Former England international Danny Murphy believes that Newcastle United have two options for how they want to proceed as a club.
Rafael Benitez has now officially left the club after the expiration of his contract, and Murphy feels that the Magpies are now at an important crossroads.
“You’ve only got two options, really, as a club at the moment,” he told talkSPORT [01/07; 10:36]. “He [Mike Ashley] sells it, which changes the dynamic massively overnight. He sells it to somebody who has the capabilities and the finances to take the club forward. Arguably, then, if he completes that quickly he can get Rafa back and please the fans quickly that way.
“I think, if they’re not going to put in enough money to get better players and they’re only going to put a bit of money in to get similar types, then you need a manager going in there whose pragmatic like Rafa.”
It’s interesting that Murphy says Newcastle need a pragmatic manager, because they just had one and they pushed him away! Benitez’s tactical acumen is ideal for a Magpies squad that isn’t one of the better units in the Premier League and likely isn’t going to improve much in the transfer windows to come. So if Ashley remains as owner and obviously continues his strategy of investing as little as possible in the playing squad, then he’s going to need to appoint a very tactically accomplished manager. You can’t have a no-hoper or merely a motivator, because they won’t be able to set the team up well enough to compete with much better top flight sides. However, the other option that Ashley has is simply to sell the club, of course, which is the ideal scenario for everyone involved. If the new owners were to immediately appoint Benitez then that would likely send the Magpies fans into delirium.