The Mike Ashley era at Newcastle United looks to be finally coming to an end. Well, sort of.
A Saudi consortium led by businesswoman Amanda Staveley, is said to be close to a takeover with the outgoing owner ready to loan them £150 million of his own dosh to effectively get rid of himself.
In the last 24 hours, rumours have been circulating that the man top of Staveley’s wanted list to take over team affairs is former AC Milan and Juventus coach Massimo Allegri.
The Italian has been out of work since quitting The Old Lady at the end of the 2018-19 campaign and has made no secret of his desire to manage in the Premier League.
His tactical acumen is second to none, but a switch from his home region of Tuscany to the North East could create its own problems.
And to help Max out, we’ve put together a guide to help him prepare for a possible move to St James’ Park.
Whenever anyone moves to a new country they have to acclimatise to the weather. What we’re not sure of is if Allegri is aware the temperature in the North-East never rises above minus one degree – even in July.
The locals are used to this of course and a typical Saturday night out on the toon will see blokes wearing just a t-shirt at most.
Should Max sign on the dotted line, his best preparation will be to hop into a cryo chamber in just a t-shirt and shorts for a minimum of two hours at least three times a week to build up his resistance to the artic temperatures in this part of the UK.
Mrs A will also need to get herself conditioned if she decides to move to England because just like the men, the women who are out and about in the Bigg Market are rarely seen sporting anything more than a party dress and a clutch bag.
Every city in the world has something that makes it unique from the others and whilst Allegri might be more used to a glass of Tuscan Chianti with his dinner, a move to the North-East means the new boss will be need to swap the vino for a pint of Newcy Brown.
LEARN THE LINGO
It’s difficult enough for people born in the UK and who live outside of the North East to understand a f*cking word Geordies say, so imagine the difficulty Allegri will face if he decides to take charge at St James’.
No need to panic here though Max, because a quick perusal around YouTube will bring up enough episodes of Spender and Auf Wiedersehen Pet to help him at least get to grips with the basics (for those of you wondering who the hell Spender is, he’s an early 90’s detective in Newcastle played by Jimmy Nail and probably the most miserable TV cop ever – apart from Taggart).
For three years, Spender, a character co-created by Nail himself, refused to smile and he used this trait to good effect to bore the villains into submission, whilst mainly reminiscing about how there used to be lots of ships on the Tyne.
Nail of course, shot to stardom as the bricklayer Oz in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and along with his two best mates Neville (played by the future Lewis Kevin Whately) and Dennis (Tim Healey).
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
Because they’ve basically won f*ck-all for so long, Newcastle fans are obsessed with getting all misty-eyed over players like Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald, Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer, and they expect anyone who comes into St James’ to do the same.
Max will need to be ‘hands-on’ and immerse himself in the club and the area and of course, he’ll need to be able to reel off the clichés such as “Newcastle fans are the best in the world”, “This club is a sleeping giant” or “We would have won the league in 1997 had Keegan not bought Tino Asprilla”.
BE A CITY SLICKER
Staying on the subject of immersing yourself in the city, Allegri should take a leaf out of Pep Guardiola’s book and buy an apartment slap bang in the middle of town so whenever he opens his curtains he’ll be able to see St James’ towering above the skyline.
The Catalan tactician has always stated that he prefers to be at the heart of the community rather than exiling himself in a three hundred acre farmhouse in the countryside and although Allegri may have to put up with late-night revellers spilling their kebabs on his doorstep, it seems a small price to pay when you’re trying to win the hearts and trust of those who pay good money to see Newcastle lose.
- DEBATE: Who are the best six English football managers of all time?
- Netherlands’ 1988 shirt voted best-ever in Paddy poll
- C’mon ref! 5 of the worst football refereeing decisions ever