Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Choice of Boss Is Pivotal - Sir Bobby; MARVELLOUS MURRAY CLAIMS MADRID TITLE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Choice of Boss Is Pivotal - Sir Bobby; MARVELLOUS MURRAY CLAIMS MADRID TITLE

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

EVEN more important to Newcastle United's future than finding the right buyer for the club will be appointing a top manager to lead it, according to Sir Bobby Robson. And the former England and Barcelona boss believes either Alan Shearer or Kevin Keegan would fit into that category.

The Magpies go into tonight's Premier League home game against Manchester City in turmoil. Owner Mike Ashley is currently trying to sell the club while Joe Kinnear, in the dugout for the first time after a touchline ban, is only interim manager.

While Ashley's replacement will be important, Robson believes the identity of the next manager will be even more so.

"The club, financially, has to be stable," he acknowledged. "But the most important thing for me is the same as it's always been. The appointment of a top manager is crucial. He's the puppet master, he pulls the strings.

"All the big, successful clubs have top managers who know the game, can impart that knowledge, who are a good judge of a player, a good tactician, an enthusiast, who get on with the players and know how to handle big players and discipline them.

"Without that sort of manager, you will not run a big club. All the top managers have it: Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, I'd like to think I was one of them. And it takes time. I was at Newcastle five years and it took two years to get it together.

Then we finished third, fourth and fifth and then they sacked me.

"What Newcastle needs is a top-class manager and without that, they won't succeed. We need someone who comes to Newcastle and lives in Newcastle." Along with Robson, Keegan has been the only manager to inspire real success at St James's since the 1970s. His second spell ended acrimoniously in September, though he has persistently been linked with a return. …

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