Ashley won’t budge on blueprint

p16607Sport-2-1

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Newcastle are unlikely to deviate from Mike Ashley’s masterplan as they look to fill the gap left by Alan Pardew’s impending departure.

The process of identifying the 53-year-old’s replacement began along with the discussions over his proposed exit for Crystal Palace, where he is expected to be unveiled as Neil Warnock’s replacement imminently after more than four years on Tyneside.

However, whoever slips into the St James’ Park hot-seat in his wake will have to buy into the same model under which Pardew has operated during his time at the club.

Reports have suggested that Pardew decided to call it a day after being told there would not be significant investment in the squad during the forthcoming transfer window, and fearing that key players, midfielder Moussa Sissoko among them, could be sold next month.

But Press Association Sport understands that Pardew had been given assurances that the Magpies would remain extremely strong on that front and would not be allowing the likes of the France international, who has been linked with Paris St Germain and Arsenal, to leave in January.

Ashley, who remains on holiday in Barbados with chief executive Lee Charnley conducting affairs back on Tyneside, is unlikely to make a hasty decision and it is understood that assistant manager John Carver and first-team coach Steve Stone could be in charge of team affairs for Thursday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Burnley and the FA Cup third round trip to Leicester which follows 48 hours later.

A working short-list has already been drawn up and club insiders insisted on Tuesday morning that the name of skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who emerged as a shock favourite for the job with the bookmakers overnight, is not on it having never been discussed.

Coloccini would be both cheap and popular with the fans – although the latter quality will not necessarily come into Ashley’s thinking – but his appointment would be left-field and while the sportswear tycoon has never been afraid to make innovative decisions, meaning nothing can be ruled in or out, he will not gamble with the club’s Premier League status.

Former Palace boss Tony Pulis and current Hull manager Steve Bruce have also been touted as candidates, and sources close to the pair have indicated an approach would not be unwelcome, although the fact that Bruce, like Derby’s Steve McClaren, who signed a new three-year contract in August, is currently in a job may not play well with Ashley, whose track record suggests he does not want to pay compensation.

The Magpies have conducted most of their recent transfer activity in Europe and have strong contacts on the continent, although Ajax boss Frank de Boer has already distanced himself for a vacancy with which St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier has been linked repeatedly in the recent past.

But what is clear is that the successful candidate will have to operate under the same conditions as Pardew, whose had made little secret of his desire to bolster his squad next month.

That blueprint, which involves recruiting players with potential, developing them and selling them at a profit, as the club did with Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy, is managed by chief scout Graham Carr, who like the manager, was handed an eight-year contract back in 2012, and he is likely to have a significant influence in identifying the right man.

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search