Next week Steve McClaren will be unveiled as the new head coach of Newcastle United, according to the BBC. Bookmakers agree, and MyBettingSites report his odds are as short as 1/20 that he will be the next head coach of Newcastle. Although he is an established manager with significant experience, the news of his arrival isn’t pleasing all Newcastle fans.
In recent weeks Newcastle have not been linked with many names, but one which drew the imagination of the fans was Patrick Vieira. Vieira is the current coach of Manchester City’s under-21 and has no Premiership head coach experience. Despite that, he was the fans favourite.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, Vieira represents a roll of the dice. With a strong reputation but lack of experience, he would have offered Newcastle something exciting. That excitement predominately derives from a lack of certainty. Newcastle fans often claim their club is not short of drama and lacks stability, and Vieira would add to that drama.
Secondly, Vieira was only willing to accept the role on conditions that the running of the club changed. The head coach of Newcastle does not have the final say on transfers, and ultimately Vieira would have wanted a lot more control than Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley would have wanted.
This change of ownership would have again represented change to the fans. Change that fans are desperate for, and are willing to obtain for the uncertainty and gambled appointment of Vieira. Vieira however has either declined the opportunity to progress in the process, or was eliminated due to his demands.
McClaren is reported to be fine with the remit offered by Charnley and Ashley. Investment in the team has been small in recent years, with Ashley even generating a profit from the club. In one of his few televised interviews, Ashley did say however that the dice with relegation last season has scared him, and will prompt him to provide the head coach with funds to strengthen the squad.
However fans may resent McClaren for the timing of his arrival. He was approached numerous times during the last season, even with just a few games to go but he declined the opportunity to join Newcastle. He is only joining the club after being dismissed by Derby County following a poor end to the season. This will only make Newcastle fans less optimistic that he can make their side into a success if he wasn’t even able to deliver results at Derby.
With all the drama that has happened at St James Park, the club needs to go through a period of stability and of the two candidates, McClaren is the best man to do that. Fans held posters last season claiming that they don’t ask for trophies, but simply a side that tries. McClaren can build that side, and as soon he generates wins he will have the backing of the fans too.