Alan Shearer has taken up the reins for the last eight games of the season at Newcastle United – and the move is certainly a canny piece of business.
In addition to the reported £1m for the two month spell, and a further £1m if he manges to beat the drop, the Toon legend has certainly timed his arrival right.
I had blogged on his prospects of taking up the helm at St James’s Park in the past and, at the time it was move that would only serve to tarnish hi reputation.
But that has all changed – rather than take the job after Keegan resigned, with the Magpies faithful expecting a comfortable mid-table finish – he inherits a team battling against the drop.
If Newcastle go down – he’ll be a have-a-go hero who inherited the wrong team at the wrong time.
If they beat the drop his messiah status will only rise.
With Newcastle being turned down by Harry Redknapp and getting hammered 6-0 away to Manchester United their need has never been greater to get a new man in the hot-seat.
The Magpies fans, and Redknapp himself, would like to see former number nine Alan Shearer make a return to St. James Park as the manager, or perhaps omen a dream ticket as Kevin Keegan’s second in command.
But what do the St. James faithful want in a new manager? And how do they want the club to perform?
It seems the next boss has to be all things to all men, while winning games and playing beautiful football.
The one thing a new man at the helm will not have is time.
Despite Rome not being built in day Geordie fans expect Newcastle’s footballing empire to be completed in around 24 hours, while left drooling over sexy football.
How will an experienced manager be able to turn a club like Newcastle United around in less than paltry eight months Sam Allardyce was given in charge?
Alex Ferguson would struggle and Arsene Wenger would find it near impossible.
So what hope for Shearer?
The truth is Big Al is in a hazardous situation. He is idolised at St. James and would have everything to lose if he couldn’t deliver what the Magpies fans crave in a timely fashion and may find his reputation in tatters.
After all, we all remember Glenn Hoddle’s ill-fated return to Tottenham.