Monday, September 06, 2004

Not-so-great Scot

So, the decision has been made.

It's not Ottmar Hitzfeld.

It's not Steve Maclaren.

It's not Cockney wide-boy El Tel Venables.

It's not David O'Blarney.

It's not even Steve "I'm a real Geordie, me" Bruce.

It's Graeme Souness.

Excuse me a while as I try to find some semblance of logic and reasoning in this decision. I may be some time.


Nope, I'm struggling here.

Souness's managerial record is hardly the stuff of legends - three league titles but all of them north of the border with Rangers so they don't count, an FA Cup with Liverpool while reducing them to a shadow of the all-conquering 80s side, and a flirtation with relegation last season as Blackburn boss which came about mainly because his team had no concept of how to defend (sound familiar?).

Neither is he the Geordie we were promised (though he is just about preferable to Bruce who would have fulfilled that criterion), unless Glasgow has been relocated to Tyneside while I've been away. Nice to see that Fat Freddie's grasp of geography is as good as his grasp of how to run a football club.

All I can come up with in defence of the appointment is that Souness has a real passion for the game and fire in his belly. As his treatment of Cole and Yorke showed, he has no respect for reputations and isn't prepared to tolerate underperforming primadonnas with enormous egos, of which we currently have many - Dyer merely being the most prominent. Perhaps this is what we need - but, on the other hand, if he sets about antagonising players upon arrival then it could be a tinderbox situation.

As the old cliche goes, one thing's for sure - life won't be dull.

(You can read the thoughts of the New Links crew here.)


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