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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Sad exit for Roeder
By Ian Hughes

Glenn Roeder
Roeder could not bring success back to St James' Park
After 73 games in charge, Glenn Roeder discovered the Newcastle hot-seat was too fiery a proposition.

Roeder initially took the manager's job on a caretaker basis in February 2006 after the club sacked Graeme Souness.

Three months later, Roeder was handed a two-year contract after taking the Magpies from the bottom half to the top section of the Premiership table.

He said at the time of his appointment: "It shows that dreams do come true.

"If you work hard and fight for the dream it proves that anything in life is possible - and when the opportunity comes along you have to be ready for it."

Fast forward a year and many will question whether the dream was a nightmare and if Roeder was ready for such a role.

606: DEBATE
CP

Certainly there were those who raised their eyebrows at his appointment - remembering his record at West Ham, who were relegated from the Premiership under his stewardship in 2003.

Strictly speaking, Trevor Brooking was in charge of West Ham when they went down but he was only placed in temporary charge for the final three games of the season - when the Hammers were already four points adrift of the safety zone.

Roeder needed a break from the game after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in the April of that season and later revealed the health scare had given him a "whole new perspective on life".

Initially, Roeder's reign at West Ham had started well as the club finished seventh in the top flight in his first season in charge in 2002.

Michael Owen
I have never been able to put Michael Owen's name on a team-sheet to start

Glenn Roeder in March 2006

And there are incredible similarities between his tenures at West Ham and Newcastle.

When Roeder took the job at St James' Park, Newcastle were a lowly 15th in the table and he turned them around to end the season in seventh place.

However, some argued he should never have had the chance as he lacked the necessary qualification for the job, a Uefa Pro-Licence, and was only allowed to stay in the role after receiving special dispensation from the Premier League.

But instead of going back to school to gain a coaching badge, Roeder went into Europe after Newcastle entered the Intertoto Cup - and won a Uefa Cup place.

Ironically, it was that success which led to one of Roeder's biggest lows as Newcastle manager.

In March this year, Newcastle looked on course for the Uefa Cup semi-finals after beating AZ Alkmaar 4-2 at St James' Park in their quarter-final first-leg.

But the Magpies contrived to throw it away when they played in the Netherlands a week later and were dumped out of the competition on away goals after losing 2-0.

And with Newcastle struggling to get anywhere near Roeder's publicly announced target of a top-six finish in the Premiership, unrest was growing in and around the club.

However, Roeder insisted that circumstances beyond his control were responsible for the situation.

He declared at the time: "No-one else, with what's happened here and the injuries we've had for six months now, would have done any better.

"I am not living on Fantasy Island or cloud cuckoo land."

NEWCASTLE'S LAST FIVE BOSSES
Glenn Roeder - 2006-2007
Graeme Souness 2004-2006
Sir Bobby Robson 1999-2004
Ruud Gullit 1998-1999
Kenny Dalglish 1997-1998

True enough, Newcastle were robbed of the services of England striker Michael Owen, who was injured for virtually 15 months and was fit enough to start only two matches under Roeder.

Yet, pointing to the loss of one key player was never going to prove to be a sufficient excuse - particularly when the major problems Newcastle faced were in defence anyway.

And once the goals, which were never in constant supply, dried up, too, there was nowhere left for Roeder to hide.

The fans made their fury known on Saturday as they watched their team set an unwanted record of over eight hours of playing time without a league goal at St James' Park - their worst run since 1951.

And Roeder became a victim of being unable to fulfil his own prophecy.

When he first took the job, he stated: "Fifty-two-thousand supporters turn up every other week to support a team that has not won anything for 37 years.

"What the next manager has to do is make sure it is a great club because of the supporters and results and achievement on the field."

Newcastle have now begun another search for that elusive manager - for the fifth time in under a decade.



SEE ALSO
Allardyce tipped for Magpies job
07 May 07 |  Newcastle United
Roeder resigns as Newcastle boss
06 May 07 |  Newcastle United
Roeder named as Newcastle manager
16 May 06 |  Newcastle United
Newcastle dismiss manager Souness
02 Feb 06 |  Newcastle United
AZ 2-0 Newcastle (agg 4-4)
15 Mar 07 |  Europe


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