It’s every black and white clad Geordie’s dream to see one of their own leading their beloved Newcastle United from the dugout with some believing it a necessity for the club to achieved glory. Despite the Magpies being under the stewardship of Londoner Alan Pardew and sitting pretty after an unbeaten start to the Premier League season talk of a Geordie one day inhabiting the St James’ Park manager’s office still persists.
Unfortunately for supporters there are very few out there in the footballing world with Huddersfield Town boss and former Newcastle hero Lee Clark the only real candidate should much maligned owner ever decide to to go Geordie once again. The last time he appointed a man so close to the club it ended in disaster with the clubs legendary record goalscorer Alan Shearer guiding the Toon Army through the relegation trap door and into the Championship. His lack of coaching and management skills were evident during his eight game spell in charge although few if any blame the striker turned pundit for the clubs eventual demise. As soon as Clark stepped into the world of management he was already being groomed for Tyneside’s biggest managerial position. But is he a future Newcastle United manager in the making?
Of course the former midfielder has close ties with his hometown club having spent two spells at St James’ playing over 260 games and becoming a key member of Kevin Keegan’s ‘entertainers’ who fought tooth and nail to usurp Manchester United at the Premier League summit during the mid-nineties. Born and bred in Wallsend and coming through famous youth academy before joining Newcastle you could say that he has a connection with supporters and understands the pressures that the manager’s job brings with success desperately craved by the faces in the stands.
It’s no lie that Geordies are a sentimental bunch and have often overlooked qualifications and expertise in favour of an individual who has a past affinity with the club. Keegan’s second spell in charge was a complete disaster after his self-imposed three year exile from the game putting him at a disadvantage in modern football whilst Shearer’s tenure was doomed before it even began. Both mistakes made by the owner who must now be put off from appointing someone who has black and white flowing through their veins. Does this put Clark at a disadvantage? In my opinion it would with Ashley more than likely keen to avoid another fierce backlash when things go south under the leadership of one of their own. But it would be wrong to overlook Clark’s adeptness as a manager and he has made a favourable impression since taking over at the Galpharm Stadium in 2008.
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