Alan Pardew’s bacon may have been saved for another week by Papiss Cisse’s late two-goal come-back to draw against Hull City on Saturday, but the Newcastle manager’s position is still verging towards untenable.
The former West Ham and Charlton gaffer’s Tyneside tenure has been riddled with controversy, ranging from rumours that he first met Mike Ashley in a casino to receiving a seven-game touchline ban for head-butting David Meyler last season, and the Magpies now find themselves at the bottom of the Premier League table with just three points from five games and a goal difference of -5.
The supporters want Pardew sacked, or at least 86% of them do, according to a poll taken at the end of last season. And with that scenario becoming increasingly likely, it’s time for the Toon army to start getting excited about potential successors to their under-fire manager.
So without further ado, here’s FIVE likely Pardew replacements that will leave the Magpies faithful dreaming of former glories once again.
[ffcvideo file=”TopFiveVideosoftheWeek” type=”mp4″]
His attritional philosophy may often divide opinion, but Tony Pulis has to be considered a strong candidate for any managerial vacancy outside of the Premier League’s top six.
The 56 year-old built Stoke City into the mid-table powerhouses they are today, and performed nothing short of a miracle at Selhurst Park last season by masterminding Crystal Palace to an eleventh place finish in the top flight, earning him the 2013/14 Manager of the Season award.
He picked up the Eagles in November 2013 at the foot of the Premier League table with just seven points on the board – a situation not dissimilar to where the Magpies currently find themselves.
Most importantly for Newcastle fans following their slump into the Championship in 2009, relegation-threatened 2012/13 campaign and current demise this season, Pulis boasts the impressive feat of having never been relegated as a manager, throughout spells with Bournemouth, Gillingham, Bristol City, Plymouth, the Potters and Palace.
But the former defender left the South London outfit by mutual consent at the start of the current campaign, reportedly due to a dispute over transfer policy with co-Chairman Steve Parish, so it remains to be seen if he’d be willing to work with Mike Ashley, who has infamously dominated Newcastle’s recruitment throughout Alan Pardew’s tenure.
The Tynesiders will have to act quickly too; Pulis has strongly been linked with the vacancy at Cardiff City, following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resignation last week:
Tony Pulis in frame to take over at Cardiff with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set to be sacked http://t.co/rTXjQBhoP9
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) September 17, 2014
David Moyes may have endured a horror-story ten months at Manchester United, leading the Red Devils to the worst title defence in Premier League history since the 38-game season began, but his prior accomplishments with Everton have not been forgotten.
The Scot transformed the Toffees from relegation candidates into top six regulars during his eleven years at Goodison Park, in that time winning the 2003, 2005 and 2009 LMA Manager of the Year awards.
That level of consistency – Everton finished outside of the top seven just three times under Moyes – is exactly what Newcastle need to bring them back towards former glories, and the 51 year-old’s ability to work with modest resources will particularly strike a chord with Mike Ashley.
The former Preston boss needs to rebuild his reputation after the hellish United stint, and following rejection from Galatasaray earlier this summer, will be prepared to take on a less coveted club.
Once harangued out of the Sunderland dugout for being a ‘fat Geordie b*****d, Newcastle United boss could well be the managerial role Steve Bruce was born for.
He’s enjoyed consistent Premier spells with Birmingham, Wigan Athletic, the Black Cats and now Hull City, guiding them to Europa League qualification via the FA Cup last season, and as a boyhood Toon supporter, would gloss over many of the entrenched issues between Mike Ashley and the fanbase.
The 53 year-old admitted in November 2013 his regret in not becoming Newcastle boss when the opportunity arose during his St. Andrew’s days, but he also labelled recent links with the Magpies post ‘disrespectful‘ last week.
And although he appears to have the firm backing of the tabloids, who have lined him up rather vigorously as Alan Pardew’s replacement, Bruce made further suggestions he’d turn down the Tynesiders this weekend by backing their under-fire manager:
Hull City manager Steve Bruce brands criticism of rival Newcastle boss Alan Pardew as “ridiculous” http://t.co/E4QkktV3Ah
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) September 19, 2014
Also tied down to a long-term contract with the Tigers, Ashley would have to fork out a significant compensation sum to even hold talks with the former Manchester United skipper.
Neil Lennon left Celtic on his own terms at the end of last season, after claiming three consecutive SPL titles, two Scottish Cups and masterminding some of the most memorable European nights in the club’s history – including this Champions League victory over Barcelona:
The northern Irishman’s move to English football feels inevitable and he was linked with a plethora of managerial vacancies in the Premier League and Championship throughout the summer, including Norwich City and West Brom.
No club has taken a punt on the 43 year-old just yet, and admittedly, a lack of experience in the English top flight will work against him. But the former Crewe and Leicester City midfielder boasts enormous potential as a manager and his feisty passion will certainly gain the support of the Toon Army:
That being said, Mike Ashley needs to act quickly – Lennon has been linked to both the Cardiff City and Fulham posts:
Neil Lennon Admits Interest in Cardiff and Fulham Jobs http://t.co/rAaPuYiy4J
— Inside Futbol (@insidefutbol) September 19, 2014
Could this actually happen, or is it simply a Toon Army fantasy? For that matter, would it even be a good idea?
Either way, The Telegraph claim Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini is amongst the contenders to take over from under-fire manager Alan Pardew:
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) September 15, 2014
The 32 year-old is an absolute novice in managerial terms and probably envisages his playing days lasting a little longer, having eyed a prodigal-son return to Argentina with San Lorenzo back in January.
But he’s also seen as an adoptive son of the Tyneside community, with his floppy hair iconic and the defender boasting over 200 appearances for the Toon. Here are some of the highlights from his seven-year spell:
It’s the kind of cost-cutting measure Mike Ashley tends to go for and the exact same decision Swansea City made regarding Gary Monk last season. The Welsh side are now fifth in the Premier League table.
But the Argentina international has been as instrumental as anybody in Newcastle’s plight over the last few seasons, enduring questionable form and rarely showing the organisational qualities expected of a captain centre-back.
I’m sure Magpies fans would prefer to see some leadership from the pitch before he moves to the dugout.