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The English Premier League – a league which boasts the highest TV revenues – 3 billion is the current deal and the next deal, spanning 2016 to 2019, will be worth 5.14 billion. Even the bottom-placed club will bring in 80 million, a sum which comfortably dwarfs that of any other league in the world. Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to work in such financial conditions?
With the departure of Alan Pardew, Newcastle United are in need of a new head coach in the summer. John Carver might be the current head coach but surely there are better and more experienced candidates out there.
The ex-Mainz coach is one of the most promising young coaches in world football, as his intense style led Mainz to great relative success in the Bundesliga with repeated high placings despite the club’s size and limited budget. Tuchel is an innovative coach and advocates an intense style of play with pressing from the front – “Gegenpressing” – as well as quick transitions between defence and attack.
The English-speaking German, who turns 42 later this year, has been on a Pep Guardiola-esque sabbatical since leaving Mainz. He has remained committed to his word that he will not return to coaching before this coming summer. Granted, him keeping to his word might be influenced by Mainz not agreeing to his departure in May 2014. Technically, Tuchel is still under contract with Mainz and the Karnevalsverein have demanded unrealistic sums of compensation from any parties interested in Tuchel.
Tuchel has experience – and has had success – with working on a restricted budget. He had a 39.56% win ratio at Mainz whilst having a record of successfully blooding youngsters into senior football. He has good man-management skills, as the likes of Andre Schurrle and Lewis Holtby can attest. Tuchel clearly fits the bill for what the club would be looking for.
Whether he’d be willing to work under the infamous Mike Ashley regime is a whole other matter.
Christophe Galtier has had and continues to have great success at French outfit Saint-Etienne. Since Galtier took charge in 2009, Les Verts have been transformed from Ligue 1 strugglers to legitimate challengers for Champions League qualification.
Under his watch, the likes of Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Chelsea recently-signed rising star Kurt Zouma have flourished and made great forward steps in their respective careers. The technical style of play that the 48-year-old Frenchman would bring to St James Park would fit in extremely well with the current Toon squad.
It is certainly easy to imagine someone like Remy Cabella excelling for a Galtier-led Toon Army. Add to that his attacking, yet defensively sound, philosophy, Galtier would be a brilliant choice for the job.
“I think Galtier would be well suited to England, he has the skills to succeed there.”
– Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Probably the least established and least prominent name on this list, Paco Jemez has done brilliantly at Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano since joining the club in 2012. Working on a shoestring budget, the Spaniard has led Rayo to their best ever league season, an 8th-placed finish in La Liga.
Having brought through the likes of Leo Baptistão and Lass Bangoura, the likes of Rolando Aarons and Adam Armstrong would flourish under Paco’s watch.
There would be doubts, and logically so, of Paco Jemez emulating Pepe Mel’s failed spell at West Bromwich Albion. That said, with his fearless attack-minded philosophy, Paco Jemez would be a hark back to the days of Kevin Keegan and “The Entertainers” at St James Park.
I’d be a millionaire if I had a dollar for each time John Carver mentions the late great Sir Bobby Robson. From what Carver has done since taking temporary charge at Newcastle, he seems to possess better man-management skills than the previous incumbent Alan Pardew – at least where this current squad is concerned. Unlike Pardew, the long-time employee of Newcastle has managed to get the best out of mercurial new signing Remy Cabella.
He has also given young left back Massadio Haidara an extended run in the starting XI and the young Frenchman has excelled and impressed with his solid defending, both individually and as part of the whole, as well as his adventurous forays forward down the left flank. However, his substitutions have been questionable at times and the team has finished matches with a whimper.
Previously, with Pardew, the team tended to start poorly before going on to finish strongly in games. It has been the opposite under Carver. Neither of those patterns in form are good enough as they have often led to unsatisfactory results.
No matter how many times the Geordie namedrops Sir Bobby, it looks like it would take a miracle for him to do even half of what the great man achieved.
Frank de Boer
Frank de Boer’s Ajax have produced near-perfect records in the 2nd half of their title-winning seasons. 4 consecutive Eredivisie titles with barnstorming finishes in each of those campaigns. Players have been brought through from the famed Ajax youth academy at De Toekomst throughout the ex-Barca defender’s time in Amsterdam.
From young Dutch internationals Ricardo van Rhijn and Joel Veltman to probable future superstars in Davy Klaassen and Anwar El Ghazi, de Boer has a great record aiding youth players’ step up into 1st-team football. de Boer has previously spoken favourably of Newcastle, saying that the club was a “sleeping giant” that he’d be interested in if he leaves Ajax.
All that and with an entertaining style of play in the traditional Dutch 4-3-3, the 2-time winner of the Rinus Michels Manager Of The Year award clearly ticks the right boxes in Newcastle’s search for a new head coach.
Steve McClaren would count “Wally with the brolly” as one of the lowest points of his managerial career. The Englishman has come a long way since, bouncing back with an Eredivisie title at unfancied FC Twente before an ill-fated spell in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League with Wolfsburg. Currently in charge of promotion-chasing Derby County, the Rams stand a playoff chance of gaining promotion this year.
McClaren has a track record of developing youth, as seen most prominently in his five years at Middlesbrough. His knowledge of the English game, and having won a domestic trophy, certainly would help his chances of getting the Newcastle job if he fails to take Derby into the 2015/16 Premier League season, after last year’s defeat in the Playoff Final.
Remi Garde, with the French contingent on Tyneside, would be a good appointment. Famously (or not) known for being Arsene Wenger’s first signing at Arsenal, the Frenchman left Lyon after 3 years as head coach.
Garde left Lyon with a 51.28% win ratio in Ligue 1 and brought through young players like Samuel Umtiti, Corentin Tolisso as well as playing a large role in the breakthrough of more widely-known pair Clement Grenier and Alexandre Lacazette.
Garde has shown to be tactically versatile, using a variety of formations during his time at the Stade Gerland. With regard to cup runs, which Mike Ashley seems to have absolutely no interest in, Garde won the French Cup and the French Supercup in 2012. It certainly boosts his attractiveness that he is currently unemployed and hence Newcastle would be able to appoint him without the need for any compensation to any club.
However, a key stumbling block would be Garde wanting to bring in his own backroom staff instead of doing as Pardew did and simply accepting to work with the existing coaches – John Carver, Steve Stone et al.
Furthermore, the backroom entourage that Garde would want to bring in are still at Lyon. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas drives a hard bargain and, as such, any negotiations for the release of Garde’s favoured coaches would not be easily resolved.
Though the Mike Ashley regime has made a decisive shift towards to continental system of having a head coach rather than the all-encompassing manager, the former is a system that all of the aforementioned coaches have experienced success in – with the possible exception of whether Steve McClaren would be willing to wield less power than he does at Derby.
From that list, Thomas Tuchel or Frank de Boer would be the ideal candidates for the Newcastle job. Of course, whether they’d be willing to join the seemingly ambitionless current set-up at Newcastle would be another thing coming.
Here’s to hoping. As a Newcastle fan, I’m always hoping.
Written by Mark Ooi
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkOoiZW
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