Home / Soccer Fans / The Toon Army Loses Another General


John Conner, SoccerProse.comGreetings from London.

Being that this is my first blog, I thought I would take a minute to introduce myself.  My name is John Conner.  I am currently a Junior at the University of Missouri, and I am studying abroad in London this semester.  I am an avid soccer fan (this is the last time I will use the word, from now on it will be football, as to avoid being shunned by the mighty English that I am living amongst) and have played the sport since I was 4 years old.  While I am living in London for the next four months I will be working with Fulham FC, and will be keeping you up to date with the club’s as well as the EPL’s happenings.

Enough about me…ON WITH THE FOOTBALL!

Obviously the biggest news is the sacking of Sam “Big Sam” Allardyce.  His dismissal means that Newcastle will soon be hiring their fourth manager in less than two years, and seventh manager in the past 11.  Now I agree that it is unacceptable for a large club like Newcastle United, who are the only professional team based in Newcastle, to be underachieving as much as they are with the talent they have at their disposal, but with the constant changing of managers it is impossible for players to ever begin to adapt to and play within the system that their manager brings to the table.  This certainly begins to beg the question of whether or not Newcastle is unmanageable.  Now I would never ask a fan of any sport and of any team to not put their whole heart behind their team, but managers must be given time to allow everything to work correctly, and a few months is not the correct amount of time.

Now of course, with this sacking brings the fun of discussing the possible candidates for replacements.  The papers here have quickly tipped Mr. Harry Redknapp of Portsmouth for take over.  However, he quickly brushed these off as complete rubbish.  While I think Redknapp is a fine manager I do not see him as the manager of the mighty Magpies and their faithful Toon Army have a smorgasbord of other names to choose from so I will discuss my top 3.

1. Alan Shearer – The Newcastle and England legend has been tipped for the job, but he claims that he is happy working as a journalist for the BBC.  I for one think he would be the best available pick, and would be incredibly interested to see what kind of style and flair he could bring has a manager.

2. Martin Jol – According to reports, Jol is the “fan favorite” to take over the manager position at Newcastle, and it is thought that he would be keen to do so.  I am a long-standing admirer of Jol and his managerial abilities and was disappointed to see him sacked by Tottenham in October.  He certainly has all the right tools to bring Newcastle the success that it craves.

3. Kevin Keegan – Now Keegan is apparently not high on any of the bookies list, or on the list of many of the local papers, but I see the England footballing legend as another ideal candidate for the job.  Keegan finished his playing career with Newcastle and also started his managerial career with them.  In his first season as manager he lead them to promotion to the Premier League, and finished third in their first season after promotion.  Dare I say that I believed Keegan could do it again?

It will be an interesting time for Newcastle as they search for a new manager, and lets hope that they actually allow the new Manager a little time to actually formulate some success.  For now though, the Toon Army marches without a general.



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  1. Great writeup John, it will be interesting indeed to see Newcastle’s selection. What work will you be doing for Fulham? Best of luck and keep us all updated!

  2. Well done, nephew John, but I still believe true Football is played in America and any other sport by the same name is true piracy. Maybe the English version has earlier roots, still Football is football and soccer is soccer. My advice to you, Sir John, is take your flogging when you must, but call a skunk a skunk and call soccer, well, soccer. Or at least differentiat with correct spelling, ie. Football vs. Futbol. Sincerely, your Uncle in the States…Cheers to you!

  3. haha I must agree that it is strange to call soccer football…however when you actually think about it…soccer is a game played 99% of the time with the feet while american football is played really with every other part of the body…except for the 2% of the time for kickoffs, field goals, and punts.

  4. Hey John… have to agree with you on the soccer / football / futbol (which is spanish) debate, although there’s no use taking sides really, because all language is relative between speaker and audience, so Marcus’ argument is relevant, too.

    To more important things: Go on with your bad Fulham self! I am personally a Villa fan, but I am definitely jealous of your opportunity. All the best to you in that.

    3rd: what’s the word on the street about Souness as Toon manager again?! Noticed he wasn’t on your list and things are getting interesting now with Shearer apparently not feeling wanted.

    love your writings, Tom @ SoccerPro

  5. I agree with the language being relative…so as they say when in rome do as the romans do

    and as luck would have it I made the correct guess with Kevin Keegan. He is, according to sources, the new boss at Newcastle.

  6. I see that now! Great call, there. Did you have anything to do with it?!

    Looks like I should have waited 30 min for my question1

  7. looks like those mizzou journalism classes are paying off. i was expecting something much less intelligible. you’re doing an amazing job of pretending to be a soccer fan. Also, i love the pic. can i get that in wallet size?