Could we see Lee Clark return to Newcastle in the future?

Could Clark return one day?

Could Clark return one day?
I think it’s been about a year to the day when I last wrote an article, which was the first instalment of what was supposed to be a series. I think I’ve waited long enough now for the excitement and furore to die down and I can finally continue this long awaited instalment. Ahem.

When I started this series Alan Pardew had served a relatively successful if unremarkable six months as Newcastle supremo, managing to cope without our star striker and leading us to a comfortable mid table finish. Speculating on future managers seemed unreasonable then, but a year on after Pardiola rightly earned Manager of the Season it seems outright madness. Still, this is Newcastle United we’re talking about!

In all seriousness you have to admit that if Pardew continues to be this successful every season there’s a chance we could lose him for a very different reason. Fortunately for Alan he was spared the noose by Roy Hodgson this season, but after England’s next upcoming collapse in 2014 he may not be so lucky… Whenever and however it happens, Pards won’t be around forever (although let’s hope he stays longer than say, his last eight predecessors or so) and we’ll be looking for a new manager, so could any of our ex players fit the bill?

If you’ve looked at the title you’ve probably managed to piece together than this article is about our former midfielder and local lad Lee Clark. Clarkie endeared himself to NUFC fans with some eight years of service over two stints making over 200 appearances. After a shock move to Sunderland, Clarkie managed to make himself even more of a legend after his decision to wear a very fashionable item of clothing in a certain F.A Cup Final…

After retiring at the end of the 2005-2006 season in which he had coached part time, Clark was appointed first team coach and reserve team manager by then manager Glenn Roeder. Clark would later serve under Roeder as assistant manager at Norwich City after the latter resigned from Newcastle in May 2007, linking up with him in November of the same year.

On 12 December 2008 Clark was appointed as manager of Huddersfield Town and remained until his sacking back in February this year. Clark’s removal was perhaps the most “shocking” managerial dismissal of the 2011-2012 season in the entirety of the football league, at least to the neutral eye. As was stressed regularly by the press, Clark led Huddersfield to a 43 match unbeaten run, both a club and football league record. Clark had also led Town to the playoffs twice, including 3-0 defeat to Peterborough in the 2010-2011 playoff final.

Huddersfield were still 4th when Clark was sacked, with three defeats in the last 54 games. I think everyone was taken by surprise after Clark got the sack, particularly us Toon fans who had followed the career of this young and obviously talented manager.

Every man and his dog seemed to have something to say about the Clark sacking, with a fair amount of scorn directed at the Town chairman Dean Hoyle, not least because he sacked Clark via a two-minute phone call, a move that would make even Mike Ashley blush!

On the face of it Clark led Huddersfield to relative success and year on year improvement, despite not achieving the ultimate goal of promotion to the Championship. Clark also seems to have an eye for talent-being responsible for bringing in the talented Jordan Rhodes as well as midfielder Anthony Pilkington, now plying his trade at Norwich.

This kind of success led many to believe that Clark was doing a very good job at Huddersfield, hence the inevitable backlash after his sacking. Indeed our very own Lee Ryder wrote a fairly condescending and to be honest quite patronising article about how Huddersfield would miss out after getting rid of Clarkie.

Now whilst I probably would agree with his conclusions, the fact is that disregarding Huddersfield fans themselves and perhaps a few league one enthusiasts or veterans, of which I claim to be neither, not many people really knew what they were talking about. Clark did meet with plenty of success on both the transfer market and the playing field, but as Huddersfield fans themselves noted, Clark was still by and large backed to the hilt by his employer.

Indeed, during his three and a half year reign he signed some 44 players, and many of those on the upper echelons of a very competitive wage budget. Therefore, it could be fair to say Clark was perhaps not as successful as many assumed he was, yet would argue his sacking was still an unfair reward.

I’m only really pointing out the negatives because I want to avoid appearing to show blind loyalty to one of our own, but I think it’s fair to say that Lee Clark has a very bright future ahead of him. At just 39 years of age, Clark has displayed a willingness to get his hands dirty in the lower leagues and prove his managerial credentials as it were.

Despite his misfortune at being sacked by Huddersfield, Clark now has an opportunity to succeed where Chris Hughton failed and lead Birmingham City to promotion in what is a highly competitive Championship league.

Clark has plenty of time to learn from his mistakes and improve his managerial resume and for us at Newcastle it should already be know that a managerial with a less than impressive reputation should not be dismissed so easily, with Keegan, Roeder, Hughton and Pardew all proving to be successes on Tyneside despite lacking a “proven track record” or any managerial success prior to their appointments.

It’s easy to see why Lee Clark is a long term favourite to eventually rule the roost on Tyneside. A local lad, who was heavily influenced by the attacking football of Kevin Keegan and loves all things Newcastle, is surely a perfect candidate on paper. I for one am looking forward to following his career at Birmingham and wish him all the best for the future.

