A Wise move?
With our readership having put up with my constant witterings for long enough, I`ve made the well-informed and often suggested move of opening up the site for full feedback from our fans. In amongst the midst of this I`d like to welcome on board our new contributor Aaron Gales, who`ll be providing his own take on things inside SJP. As a season-ticket holder and regular away game attendee too, it`ll be good to start getting a cross-section of the varied views from fellow Mags, starting with Aaron`s piece on part of the new uber-set up inside the club.
The site remains very much an open-mic stand and we`d be happy to publish all contributions, provided they don`t land us in bother with either copyright protectors or with lawyers slamming in suits for defamation of character and libel! Not like I`m saying any of you would like...
Ross Molyneux (Newcastle Editor)
Since the appointment of Dennis Wise many Newcastle United fans have questioned as to what his exact role at the club is. His official title is Executive Director of Football and his briefing is thought to be some form of involvement with transfers, though KK still insists that he is in full charge of which players are recruited to the club, scouting, and overseeing the development of the youth academy.
It has been rumoured that Wise had grown tired of football management and yearned for a break from the day to day strain of running a football club. He wanted to spend more time with his family who had remained down south when he had taken the Leeds job, and he saw the prospect of working at a Premiership club in a more withdrawn role, out of the limelight, as one he couldn`t refuse.
So what do the fans think of this appointment? Well, on many club forums that I have visited since it was announced that Wise was joining, the vast majority of fan`s opinions have been negative. They remember him in his playing career. The aggression, the bookings. I remember him trying to intimidate Shola on his debut, and hitting the headlines for stamping on Marcelino in a UEFA cup match (any Newcastle fans that remember Marcelino`s performances might actually have this as a positive mark next to Wise`s name.)
But it can`t be denied that one thing Wise had in his career was drive, and a will to be as successful as he could be. It was this fiery temperament that led many to believe that he would never make it as a manager, as he seemed too hot headed for the job.
However Wise shouldn`t have been underestimated. His first job as a manager was at Millwall. He enjoyed great success there, lifting them to one of their highest league positions for a number of years as well as leading them to an FA cup final (knocking out Mick McCarthy`s mackems along the way) and led them in European competition the season afterwards.
His next port of call was Swindon Town where he was to begin a prosperous, if somewhat short lived, partnership with Gus Poyet. They lifted Swindon to third in League one before Ken Bates came calling at Leeds United. Bates had sacked Kevin Blackwell after Leeds had slumped into the relegation zone and he called on Wise and Poyet to try and save his club from the threat of the drop. This was where the ambitious streak in Wise first reared it`s head with him and Poyet walking out on Swindon after three months to accept the job on offer at Leeds United.
It was at Leeds where he really showed what he was made of. His appointment was extremely unpopular at the time, with him having played for Chelsea for most of his playing career. This dislike for Wise from the terraces increased even more so when he failed to keep them up that season, though it must be said that he inherited a sinking ship from Blackwell. However this season he won the fans over in what has so far proved to be a remarkable season for Leeds United.
After having fifteen points deducted he turned the club around, blending youth with experience and leading Leeds into the play off positions, with every chance of the club bouncing straight back up into the Championship. In November though, Tottenham Hotspur asked for permission to talk to Poyet about becoming assistant manager to Juande Ramos, an offer that Poyet accepted. It all started to turn a bit sour from that point onwards, with Leeds starting to struggle and dropping points home and away.
Then came the request from Newcastle to talk to Wise about a possible boardroom role. Many people, myself included, thought that Wise would see the job through at Leeds but I think he realised that he had taken Leeds as far as he could and wanted to get out before it all turned sour.
I think the appointment of Wise is a smart move by all concerned. Despite denials from Chris Mort and Wise himself that he is interested in the managerial job, it is my belief that he is being groomed for the role, to eventually take over when King Kev calls it a day.
Wise shouldn`t be taken lightly by any Newcastle United fan. The man knows what he is doing. He has learned his profession in the lower leagues, something a certain Mr Shearer should take note of, and seems to be a smart and articulate man. If the club uses him in the right manner he could be a great success.
It`s the dawn of a new era and like it or not, Dennis Wise is going to be a huge part of that.