With last night’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Stoke, the pressure on Alan Pardew has once again been ramped up. The Newcastle chief has managed just a handful of wins (five to be precise) in 2014, which is a record that has irked supporters on Tyneside who have been calling for change for some time.
Newcastle now sit at the foot of the table on level points with Burnley – favourites for relegation – after six fixtures, and the poll at the end of last season which revealed that 86% of ‘Toon’ followers wanted Pardew sacked would appear to be increasing in numbers by the week.
But despite receiving the dreaded vote of confidence today, who’s out there to replace the controversy-riddled gaffer? Well we have FIVE candidates right here…
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The pick of the bunch would appear to be Moyes. The Scot’s wonderful work at Everton seems to have been all but forgotten after a disastrous season at Manchester United, but there’s no doubting that he has the ability and track record for success in English football. A move to Newcastle would likely appeal to Moyes, who will be eager to repair his reputation at a big club and prove to the Red Devils’ hierarchy that he was worthy of the “Chosen One’ tag.
The Magpies would benefit from his experience, while Mike Ashley will surely be attracted to the work his did on a shoestring budget at Everton.
The shock of the summer managerial merry-go-round was Pulis’ decision to leave Crystal Palace. His heroics last season at Selhurst Park saw the former Stoke boss drag the Eagles back from what looked to be certain relegation after Ian Holloway’s awful start to the campaign, which gained him the Premier League manager of the year award. A dispute about transfer funds is understood to have been the major factor in his decision to leave south London, and Newcastle could offer him a new home.
Pulis may have a reputation for agricultural football, but his time at Palace was one in which he brought in some flair to go with his often direct approach. A good record at the bottom end of the table could help to keep the Tynesides away from the drop zone.
Despite possessing a decent record as Spurs manager over the back end of last season, Sherwood was unceremoniously dumped by the Londoners shortly after the last ball of the campaign was kicked. His outspoken nature and penchant for the gilet may have made him a laughing stock, but he did get the best from the divisive Emmanuel Adebayor while handing young players their debuts on the way to getting big results.
There are worse options out there for Newcastle.
After three back-to-back Scottish titles, Lennon opted to leave Celtic over the summer in search of work south of the border. Despite his experience and talents, the Northern Irishman has, as of yet, been unable to get himself a big job, but his name is in the mix for the Newcastle hot seat. He may be unproven in the Premier League, but the former Bhoys midfielder has bags of passion and plenty of know-how, which could make him a big hit at St James’ Park.
Like Moyes, Lennon has operated on low budgets in the past while bringing success, so his methods may appeal to Mike Ashley.
There may be plenty of Sunderland baggage with Bruce, but the former Manchester United defender has been mooted as a favourite to patrol the touchline at St James’. Bruce is an underrated manager in the Premier League, with his achievements at clubs such as Wigan, Birmingham and now Hull City having never been enough to land him a job at a club with top six aspirations.
The 53-year-old has already confessed that he would have liked the Newcastle role earlier in his career, and his North East roots could make him a favourite among Magpies supporters… even though he has taken charge of Sunderland in the past.