My good friend Peter Stemmet is a fantatical Newcastle man …read this please

My good friend Peter Stemmet is a fantatical Newcastle man …read this please

As I type this it is midnight. I am trying not to be emotional however when it comes to Newcastle United it is impossible. This is the team I have loved and supported since I was a boy. I grew up admiring the likes of Peter Beardsley, Robert Lee, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer. One of the highlights in my career as a journalist occurred in March 2010 when I actually got to interview Shearer. The snapshot of ‘Super Al’ and I is proudly displayed on my living room’s wall.

Supporting Newcastle United is truly unlike backing any other team. Just like Forrest Gump’s mamma said life is like a box of chocolates, so too is a Toon season. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Since Kevin Keegan resigned in January 1997 (after a five year stay) the Magpies have seen the coming and going of Kenny Dalglish, Ruud Gullit, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce, Keegan Part Two, Joe Kinnear, Shearer and now Chris Hughton. If my mental arithmetic does not fail me that is 10 appointments in under 14 years. That is excluding the caretaker spells of Terry McDermott, Steve Clarke, Nigel Pearson and Hughton himself. Peter Beardsley has been placed in temporary charge now until a new manager is found.

The Newcastle rollercoaster has resulted in a sequence of Premier League finishes that read as follows: 2nd, 2nd, 13th, 13th, 11th, 11th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, 14th, 7th, 14th, 12th and 18th. As you can see zero consistency. The lack of consistency stems from a lack of stability in my view. Apart from Robson, who also had five years like Keegan, none of the aforementioned managers were at the helm for much longer than 18 months.

What did Chris Hughton do wrong? Nothing really. He was asked to take care of first team affairs for the start of last season’s Championship campaign. After establishing an early lead in the league Hughton was handed the job on a permanent basis. The Magpies romped to the Championship title by scoring more goals than anyone else, conceding fewer than anyone else and clocking more than 100 points in doing so. The new season has been relatively inconsistent. A 6-0 hammering of Aston Villa, a 5-1 destruction of local rivals Sunderland and away wins at Chelsea and Arsenal are highlights among home defeats to Blackpool and Blackburn.

Even so the side is 11th which granted is 4 points off relegation but also just 4 points off a Europa League place. If Newcastle finish the season 11th I would be thrilled. However the stability the side has had under Hughton has now been foregone in favour of the traditional Toon rollercoaster. It was there for all to see that the squad was happy under Hughton. They were playing for the manager as well as for each other. Now we are left to ponder the future. Who will succeed Hughton?

It is pointless to bash owner Mike Ashley. As a fan you can protest all you like. It will inevitably fall on deaf ears. Ashley is the owner. He runs the show whether the Geordies like it or not.

First I hear about Martin Jol resigning at Ajax and become excited about Jol as a replacement. That said he had lost the plot in Amsterdam and you will remember that after a few good seasons at White Hart Lane he lost the plot there too. My reasonable excitement then turned to despair. I had to reach for a wet cloth after hearing that Alan Pardew is being lined up. This is a man who jumped ship twice in London before his sides (West Ham and Charlton) were to be relegated. The goals of Carlos Tevez is what saved the Hammers. Charlton had no Argentine goal scorer.

Forget Jol. Ignore Pardew. Just pick up the phone and call Terry Venables or Martin O’Neill. One of them is bound to be interested or at least gullible enough to be persuaded to take a job that is such a black hole it is not surprising that nobody would want it anyway.

Give Venables or O’Neill a four-and-a-half year contract. Leave the chosen one alone to do his job and this is what will happen. Newcastle will: Avoid relegation. Cement themselves as a mid-table team while gradually pulling off upsets against the bigger sides. Perhaps even qualify for the Europa League and maybe, dare I dream, win a Carling Cup or get lucky like Portsmouth and win a FA Cup.

More than that you cannot hope for. However if we see a managerial rollercoaster as was seen in 2008/09 rest assured the result will be the same. Another season in which I cannot watch Newcastle on TV but instead their match highlights on The Football League Show and quite frankly, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH THAT SHOW EVER AGAIN!

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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