Geordie boy Thommo could have left a major legacy behind in Toon

By Lee Ryder on Jun 4, 10 07:40 PM

So Alan Thompson leaves his post as Toon coach after just two years.

Well, whoever comes into replace them, I hope they're good because United have just lost another good man and a proper Geordie who cares about the club to boot.

Thommo the player caused controversy amongst some Mags when he quit back in 1993 in search for first team football.

On reflection that came at a time of smaller squads, squad rotation and resting didn't exist and Kevin Keegan would soon abolish the reserves.

Thompson went on to be a class act for Bolton, Villa and then Celtic and perhaps unluckily won just one cap for England as one of the best left-footed players of his generation.

Moving on, as coach at Newcastle, he can leave with his head held high.

His no nonsense approach has been refreshing and he appears to have the ability to mix old fashioned management with modern approaches off to a tee.

And when youngsters like Haris Vuckic, Phil Airey, Stephen Folan and Samuel Adjei - Thommo's legacy perhaps - are rolling up at first team HQ this July, they can thank Thompson for a lot of that after helping nurture them into the first team pool and on to the fringes of the first team.

Yes, the Academy have done a great job as well but Thompson interlinked superbly between the two bases and relayed the vital information to between the two camps.

I interviewed ex-Toon striker Joe Allon, who worked with Thompson at Leeds, and his view was simple, Thommo was an unsung hero for the Magpies last season.

To throw on top of that, he was a Geordie and he knew the highways and byways of youth football in the area after graduating from Wallsend Boys Club with some excellent links in the area - he also told me of his raw emotion after scoring a wonderful free-kick in Sir Bobby's emotional farewell between England and West Germany.

The other great thing about Thompson was that he would let any young player get ahead of themselves once famously yelling: "Don't go big time on me" to Nile Ranger and reminding him he was at a football club and "not a boy band".

He also slammed his reserve team after they took a hiding at Leeds last pre-season, saying: "Just because you come into training in a BMW, you haven't made it yet."

Little things like that can make or break a players career.

If we don't see Alan Thompson make it as a top manager in the next few years, I'll be very surprised.


Harry Lime said:

The cringeworthy term "Geordie boy" should be banned from the Chronicle. Thommo must be close to 40 years old.

Ryder's reply: Ever since certainly I can remember, Toon fans have used the chant "Hallo, hallo we are the Geordie boys", when they stop singing I'll stop using it.

Alex Moore said:

Good blog, enjoyed reading this and i agree with every word you say about thompson!

ha... like the reply above aswell. We are the geordie boys!

Bill Baxter said:

Why'd he leave?


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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