It really is starting to look like there is a big red self-destruct button on the table in the Newcastle United boardroom and I would imagine there is an inscription just above it reading, "Only to be used in case of success."
Once again the Toon has imploded from within at a time when they were starting to look like a Premiership club once again.
Fair enough they have been through a turbulent time since first getting promoted to the Premier League in the early '90s. They shot to the upper echelons of the table and immediately fans began to dream of former glories and now expected the world.
Kevin Keegan led them to consecutive runners-up spots and a number of good runs in the Champions League but nothing silver ever came from it and when he left, even Bobby Robson couldn’t deliver the final blow to see the club lift a trophy.
Since then though it has been failure after failure as people like Graham Souness and Sam Allardyce tried and failed to win over the Tyneside faithful. Allardyce, clearly an excellent manager who has had success with Bolton and Blackburn in the Premier League, was barely given a chance at the club and his departure seemed to be the catalyst in Newcastle’s demise.
Then the Mike Ashley show went into full swing. Dragging Keegan out of retirement and bringing hope back to the club, saving them from what looked like certain relegation. Unfortunately Ashley had added Dennis Wise to the mix and subsequently narked Keegan to the point where he walked out due to lack of control.
Then there was the arrival of Joe Kinnear, who hadn’t managed a club for four years—inspired ownership from Ashley. Kinnear subsequently sent them spiralling downwards before being taken ill and eventually being unable to return.
So in came the saviour. Alan Shearer arrived to save the club from relegation and reaffirm his hero status among the Newcastle fans.
There was just one problem though. Shearer had no experience of management and was expected to turn things around in a handful of games. He didn’t and Newcastle were relegated.
This led Ashley to turn to assistant manager Chris Hughton who took over the club at their lowest point for almost two decades and turned them into a Premier League club once again.
Newcastle completely bossed the Championship, gaining promotion with ease and since returning to the top table they have enjoyed a bit of success, currently sitting 11th with results that have included a 6-0 win over Aston Villa, a 5-1 win over arch rivals Sunderland, a 1-0 win at the Emirates and a draw with Chelsea. Ok they have had a couple of very bad results, but nothing disastrous at this stage.
Then all of a sudden Hughton is out on his rear end because he’s not experienced enough for King Ashley? Sorry but it doesn’t compute.
His win/loss record in his short tenure is exceptional and Newcastle are miles ahead of the team they were when he took over 18 months ago. Throw in the 5-1 mauling of Sunderland and right there you have the reason why he is praised and respected by fans and players alike.
How can Mike Ashley expect an experienced manager with a good reputation to join a club with such a penchant for sacking their boss? Especially after Ashley revealed he would give them very little money but expect big results.
The man is clearly a clown.