Former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall has claimed that the club don’t just need a new manager.
The Magpies will be left without a boss when Rafa Benitez leaves the club upon the expiration of his contract on Sunday, but Hall, who sold the Toon Army to current owner Mike Ashley, believes that they need somebody to help with recruitment as well.
Speaking to the Chronicle, he said: “I think Newcastle need to have both a manager and also someone who can go out and help identify the players.
“The reality is that a manager hasn’t got time to fly around Europe and around the world spotting players nowadays. That is a skill in itself.
“All the time you’re looking for the next generation of players, so you need someone identifying them. Then you need a manager who they can consult with, choose the players in the end, and then do the coaching elements such as the tactics, etc. You need a combination of the two.”
Hall certainly knows a thing or two about running a football club, and there’ll be a fair few Newcastle fans who would yearn to have him back at the club right about now. Things weren’t perfect under Hall, but lord knows he was a saint compared to Mike Ashley. His comments here are a little bit hard to weigh up though. On the one hand, he is absolutely right to point out that a modern manager can’t do everything themselves. The nature of the game now means that a good solid backroom staff is an absolute must for a club to be successful, and nowhere is that more keenly felt than in the recruitment side of things. That being said, it’s important that the balance doesn’t tip too far in the other direction and the manager loses control of who he is signing. The Toon Army have seen the benefits of trusting in a manager during Benitez’s spell at the helm, and it is important that they don’t regress by taking that autonomy in the transfer market away from the next boss, whoever they may be.