REVEALED: Mike Ashley’s shortlist to take the Newcastle manager’s gig

The popular owner has drawn up a list of five candidates to succeed Rafa as the club’s new head coach

Jimmy Nail

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Ant & Dec

Joint managers don’t always work out. Just look at Evans & Houllier at Liverpool; Venables & Robson at Boro or Sir Alex Ferguson & Man United’s last five managers.

However, the appointment of Ant and Dec would certainly lift some of the gloom on Tyneside. The pint-sized Geordie duo would have the St James’ Park faithful in hysterics with their touchline tomfoolery. Half-time entertainment might include a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ involving the club’s owner, Mike Ashley.

Just imagine 55,000 Geordies cheering on with great delight as the Sports Direct CEO chews on a bull’s testicle.

Ant and Dec

Big Ron

There was a spell during the late-90s when Premier League chairmen had ‘Big Ron’ on speed dial. If your club found itself at the wrong end of the table at Christmas, chances were Ron Atkinson was being lined up to take charge until the end of the season.

At 108 years of age, the permatanned former Man United manager would undoubtedly bring a wealth of experience to the role. Ron’s rider includes ten gold sovereign rings, a Burgundy Fila tracksuit and a sun bed in his office.

Should he get the nod from Ashley, Ron’s ready to bring Carlton Palmer, Chris Bart-Williams and John Harkes out of the deep-freeze.

Ron Atkinson

Cheryl Cole

Another home-grown candidate, popstar Cheryl Cole is proud of her Geordie roots (although her agent says she’s booked in with a stylist to get those fixed).

Unlike her live performances on the X Factor, Cheryl claims she’d be very vocal in the changing room. She even believes she’d be able to entice former-hubby Ashley Cole out of retirement, if the price is right of course.

The 35-year-old’s staff would include Kimberley Walsh as her assistant; Will I Am as the stadium announcer and Louis Walsh as the physio.

Joe Kinnear

Joe is reportedly itching to return to St James’ Park for what would be his 42nd stint at the Magpies. During that time, Kinnear has fulfilled just about every role at the club. He’s been the manager; a director of football; a scout. He even covered a few shifts as a match day steward when a lady went off on maternity leave.

The 72-yr-old is fondly remembered by the Toon Army as the man who once went to watch a game at Birmingham and praised the left-sided performance of Shane Ferguson who was actually a Newcastle player on loan.

Joe Kinnear

Jimmy Nail

Rumour has it Mike Ashley thought he was interviewing Tony Adams when the ‘Ain’t No Doubt’ singer Jimmy Nail walked into his office. The 65-year-old Geordie actor is believed to have given Ashley a list of transfer targets that includes his close friend, Gazza.

Nail would also like to bolster his backroom staff with musical pals ‘Sting’ and Pato Banton. Unfortunately for Nail, Mike Ashley is no big ‘Spender’. And unless he’s able to turnaround the club’s fortunes on a ‘Crocodile Shoe’ string budget, he’ll be the next manager to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’.

Claudio Ranieri is 6/5 favourite to be the next permanent Newcastle manager

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