Although many people expected Alan Pardew to leave Newcastle, not many could of predicted that he would leave them for relegation candidates, Crystal Palace.

Pardew did play for Palace during his playing career, so it’s not a complete shock, but the manner in which he has joined the club is slightly strange.

Mike Ashley the chairman of Newcastle United gave Alan Pardew a staggering 8-year contract, after Pardew guided his side to a 5th place finish, in his first full-season in charge of the Magpies in 2011-12. However things didn’t go to plan after that, and there have been plenty of highs and lows for Pardew and Newcastle in the last two seasons.

Despite the move coming as a bit of a surprise, it does seem to be a move that suits all parties, although the jury will remain on whether Palace have made the right choice, depending on whether Pardew can keep them in the Premier League this season.

Newcastle were paid £3.5m in compensation by Crystal Palace, and therefore the Tyneside club will no doubt be happy about getting out of the long-term contract they gave Pardew just two seasons ago, as well as getting the compensation to boot.

It wasn’t all bad for Pardew at Newcastle, he just went through very tough spells with the club, and therefore received a lot of stick from the fans, resulting in pressure on Mike Ashley to sack him, which would of been costly.

So where do Newcastle look, as they try to find their manager for the foreseeable future?

Below are a few of the top candidates for the job.

Rémi Garde

The Frenchman, who played for Arsenal between 1996-1999 is currently the bookmakers favourite to succeed Alan Pardew at Newcastle, however it has been reported that despite there being a shortlist, no discussions have taken place with any candidates.

 Garde, who spent the majority of his playing career in France only has three years of real managerial experience under his belt, which came when he returned to manage his first club, Lyon between 2011-2014. He did re-join the club much earlier than that, when he returned as a coach in 2003, and was later appointed Assistant Manager to Gérard Houllier in 2005.

Garde, now a free agent after leaving Lyon last season had a decent, but somewhat lacklustre spell in charge of his old club, finishing 5th last season and 3rd in the two seasons prior to that, which do not live up to their high standards considering they won the league seven years in a row between 2001-2008.

This can be put down to an extent to the re-emergence of both Paris St Germain and AS Monaco who have both been backed heavily financially in recent years which has proved difficult to contend with. Having said that Lille were champions in the 2010-2011 season and Montpellier won it the following year, so Lyon would of expected to of contended more in recent years.

He didn’t have a terrible time, considering it was his first crack at being a fully fledged first-team manager, but he would of hoped for better. His win rate of 51.28% on paper does not look at all bad, and he will be keen to show what he can offer, if given a chance in the Premier League.

It’s worth noting that he did step down as Lyon manager for personal reasons at the end of last season, citing the need for rest and pointed out he did plan to manage a team this term. That of course can change when a Premier League club comes calling, and with a strong French contingent in the playing staff at Newcastle, he may well be tempted even if it is only on a short-term basis until the end of the season.

Steve McClaren

Despite both McClaren distancing himself from the role and his current employers Derby County playing down reports of him leaving for the Premier League side, he still remains second favourite in the betting, so clearly not everyone is convinced he is staying put.

McClaren enjoyed a reasonable start to his managerial career, when he took over Newcastle’s neighbours, Middlesbrough in June 2001, where he would stay until May 2006.

In his time with Middlesbrough, McClaren enjoyed cup success both domestically and on the European stage. His side won the 2004 League Cup, and made it to final of the 2006 UEFA Cup, where unfortunately they were outclassed by an impressive Sevilla side.

That would be McClaren’s final game in charge of the club, but it’s what came next that will always be the lasting memory of his managerial career so far.

McClaren was the assistant to England manager at the time, Sven-Goran Eriksson and, he was shortlisted for the top role, when Eriksson announced he was leaving in January 2006., He was eventually named as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s successor in May 2006, despite the FA’s apparent interest in Luiz Felipe Scolari.

He didn’t perform well as England manager, despite a good start, failing to guide his side to the European Championships in 2008, becoming only the second manager in history to miss out on qualification to a major championship as England manager.

As a result of this he was removed from position, leading to another big change in his career, a move abroad. In May 2008, he made the decision to take the job at Dutch side, FC Twente, which now looks a great decision.

He went on to win the league with the Dutch side, in only his second season with the club, after coming 2nd in his debut season. He became the first Englishman since Bobby Robson, who led F.C Porto to league success in 1996, to manage a team to top-level league success.

After his successful spell in Holland, he moved to Germany to manage Wolfsburg, where unfortunately he failed to make an impact.

He lasted just 24 games at the German club, and managed to win just 7 times. Following his sacking from Wolfsburg it was time to return to England, this time with Championship side Nottingham Forest.

McClaren’s return to England did not start well, as he struggled to make an impact at Nottingham Forest, where he failed to make an connection with the City Ground faithful, and in the end lost his job after just 13 games in charge. He won just 3 times in those 13 games, losing 7.

Returning to Holland for a second spell with FC Twente didn’t go as well as he would of hoped, as his win percentage was 48%, compared to his previous 63%.

McClaren then joined Q.P.R as a coach under Harry Redknapp, before being hired as Head Coach by his current employers Derby County.

