Hiddink questions wisdom of Newcastle's hero worship

The Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink is so good he's got two jobs in a profession where many struggle to keep one. And Hiddink offered a healthy dose of realism to suggestions that Shearer will be the instant answer to the prayers of the Geordie nation. "It depends on your religion whether you believe in Messiahs," Hiddink said yesterday as he returned to his job at Chelsea after a stint with Russia.

Hiddink and Shearer represent polar opposites when it comes to management. Hiddink, 62, was an average professional who spent five years working as an assistant before embarking on a tracksuit career in which he has led four national sides. Shearer, 38, was England's leading striker who has been sat on the Match of the Day couch since retiring three years ago. Their backgrounds could not be more dissimilar, and while Hiddink accepted the "Shearer effect" will lift Newcastle when their teams meet this afternoon, he said the new man has his work cut out if he is to make it as a top class manager.

"Sometimes in these circumstances any input, especially from someone with a big personality and history with the club, is good," Hiddink said. "He may have no experience of being a manager but in this phase of the league it is not always important to know how to do training sessions. You have people who can prepare perfect training sessions. It's more about the psychological and mental input from ex-players like him."

The appointment of a stellar name, however, comes with its own problems, Hiddink said. Managers who were once great players find it hard to coach players of lesser ability. "It's not always when you are a top, top player that you are guaranteed to be a top manager as well," Hiddink said. "Top, top players think everything is going to happen automatically. For them having the talent, it's normal. But for most players who are not that gifted, you have to help them out in practice in a different way and it's not a guarantee."

Hiddink said the impact of Shearer's arrival will only be truly felt in the coming days and weeks. Once the excitement dies down, the real work – what Hiddink referred to as "the daily madness of football" – must be done and Shearer has to learn fast. "You must also add many tools to be a manager," said Hiddink. "Besides the game of tomorrow, managers get interested in a lot of other things – how to prepare a team, how to make training sessions. We practise always with an aim. It's not just for passing time or having a nice workout. No, we aim every day a strategical, physical or tactical aspect of the game. That's the part where the new managers have to broaden their knowledge. There are several aspects of being a manager. I hope even in my older age that I am still learning."

The Dutchman returned to Chelsea on Thursday after 10 days away in charge of Russia, where critics have been calling for him to leave despite victories against Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein. He claimed he kept in touch with his Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins throughout his absence, but admitted he only spoke to him "almost every day".

Hiddink's ability to juggle both jobs will come under further scrutiny if he fails to improve on Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on their last outing. They travel north without striker Didier Drogba, who has an ankle injury, and defender Jose Bosingwa, who has strained a hamstring.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own