Seven months to get a new Newcastle manager – Lee Charnley can’t get it wrong

KINGMAKER ... Lee Charnley.
KINGMAKER ... Lee Charnley.

“I’M always tracking managers and coaches. What’s their style of play, how successful are they, what’s their personality like – so you can be ahead of the game. So I’m always looking at five or six potential managers who have already impressed me.”

If only those words had been spoken by Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley.

I didn’t have a number of candidates/options in the background.

Lee Charnley

Instead, that quote comes from Southampton chief Les Reed, the man in overall charge of the Saints and one of the people responsible for their meteoric rise in English football over the last three years.

“We have a whole department for the recruitment of players, but it struck me some years ago that when a manager leaves, that’s when the club reacts and starts looking for a new one,” added Reed.

“I think we should be as diligent with that, because of the turnover of managers these days.”

Mauricio Pocchetino leaving? Let’s line up the best Dutch coach in Ronald Koeman.

It’s a novel, yet eminently sensible approach. While chief scouts scour the globe looking for the next batch of players, lining them up for when one of their stars leave, it’s always been a different approach with the recruitment of the men who actually tell these mult-million pound assets how to play.

Reactive, rather than proactive.

Never has it been more noticeabale than at St James’s Park. Compare Reed’s comments with these made by Charnley almost a month after Alan Pardew’s exit.

“People have asked us whether – because of the way the second part of last season went and the way we started this season – we had a contingency plan in the background. We didn’t. I didn’t have a number of candidates/options in the background.”

On Saturday, it will be two months to the day that Pardew last took charge of a Newcastle team, the 3-2 win over Everton. You would hope that Charnley and Graham Carr are further on in their search for a full-time replacement but there are suggestions they haven’t opened talks with anyone since appointing John Carver until the end of the season.

It has fuelled the belief among fans that they want Carver to keep the job next season. If true, it’s a scary thought. Nice fella he may be, but Carver is out of his depth at this level of management.

It’s difficult to apportion blame to Carver for Newcastle’s recent results. Yes, he had 10 days to prepare for the Manchester City game. Yes, he picked Vurnon Anita and played Yoan Gouffran centre-midfield. And yes, he’s been at pains to insist his squad is strong enough. But he didn’t over-promote himself.

You can’t expect fantastic results when you haven’t got the right person in charge.

Which brings me back to Charnley. By the time pre-season training starts in July, he will have had SEVEN months to get his man in place. It’s about the same length of time it takes to fly to Mars.

He’ll deserve a rocket of his own if he gets it wrong.