Date: 25th June 2019 at 11:00am
Written by:

OPINION

Newcastle fans should be rubbing their hands together with excitement after Sky Sports Journalist Keith Downie’s latest claim on the hunt to replace Rafael Benitez.

Writing on his personal Twitter account, Downie suggested that Premier League winner Claudio Ranieri has ‘expressed an interest’ in taking the St James’ Park job.

If this report is true, Newcastle fans will surely be hoping that it will happen, as it would be a fantastic appointment.

First off, after two spells in the Premier League with Chelsea and Leicester City respectively, the Italian has a win rate of 48%, winning 107 of 225 matches in the top flight.

That is a fantastic record and shows for a start that Ranieri would be a great appointment. But if you take a deeper look at his two Premier League spells, the reasons why it would work out become clearer.

Ranieri guided Chelsea to the Champions League semi-finals and an FA Cup final, and although the current Newcastle squad would not – in its current state – get anywhere near those feats, it shows is that the manager knows how to get success from players.

But it’s what Ranieri did that at Leicester, where he went down in Premier League folklore, that shows he can work wonders. At the end of the 2014/15 season, Nigel Pearson did a great job to keep the Foxes up when it looked like they were destined for relegation.

But in came Ranieri, and to go on and lift the Premier League trophy in his first season – with a squad that just staved off relegation – was simply unbelievable.

Ranieri had the ability to pull the Foxes team together as one unit that all pulled in the same direction and, after Benitez’s departure, that is exactly the kind of manager Newcastle need.

As has been mentioned, if Ranieri was to get the Newcastle job, you would obviously say that lightning would not strike twice and that Ranieri would not go on and win the league any time soon.

But having looked at his record in the Premier League, there is every reason to suggest he would be the perfect man to take the Magpies forward.