This is one of those pieces that could so easily be turned on its head within a few games but these pages have long sought a change in managerial direction. Should Newcastle be looking for a foreign manager? 

A look at the league table stimulates the debate. Currently the top placed English manager, Alan Pardew, has previously argued that English managers deserve a crack at the top clubs. Bottom of the English pile, Allardyce has famously suggested himself as potential for Real. 

Pardew’s comments give us the opportunity to look at the top of the table, currently being led by Leicester City with an Italian in charge. Hardly one of the biggest clubs, their progress has been remarkable. Spurs have broken into the top 4 with Pochettino at the helm. 

Bilic and Koeman currently have West Ham and Southampton, clubs that have been managed by Pardew, Allardyce or both, punching above their weight. Flores, already a winner in Spain and the Gulf, has Watford in apparent comfort after being promoted last season. 

Top of the Brits in 11th place is Welshman Mark Hughes. Uniquely among British managers, his playing career included spells abroad in Spain and Germany. His domestic playing success came under Sir Alex and as a member of Ruud Gullit’s cosmopolitan team. Does this account for his relative success? 

As we reach the bottom half of the table, there is one club who have not employed a British manager at some stage this season. Chelsea are a club in surprising disarray for the first time for years. Their last English manager was Hoddle who left in 1996. 

That leaves us to look at the rest of the Brits and English managers in particular. 

Two managers who could be beyond criticism are Eddie Howe at Bournemouth and Alex Neill at Norwich, both newly promoted clubs. Howe has brought a fresh style to the Premier League and at 38 has time on his side. Resources have been relatively constrained. Neill had only experienced Scottish football with his team suffering from naivety. 

Gary Monk, is also worth a mention with one of the smaller clubs in the league when he was at Swansea. Again, his style of football may have been influenced by foreign coaches. 

Top of the Brits in 11th place is Welshman Mark Hughes. Uniquely among British managers, his playing career included spells abroad in Spain and Germany. His domestic playing success came under Sir Alex and as a member of Ruud Gullit’s cosmopolitan team. Does this account for his relative success? 

It will not be forgotten that despite Remi Garde being in charge at Villa, the season started with Tim Sherwood at the helm. Despite American ownership, the club have only had mild flirtations with overseas managers, Houllier and Venglos, previously. Their decline has been steady since Martin O’Neill. 

Pardew is currently best placed Englishman in 12th. He tends to start off with good press, sending all the right messages about attacking football before supporters are hit with the reality. He also seems to have around one good season in him at a club, his best finish in the top flight being 5th with Newcastle, 9th with West Ham and an FA Cup final. 

These are balanced by being sacked when in a relegation position at the Hammers, taking Charlton down and then sacked again when on the verge of the 3rd tier. He survived relegation flirtations with Newcastle too. 

A couple of places behind is Pulis at West Brom. His playing career was spent in the lower divisions, apart from a year in Hong Kong, His apprenticeship saw him take 6 roles in lower divisions before Stoke, who he guided to the Premier League in 2007. 

He boasts a record of never being relegated, including spells at Crystal Palace and now West Brom. However, he has yet to gain a top half finish in the Premier League after 7 attempts. His style of football has already led to protests supporters at the Hawthorns. 

The last two of current English managers will be covered in reverse order, after all, Allardyce was at Newcastle before McClaren. His playing career was also predominantly outside the top flight and included a spell in the USA where his team ground shared with an American football team from which he is said to have learned much, presumably long range field goal attempts and a defensive line of scrimmage. 

His Premier League record shows 3 top half finishes in 9 attempts, 6th, 8th and 10th. He also reached a League Cup final where he was beaten by Steve McClaren. Despite his relative success, Big Sam was effectively dispensed with by clubs due to his brand of play which can only generate sympathy for the ball. 

With a claim to be the most successful current English manager in football, McClaren is in the hot seat at Newcastle, for now. Another lower league player in his time, his apprenticeship was served as a coach under Sir Alex. He boasts a League Cup win as well as a title in Holland, for which he was heavily reliant in his Dutch coaches. 

With one top half finish (7th) out of 5 attempts his ratio in the Premier League is lower than some of his contemporaries. His last 4 jobs before Newcastle ended in failure, leaving Wolfsburg, Twente, Forest and Derby after poor runs of results. His start at Newcastle has been equally dire. 

McClaren was the first English manager to reach a European final with an English club since Howard Kendall in 1985, although Sir Bobby did with Barcelona. He was also the first to win a domestic trophy since Brian Little in 1996. Only Redknapp has won one since. Other English trophy winners in the Premier League era have been, Roy Evans, Ron Atkinson and Joe Royle, none of who are currently in the game. 

The reasons for the lack of success can be debated. As earlier highlighted, Pardew suggests that they do not get offers from big clubs. The relative success of foreign coaches with smaller clubs currently as well as trophies lifted by Laudrup, Martinez and Ramos seems to torpedo his argument. 

Whether English players of the recent generation have earned too much to be hungry or the legacy of the Wilkinson years as FA Technical Director are also possible causes can be questioned. What is certain is that foreign coaches bring technical and tactical ability beyond the long ball game, adding skill to the pace of the Premier League. 

The game has progressed whilst English managers haven’t. 

All of Ashley’s 9 managers, including interims, have been English born with the exception of Joe Kinnear who was brought up in Watford. Given a lack of success among English bosses, Ashley’s woes would hardly seem to be surprising. 

What of other potential candidates. Moyes is Scottish and followed Sir Alex into the hot seat at Manchester. They failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in years. Other successful Scots have retired, Graham, Souness and Dalglish have retired whilst McLeish was found wanting. Moyes had, however been a consistent top half performer at Everton. 

Brendan Rodgers has also been touted. Like Pardew, his manager when a youth team coach at Reading, he has been Manager of the Year but could also be argued to be a one season wonder. A promotion with Swansea and Champions League qualification at Liverpool suggest talent, sharpened by his time under the likes of Mourinho and Scolari at Chelsea. He could be the closest thing to a realistic candidate. 

As we have highlighted here, there are other foreign managers available with Premier League experience. There are also others who would welcome a Premier League challenge. 

It is said that if you always do what you always did, you will always get the same results. Mike Ashley, it is time for a change.