The search for a replacement for former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez continues after the Spanish manager left following the end of his contract at St. James’ Park. The Magpies have been linked with quite a few managers, including Laurent Blanc, Sean Dyche and more recently Roberto Martinez.
Now, a former player who played under Benitez at Liverpool, current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard, is the latest to be linked with the managerial role at Newcastle. A report in the Mirror has stated that the Liverpool legend has reportedly rejected Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s offer to become the next manager of the English club. The report further states that former Arsenal and Manchester City player and current Nice manager, Patrick Vieira, is another manager who is on Ashley’s shortlist.
Gerrard became Rangers’ manager at the start of the 2018-19 season, which was also his first job in management. In his first season with the Scottish side, Gerrard guided Rangers to a second-place finish, behind arch-rivals Celtic. Gerrard, like former England teammate, Frank Lampard, made his foray into management last season and impressed in his very first year.
Signing Steven Gerrard could be quite a gamble for Newcastle United, considering he has been in the managerial game for just 12 months and past managers have shown that occupying the Newcastle United hot seat can be quite a daunting task.
That, coupled with the fact that Gerrard may not have a big transfer budget under current owner Mike Ashley, means that it could turn out to be quite disastrous for the Magpies. With last year’s two top goalscorers – Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon, leaving the club, Newcastle will have to invest a significant amount of money if they want to climb the Premier League table, or even survive the league next season.
Appointing an inexperienced manager at Newcastle United could turn out to be the biggest mistake that Mike Ashley makes in his highly criticised ownership reign of the club. The gap between the Premier League and the Scottish Premiership is huge, and that coupled with a lack of funds could spell disaster for Newcastle United, while Steven Gerrard’s managerial career may take a couple of steps back if he fails at the club.
While the former Liverpool legend has shown positive signs in his debut season as manager, he will need to further his trade at Ibrox and build a more bankable reputation before deciding on his next move which might still be a high-profile one.