Hopefully he can learn his trade well enough to lead his hometown club to European and domestic glory at some point in the future, with any luck following in the footsteps of a certain Mr Pardew…

192 thoughts on “Could we see Lee Clark return to Newcastle in the future?

  1. @CC

    I agree to a degree. 😉

    It would have been ludicrous not to broker a deal as Shearer did.

    Just as it would have been to show loyalty to Southampton who took him on as a youth.
    Likewise to show loyaltyto Blackburn whom he won the title with.

    To come home to the Toon in your prime on huge wages and to be a local hero at his hometown club who were expected to win the league under Keegans fairytale bandwagon. That must have been hard. :-/

    Get a grip. History shows he has the same loyalty as all modern day footballers.



  2. Troy Stavers says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:23
    Furthermore, tell me how you listened to an entire criminal case at court and of the 12 jurors you were the only one finding their guilt.

    Troy…it wasn’t you on trial was it? 😉 😆


  3. @B&B

    Keep breathing fella, I’m in the clouds now!
    Cheeses wept!!!!! I’ve just found Aussie and Wolfies heeds up here. 🙂 🙂

    Your honour, I have answered all questions asked and that is acknowledged by the barristers and 11 other jurors giving me a rousing round of applause.

    The Judge; yes, Mr Stavers I totally agree and I was actually applauding you myself.
    I find Mr Shearer no more loyal than any other footballer based on bad character evidence.
    Take him down!

    It doesn’t get more compelling than that when the judge applauds you like 🙂


  4. “Get a grip. History shows he has the same loyalty as all modern day footballers.”

    Well if thats the case then why are you still bleating about the club treating Carroll badly like it had any bearing on him leaving, If he had no loyalty it would have made no difference if they had fed him grapes on his chaise lounge or treated him like scum…


  5. Ice @158 – I didn’t pay any attention when I heard the Sidibe deal had been announced on Troy’s website.


  6. @CC

    Carroll is as loyal as the next man.
    If the club say they don’t want to improve your contract despite another club offering 3 times as much and they want to accept £35m then, not only would Carroll be doing the right thing by leaving but Shearer would do exactly the same in the same circumstances. He did it at Blackburn and Southampton.

    Carroll would have stayed if the toon showed they wanted him by negotiating an improved contract.

    They are all as loyal as the club they play for. 🙄


  7. An old Les Kellet saying;

    It’s hard to argue with the truth.

    He whispered those words on his death bed.
    Grandma Vanga always repeated those words even when confronting my mam, about B&B being born illegitimately.
    Betty Waff (my mother) was caught in the barn with a potato picker. B&B came along 9 months later. 😛 😯

    You were aware of that Blackers weren’t you? Oops! 😳


  8. You can’t blame carroll for leaving.. As Bobby Shinton reported via his contact within the club ‘you can’t blame him for leaving for 120k per week’ …so you can see why Troy backs Carroll.. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Troy – so wrong on so many occasions.. I can see a new internet persona heading our way. 🙂 🙂 rip – Bobby – rip – Troy 🙂 🙂


  9. Let’s be honest here!

    Andy Carroll pulled a flanker no matter what happened after it.
    He saw an opportunity to re-negotiate his contract(or so he thought) and used the January fire sales to implement it knowing that the ink was barely dry on the previous one he just signed.

    He showed no loyalty whatsoever to the club.

    What actually really happened over that transfer sage I suppose we won;t really know until a biography comes out, assuming there hasn’t been a gag on it.

    Carroll had his dream number nine shirt…the same shirt he sat at school day dreaming about and once achieved, he put that dream in jeopardy by calling the clubs bluff.

    I’m not saying that the club didn’t play it’s part in it as well but the fact remains that Carroll chose the readies at the earliest opportunity over hero status.

    I agree that loyalty is few and far between in any circle of life, yet the fact remains that Carroll had, what many many toon fans would have given their bollocks for, which is the number 9 shirt.


  10. Toonsy
    Once again i disagree with your premis that Pardew is a good manager and yes, most of us know of Clarke’s record undefeated stretch.
    However at the same time we probably did’nt get the full story as to why he was sacked?
    I’m thinking it possibly had more to do with the financial part of management, than the footballing side.
    Obviously something Pardew does’nt have to worry about, as it appears the financial side is taken care of by higher ups and the recruitment of players, by Carr.
    Of course it has to appear that Pardew has a degree of control and it has been rumored that Obertan was one of his choices, but i seriously doubt he does much more than pencil in the side, with the coaches doing the preperation, keeping those dressing room ego’s from becoming upset is a big enough job on its own.
    In other words it’s my belief this club is run by comittee not unlike many corporations, with Ashley having to stamp his approval on every decission.
    As for Replacing Pardew, who i think is the weak link in the chain, by demonstrating as of this time much real knowledge of either tactics or how the modern game is played, then the sooner he gets the Engerland call and is replaced by a student of the modern game , the better for the future of NUFC .
    But therfore lies the problem, Chris Hughton, a former respected Spurs coach under a number of different managers, was sacked by Ashley, not because he did’nt bring success, but because he was’nt someone ashley felt comfortable with and birds of a feather tend to flok to-gether, ergo Pardew who does what he is told and throws out a few soundbites, signifying nowt.
    And I think this will become more apparent this coming season .
    Shame really because Carr seems to be building a decent side here.


