Unai Emery's Newcastle United snub is a learning curve for the new owners as hunt continues
The one that got away?
Unai Emery’s Newcastle United snub certainly has a hint of that.
Had the Emery move come to fruition, the new owners would have pulled off an unbelievable coup less than a month into their tenure – but instead are left to rue one that go away.
All the noise on Tuesday morning suggested the arrival of the former Arsenal boss was a matter of time with Emery the strong leading contender – creating a huge amount of excitement on Tyneside.
While it was clear there was still a lot of work to do on the deal, nevertheless the strong suggestion from the Emery camp is that the way the news emerged is said to have disappointed and prompted a re-think from Emery as he prepared his Villarreal side to host BSC Young Boys in the Champions League.
From there, things escalated for the worst and Emery confirmed he was staying at the La Liga club, despite interest from a “great club”.
"Honestly, I am grateful for the interest of a great club,” Emery said.
“But even more grateful to be here and that is why I communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to want to continue being part of this project because of the commitment and respect that I perceive from the club and from my players, how mutual and reciprocal.”
Emery’s rejection could be for other undisclosed reasons, the most palpable one being to leave a club that competes on Europe’s higher stage for one that is at risk of being relegated.
But whatever happened during those 24 hours, Newcastle have missed out on an elite manager and as a result, provided a learning curve for the new owners.
It was a positive that Emery strongly considered accepting the job but it’s also an eye-opener that it didn’t happen.
United’s position in the Premier League table allows little room for error in the manager hunt.
However, while it is fair to be frustrated over the Emery disappointment, the new owners still deserve everyone’s utmost trust. After all, this is a long-term project.
Experiences like this will make those above better for it.
It also outlines the importance of why experience is needed on the board, and why roles such as a director of football and advisors are so critical.
At present, Amanda Staveley & Co will have to make a managerial appointment of their own, with Eddie Howe now the frontrunner.
Howe’s potential arrival will undoubtedly divide the fanbase but he is an upgrade on his predecessor, despite a slightly underwhelming 29.5% Premier League win percentage.
Some will view him as the man who relegated Bournemouth. Others will take into consideration the amazing project he built at Bournemouth, taking them from League Two to the Premier League.
The experience of such project could make him an ideal candidate. If the owners place their trust in him, then so should supporters.
The threat of relegation has added extra pressure to the new owners’ managerial search but that doesn’t mean patience is required.
The troubles under Mike Ashley can’t just disappear straight away. It was bound to get worse before it gets better.
There have been early faults but the ownership will undoubtedly grow wiser.