Everyone connected with Newcastle United was filled with dismay on Monday when the club announced that manager Rafael Benitez will be leaving the club at the end of this month.
No one will be more frustrated than a former player like Mick Quinn, who has witnessed the demise of a phenomenal football club that has been so badly managed that the best boss they’ve had since Sir Bobby Robson has now been pushed out the St James’ Park exit door.
Quinn revealed his thoughts on the matter and the candidates to replace Benitez on Tuesday: “It’s just embarrassing that they’ve let this quality of manager leave – when you look at some of the names bandied about to take over from him, they couldn’t lace his boots,” he wrote in his column for The Chronicle.
Quinn has hit the nail on the head, here. The majority of the managers who are being mooted as a potential replacement for the Spaniard haven’t achieved a morsel in their careers of what the former Liverpool boss has.
As per Sky Bet, Jose Mourinho is the favourite to take the job, and he is obviously the exception that proves the rule. His trophy cabinet even exceeds Benitez’s, and so he would be a world class replacement for a top quality manager. However, there’s no way he’ll sign up for life under Mike Ashley.
Once you look beyond the Portuguese superstar, though, it starts to look pretty bleak. The next few names are Garry Monk, David Moyes, Anthony Hudson and Avram Grant.
What links those four men? None of them are currently employed as managers. Clearly, Ashley doesn’t want to splash out on the compensation fees required to take someone like Patrick Vieira from Nice.
Those four names don’t come close to Benitez in terms of the quality of manager they are or what they’ve achieved in their careers. It would be an absolute joke to replace Rafa with one of them. Talk about going from caviar to catfish.
So Quinn gets it absolutely right, here. It’s going to be difficult for anyone to replace Benitez, and the majority of the names being mentioned wouldn’t come close to satisfying the supporters.