In his first season with the club, he led them to the play-off final which they cruelly lost to a last-minute goal from QPR’s Bobby Zamora, but he did not let that get him or his side down.

Derby have made a great start to the 2014/15 season and at the mid-way stage currently sit in third place, 3 points behind leaders Bournemouth.

It’s clear to see why a Premier League club would have some interest in bringing McClaren back to top-flight, as he has proved since joining Derby he is still capable of getting great results, but at the moment it looks as though he may stay put, and see if he can guide his current side back to the Premier League for the first time since the 2007/8 season.

Tim Sherwood

Much like Garde, Sherwood is inexperienced in terms of the manager role, managing just one side, and unlike Garde who managed for three years, Sherwood only lasted one in his spell as Tottenham Hotspur.

Sherwood stepped in and “assumed first-team duties” when Andre Vilas-Boas left in December 2013, and was later given an 18-month contract as Head Coach.

Sherwood won exactly 50% (14/28) of the games he oversaw as manager of Tottenham, and definitely steadied the ship, and didn’t do his chances of another lead role any harm.

Has he done enough to take over at somewhere like Newcastle? That still remains to be seen, and I personally think he would be better off gaining some more experience elsewhere, but if the offer is there it would certainly be tough for him to turn down.

He has been linked with most of the vacant jobs of late, including West Brom and Brighton, and I thought Brighton would of been a good option for him. As it is Brighton went with Chris Houghton, and Sherwood is still available.

Sherwood had a lengthy career, his highlight coming when captaining Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title in 1995. He was considered a key part of that side, which was managed by the great Kenny Dalglish, so it’s hard to argue with his playing credentials.

As we have seen so often, good or even great players don’t always make good managers, so it is hard to tell what he would bring to this position. He does need to be given a chance however, and we saw a glimpse of what he has to offer from his spell with Tottenham, it just depends whether the Newcastle hierarchy believe he has enough about him to take a job that comes with an extreme amount of pressure.

Whilst I don’t think he is by any means a poor candidate, he wouldn’t be my first choice, and I think Newcastle would benefit from an experienced head in charge at this stage.

John Carver

John Carver, the current caretaker manager of Newcastle has repeatedly expressed his interest in becoming first-team manager on a permanent basis, but I am not convinced the interest will be mutual.

Carver has proved to be a sucessful assistant on two occasions at Newcastle and at a host of other clubs, but whenever he has been given an opportunity to take control he hasn’t exactly excelled. Although brief, he has been given the “caretaker manager” role at most of the clubs he has been at, including Leeds United, but he has never been given the job on a permanent basis.

He will always be linked with the role, and of course he may well be interested in taking it, but I cannot see him getting the gig for any extended period of time, although it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he and fellow coach Steve Stone assumed first team responsibilities until the end of the season.

If that was the case, I still think he would have to perform wonders to be considered a top candidate for the role going forward, and he may even lose his role as backroom staff, depending on who takes the job as they may want to bring in their own staff.

Glen Hoddle

Glen Hoddle is the latest name to be thrown into the mix, and reports suggest there is some interest. He has been working on his academy – The Glen Hoddle Academy since 2008, and this has taken up a lot of his time, but he has returned to coaching recently, being brought in by Harry Redknapp to be First-Team Coach at QPR in August 2014.

Hoddle managed both Swindon and Chelsea on a player manager basis, then retired from playing in 1995 and continued his role as manager of Chelsea until 1996. Then came his biggest job to date, the England National Team.

He had a relatively successful stint as England manager, despite plenty of controversy on and off the pitch. The biggest decision he made early on, was omitting a certain Paul Gascoigne from the squad. He also brought in a faith healer which was heavily criticized also.

Despite losing on penalties to Argentina in the second round of the 1998 World Cup, and leading the side in a disappointing qualifying campaign for the European Championships in 2000, Hoddle did keep up a 60% win rate as England manager, bettered only by the great Sir Alf Ramsey and more recently Fabio Capello.

It was his off the field comments that ultimately cost him his job, when he gave a controversial interview, which gave the FA little to no choice but to terminate his contract.

He later went on to have further spells as a club manager at both Southampton and Tottenham, as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Hoddle has not managed since leaving Wolves in 2006, so it is hard to ignore an eight-year absence from the game, but he certainly has experience in the role.

As aforementioned I feel Newcastle would benefit from an experienced manager at this stage, and whilst Hoddle wont be top of everyone’s list, I think they could do a lot worse, especially on a short-term basis.

The story of Hoddle being added to the shortlist has come out of nowhere, so it may just be media hype, but if Hoddle is serious about the chance of getting back into the big-time, it might be a good option for both parties.

These are the five leading candidates in the betting, but it is widely reported that a six-man shortlist is being drawn up, and considering I find it unlikely that John Carver is a realistic candidate, and Hoddle may also be unlikely, I am sure there will be some surprises along the way before someone is appointed.

For me McClaren looks the best option at this stage. He has re-established himself in the English game, albeit in the Championship and his England tenure aside, he has been relatively successful in the past. If they can prize him away from Derby, I think he may just be the sort of person they are after to bring Newcastle back to where they should be in the Premier League.





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