columnist Rob Facey surveys the damage at St James' Park and
wonders if the latest drama to engulf the club is a sign of more to come for
the more traditional managers in the modern game.
Kevin Keegan proved he was the bigger man yesterday by
quitting as Newcastle boss, leaving controversial owner Mike Ashley in control
of a club in disarray.
Keegan's three-day stand off with the owner made interesting
viewing for onlookers but for Newcastle fans it must have been excruciating.
Poor old King Kev may not have had the best of records
during his second spell at the club, but it is unlikely the fans were
protesting about the manager leaving and taking his brand of football away. The
way in which he was treated was appalling and, more than that, this was just the
latest episode in the most enthralling living soap opera that is Newcastle
"I've been working desperately hard to find a way
forward with the directors but sadly that has not proved possible," Keegan told the LMA, as reported in the Guardian.
"It's my opinion that a manager must have the
right to manage and that clubs should not impose upon any manager any player
that he does not want. It remains my fervent wish to see Newcastle United do
well in the future and I feel incredibly sorry for the players, staff and, most
importantly, the supporters. I have been left with no choice other than to
Keegan had put a brave face on the obviously strained
relationship he had with Dennis Wise at Newcastle and by declaring that having
unwanted players imposed on him was a key factor in his decision, shows that
the pair just couldn't work.
Gus Poyet is the bookies favourite which, assuming he would
take the job would see him and Dennis Wise working together once more.
What with Wise's popularity at St James' Park at a record
low, would Poyet's arrival galvanize the former Leeds manager into making a
decent fist of his current role, or is a potential reunion asking for trouble?
This week also saw Alan Curbishley leave West Ham; what does
the future hold for the traditional English manager? More and more clubs use a
European system, with directors, heads of football et al, so is the role of the
conventional manager dead?
Are there any jobs left in the modern game for theses types
of managers? Will Curbishley and Keegan simply find themselves left to rot on
the scrapheap or on the Sky Sports sofa?
The way neither was able to deal with the running of a
Premier League club in 2008 means they are more or less redundant unless they
want to drop a few divisions where it is likely they will get more of a say in
the clubs affairs.
Was Keegan right to walk out? But, perhaps more importantly
for Newcastle fans, who on Earth will want to take over?