If Newcastle look to the past again, how about Ossie?
In the debate over who might finally achieve the seemingly impossible — become a successful manager of Newcastle United — Osvaldo Ardiles has been overlooked.
This is understandable at first glance, given the perception of the Argentine as a manager in England — quite different from his immeasurable impact as a player.
In light, however, of the failure of Kevin Keegan to work his magic again , what price Ossie?
Newcastle fans might consider why Keegan should have been thought of as such a sure-fire choice to revive their fortunes, having confessed on leaving the England job in 2000 that international tactics were beyond him.
With the foreign influence now huge in the Premier League, much greater than when Keegan came close to inspiring Newcastle to the title more than 10 years ago, perhaps Ardiles might not be such a bad choice.
Ardiles had limited success as a manager in England, notably with Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur, the club he graced as a player, leaky defences undermining the neatness of his teams’
But he did well in his two stints back home in Argentina, even if the second with former club Huracan ended prematurely in December over differences with the directors on non-playing
On the field, his Huracan side finished the Apertura championship strongly. Perhaps English scouts should not just be considering Argentine players — and there is, of course, no language barrier.
Ardiles also fell just short of qualifying for the Libertadores Cup, South America’s Champions League, with Racing Club in the 2003-04 season.
In a recent interview with Reuters , he said: “I would love to come back and work in England again but to be honest I don’t think my chances are very good. I left Tottenham as manager in 1994 and it’s a long time…it’s very difficult to come back.
“England is, today, the place to play and to coach. It’s really great. The football is very well organised,” the 55-year-old said. “I’m open to any offer. The first that comes, I’ll look at it and if I like it I’ll take it.”
FILE PHOTO: Ardiles rubs his eye during a news conference at White Hart Lane, November 1, 1994, following his sacking as Tottenham coach. REUTERS/Russell Boyce