Within his heartfelt piece in the Mirror, Brian Reade actually hinted at a problem Newcastle United encountered when looking for a replacement for Rafa Benitez over the course of the summer. Obviously, Steve Bruce was appointed and currently has the Magpies sitting pretty in mid-table, though there were reports from Sky Sports (via the Mail) at the time that he was, in fact, Mike Ashley’s 11th-choice.
So, Reade suggests that the way in which the club currently operates under the Sports Direct mogul put off ‘all other elite coaches approached to replace’ Benitez upon his departure. Indeed, while it’s hard to suggest the likes of Patrick Vieira (linked by the BBC in June), Steven Gerrard (linked by the Mirror) and Sam Allardyce (who claimed on talkSPORT he’d snubbed the chance to return on Tyneside) are particularly elite, it’s clear that perhaps bigger names had reservations.
Is this a surprise?
Not particularly, given the problems Benitez endured during his time in charge of the club. Upon leaving the Toon for good, the Spaniard claimed that ‘it became increasingly clear to me that those at the top of the Club did not share the same vision’ (via the Chronicle), so the notion of simply turning to another big-name manager to operate in such circumstances does seem rather fanciful.
Sadly, it’s the grim reality of supporting Newcastle United right now. While things are going reasonably well at the moment, the lack of ambition from the ownership – as Reade talks about – has already cost the club a popular manager and it’s hard to see one of such stature coming in any time soon, as well as Bruce is doing right now.
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