Alan Shearer has been asked if he would take the manager’s job at St James Park if Rafa Benitez departed at the end of the season.
Shearer of course was the one given the all but impossible last-minute job of keeping Newcastle up in 2009 and now it is the turn of Rafa Benitez.
Much has been made of the relegation clause Benitez has in his contract and not many expect him to stay if United take the drop.
Back in 2009 Alan Shearer wasn’t given the choice, asked by Mike Ashley to put together a plan of how he would get Newcastle back into the Premier League, the former United striker came back with a detailed and costed outline but never heard anything from the club owner right up to the present day.
Newcastle ended up bringing in no new manager and as an afterthought made Chris Hughton caretaker boss and the rest is history.
Much has been made of the opt-out that Rafa Benitez has if Newcastle are relegated, however, not much has been made of the fact that at the time that clause was made public, it was also reported that Mike Ashley also has an opt-out where he can cancel Rafa Benitez’ contract on relegation.
So just like Alan Shearer, the Spaniard may not get the option even if he wanted to remain in post.
Last night’s draw with Manchester City has added an extra little bit of hope and after covering the match for Radio 5 Live, Alan Shearer took calls from listeners and one asked:
‘So Alan, if Rafa Benitez decided to leave Newcastle, whether relegated or not, would you be willing to manage Newcastle?’
“Do you want the short answer or the long answer…
“The short answer is, no I wouldn’t.”
The presenter then cut in:
‘And the long explanation…’
“We haven’t got long enough. There’s too many reasons.
“I thought I was taking it for the long-term last time and for a thousand reasons it did not happen.
“But I would not come back into Newcastle.
“No I wouldn’t. Not yet anyway. Not now.”
No surprise that Alan Shearer wouldn’t remotely consider working under Mike Ashley again – but the ‘not yet anyway’ was intriguing.
Most people have assumed that after that bitter short spell at the club he loves, Alan Shearer has decided that a less stressful life in the media is where he sees his long-term future.
However, whilst there would be many obstacles to pass for it to happen, interesting and a positive (for me anyway) that Alan Shearer looks to still have that hunger of wanting to try and succeed at the club he has supported all his life.
Whether he would be a success or not is something you just don’t know.
One hypothetical question that I would love to see answered…
If Newcastle stay up and Rafa Benitez we assume has free rein to bring whoever he wants to the club, players and off the pitch staff, I wonder what both Ashley and Shearer’s response would be if Rafa wanted to bring Alan Shearer in as his assistant with the intention of grooming him to take over long-term…?