Forget O’Leary, the Toon should turn to Temuri

Yesterday news broke on the wire that David O’Leary was being targeted as a possible short term manager for Newcastle United, ending a 2-year hiatus from the game for the former Leeds and Aston Villa boss.

For a club that continuously boasts itself as having the most passionate fans in the country, a unique club where only the likes of Keegan and Shearer have the correct mentality and understanding to be loved by the fans, that O’Leary’s name is being seriously considered is like a bad bazooka joke. Tainted by the Leeds United collapse together with the knowledge that after having spent almost £100 million on new players in less than four years, no trophies ever made their way to Elland Road, the O’Leary-Newcastle connection magnifies the low, low standing that the Toon find themselves in right now.

If Newcastle want passion, heart and someone with whom the fans can idolise, the Magpies should look no further than old-boy Timuri Ketsbaia. The Pierluigi Collina lookalike was a cult hero during his three years at St. James Park, and in a single iconic moment, the Georgian captured the hearts of the both Geordies and the nation when he simply went berserk- ripping off his shirt and attacking the advertising hoardings – after scoring against Bolton.

Reducing Ketsbaia to a fans’ favourite though is to do a disservice to a player who is maturing as one of the best up-and-coming managers in international football. At Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta, Ketsbaia’s first job in management, to put it simply he is working miracles. Having progressed from being a player assuming the manager’s role, Ketsbaia went about winning the championship in his debut season, leading his team into the UEFA Cup in year two, winning the Cypriot Cup in year three, before chalking up a fabulous point at Werder Bremen in the club’s first ever game in the Champions League.

Knowing how much the Toon love a Messiah, Ketsbaia looks to be the next prodigal son.

Video evidence of the career of Temuri Ketsbaia can be seen here.

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