This is a difficult one for me. Peter Beardsley is one of my all-time favourite Newcastle United players. He is one of the true Geordie legends. That will never be in doubt. But as a football coach who has been put in charge of many of our younger players there are a number of serious questions. Beardsley was appointed coach of the Academy side in March, 2009.
It’s difficult to find much information about that season but I recall a fairly dismal season. In July 2010 Beardo was appointed Reserve team Manager.
The story of Reserve team football in England is a complicated one and I won’t get into too much detail here but suffice to say we have never been particularly successful at this level during the time in which Peter Beardsley has been Reserve team manager. Currently we sit sixth out of 12 clubs in U-23 League Division Two with 3 wins a draw and 2 losses.
At the top of the table are the reserve teams of 3 Premier league clubs, Swansea, West Brom, and West Ham in that order. Wolves and lowly Blackburn Rovers come next! To add a further comparison the 2010-2011 league winners were Blackburn Rovers reserves!
For many years now our owner Mike Ashley has spoken of the merits of rebuilding the entire club from the academy to the senior team.
Are we achieving that with a coaching staff that includes Peter Beardsley? Why is he actually back at the club given he has no real history of coaching at lower league level? Has Rafa allowed him to remain out of respect for his playing days at the club?
Does anyone in the management group at the club pay attention to how the Reserve side under Beardsley performs? What type of review is Beardsley subject to at the end of each season and what level of performance is expected of the Reserves?
Have we got the ambition to build an U-23 side strong enough to win this division? These are all questions I would dearly love to have answers to. I think we must continue to ask questions of the club until we see success at every level.