As Freddy Shepherd, the Newcastle United chairman, reviews the list of candidates most likely to fill his club's vacant managerial post this morning, it will be impossible to ignore the significance of a fixture which offered an insight into coaching credentials no CV could ever replicate.
Glenn Roeder, the carefree caretaker of the fast-rising Magpies, effortlessly overcame a potentially frustrating tactical puzzle set by Sam Allardyce, the opinionated and irritable manager of a Bolton Wanderers team struggling to maintain its impressive mid-season form.
In so doing the interim successor to Graeme Souness claimed a fourth League victory in five games. Confidence and belief are the new buzzwords for those wearing black and white and it appears Roeder is finally becoming infused by both.
Previously reluctant to put forward a case for his own appointment as Souness's permanent replacement, Roeder is slowly warming to the idea of managing the team he captained with aplomb for five seasons. Little wonder. When 50,000 foot soldiers of the Toon Army are passionately chanting your name, it must be tempting to believe a rekindled love affair can last forever.
"It is lucky I'm deaf," smiled Roeder as he reflected on the adulation which both stirs and embarrasses the coach responsible for the upturn in United's fortunes.
"I played here and if you play for a club, and captained that club, then there is bound to be an affinity with the fans. I like to think I have created a good impression."
Roeder has done more than that. He has set supporters' pulses racing and his chairman's mind ticking. If Shepherd still considers Allardyce to be a viable appointment then Big Sam's star is surely waning on Tyneside. First-half goals from Nolberto Solano and Alan Shearer reduced his team to a shadow of their robust best and when Shola Ameobi added a third, 20 minutes from time, the Wanderers looked utterly lost.
Referring to his previous managerial experience in the Premiership, Roeder continued: "At West Ham you could say I hit the post. I feel I came that close to staying in senior management a lot longer.
"If you add together the points totals from my two years at West Ham I finished with a better aggregate than Steve McClaren, Alan Curbishley and Sam Allardyce - the big three hopes of English coaching."
As for Allardyce, the Bolton manager can have no complaints if his team's lacklustre performance in the North-east has irrevocably damaged his prospects of landing one of the most attractive positions in English football.
Goals: Solano (34) 1-0; Shearer (45) 2-0; Ameobi (70) 3-0; Davies (72) 3-1.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Given; Ramage, Boumsong, Elliott, Babayaro; Solano, Parker, Emre (Bowyer, 82), N'Zogbia; Shearer, Ameobi (Luque, 84). Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Faye, Clark.
Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; O'Brien, Jaidi, N'Gotty (Pedersen, h-t), Gardner; Stelios, Faye, Okocha (Nakata, 17, Vaz Te, 73), Speed, Nolan; Davies. Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Ben Haim.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Newcastle United Shearer, Luque; Bolton Wanderers Davies.
Man of the match: Emre.
Attendance: 52,012.Reuse content