Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Souness way

The coupling of Newcastle United and Graeme Souness is a match made in heaven.

I am often amused, and bemused, by the lack of respect that some sections of Newcastle United supporters give their manager Graeme Souness, although I do acknowledge that he has performed poorly so far. Having witnessed his period at Blackburn Rovers, I know that he is a good manager. He did get the Rovers promoted to the English Premier League in 2001, and managed sixth in the Premiership for the season 2002/2003 only two years later, and that itself was no fluke. He had built up a very good squad that played very well as a team and looked like they could move onwards.

Alas, it was not meant to be, with Rovers finishing becoming a bottom half team soon after that. You see, Souness has a nasty habit of falling out with players, and the departures of the likes of David Dunn and Andrew Cole on the cheap seriously hurt the club. (The departure of the almost irreplaceable Damien Duff also hurt the team, but that was not Souness’ fault, to be fair.) Now, this might not be a problem if he could replace such players with quality, but some forays into the transfer market, such as Corrado Grabbi and Barry Ferguson, during his tenure turned out to be shocking wastes of money, ensuring that the well of transfer money dried up. In the end, this lack of backing (albeit justifiably) by the Blackburn board forced the team towards a downward spiral that ended up transforming Souness into an absolute madman. For example, he played that lump of a defender with no attacking ability, Dominic Matteo, on the left wing shortly before moving on last season).

That is not a problem at Newcastle, however. Souness is afforded the luxury of being able to fall out with players, move them on, and use the club's large financial pool to replace those players with quality. He certainly is prone to buying players that end up a total waste of money, but that will not cripple Newcastle like it did Blackburn. Just give the man time to build up a squad, which he is already on the way to completing with quality signings such as Scott Parker and (especially) Emre. Some extra strikers are obviously needed, and once Souness does that, in addition to strengthening competition for some of the other positions, I suspect the genius of signing Souness as manager will shine through. (Did I just commend chairman Freddy Shepherd?! I will try not to do that again!)

I would never want Graeme Souness back at Blackburn ever again, because Mark Hughes is showing himself to be tactically superior and able to improve the players' abilities substantially, which is doing wonders at the moment and is right for a club that does not have the financial resources it once had. However, he is certainly right for Newcastle because he is a manager who needs to spend money, and given the right backing he can attract the big names and the right sort of players (ie. players in his image) easily enough to mould a spectacular team and develop an aesthetically pleasing style of play. He just needs the time and support from the club at all levels (including the supporters) to turn the club into a great force once again.


At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:19:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm - I think your logic is a little twisted.

Just because Souness needs money to build a team doesn't mean that he is the right manager for Newcastle - it means a club with money like Newcastle is the right club for him.

Having said that, in fact Newcastle have spent less than half the money of clubs like Liverpool over the last 5 years on transfers - the idea of Newcastle as a big spending club is a myth (largely put about by Freddie Shepherd).


At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:31:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good God man, did you see us play at the end last season?

Why applaud Shepherds ventures into the market when he's bought us two midfielders, yet not the full backs, wingers and two strikers that we are in more desperate need of?

That and the daft cunt always blames everyone but himself.

At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:45:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's an incompetent scottish twat who is constantly making excuses and blaming others for his own failings. Hopefully he will be sacked after Man Usa twat us at the weekend (and we still might not have scored a goal by then either).

At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:46:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unfortunate thing about Souness is that he is not a nice man, so it is tempting to want him to fail. I am not proud of it, but I want him to die.

At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:54:00 pm, Blogger James No. 7 said...

Anonymous No. 2: I applauded Shepherd? Only so far that I still think that Souness is the right man, whom he appointed. I applauded Souness for the signings so far (not Shepherd), but the lack of strikers has been seemingly atrocious mismanagement, but the transfer window is not over yet for a clear view of that.

"Good God man, did you see us play at the end last season?"

My whole point in this article is that while Souness has done a poor job so far, he can turn it around and build a very good team (his own) with an attractive style of play, given time and money. He's done it before.

Good god man, I thought I made that clear.

Anonymous No. 1: "Just because Souness needs money to build a team doesn't mean that he is the right manager for Newcastle..."

Ah, but you forget that in my naive dribble I actually said that Souness is a "good manager"!

I'm happy to let time prove or disprove my hypothesis. There's not much that can be said in favour of Souness right now, unfortunately, but I think that will change.

If there's one piece of advice that I have for Souness, it would be to settle his feud with Lady Luck.

At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 11:03:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's the clown that hopes Man Ure beat us it the weekend? So called supporters like that want to do us all a favour and FUCK OFF!

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 6:50:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, now. There is no need for language like that! Admittedly no newc supporter would wish their team to lose, but there is little doubt given the current state of the squad and the managers lack of tactical guile that we can expect anything but an arse-kicking from scumchester utd.


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