Cleat Geeks

NEWCASTLE’S SEARCH FOR A NEW MANAGER GOES ON…

With Steve McClaren insisting that he is staying with Championship side Derby, speculation continues to grow over who will be Newcastle United’s next manager.

The Magpies are without a manager after Alan Pardew left the north-east to take the hot seat at Crystal Palace, and former England manager McClaren had been made favourite with the bookmakers to take over at St James Park. However, it has emerged that the 53 year-old has assured Rams chairman Sam Rush that he is ‘going nowhere.’

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has surprised with his managerial choices in the past. In June 2013 he installed Joe Kinnear as the clubs director of football, just one year after he had given Pardew an 8-year contract extension as the club’s manager. Given Ashley’s unorthodox decisions regarding the clubs’ management in the past, several people’s hats’ appear to be in the ring for the job.

Former player Temuri Ketsbaia has emerged as a surprise contender to be Pardew’s successor. The Georgian, famed for his eccentric celebration where he kicked the advertising hoardings after scoring against Bolton, resigned as manager of his national team in November after a 4-0 home defeat to Poland. The 46 year-old expressed an interest in taking charge at his former club last Sunday, leading to a flurry of bets on him becoming the next manager.

Frenchman Remi Garde is another being strongly linked with the job. The former Arsenal player left his post as Lyon manager last summer and would have an instant affinity with his compatriots currently at the club. The likes of Remy Cabella and Emmanuel Riviere – who were brought in last summer by Pardew – have failed to hold down a place in the first team so far this season. Alexandre Lacazette, the Lyon striker, was struggling for form and goals, has bagged 17 in 19 Ligue 1 games this season, and much of his form has been credited to the now departed Lyon coach.

The French connection doesn’t stop there, with St Etienne manager Christophe Galtier also mentioned among the leading contenders. Les Verts currently sit in fourth place in Ligue 1. Although, if Galtier were to join the Toon, Ashley would have to pay he French side compensation.

There are plenty of other European names linked with the job too, such as former Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Monchengladbach head coach Lucien Favre and Red Bull Salzburg director of football Ralf Rangnick.

Although it does seem as though Ashley will hire a new manager from abroad, that is, if McClaren does indeed stay at Pride Park, there are a few British managers on his short list. One of those is current caretaker manager John Carver, who declared his interest in taking the job permanently after the 3-3 draw at home to Burnley, before overseeing the 1-0 FA Cup third round defeat to Leicester City on Saturday.

Tim Sherwood also takes up his customary position being linked with a Premier League managerial vacancy and Glenn Hoddle has been linked with the job. The former England boss is currently employed by QPR in a part-time coaching role.

Given that the vacancy is for a head-coach, it is more than likely that it will be one of the overseas names on the list that eventually fills the hot seat at St James Park, and, with Steve McClaren declaring himself out of the running, it looks increasingly likely that Remi Garde will be charged with taking Newcastle United up the Premier League table and into Europe.

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