Welcome aboard Sergeant Major

By Lee Ryder on Oct 23, 06 10:19 AM

Nigel PearsonIn the aftermath of Newcastle United's game at Middlesbrough and recent home games - it has to be said the current crop of players require a good old fashioned kick up the backside.

Well the good news is they are about to get one.

Step forward big Nigel Pearson.

There's no way Pearson is coming in to stand on Glenn Roeder's toes at United, but the former Sheff Wed hero is a welcome addition to the Toon coaching staff.

In his playing days he was a gritty centre-back who didn't take any flak from anyone and skippered Sheff Wed to victory in the League Cup back in 1991 with the Owls then in the Second Division.

Now Pearson arrives at United with a fine background of coaching with the FA and a decent track record as a manager.

He's just left West Brom at the right end of Championship as number 2 to Bryan Robson and then caretaker boss.

He also cut his teeth in management with Carlisle United - saving them from relegation on the last the day of the season back in 1999 when goalkeeper Jimmy Glass struck a last gasp winner on a historic day in Cumbria.

At the Riverside he looked like a US marine in stature when he briefed the Press after the Boro and the journalists on the United beat certainly stood to attention too!

The ex-FA coach already has the respect of the United dressing room and took no time at all to prowl the touchline at Boro during the 1-0 loss.

And one of the United players has already admitted when he met Pearson for the first time on Saturday morning, they'd have agreed with big Nige if he'd told them it was Monday morning, such was the impact of the ex-Boro defender.

United might have their hands tied in the transfer market, but might have made one of the signings of season in the boot room.

*The next talk in is at Idols prior to the Charlton game on Saturday at 4pm. The guest taking your questions will be former Toon goalkeeping legend Kevin Carr.



Gerry Hagon said:

What on earth are you talking about, Lee? Nigel Pearson will make little or no difference to a team that is heading pell mell into the relegation area.

Why are you discussing such irrelevancies? For goodness' sake our team is looking worse now than it did when Roeder took over, and we are in a worse position in the premiership. The time has come for some sensible discussion on where we go from here.

I hope, nontheless, that the fans are not going to turn on Roeder. He was appointed after a successful recovery last year and we were all grateful for it. But we must face up to the fact that his appointment looks in retrospact like a cheapskate solution to a managerial problem that the chairman had got us into. Millions were being spent on compensation to both Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness and Roeder's appointment must have seemed like manna from heaven. In addition Roeder must have taken the job on strict financial constraints in an attempt to recover from the excesses of Souness, hence the 'sell before you buy' statement. I assume that finacial constraints were the reason for the failure to attract Woodgate and Campbell to bolster a suspect defence, and the odd fact that players were attracted to Middlesbrough rather than to us. Also a whole procession of attackers were talked of but never signed.

After the heroics of achieving the unlikely status of European football this season Roeder earned his chance of the managerial post and no one should criticize the man for taking it. However can you imagine anyone else in the top six of the premiership making such an appointment? How many would be looking to someone in charge of their Academy to take over permanently?

The questions that loom over everything are these. Who sacked Bobby Robson? Who then appointed Graeme Souness on a long contract? Who then allowed this appointee to spend a fortune on players? Who then sacked the same appointee? Who found himself in the financial squeeze that had to fund compensations to ex managers and debts for players who proved inadequate.

Finally, in terms of ambition, the comparison of the club now and the halcyon days of John Hall are painful. NUFC were so exciting to watch then that the broadcasters had to ration their coverage. The team now, on paper, is potentially just as good, but they play like I feel watching them, depressed and pessemistic.

Please, someone, anyone, take charge of this club and give us all a little optimism.

We go to matches now not expecting success.

Lee Ryder said:

Well Gerry one thing that is far from irrelevant is that United are in dire need for a defensive expert to come in and tighten things up at the back.

Nigel Pearson has an excellent reputation as a coach within the game.

For anybody who went to Boro yesterday, Pearson took no time at all to get his points across and that is a measure of the man.

I for one would not like to get on the wrong side of him!

And with the team needing a few home truths, Pearson is just the job.

Lee Ryder said:

Relegation? You're having a laugh?

Ian said:

Lee, I hope you're right about Pearson being able to tighten up the defence, but I fear that that won't happen unless the players change.

And Ramage at left back, just after he had played so well at centre half? That's all about Roeder I'm afraid.

Ryder's reply: The reason Ramage had to switch to left back was because Cele Babayaro cried off at a time when his team needed him.
But Ramage didn't moan and got on with it, I am sure he will be rewarded with a long run at centre-back when circumstances allow.

Michael said:

hahah.... How can you seriously claim that Nigel Pearson is going to make one slightest bit of difference??

If he was that good, then I reckon he'd be the manager and not the tea boy.

Get a grip Lee, this article is up there with your claim that a fit Kieron Dyer is amongst the 20 best midfielders in Europe!! Deluded!!

Lee Ryder said:

Michael - you do appreciate there is the difference between a good manager and a good coach?

Brian Kidd at Man United as a coach then on to Blackburn as an unconvincing manager is a good example of that.

Pearson isn't interested in running the team all together, he has been introduced to tighten up some of the weak spots.

And to judge him so early is closer to deluded then saying that a once £20million rated star in Dyer can be one of the top 20 midfielders in Europe when fully fit.

oxboy said:

Carlisle, west brom, yes this man obviously has the experience and quality befittibg our club which is apparently in the worlds top ten.
Roeder's choice of coaching staff is looking as if it can only be surpassed by his accumen in the transfer market.

Ryder's reply: What experience did Kevin Keegan have again when he arrived as boss in 1992 again Oxboy?

Commulus said:

Totally agree with Gerry, The appointment of Pearson is an irrelevancy. There is little to be gained from swabbing the decks on the Titanic. Pearson was a clogger, a man used to relegation struggles with third rate teams, Not a Top rate coach, he should however fit in nicely alongside this weakling management team headed by Conan the Librarian.

Ryder's reply: A clogger? Yes he clogged his way up the stairs at Wembley to lift the trophy we are playing for tonight back in 1991 as captain of then Second Division Sheff Wed before skippering them into Europe a few years later alongside quality like John Sheridan, Chris Waddle, David Hirst, Danny Wilson and John Harkes a group of respected internationals.

John Reidy said:

Lee, I have to agree with your assessment of Pearson and his impact. I read Teamtalk - West Brom and many spoke extremely well of him and his impact post Robson. The more I read the Geordies moaning about the likes of Pearson not being a superstar appointment, the more I cringe. These supporters are showing themselves up badly by their arrogance and seem to think NUFC have a divine right to attract the Mourinho's and Capellos of the world to this underachieving club which has zero pedigree in terms of success in a very long time. I have avidly supported NUFC for approx 30 years and I think some need a reality check. Stop the whingeing lads, and bear in mind that Wenger was nothing as a player .......

stephen said:

regarding to john reidys comment bout us fans needing a reality check and thinking we have a divine right to attract world class managers like mourinho and cappello,well i think we should have a right to expect us to go for people like mourinho,cappello, we are supposed to be the 10th biggest football in world football in terms of turnover 10th in world means champions league football every year for us.ha ha. when sir john came in he promised the fans we wouldnt be in this situation again and would always challenge at the top domesticly and in europe and freddie shepard was on board then too,ottmar hitzfeld offered newcastle his services when souness left but newcastle went the cheaper option didnt they. hitzfeld wouldve sorted this club out


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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