We all know where the endgame for all this discussion and rumor-mongering about who might be the next Newcastle United head coach. Let's pretend for a while that it's not going to end up that way. We'll suspend our disbelief for a moment and live in a world in which Working Class John Carver™ can't hurt us anymore. In this fanciful world of make believe, rife with Unicorns and Nyancats and probably the Jaberwock and other such creatures of legend, there is a new name that has been connected by at least one media outlet to the Newcastle post. Let's learn about him even though it is an exercise in futility!
NAME: Jocelyn Gourvennec
Age: 42 (this is, as we are all surely aware, The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, so... let's get carried away!)
Current Club: En Avant de Giungamp
Tenure: 5 years in July
About Jocelyn Gourvennec:
Jocelyn Gouvrennec was a midfield contemporary of Zinedine Zidane and Youri Djorkaeff. At points in his career he was rated very highly (you can find him referred to as being the equal of Zidane in their younger days. He missed out on the 1996 Euro championship through injury and his career took a polar opposite turn from Zinedine Zidane's as he made an ill-fated move to Montpellier in 1999 and slipped slowly down the tables until his retirement following relegation from the French second division with Clermont Foot in 2006.
Following his retirement from playing, Gourvennec set about making a career in management. He spent two years "cutting his teeth" as it were with a French amateur side before earning a shot with Guingamp in 2010. At the time, Guingamp were playing in the third division. Two promotions in his first three years at the helm saw the club climb into Ligue 1. Another year on saw Guingamp lift the Coupe de France and subsequently qualify for this year's Europa League, where they were the last Ligue 1 side to be eliminated losing out to Dynamo Kiev.
Without trying very hard you can find comparisons to Jurgen Klopp, although these seem to be based mostly upon the fact that both are relatively young and both had relatively stunning success at clubs that were out of vogue at best. Klopp's glasses game is way on top of Gourvennec's for sure (Jocelyn does not seem to wear glasses) while on-pitch comparisons seem to be a stretch as well. Largely, JG seems to take a relatively more pragmatic view on tactics as he has largely preferred a 4-4-2 over any of the more "progressive" formations preferred by Klopp and is willing to go flat out route one (as he did to get a result against Monaco not too long back). He is reported to be a very good matchday coach, making adjustments during play to maximize his side's chances in an individual match, which would be something novel at St. James' Park.
New names are fun and all, but at the end of the day, they're just a distraction. The likelihood that the cheapest and easiest option is already in place for next season is very very high. For now, though, let's pretend that promises being spouted out by those connected with the club (we're going to spend this summer! Honest!) are actually true and we might just get a decent coach in place as well. Frankly, I personally don't prefer Gourvennec over several of the other names connected to the club since Pardew left, but he'd certainly be better than where we're at.