Ally McCoist said he wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle United wanted to appoint Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to succeed Rafa Benitez.
The Northern Echo reported on Thursday that the Magpies were confident they could persuade him to leave Rangers if they decided to offer him their vacant managerial position, and Laura Woods asked McCoist for his thoughts on this report.
“Nothing would surprise me in football, clearly I wouldn’t want it to happen, I wish Newcastle all the very best in their search for a new manager but leave us…as they would say in Glasgow, leave ours away,” said McCoist on talkSPORT (8:46am, Thursday, June 27th).
“I think Gerrard is in Portugal at the moment, preparing for an unbelievably important season in Scotland and clearly I hope that is the case and he carries on with his Rangers duties.
“Listen, am I surprised? Not at all, as that is what happens, good managers get headhunted, I would probably say the same about Steven as I would Frank Lampard, timing is not really perfect, I wouldn’t have thought.
“Everyone automatically sees Steven going down the same path as Frank and that is a return to the club where he is a legend, Frank obviously looks like he is getting that opportunity, I’d love to see him get that but I want him to spend a little more time at our club.”
Woods then asked McCoist whether going to St James Park would be a step up for Gerrard and the former Rangers player offered a diplomatic answer.
“Oh well, no I’m not actually (Woods predicted he’ll say sideways),” responded McCoist.
“You want me to cause a riot on national radio by saying Rangers are the bigger club and I probably will as I think Rangers are the bigger club but Newcastle play in the far better league.
“And that’s the way I see it.”
McCoist is probably going to get backlash from both Rangers and Newcastle fans after his attempt of a diplomatic answer. Woods put McCoist on the spot by asking if Gerrard would be making a step up by exchanging life for the Gers for a life with the Magpies, and there was never going to be an answer that kept all parties happy. However Magpies fans should take into account that it’s understandable why McCoist thinks Rangers are the bigger club, after all, he is a legendary figure at Ibrox. If anything they should appreciate that he acknowledges that Gerrard to Newcastle could happen as he admitted it wouldn’t surprise him, as that shows how highly he rates the Magpies. However, while the Northern Echo claim the Magpies are confident about getting Gerrard, it doesn’t mean they will make a move. Newcastle have several options to consider when it comes to appointing a successor to Benitez and just because the Rangers boss is on their radar, it doesn’t mean they’ll settle on him. After all given the size of the task at hand at the Magpies, succeeding a beloved manager who comfortably secured the Magpies’ Premier League status twice, Newcastle’s hierarchy may want someone more experienced.