2015 has started much the same as 2014 (and 2013) with Newcastle United out of all cup competitions and targeting abject mediocrity in the league. The sad reality is that the last thing of interest that we as Toon fans have is the manager search that has resulted from Alan Pardew's departure to the supposedly greener fields of Crystal Palace. So let us do just that - turn our attention to what is no longer really #ManagerWatch as we have heard Lee Charnley say that the search is for a head coach... but #HeadCoachWatch isn't nearly as snappy... so #ManagerWatch Ho!
There has been little by way of names being completely removed from consideration since our last installment, but there have been several new names and accompanying odds for our consideration. As we get closer to our benevolent dictator's return from Barbados or wherever he has been, we should be getting a decent idea of who the supposed 10-name shortlist of head coach candidates will be, so maybe we start codifying that as well.
To the new names!
Remi Garde (3/1, 5/2)
Remi Garde is another target who is relatively short in actual managerial experience as his 3 years at the helm of Lyon make up the entirety of his CV. As a player he spent most of his career at Lyon and Strasbourg in France before finishing his career at Arsenal in the late 90s. Perhaps the most intriguing stop between his playing career and his full management stint at Lyon was as assistant manager to Gerard Houllier at Lyon (following Houllier's time at Liverpool).
Garde was given the manager's job at Lyon in June 2011 and led the club to finishes of 4th, 3rd and 5th in his three years in charge winning 51% of his matches in the process. On the positive side, having worked with Jean-Michel Aulas and the much ballyhooed Soccernomics model, Garde would likely feel right at home in Mike Ashley's financial model, which as we have covered before is similar in many respects to Lyon's model... you know... except for all the winning.
Dick Advocaat (10/1, 16/1)
Dick Advocaat is a name who has come into the reckoning relatively lately, and I'm not sure exactly how he fits into the equation. While he has seen a decent degree of success in his managerial career, he could probably best be described as a managerial mercenary – only his time at PSV (1994-1998) and Rangers (1998-2002) lasted more than 2 years in any full managerial capacity – which would seem to run counter to Mike Ashley's utter loyalty to Alan Pardew and the new attitude of "stability at all costs" to the manager position.
Paul Clement (8/1, 25/1)
SkyBet are leading the charge on the odds for Paul Clement as they are offering by far the shortest odds, which means probably nothing. Clement has started his managerial career working first at Academy level for Chelsea and then Fulham. He has also been mentioned as a potential replacement for Arsene Wenger whenever he steps away from the helm at Arsenal. Although without any experience as the top man at any of his stops, he did fall in with Carlo Ancelloti when the Italian was at Chelsea taking the job of assistant manager. He has also served as Ancelloti's assistant manager at Paris Saint-Germain and is currently in the same capacity at Real Madrid. Of course, he also spent a year as an assistant to Steve Kean during Blackburn Rovers' relegation season, so...
Ultimately, Clement would be a pedigree pick without any experience, but based on the other names being connected with the job, experience doesn't seem to be at the top of the qualification list, so it's hard to discount him.
Eddie Howe (18/1, 28/1)
Howe is a golden boy in the press, and rightly so. In 2008, Bournemouth were on the verge of relegation from the Football League when they hired former player Howe at the age of 31. Today, the Cherries sit at the top of the Championship table. He didn't have everything to do with it - he spent 19 months in between at Burnley - but his fingerprints are all over Bournemouth's success. It's a really cool story, and if you're interested in reading more you should check out this recent profile in The Guardian. Howe, who spent his playing days at Bournemouth, is on the brink of promotion to the Premier League and has the backing of an owner who isn't afraid to spend. He's not coming to Newcastle.
Glenn Hoddle (33/5, 10/1)
Former England and Tottenham man Hoddle is probably on Lee Charnley's shortlist, according to Sky. Hoddle is now at QPR as an assistant, and other reports say he is interested in the job, and what's more, is friendly with Graham Carr.
John Carver (7/1, 10/1)
Perhaps the less said about Carver, the better. He would be Pardew 2.0. Having said that, 10/1 might just be a tremendous value pick.
THE COMING HOME NEWCASTLE SHORTLIST (in no particular order)
2. Thomas Tuchel
3. Remi Garde
4. Tim Sherwood
5. Glenn Hoddle
6. Christophe Galtier
7. John Carver
8. Paul Clement
9. Dick Advocaat
10. Eddie Howe