Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A matter of Sven not if?

Given recent results (and, to a lesser extent, performances), it was inevitable that Glenn Roeder would find his job security coming under increasing pressure and scrutiny.

All of which means he can't have been too amused to read the reports linking former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson with his job.

Eriksson's agent Athole Still has dismissed the rumours, commenting: "To say he has targeted the job of another coach is absolutely unacceptable and is malicious". Hmm. Perhaps he's forgotten the idle chat about Aston Villa with the "fake sheik" then...

For his part, Fat Fred has been equally vehement in his rebuttal of the claims: "This is all news to me. I have not spoken to Sven since he left the England job and I have no intention of speaking to him. Neither have I spoken to his agent Athole Still and, as far as I am aware, they have not tried to approach us. In any case if they did, it would not matter because we already have a manager."

Not that Shepherd's vehemence should set Roeder's mind at ease, of course. Fat Fred's nothing if not rarely a man of his word. For him to sack Roeder at this stage of the season, having battled to appoint him in the first place (and threatened to knock John Barnwell of the League Managers Association out in the process), would be remarkable.

Equally remarkable would be the subsequent appointment of Eriksson, for whom Shepherd also had some strong words in the summer.

But, of course, when it comes to Newcastle Utd, stranger things have happened.

As far as I'm concerned, we should persist with Roeder at least for the time being - giving him the opportunity to turn things around as he did last term. If that doesn't work out, though, Eriksson's track record at club level is undeniably impressive (even if his wages would be exorbitant). There would be worse choices for manager - like Graeme Souness, for instance...


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