Whilst browsing hesitantly through my morning dose of Magpie News (news about Newcastle United Football Club, for those lesser mortals who don’t know what I’m referring to) – hesitantly because I don’t know how many times I’ve clicked on the link only to find out Michael Owen has suffered another setback in his injury recovery blablabla – I found this link.
As you may or may not know, Newcastle are manager-less after sacking misfiring Scot Graeme Souness after a run of injury-induced losses. One can argue whether Souness was totally at fault or just shit-out-of-luck, but the point still stands that the Magpies are a team with such potential there is no way they should be languishing in mid-table, having to settle for a looming season without European football. They are currently under the caretaker management of Glenn Roeder (the same gaffer who lent a helping hand in West Ham’s freefall out of the top flight) who has expressed that he has no interest in taking up the position permanently.
Obviously, with panache only the British media can exude, there have been rumours flying about surrounding Souness’ successor, with ex-Celtic man Martin O’Neill and Birmingham’s Steve Bruce being frontrunners. Well a section of the Toon Army (the nickname for Magpie supporters, for those same lesser mortals) have set up a petition website “Hitzfeld for the Toon” calling for the German mastermind Otto Hitzfeld to be the new coach.
His CV says it all: He led an ailing Borussia Dortmund to successful Bundesliga titles in the late 90s, followed it up with four more at Bayern Munich and has numerous cups won at a number of teams (including two Champions League titles) behind his name
Being a faithful and fanatical Magpie supporter for a number of years, I can see the logic in trying to tempt Chairman Freddy Shepherd and the boys to lure the enigmatic German to Newcastle. With thousands of fans having already signed the petition, it remains to be seen whether the management really have the passionate Toon Army nearest at heart or whether, as seems to be the case in the Barclays Premiership these days (hello Roman’s Chelski), big money talks while one manager after another walks.
Uncle Toon wants YOU.