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Souness summoned

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By Alan Oliver, The Evening Chronicle

 

 

Graeme Souness was believed to be on his way to St James' Park today for urgent talks about his future after being summoned by Freddy Shepherd.

 

The United boss faced the wrath of angry Toon fans after the dismal 1-0 home defeat by his former club Blackburn.

 

And Shepherd may feel he is entitled to ask Souness to resign from the post he took up 16 months ago.

 

United will have to cough up compensation if the Scot was to walk away, but it remained unclear whether Souness would be sacked if he adopts his recent stance of refusing to walk out on Newcastle.

 

But the question on the lips of every Newcastle United supporter today must be - how can Souness survive?

 

Saturday's demonstration by the supporters was the worst I have ever seen against a manager of Newcastle United.

 

Surely you have got to say "enough is enough" when mounted police are standing by at a football club because the fans are demonstrating.

 

The parallels will be made with the "sack the board" demonstrations and the view among the pundits was that Saturday just fell short of those.

 

Indeed, the media strained to hear Souness in his Press conference as the fans continued to chant for his head. If Souness felt humiliated or embarrassed he did not show it.

 

What we did hear was Souness mention his family. Did Souness allow his family to watch Sky Sports News on Saturday night ? Or read the back page headlines in yesterday's newspapers?

 

If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then he should go for the sake of his own family and for his own dignity.

 

Obviously there are other considerations. The talk is that it will cost United £3m if they sack Souness. And another £2m for his coaching staff.

 

But how much would it cost United if they were relegated?

 

And just where was Souness and his coaching staff during Saturday's defeat? Stuck in their dug-out while Mark Hughes patrolled the touchline like a hungry tiger.

 

I cannot recall Newcastle United ever having a manager who was so unpopular with the fans. Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit were unpopular even though they took the club to an FA Cup final at Wembley.

 

But they never got what Souness got on Saturday night. One fan, who will have paid £500 for his season ticket and for the honour of watching his beloved Newcastle United, called Souness a "clown" on Sky Sports News.

 

What kind of message does that send out to the rest of football?

 

The rest of the country will be able to watch Newcastle United for themselves in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Cheltenham.

 

The very fact that the BBC are beaming the game out live is an indictment of United's current standing.

 

The Beeb obviously feel that, even though it is a Premiership team which has had £50m spent on it since Souness arrived playing against what is effectively an old fourth Division side, an upset is on the cards.

 

And I don't mean a United victory.

 

Obviously, United have far better players and should win on Saturday, but in John Ward, Cheltenham have a manager who has a good idea of tactics and he will have a game plan.

 

Which is more than can be said about Newcastle this term.

 

In the time Souness has been at St James' Park, United have only won 16 of the 55 Premiership matches they have played.

 

This season they have failed to score in nine of their 12 away league matches. Only Portsmouth have lost more away games in the Premiership.

 

Throw in the fact that, under Souness, United have played the worst football since his pal Kenny Dalglish was at St James' Park then it's easy to see why the fans are angry.

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The win% stat on SSN was something like

 

Keegan 54%

Robson 44%

Dalgleish 38%

Souness 33%

 

 

Something like that....only Gullit was worse but he got us to a cup final.....

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Guest alex
The win% stat on SSN was something like

 

Keegan 54%

Robson 44%

Dalgleish 38%

Souness 33%

 

 

Something like that....only Gullit was worse but he got us to a cup final.....

83418[/snapback]

I'm surprised Gullit's is worse. I know leading up to the cup final we went about 10 games without a win (or maybe it was one win in ten or similar) but I think we drew most of those games and we were already guarenteed Premiership survival and had little to play apart from the FA Cup. It's got that bad (in relative terms)I'm defending Gullit!

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The win% stat on SSN was something like

 

Keegan 54%

Robson 44%

Dalgleish 38%

Souness 33%

 

 

Something like that....only Gullit was worse but he got us to a cup final.....

83418[/snapback]

I'm surprised Gullit's is worse. I know leading up to the cup final we went about 10 games without a win (or maybe it was one win in ten or similar) but I think we drew most of those games and we were already guarenteed Premiership survival and had little to play apart from the FA Cup. It's got that bad (in relative terms)I'm defending Gullit!

83421[/snapback]

 

He lost 6/7 next season though. I'm surprised Dalglish isn't higher considering he got 2nd in his first half-season. 54% for Keegan also strikes me as low......

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Guest alex
The win% stat on SSN was something like

 

Keegan 54%

Robson 44%

Dalgleish 38%

Souness 33%

 

 

Something like that....only Gullit was worse but he got us to a cup final.....

83418[/snapback]

I'm surprised Gullit's is worse. I know leading up to the cup final we went about 10 games without a win (or maybe it was one win in ten or similar) but I think we drew most of those games and we were already guarenteed Premiership survival and had little to play apart from the FA Cup. It's got that bad (in relative terms)I'm defending Gullit!

83421[/snapback]

 

He lost 6/7 next season though . I'm surprised Dalglish isn't higher considering he got 2nd in his first half-season. 54% for Keegan also strikes me as low......

83423[/snapback]

Of course :( Regarding KK, I'd guess his away record was nowt special.

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The win% stat on SSN was something like

 

Keegan 54%

Robson 44%

Dalgleish 38%

Souness 33%

 

 

Something like that....only Gullit was worse but he got us to a cup final.....

83418[/snapback]

I'm surprised Gullit's is worse. I know leading up to the cup final we went about 10 games without a win (or maybe it was one win in ten or similar) but I think we drew most of those games and we were already guarenteed Premiership survival and had little to play apart from the FA Cup. It's got that bad (in relative terms)I'm defending Gullit!

83421[/snapback]

 

He lost 6/7 next season though . I'm surprised Dalglish isn't higher considering he got 2nd in his first half-season. 54% for Keegan also strikes me as low......

83423[/snapback]

Of course :( Regarding KK, I'd guess his away record was nowt special.

83425[/snapback]

And that season when we faultered toward's the end of 94/95 after such a cracking start

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