The hot news in the search for a new permanent head coach for Newcastle United is not that a deal is getting closer or the inclusion of an exciting late in the game entry to the race. In fact it is the least surprising bit of news yet to come in the search. After having spoken to Patrick Vieira, the club have "cooled their interest" , perhaps because the Frenchman would not swear fealty to his potential Sports Direct overlord.
Untested Vieira had captured the fancy of a fan base that is desperate for any kind of indication of a move toward the ambition recently promised by Mike Ashley during his first public comments about the club. It is perhaps this fact (at one point during one of The Chron's polls in their articles Vieira was supported by 92% of respondents) that cost the Manchester City youth manager most dearly... at least if you're a pessimist. With a long history of doing things to directly antagonize the fan base, it could very easily be the potential popularity of Vieira that caused the club to "cool their interest".
In the absence of a knight in shining armor type candidate, we're now back to Steve McClaren as the front runner for the Newcastle hot seat. McClaren will feel like a disappointment after 5 months of searching. After 3 times refusing the club when we needed someone to save us from John Carver, he somehow still has the fancy of Lee Charnley and whoever is whispering sweet footballing nothings in his ear. The irony of the club who fired a manager that won direct promotion from the Championship now turning to a man who was fired because he lost out on even qualifying for the promotion playoffs is just too delicious for the "board" to pass up.
There could still yet be an 11th-hour candidate, but any hope that we are moving upward from Pardew/Carver is fading. Here is a small list of managers that would be fitting of a "club of our stature" that may jump into the discussion late in the game:
1. Alan Curbishley
2. Neil Redfearn
3. John Gregory
4. Malky Mackay
5. Ian Holloway
Really, it's probably McClaren, who would have felt better months ago than he does now. Now it just reeks of business being conducted "the same as it ever was" in the face of change promised by the owner, leaving supporters wondering once again: "What's the point?"