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Magpies managers

Allardyce: Struggled

Magpies managers

Gullit: Flop

Magpies managers

Robson: Legend

Magpies managers

Keegan: Saviour

Magpies managers

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  • 5 picks out a selection of hits and misses in the Newcastle managerial hot-seat

It is often claimed that the England manager post is the hardest job in world football, with unrealistic expectations piling pressure on anyone willing to shoulder the responsibility.

There is, however, a case for arguing that taking the reins at Newcastle United is equally as perilous as inheriting the Three Lions hot-seat.

Chris Hughton is the latest man to fall foul of the rotating door policy at St James' Park, with promotion to the Premier League and impressive victories over Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sunderland not enough to keep his head off the chopping block.

Ten men have now taken charge of the Magpies in various capacities over the last six years, with stability in the dug-out a distant dream for the Toon Army.

Alan Pardew is the latest man to step into the shooting gallery, with the former West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss hoping to steady the ship and earn a stay of execution.

Recent history may suggest that he will need to hit the ground running, but the Newcastle job has not always been a poisoned chalice.

Here takes a look at 10 notable managers from years gone by, offering up five success stories and five reigns which had the North East natives tearing their hair out.

Sir Bobby Robson

Being a local lad, Robson was welcomed with open arms when he strolled into St James' Park in September 1999. The former England boss may have been approaching the end of his managerial career, but he had the charisma and tactical nous to bring the best out of Newcastle. He lasted the best part of five years in the post before being relieved of his duties by Freddy Shepherd. During that time he oversaw an 8-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in his first home game, secured qualification for the UEFA Champions League in consecutive seasons and took the club to the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup. Not too shabby when you consider how things have panned out since.

Kevin Keegan

Few people have made as big an impression on the Toon Army as Keegan, with the silver fox having taken in three separate spells with the club. A two-year stint at the end of his playing days saw him get the locals on board, and he went on to further his legend status when handed the manager's job in 1992. He staved off the threat of relegation in his first season in charge and guided the club to the Second Division title during his second. Three magical seasons in the Premier League followed, during which time the Magpies became renowned for their attacking approach and came agonisingly close to landing the title in 1995/96. Keegan sensationally quit in January 1997, but could not resist a second bite of the cherry when approached again 11 years on. Things did not go quite as well second time around, with his reign lasting just eight months, but his status as a footballing Messiah on Tyneside is secure.

Stan Seymour

A local boy done good, Seymour represented the Magpies with distinction for nine years during his playing days. He was appointed the club's director in 1938 and managed the side, alongside the directors' committee, until 1954. In 1951 and 1952 he helped guide Newcastle to FA Cup glory, becoming the first person in the history of English football to win the trophy as a player and coach. It is also worth noting that it was during his time in charge that a certain Jackie Milburn was handed a trial by the club, a man who would go on to become an iconic figure for the Magpies in the years that followed. Seymour resigned as manager in 1954 and took over as chairman, a position he would hold for two years. He was also appointed club president in 1976 and held that post until his death in 1978.

Doug Livingstone

Livingstone inherited the Newcastle reins in 1954, having proved his coaching credentials in the international arena. Having taken in spells with the Republic of Ireland and Belgium, he arrived on Tyneside shortly after the 1954 World Cup finals. His tactics were questioned initially by a sceptical board, but he soon won them over with a number of impressive displays. Unquestionably his finest moment came in 1955 when he helped the Magpies reclaim the FA Cup. He would last just one more year before leaving the post, though, with outside interference in team selection becoming too much for him to handle. He may not have held the role for long, but he holds the distinction of being the last man to lead the club to a major domestic trophy.

Joe Harvey

A Newcastle player during the glory years of the early 50s, Harvey hails from the same neck of the woods as Keegan and is another Yorkshireman to have been adopted by the Toon Army as one of their own. Nine years after hanging up his boots on Tyneside, Harvey was called back to St James' Park in June 1962. He immediately set about rebuilding the side and took the club to the Second Division title in 1964/65. A memorable period in the side's history followed, with European glory secured in 1969 as Newcastle landed the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. They would also win the Anglo-Italian Cup, the Texaco Cup twice and reach the 1974 FA Cup final under Harvey's guidance. The success could not last, though, and on 1st June 1975, exactly 13 years after he took the job, Harvey resigned.

Ossie Ardiles

Were it not for the failings of Ardiles, Keegan may never have returned to Tyneside, so perhaps it is for the best that the Argentine flattered to deceive. He became the club's first foreign manager when he arrived in March 1991, having jumped a sinking ship at Swindon to take the post. He was unable to make his mark on the Magpies, though, and left with them struggling towards the foot of the Second Division. During his ill-fated spell in the North East, Newcastle won just 10 of his 47 games in charge. However, every cloud has a silver lining and Keegan breezed back into St James' Park shortly after Ardiles' departure to sprinkle his magic dust.

Ruud Gullit

It is never a good idea to upset the paying public, as they have the power to remove you from the dug-out. Gullit found that out the hard way during his time on Tyneside, with some of his decisions leaving supporters baying for blood. He arrived in August 1998 having cut his managerial teeth at Chelsea and was regarded as the ideal candidate to get the Magpies playing his own brand of 'sexy football'. Unfortunately, despite leading the club to the 1999 FA Cup final, there was little alluring about the Dutchman's time in charge. Just five games into the 1999/00 season he had pushed the patience of the fans and board too far, with the decision to leave local hero Alan Shearer on the bench for a crunch derby clash with Sunderland proving to be the final straw.

Jack Charlton

You cannot argue with Charlton's football pedigree, with his family littered with high-profile professionals, including brother Bobby and his mother's cousin Jackie Milburn. During his playing days he helped England lift the 1966 World Cup and enjoyed a productive spell in charge of Middlesbrough upon entering the coaching ranks. He was unable to replicate that success with Boro's North East neighbours Newcastle, though, with just 12 months spent at the helm between 1984 and 1985. It did not take long for unrest to grow among the club's supporters during his reign, despite his local links, and he fell on his sword at the first sign of trouble. Newcastle's loss was the Republic of Ireland's gain, with Charlton going on to take in a memorable nine-year stint with the Irish national side.

Richard Dinnis

Few managers can claim to have been as unsuccessful as Ardiles during their time in charge of Newcastle, but Dinnis pushes the former Tottenham midfielder close. He penned a two-year contract with the club in 1977, but came nowhere near to seeing out that deal. The 1977/78 campaign started brightly enough for the Magpies, as they saw off Leeds on the opening day. However, three defeats in a row followed, piling pressure on Dinnis. He was handed an ultimatum by the board, but results failed to improve. Further defeats followed and crisis talks were held around St James' Park. It was decided to give Dinnis more time, but he then criticised the board in the press and was sacked in December 1977 just six months after his arrival.

Sam Allardyce

Allardyce can, perhaps rightly, claim that he was not given enough time to prove his worth at Newcastle, having lasted just seven months at the helm. The Magpies thought they had pulled off quite a coup in May 2007 when they convinced the highly-rated Bolton boss to leave the Reebok Stadium and take on a new challenge. However, the Magpies gave Allardyce just half a season before turning their attention elsewhere. The board responded to supporter unrest in January 2008 by parting ways with Allardyce by mutual consent. He left having won just eight of his 24 games in charge, but has gone on to rebuild his reputation at Blackburn Rovers.

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