day its vital that there is a plan B. It is easy to see that Liverpool are suffering from the lack of a plan B at the moment. A couple of years ago the same situation was at Arsenal with Tierry Henry, and its interesting since he's upped sticks for the bright lights of Catalonia that the general consensus is that the Gunners have started to play better and with more invention.

We had exactly the same for the Toon with Shearer. The problem was that when he retired the void that he left was nigh on impossible to fill. Shearer's ability as a striker was equaled by his ability as a leader, therefore it was a double blow when he left. Whilst its relatively easy to bring in another striker, its not as easy to bring in another leader. Look how many captains we've had
on the pitch since Shearer went - Geremi, Owen, Smith, Given, and these are just the ones that I can recall - there will have been others. It shows that we have no leader on the pitch at the moment. I'm sure that Barton sees himself in that roll, but HMP Walton has taken care of those aspirations for the time being.

So, the need for an alpha male on the pitch is easy to see - but what about in the boardroom? I've no reason to suggest that it should be any different, leaders are needed in any area. Also, they don't have to be male - look at Wigan and Birmingham for examples of women in leading roles (admittedly these are the exceptions). So what is the position at the current Newcastle United Management team - who is the leader? I suspect that there are some huge ego's Wise, Keegan, Mort and Jimenez. But at least one thing is for sure, the man with the cash - Mike Ashley is the current alpha male in the boardroom. So despite even more press sniping that's the leadership chain. Obviously Alan Shearer is aware of what is going on - as quoted today in the papers :-

"Right now I think the last thing they would need is another dominant personality, another name.

“It needs one personality driving things forward at the club and that is Kevin Keegan. It needs to be his way and if it is, I think he can turn things round. Myself and Kevin were just too similar personalities, we are both opinionated.

I just hope that my chosen Toon leader has a storming game against the Smoggies tomorrow... Steven Taylor - future England captain...Hopefully.

No comments: