Working Class John Carver™ has insisted that he is in "poll position" to carry on as head coach of Newcastle United according to The Chron. This is a thought that makes me very very sick to my stomach and so I'm intending to ignore this very real possibility in any way possible. I'm going to even ignore the part where "the other guy" Steve McClaren has said that John Carver would do a good job as head coach. I'm not even going to entertain the idea that he is going to be able to potentially lose 11-in-a-row to close out the season, see us drop and still keep his job.
SO, I turn my attention to the newest name that has been connected with the most mildly speculated upon non-open "opening" in the Premier League: Paco Jemez.
NAME: Paco Jemez
Current Club: Rayo Vallecano
Tenure: 3 years in June
About Paco Jemez:
Once a Spanish International CB (Euro 2000-vintage), Paco Jemez had 21 caps over three years. Perhaps as a Center back himself, he would be able to spot the very evident shortcomings in our current crop of CBs – undoubtedly the weakest position on our roster – and jettison them like Alan Pardew should have done years ago. Or at least maybe he can teach them not to have a -20+ GD year after year.* Whatever. Either would be fine.
*Spoiler Alert: His teams have not been noted for their stalwart defenses
As a manager, Jemez is highly rated although his resume lacks any specific sparkle or silverware. In his 3 years at Rayo Vallecano, he has not only managed to keep them away from relegation (which is no small feat for Rayo), he has lifted him to the Lofty Heights™ of a club record and appropriately modest 8th place in La Liga. I say this somewhat flippantly, but the fact is that leading Rayo to such a finish is an actual accomplishment. Their budget and player acquisition costs make Newcastle United look like lavish spenders.
Paco could be the perfect candidate to take over at Newcastle United. His time at Rayo sets him up as a coach in the grandest tradition of Newcastle United.
Last season, only two teams in Europe had the ball more than Rayo did: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Early this season, when Rayo played Barcelona, they had more possession than them, the first team to manage it in 316 games. They threw men into attack, they were fun to watch, and parading the touchline in a dizzying array of multicoloured elbow patches and waistcoats, pink shirts and purple ties, Jémez urged them forward, always. In a country that values the aesthetic, or in which some do, he was eulogised for the way his teams played de tú a tú: as equals. Rayo didn't simply defend – sometimes they didn't defend at all – but instead they went for it.
If he were to bring the same swashbuckling style to St. James' Park, it would be entirely possible that he could be the man to make the city fall back in love with their club. It could be a return of The Entertainers... Entertainers Lite, perhaps. It would be glorious. His style – on the pitch, his clothes, the way he talks – would be the most welcome breath of fresh air that had ever been inhaled.
It is the forthright style in which he communicates that could be the thing that would prevent Mike Ashley and The Funny Company from bringing Paco Jemez in. Can you imagine our beloved owner suffering this kind of forthright assessment of our team:
As he himself put it: "We're the shittiest team in the league and unless we realise that we will suffer."
How long would it be before this acerbic style would be turned upon the ownership?
Paco Jemez is used to working on a shoestring budget and with limited squad investment... two highly coveted qualities by our owner. He has a style that would at the very least ring familiar to the Geordie public and at best rekindle a love affair desperate for rekindling. He is out of contract in the summer, and would be free to come to St. James' Park with no compensation owed to any club. All we need is for someone to call him "The Spanish Jurgen Klopp" and he would tick all the boxes.