  11. @aussie

    What bit have I got wrong. 😯

    Have you grabbed the poop end of the boomerang again? 😛


  12. Troy, I was agreeing with you mate… when you announced that Carroll was on 120k a while back, I believed you as you had a source within the club 🙂 it is the same reason that I still fear that Krul & Tiote will be sold for 15m each.. you are always on the money 🙂 🙂 🙂


  13. @wolfie

    Just like Shearer using his football stature to negotiate a tremendous contract, Carroll tried to do the same no doubt.

    No doubt if shearer hadn’t got what he wanted then he would not have come.

    I’m basing it on the lack of loyalty he showed to Southampton and Blackburn. 😉


  14. “Of course it has to appear that Pardew has a degree of control and it has been rumored that Obertan was one of his choices, but i seriously doubt he does much more than pencil in the side.”

    Never in the history of ‘blog reading have I ever read more crap and ignorance than I have from this Chuck. Its actually embarressing reading his “logic” and statements. 😳 😳 😳


  15. Aussie,

    Troy knows we wouldn’t offer Carroll more than 28k/per week. His mate Steve Wraith told him and the Tooth Fairy confirmed it 😉

    Don’t worry Troy, it could be worse… you could be a Mackem, or Chuck 😯 😆


  16. Total and utter bollox spouted from Chuck yet again.
    Begars belief. 👿 👿 👿


  17. @aussie

    No need to shout. I’m in the clouds in my balloon.
    Have you not read my previous post?
    Now turn round and speak to Timmy (to me) 😛


  18. JJ @172 your talking about one of org best 😆 a bit more schooling and he would be a half wit 🙄


  19. One of my favourite Chuck posts on .org was when he was describing the subtleties of Nicky Butts play 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 anyway enough about that wanker!


  20. Troy,

    Shearer spend four years at Blackburn and won them a Premier League trophy. His move from So’ton was to further his career.

    His move to Newcastle from Blackburn was loyalty and pride, he spend over ten years at his boyhood club and scored over 200 goals. He stayed despite some rough years.

    Carroll didn’t even prove himself, he deserted his boyhood club after half a season in the Premiership and went to a club that placed three places below us… so no ambition there for money… well thats according to you anyway 😉 😛


  21. chuck
    July 23, 2012 at 12:51

    Once again i disagree with your premis that Pardew is a good manager and yes, most of us know of Clarke’s record undefeated stretch.”

    Eh? 😕

    It’s not even my article 😯 😳


  22. @JJ

    You flower up Shearers record all you want you won’t change my opinion.

    Money is the main factor in all these dealings, whether it be Shearer, Carroll, Beardsley or Gazza.

    They are as loyal as the club they play for. 😉


  23. Didn’t Shearers contract small print ensure he remained the highest paid player at the club. When MOwen turned up didn’t AS get a pay rise also??
    Have to agree with Troy here, its all about the money.
    End of.
    All footballers are human and just like you or I, can be blinded by Greed.
    I’m certain Judas was too.


  24. Chuck’s doing his best to take the heat off you Troy. He’s not an alter ego is he?


  25. BB

    No, I’m quite sure Shearer said he was ok with Owen becoming the new record signing and earning more than him.
    While thats all very modest, he is a prick for encouraging Owen to come here. Only thing I’ll ever hold against him.


  26. Troy,

    How many years did Carroll spend with Newcastle? How many years did Shearer spend with Newcastle? 😉


  27. @bootsy

    Yes that clause was in his contract. My source told me so. 😉


    No good sneaking a comment on when I’ve been away posting as chuck on .org 😛

    I always get the last word. Keep blowing hot air Blackley the balloon is dropping since the others changed threads! 😆


  28. Wow! JJ. You’ve done it again! 😛

    Have you read the reasons I gave about Carroll and Shearer? 😯

    I don’t really need to repeat them do I? 🙄

    Read and digest and then think about what you are going to write. You sound like Blackley! 😛


  29. Well said Bootsy! Common sense beats beyond all reasonable doubt anyway. 😉

    The blinkered crew are blinded by true faith. 😎


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