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Tyne will Tel

Robbo Robson | 14:48 UK time, Thursday, 25 September 2008

So let's get this straight. Keegan departs through a curtain of banners yelling 'Cockney Mafia Out'. Ashley says he's off but in the meantime he'll keep the thing going. And who does he find as a possible candidate? Mr Lahndon hisself.

Mr Pearly White Smile and a duck 'n' a dive. Mr Lorr Luvvaduck. El Tel. The venerable Venables. How Cockney can you get? Who's next on the board, Chas 'n' Dave? (Although if they were brought in, it'd only be a matter of weeks before they're on a podium in the centre of St. James' Park singing 'There ain't no pleasing you!' to the Gallowgate End).

Course, Venables has made himself into something of a Red Adair of English football and I'm sure the Toon Army, while not exactly unscrolling banners saying 'Cockney Geezers In!' will at least welcome someone who, when it comes to football, knows a bit about what he's talking about.

Terry Venables

Teflon Venables also comes with a non-stick guarantee as far as any muck that's flying around is concerned.

Despite numerous insinuations of him operating in the shadier areas of our national game, nothing's been proved and he continues to twinkle away like a straight Dale Winton, all tan and teeth.

At the Boro he did his best to keep Bryan Robson's team standing up. And of course just recently he was - and God knows who would want this job description on your CV - Steve McClaren's number two.

Not that he seemed to get too much flak from the debacle, even though that hopeless 5-3-2 in Zagreb was reckoned to be something to do with him.

Newcastle's directors may well be the most desperate men in the country but it seems like they've hit on a policy for managerial selections. Find some ex-England managers, put their names in a hat, pull one out, see if he's free, sober and Messianic, and then offer him the job.

They've already got shot of Sir Bobby and KK so it's inevitable that Tel, Glenn, and Sven will be on their list.

Sven might be up for it. At least he'll have more job security than the last time he managed a club. Glenn has the biblical credentials, although after a couple of weeks of brow-beating from the barcodes it might just make him wonder what the hell he did in a previous life to deserve such treatment.

Maybe they'll try and propagate a mixture of the three - Glenn Svenables may sound like a hideous malformed mess of a man but then surely that makes him perfect material for Newcastle United as we speak.

On the pitch, they get no better. It's all right Hughton and Owen doing their best to tell everyone that the players will concentrate on the things that they can take care of, namely playing football. But it all rings a bit hollow if they're as dire as a Davis Cup men's doubles team when they actually get out on the pitch.

Still at least Ashley will be pleased with the Spurs result, if not the attendance. He reportedly loses millions on HBOS and thousands at St James'. He'd love to offload 120-grand-a-week Owen but unfortunately there's a ban on short selling right now.

As I write we've heard nowt from Tel but to be fair, it's one of the few sensible suggestions that's come out of that club since they ditched Sir Robby Bobson.

We like the bloke on Teesside and even if he wasn't quite God Almighty he was definitely some sort of saviour up here and I'm not looking forward to this Geordie ship righting itself, 'cos at least it takes our minds off our own troubles.

Boro have once again hit the buffers and are not helped by Stewart 'I couldn't hit me own mouth with a sausage roll' Downing's penalty blunders and Pog's horrible lunges.

Meanwhile at the Stadium of Light, Keano's slagging off his own fans for having a moan which is a bit bloody rich. He picks an under-strength team, they underperform, he's under the cosh and the fans get under his skin. That's how footie works, Roy. Still, they won, dammit. And I'm sure Newcastle will win a few more with Tel at the helm.

In fact, I hear the next episode of Eastenders is going to be set in Newcastle.
I can just see Ashley and Venables meeting in a dodgy caff on the corner of the Bigg Market, and haggling over two cappuccino grandes (downed in one by Ashley of course).

Ashley'll be the one in the dark glasses affecting the Geordie accent: "How man, pet, get us a couple more o' them canny cappuccinos, bonny lass, like, man!"

Dennis Wise'll be there, too, peeping out of Ashley's coat pocket and squeaking out guarantees that Tel gets control over transfers. And just to make sure the geezer signs, there'll be Joey Barton assuring Venables that if "you manage the club, I might just be able to manage my anger".

And Tel'll sign the contract, written as it is on the back of a large brown envelope and there'll be a solid handshake, a "Don't you let me dahn!" from Ashley, and a "Leave it aht, you're famlee" from Tel and a "Larvely! I dunno abaht you lot, but I fancy getting right wallied on a 'alf dozen mojitos! Wallop!" from Dennis.

But just before the final drumbeat, an enormous Humvee pulls up outside the caff, a window is wound down and a loud Nigerian voice is heard to shout "Ashley! You've got 24 hours to accept the offer, or we go off and buy Tottenham instead! 24 hours, Ashley! 24 hours!"

And sitting in the back seat next to the huge Nigerian is a smaller man with familiar, maniacal face. The window closes again and we hear a voice saying: "I'd love it, LOVE it, if we beat them now!"


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