"My job is to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League. I will be in charge for eight games and eight games only."
- Alan Shearer, who's somehow managed to make the most bizarre managerial appointment of the season seem even odder
I can't sleep anymore.
Most days I wake up at 5:00am and wonder what the hell I'm going to do until work. Usually, I get on the computer and hack away at my book. When I get bored, I log onto the Internet and look for some football news. And when I come across something bizarre like "Shearer in charge of Newcastle United for eight games only", I wonder if I'm still in bed and still dreaming.
A lot of us thought the appointment of Shearer as Newcastle United was an April Fool's joke. That was bizarre, but it had a certain crazy logic to it. Shearer's a Toon god, so even if he gets them relegated, the fans won't misbehave too badly. And you never know, he might do okay. He's young, charismatic, passionate about Newcastle, and he can always learn to be a good manager if given time and patience by the fans and the board. Give him an experienced mentor (Bobby Robson, Terry Venables etc,.) to guide him with tactics and training, and it might even work.
However, appointing Shearer for eight games is just stupid. Newcastle are in the relegation zone. The relegation zone. Newcastle are in a position to get relegated. Newcastle and Relegation are sitting at opposite ends of a dimly-lit bar, their eyes lock and it's fate; from that moment, you know that Newcastle and Relegation are gonna get in on....
I know I'm repeating myself, but wilfully negligent stupidity just leaves me... well, stupefied.
To sum up Newcastle's season, Mike Ashley didn't do due diligence when he bought Newcastle. He hired Keegan when he hadn't even been to a football match in three years. He sacked Keegan to save Dennis Wise. He appointed Kinnear as manager, who's since had heart failure from managing Newcastle. He then sacked Kinnear, sacked the other manager, and sacked Dennis Wise in order to get Shearer.... and Shearer's only going to be there for eight weeks?
If you're appointing a short-term manager to avoid relegation, you go for someone who knows what they're doing. You don't go for someone who's never managed in their life. You call 'Arry Redknapp and pile dump-trucks full of money at his doorstep until he quits Tottenham. Or Steve Bruce. Or Aidan Boothroyd. Or ANYONE who knows what it's like to manage a relegation battle. What you don't do is hire Alan-f**king-Shearer (at £100,000 a game) and hope he saves the day.
But whatever. It's Newcastle United, and it's Mike Ashley, and nothing makes sense up on the Toon. It's 7:00am now, and I'm going to try and go back to sleep. Maybe the world will make more sense when the sun's up?