Former Newcastle United winger Kevin Gallacher suggested that current Scotland boss Steve Clarke would be his ideal choice to succeed Rafa Benitez at St James Park.
The 52-year-old, who played 39 times for the Magpies between 1999 and 2001, revealed if he was in charge he would look at someone like Clarke as he knows what Newcastle are about.
Gallacher shared that the 55-year-old Scottish manager understood the Newcastle public, before admitting it’s unlikely the club could get him as he only recently became Scotland manager.
“I’m looking at the managers and I probably would have pointed towards more like Steve Clarke but he has the Scotland national job,” said Gallacher on Love Sport Radio.
“Because he knows what Newcastle are about, he’s been there under Sir Bobby Robson, he understands the Newcastle public, he understands Newcastle, but he has just taken the Scotland job so that basically writes that one off.”
Gallacher is probably right to say Clarke understands Newcastle United fans, after all, he did spend a notable amount of time at the club. Clarke started his career in management with the Magpies as he was assistant manager for both Rudd Gullit and Robson (Source: Daily Record). In fact, Clarke was technically even manager of the Magpies previously as he was in temporary charge for one game after Gullit resigned from his post. However, maybe Clarke won’t want that bringing up as he did witness the Magpies lose 5-1 to Manchester United in that said match. Also while the manager may understand Newcastle fans, he probably wouldn’t be a popular choice to succeed Benitez. After all his management record in England is hardly inspiring. Clarke has managed two English clubs, Reading and West Bromwich Albion, and his win percentage across both spells is under 40% (Source: managerstats.co.uk). Yet then again, it doesn’t really matter if Clarke would be a good fit as the chances of him leaving his post as Scotland manager is slim as he has only just gotten the prestigious job.