The truth of the Patrick Vieira and Steve McClaren to Newcastle stories
Posted on June 5th, 2015 | 23 Comments |
I couldn’t help feeling there was something odd about the story of Patrick Vieira coming to Newcastle, as there is about most unsubstantiated football stories.
Some fans seemed to believe it though, even embroidering it further to their own tastes as it gathered a momentum of its own in a few short days. My curiosity piqued, I looked but I couldn’t find any real evidence that Newcastle United made an approach for Patrick Viera to be the next ‘head coach’ at St James’ Park. Even the guff I’ve read about Steve McClaren coming to Newcastle (and I’ve read alot) seems to be based on the same kind of unsubstantiated “it is understood / sources say” style drivel we see so much of nowadays in the media. Concentrating on the Vieira story first though, I traced the threads of it back to the beginning as I usually do, and in this case it was ‘broken’ by North East Sky Sports reporter, Keith Downie with two tweets below on 30th May, though it seems like longer:
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) May 30, 2015
Vieira has spent this week on a UEFA coaching course in Wales; we expect talks with Newcastle to take place in the next few days.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) May 30, 2015
Swiftly followed with a brief news report:
And that was what the whole edifice was built upon. It wasn’t much. All the other stories I read subsequently added nothing new in terms of substantiating the story. It was copied so many times though that it eventually became a ‘fact’ merely by repetition.
As for the story of McClaren coming to Newcastle, that is more of an old story which keeps coming back, going back to when Pardew left and beyond. Indeed, he does like a more credible candidate than Vieira and the journalists could strike lucky eventually. Like Pardew when he came to Newcastle, he is having a big slump in his career after another failiure at Derby, hence he should be available on the cheap and might be more willing to work under the Newcastle selling club system as a ‘head coach’ rather than full manager. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if McClaren was announced as the next manager. Newcastle United are so random in their choices of head coach that they might even put the cart in front of the horse and let themselves be led by the media speculation in their choice. However, like Vieira, the McClaren stories have been the old unsubstantiated “It is understood from sources…” kind of thing which has become meaningless due to constant misuse in the past.
Behind the surface, the shadowy hand of betting companies can often have a huge influence in the writing of stories like these nowadays. Unsubstantiated football gossip can generate alot of betting revenue if fans are led by the nose, and indeed, many bets have been made on the Vieira and McClaren stories, fuelled by constant speculation in the media. The club can also benefit as stories about fancy new players and a head coach coming in can persuade fans to buy season tickets they might just be having a bit of trouble selling. Cui Bono? (who benefits?) as wise Romans used to ask, and detectives still do.
How it should be done…
To put the situation in some kind of perspective by looking at another team, Newcastle United have been dithering over a new head coach for six months now. Though the stories keep flying in, they are still without one. Meanwhile, promoted club Watford lost their manager, Slaviša Jokanović when negotiations for a new contract broke down. Before Jokanović’s contract had even ended (this month) they had appointed 50 year old Enrique Sánchez Flores as their new head coach. In his career he has won a Portuguese League Cup with Benfica, a Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Cup with Atletico Madrid, along with three trophies in the United Arab Emirates. One reason I have chosen Watford is because it also shows that Newcastle can’t use the ‘head coach’ having less control on players excuse if little Watford can recruit a manager of Flores’ calibre so quickly and efficiently. As I pointed out in a previous piece on here, Watford are a selling club just like Newcastle, and just like John Carver, Flores will also be a ‘head coach,’ fronting a footballer farm where scouts comb the world, finding talent to develop and sell thorugh the network’s three clubs, Udinese, Granada and Watford. Of course, Southampton is also another good example of how to appoint a good manager in the right way at the right time as they have done it several times now.
As for Newcastle United, I think that things have sunk so low that some of us are just hoping we get someone a bit better than John Carver now.