Newcastle are on the search for a new manager, with fans getting intrigued about who could be named as Rafa Benitez’s replacement.
However, the 12-year reign of Mike Ashley has taught us that the board under his ownership cannot be trusted to make a good decision regarding the hiring of a manager. Yes, they finally got it right on one occasion, hiring Benitez was a masterstroke, but, failing to back him and allowing him to walk is just as bad as not employing him in the first place.
Since Ashley bought the club in 2007 – where he inherited Sam Allardyce – 10 permanent or temporary managers have been employed, with only two having managed more than 28 Premier League games. This is evidence they keep messing it up because the club have to keep firing these managers. Of course, not all have been fired, because some were short-term appointments.
Some big names have been linked this time around, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Claudio Ranieri and Jurgen Klinsmann have all been touted as possible contenders for the vacancy. However, other than the one obvious exception the regime do not usually employ the top names.
Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren have been the level we have come to expect. This time will probably be no different.
Any fans dreaming of the biggest names in management showing up at St James’ Park in the near future are getting ahead of themselves. The counter-argument to that is the takeover could well change everything. If there is indeed a takeover. Until the deal is completed and been confirmed, Newcastle fans will no doubt remain skeptical about that too. We all know it is the hope that kills you.
Ashley has angered fans many times before, and in what could be one of his last acts of defiance towards the Newcastle faithful, it would not be a big shock for him to infuriate again by employing a former Sunderland manager. David Moyes, Steve Bruce and Roy Keane have all been linked.
It just remains to be seen whether Ashley would do the unthinkable.