As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Lee Clark: Newcastle interests Mourinho; James not enough at Man Utd; Lampard game-changer

As I've said on many occasions, there's a lot of scepticism around Newcastle United and the city surrounding the proposed takeover. Whether the takeover deal's going to happen and whether the current manager is going to stay…

There has also been reports recently that if the new consortium from the Middle East does takeover, then they are strongly interested in appointing Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho falls into the same line of managers as Rafa Benitez, in that he is a serial winner at every club he has been at and has always delivered trophies.

He has always been very complimentary about Newcastle United in the past as well. He loves coming up and seeing the atmosphere at St. James' Park. He has a little bit of a soft spot for the club because it was the club of his mentor, Sir Bobby Robson.

I think Newcastle are one of the few clubs in England, with the exception of maybe a return to Chelsea, that would be of interest to Jose Mourinho. And certainly with the potential financial backing he would receive from the prospective owners, it would be a project that he could get his teeth into.


There is so much speculation and conjecture because we don't even know if the takeover is up and running. There are so many unanswered questions. If the consortium does want to replace Rafa with Jose… Is Rafa going to stay and sign his contract even if the takeover doesn't happen…?

This speculation has become the norm for Newcastle in terms of this part of the season, which is especially frustrating for the fans who turn up week in, week out. They get this most times and they don't know. This is the time of year when they've been asked to renew their season tickets. Once that gets sorted then we'll have the speculation of the new signings.

I think just think there is so much uncertainty at the moment that fans aren't even at that stage where they are contemplating what could happen. And we're getting to the stage where in two or three weeks time, players are returning to the club for preseason and is still loads of uncertainty around the way the club will be run, so it's very tough.


I moved from the First Division to the Premier League as a player and it is a tough step-up.

Fortunately for Manchester United, they have signed an unbelievable talent in Daniel James. He's got terrific pace and is a typical United winger.

This is important because when I mean a 'typical United winger', I mean a player from when they were successful and challenging to be the best in England and Europe. They always had pace in wide areas during those times, you think of the Ryan Giggs and Ronaldo's of this world. James had a brilliant time at Swansea this season and was one of their standouts in the Championship.

I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is setting out his remit with this signing.

He wants young, hungry and quality players again. He wants to get back to the Manchester United mantra of being a very quick, athletic and hungry team that are going to cause plenty of problems for the opposition. James adds another fast weapon which means United can now play on the front foot or hit teams on the counter when they are pinned back, making them an imposing threat.

Although, it is going to take much more than James to change the outlook for Manchester United.

I think they need a strong and big overhaul of their squad. All areas of the team need developed. They've underachieved considering the stature and size of the club. They are classed as one of the biggest clubs in world football, so they need to be at least challenging for the title. For them to not even qualify for the Champions League is a disaster. Ole knows that. He knows all about the history and he'll be looking to change that immediately.


If Frank Lampard stays at Derby and has another impressive season, he will still lack that Premier League experience. So he is only going to get it by managing there.

What will be a good thing for Chelsea if they do take Frank Lampard, it will be a first in recent times that an English manager has been given a Premier League job. The other British managers who manage in the Premier League usually have to take their clubs through promotion from the Championship.

So for Frank to join Chelsea would hopefully change the mindset. I know he is an absolute legend at Chelsea from his playing days, and rightly so. If he was to go there and be appointed from outside the Premier League, that would be a massive turnaround and boost for English and British coaches, that's for sure.

There are other benefits for Frank getting the job. Chelsea's transfer ban looks like it will be upheld beyond this summer and the youngsters will need to be relied upon heavily. Fortunately for Frank, his number two at Derby, Jody Morris, knows every single player in that academy inside and out. He worked there for many, many years before Frank took the Derby job and that will be definitely one of the assets that the board and Roman Abramovich will be looking at.

Frank Lampard's done well at Derby developing young players such as Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, plus he has help with Jody's knowledge. That way Chelsea can now look to develop their immense young talent and bring them into the first-team group.

Video of the day:

Lee Clark
About the author

Lee Clark

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free