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    ‘It is telling me Steven Gerrard will be the new Newcastle United manager’

    Steven  Gerrard was asked about the Newcastle United job on Friday (15 October) but told the media (see below) that he wouldn’t react to any speculation, saying this is especially so when it is Steve Bruce who was / is currently still in the Newcastle job, someone who the current Rangers boss says he has a lot of respect for. Not that you would expect anything different from somebody when asked about another job, when they already have one.

    Steven Gerrard admitted that like ‘Anyone with an interest in the game’ he is ‘looking on with interest to see how that develops’ at Newcastle United after the takeover.

    Whilst Gerrard also declared: ‘…if anybody deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans so I’m sure the excitement level is high.’

    Well, Steven Gerrard is correct about the excitement level amongst the Newcastle fanbase after the departure of Mike Ashley and the arrival of ambitious new owners.

    However, at the same time Newcastle fans are completely aware that only 12 days in, there are what must feel an endless list of issues to sort / work on.

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    Top of which is surely the identity of the new Newcastle United manager. Sunday’s absolute shambles on the pitch proving yet again Steve Bruce needs to be removed as soon as possible, if not earlier…

    As for a replacement though, where are the new Newcastle United owners looking to turn?

    What is quite clear, is that the bookies have absolutely no idea who will get the job, nor indeed punters. The various bookies continually changing favourites to try and make a story for the media and tempt people to put a bet on.

    However, as things stand, these are the ten most likely candidates for the Newcastle job according to the bookies, with odds ranging from 6/1 to 20/1 and this is the basic order from (supposedly) most likely and working down…

    Lucien Favre, Paulo Fonseca, Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe, Steven Gerrard, Unai Emery, Roberto Martinez, Fabio Cannavaro, Brendan Rodgers, Antonio Conte.

    Now, I am totally open as to who could get it, indeed it could end up being somebody not even mentioned so far.

    What is for sure though, is that clearly these new owners will not mess about and will be looking for the very best person they can get, that suits their needs at this particular moment in time.

    That is the important starting point, because if this was an ideal end of the season takeover in May and new owners having time to pick the right person and far more chance of getting their absolutely ideal candidate, then another club would then be able themselves to have more chance and time to source a replacement if Newcastle took their manager away.

    However, it is anything but that scenario, with instead the worst possible circumstances. Mike Ashley leaving a shell of a club with a Head Coach who is seriously out of his depth, having been plucked from the Championship by Ashley for every reason BUT managerial ability.

    Ashley and Bruce between them creating a scenario that sees Newcastle deep in relegation trouble despite an easyish set of opening fixtures, with zero wins and second bottom of the table on only three points.

    Premier League table – Tuesday 19 October 2021:

    As I said above, if this was a chance at a totally fresh start in between seasons and not during a relegation fight a quarter into the season, then it is a totally different scenario.

    However, I think in our current position the new NUFC owners are far more likely to be going for an English / British manager than one from overseas. Somebody who would hopefully not need so much time to adapt / bed in and who could get this current squad of players playing far better far quicker.

    People talk about January signings and of course we will all hope that some better quality players will be added in that next window. However, the reality is that these next 13 matches at least, will see Newcastle rely on the current players, with Southampton away the 21st Premier League game of the season on 2 January 2022. A maximum of 17 further PL games where new signings could potentially have an influence.

    I think certainly in this current position, a foreign manager who has never managed before in the Premier League wouldn’t be considered. Which to me anyway, rules out Favre and Fonseca who currently head the betting market (for what that’s worth), as well as Cannavaro.

    As for other foreign managers, Emery and Martinez have managed in the Premier League before, but both would need to be extracted from current posts which is a major issue potentially, though for me anyway, looking for an overseas manager I still don’t see at this stage with the current relegation threat.

    Antonio Conte is currently in between jobs and I think would be seen as a no-brainer by many Newcastle fans if he could be landed but his stock is so high, numerous reports suggest he will be biding his time for now and see what options might come along. A relegation scrap at a club that needs a major rebuild, maybe not seen as must go to job for Conte, even though the new NUFC owners clearly have massive plans moving forward.

    Which then leaves us with four from that initial list of ten – Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe, Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers.

    I think Newcastle could well have gone all in for Rodgers if it was the summer but mid-season, I don’t think this would be in any way possible. Neither Leicester’s owners nor Rodgers himself would consider it I feel, plus consecutive fifth place PL finishes and an FA Cup triumph have made the Leicester boss hot property.

    As for Eddie Howe and Frank Lampard, I am just not seeing it. Sacked from their last jobs and out of work for some time, their careers taking a hit and both potentially seen as falling in terms of reputation. Not saying either are bad managers or incapable of bouncing back, but if it was to be either of these then surely Newcastle’s owners would have acted very quickly, to get the new man in and just as importantly, Steve Bruce out of the club.

    So….It is telling me Steven Gerrard will be the new Newcastle United manager.

    A young manager on the up, obviously knows the Premier League inside out as a player, was a youth coach at Liverpool which would have given him a decent grounding, has done a remarkable job at Rangers in such a relatively short space of time – taking over in 2018 he inherited a team that had finished third in the league with 70 points and in three seasons they became runaway champions in 2020/21 with a very impressive 102 points. Whilst he has also done far better than expected in Europe, getting to the last 16 of the Europa League in both of the last two seasons.

    Steven Gerrard would still need to be extracted from Rangers but I could potentially see this very much happening, a massive opportunity for Gerrard at this stage of his career and potentially it having taken a little time for Newcastle to agree a release and compensation with the Glasgow club.

    Rangers maybe accepting that for Steven Gerrard , now he’d turned them into league champions once again for the first time in ten years, there was now a glass ceiling for their manager and a limit to what can be further achieved due to the lack of cash in Scottish football. Plus of course, if Steven Gerrard wanted to leave, could they possibly stand in his way after the job he has done for them?

    Steven Gerrard speaking to the Scotsman – Friday 15 October 2021:

    “I don’t really react to any sort of speculation…

    “Especially when someone who I have the utmost respect for is sitting in that job that the speculation is about.

    “For me, I’m in a very big job and a very big role here that I’m very much fully focused on

    “We’ve got a top of the table clash at the weekend and it’s a game I’m very much looking forward to.

    “But I’ve certainly got one eye on Newcastle in terms of Brucie getting his 1000th game.

    “He is a great character of the game, someone who I’ve got a personal relationship with and the utmost respect for and I’m really looking forward to seeing him get that 1000th game.

    “I think it’s a mammoth achievement so congratulations to him for the weekend.

    “I think the character that Steve Bruce is, I don’t think he’d want anyone to have sympathy for him or feel sorry for him.

    “Sitting in this position I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be speculating about my job, so I certainly won’t be getting involved in any speculation towards his.

    “I think it’s interesting what’s happening at Newcastle and if anybody deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans so I’m sure the excitement level is high.

    “Anyone with an interest in the game is looking on with interest to see how that develops.

    “But from a personal point of view, I don’t really get involved in speculation and I wish Steve Bruce all the best.”

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