Steve Harmison described his ideal Newcastle United manager as being young and vibrant which led to a response from Sam Allardyce.
The retired cricketer revealed the ideal new boss of the Magpies would be someone young and vibrant as the club would be pushing for someone of that mould if Mike Ashley had the club up for sale.
“Well if the club was for sale you would have seen a big push to get a young, vibrant manager who is long-term,” said Harmison on talkSPORT (Thursday, July 11th, 8:06 am)
Allardyce then wanted Harmison to name an example of someone he’d like and he referenced how Derby had just hired Phillip Cocu.
“Who would it be this young vibrant manager?” asked Allardyce.
“At the minute I just Phillip Cocu go to Derby? And…”, responded Harmison.
Allardyce then cut Harmison off saying he hated the term young and vibrant before adding what Harmison really meant was foreign.
The retired cricketer tried to justify namedropping Cocu as the sort of ideal Newcastle boss by saying he’s different and this led to Allardyce questioning Harmison’s opinion.
“You sound like another one, all about foreign managers, who’s brainwashed you into thinking that?” remarked the former Magpies boss.
“Rafa Benitez was not new or vibrant.”
As a Newcastle fan, it can be hard to agree with Allardyce as his reign at St James Park wasn’t covered in glory. The 64-year-old was only in charge of 24 matches for the Magpies and averaged a very low 1.25 points per game (Source: Transfermarkt). Yet he correctly shot Harmison down once he started going about young, vibrant managers. At the end of the day, the ideal Newcastle manager could be experienced as the important thing is that whoever comes in are able to take the club forward. Benitez clearly arrived at St James Park and it’s not like he could have been described as young or vibrant at that time. Yet the Spanish manager was a success at the Magpies as he brought stability and hope the club could one day go in the right direction. The 59-year-old was in charge of 146 games for Newcastle United and averaged 1.48 points per match. Benitez guided the Magpies to the Championship title as well as two comfortable finishes in the Premier League, so Harmison shouldn’t write off a well-travelled manager.