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New ‘exclusive’ names four who head Mike Ashley shortlist to be next Newcastle United Manager

3 weeks ago
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Fair to say that many fans believe the identity of the next Newcastle United Manager is largely, or totally, irrelevant.

The feeling being that if Mike Ashley was happy to force Rafa Benitez out the door, it suggests that the next appointment will see the NUFC owner reverting back to is preferred ‘model’ of management.

Namely, an out of work below par candidate, desperate to take the job under any circumstances, including having no say on transfers.

However, an ‘exclusive’ from The Telegraph claims otherwise.

On Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper’s Luke Edwards claims he has been given information on the shortlist Mike Ashley and his minions have drawn up.

The first surprise/shift being that all four that top this list are all currently in work.

Edwards names the quarter as:

Patrick Vieira (Nice Manager)

Steven Gerrard (Rangers Manager)

Mikel Arteta (Man City assistant to Pep)

Eddie Howe (Bournemouth Manager)

Who knows what Mike Ashley’s intentions really are but certainly there are indications that this Telegraph piece is based on information supplied by Mike Ashley’s people.

Earlier today the same journalist wrote a piece that said based on information supplied by ‘sources’, the NUFC owner was looking to appoint a ‘younger, more dynamic coach’ rather than one from ‘all the usual suspects’… (not that Mike Ashley has a history of picking from ‘usual suspects’, his tendency being to go for unusual out of work candidates sacked by lower division clubs such as Pardew, JFK and McClaren).

Backing up the idea that earlier story did come from Ashley’s people, was the fact that The Telegraph report also claimed that a major reason for Rafa Benitez leaving was because the cub wouldn’t give him a 50% pay rise, plus claiming the NUFC owner was very surprised when Rafa didn’t agree to sign an extension. Something which comes over as quite ridiculous when the rest of the media are reporting that the reality was a one year deal on the table that offered no real change in transfer policy or improvements to the club’s infrastructure.

The idea of Mike Ashley paying compensation to land a new manager (or head coach…) would be a shock, considering he has never appointed anybody already had a manager’s job.

Meanwhile, earlier this afternoon, the Press Association reported that Mike Ashley is supposedly in touch with potential buyers of the club to see what is happening, with the report claiming Ashley could even make a short-term appointment to see things through to a (supposed) takeover. Something which would surely 100% rule out the four named above in the Telegraph report.

Meanwhile, what we do definitely know is that Newcastle currently have no manager, have bought not a single player with tomorrow the halfway point of the transfer window, the NUFC squad are back for pre-season at the end of next next week, whilst they fly off to China a week later for pre-season friendlies.

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