There’s an argument to be made that Newcastle United have been embarrassing themselves for the majority of Mike Ashley’s time in charge of the club.
However, they are now verging on being a laughing stock, after allowing a world class manager in Rafael Benitez to officially leave the club in the past few days.
What’s even worse, from a Newcastle fans’ perspective, is that The Northern Echo reported on Monday that former Leeds United boss Neil Redfearn is set to take charge of the club’s entire pre season, and could be handed the position of interim head coach.
That is just absurd. Benitez to Redfearn, that’s like trading in your Lamborghini for a Reliant Robin. One man has a managerial CV spanning three different countries, taking in 13 trophy wins, and the other is Neil Redfearn…
As per Manager Stats, at Redfearn’s only two significant managerial roles, with Leeds and Rotherham United, he posted a 33.3% win rate with the former and a 23.8% record with the latter.
By contrast, the same website lists Benitez’s win rate at Newcastle as 41.6%, in a career where he has reached as high as 64.7% during his time in charge of Italian heavyweights Napoli.
Yet it seems Ashley was willing to allow the Spaniard to leave so that he could get the Englishman in charge – temporarily, at least.
The fact that Redfearn is set to play a pivotal part in the team’s pre season is hugely worrying. It’s nothing against the man, but the fact that a club the size of the Magpies are preparing to have Redfearn in charge of their pre season and that he’s potentially going to be appointed the interim boss, is startling.
When you think that in an alternative, blissful universe, Benitez would be presiding over pre season and making preparations for the new season, it’s enough to make your eyes water.
But no, Redfearn is the man in charge for the time being. A step back? Not in Ashley’s mind, apparently.