PA’s of the members of the Newcastle United board were busying clearing schedules this morning, ahead of afternoon crisis talks regarding the future of manager Steve McClaren.
With the under-fire Toon boss on the board himself, the conversation, which will revolve around whether his position at the helm remains tenable or otherwise, could get pretty awkward.
That awkwardness will devolve into eye-watering discomfort should the shortlist of McClaren’s potential successors that appeared in several media sources this morning make it onto the agenda.
Allegedly in the frame to replace the balding ex-England chief is a raft of former occupants of elite roles – Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes – and one man better suited than everyone to heave the Magpies clear of their current mess.
He who installed the foundations for Leicester City’s miraculous season, Nigel Pearson, is the fourth candidate in question and, with Newcastle’s situation progressing steadily down Terminal Street, they’d be crazy to even consider anyone else to replace McClaren.
A 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth last time left the Tynesiders marooned in 19th going into the final ten games, though their problem is easily rectifiable for the man they call ‘Pearso’.
His Foxes team were bottom at this stage 12 months ago, with five points fewer than Newcastle currently have in the bag.
They started matchweek 30 seven points adrift of 17th-place, before a barnstorming run of seven wins from the final nine matches (including a comprehensive 3-0 triumph over the Magpies) lifted them to the most unlikely of survivals.
This surge to safety and the confidence it instilled provided the bedrock upon which Claudio Ranieri has built a team who hold an enviably commanding position in the title race, available to back at 11/10 to claim a maiden crown.
With a point to make up and a game-in-hand with which to do it, survival should be cinch for a Newcastle side with Person at the helm.