David McCreery shared that he thought Newcastle United need funds in order to climb the Premier League table and that a manager like Michael O’Neill wouldn’t just be tempted to join because of the club’s stature.
The Chronicle reported on Friday that the Magpies were set to step up their manager hunt in the next week and that the club had drawn up a shortlist of candidates.
Former Magpies midfielder McCreery weighed in on Newcastle’s hunt for a new manager, tipping O’Neill in the process, and his remarks highlighted why finding a new manager wouldn’t be easy.
The 61-year-old pointed out the Magpies’ needed transfer funds to progress, as well as suggesting that Rafa Benitez wasn’t given them and that a manager such as O’Neill would need assurances before potentially taking on the job as a result.
“Whoever takes over will know they will not be able to compete with the Manchester clubs of this world in the transfer market, but they need more funds to finish as far up the table as possible,” said McCreery in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph.
“Rafa fell out with club bosses over a lack of funds, but he was not the first manager to do that and I’m sure Michael would be under no illusions if they turned to him.
“The club would be wrong to assume that Michael would be just grateful to get a top job.
“He is the sort of guy who will want to be assured that he will get the funds to be able to compete at getting in the top half of the table.”
This is likely the same with any manager, especially when you consider that O’Neill doesn’t have a CV that would make turning down the Magpies’ job easy if it was offered to him.
The 50-year-old, who is currently the manager of Northern Ireland, has only ever managed Shamrock Rovers, Brechin City and Cowdenbeath FC at domestic level; and those clubs are nowhere near the same level as the Magpies.
So it says so much that McCreery still believes O’Neill would have to be charmed and convinced to join the Magpies by being given transfer funds, especially when you consider he previously played for the club as well, so likely has an affection for them.
The problem the Magpies have when it comes to convincing a manager to join is that they will have to take Mike Ashley at his word.
After all the Magpies haven’t looked willing to spend big on transfers in the past few windows.
While Newcastle bought Miguel Almiron for £20million in January, as per BBC, that was a rare occurrence for the Magpies as during Benitez’s reign the Magpies didn’t spend bid.
Under the Spanish manager, barring the January transfer window, the Magpies made £40million profit on transfers as they sold £164million worth of talent while only spending £124million on new recruits. (Source: Sky Sports)
So give that McCreery is spot-on to say transfer funds are needed and a manager such as O’Neill would want assurances, it shows how the club could struggle with their reported manager hunt especially if they want a quick appointment.