Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle Football Club, had an opportunity.
He had a manager in Rafa Benitez that was really too good for the club. Regardless, Rafa was committed, and saw the club through its relegation and promotion back to the Premier League, and battled with a lackluster side to stay in the top flight for two seasons.
Ashley could have offered the resources necessary to keep Benitez at the club. Or, failing that, at least do right by the fans by selling the historic club. Instead, he said “nahhhh” and is about to let Benitez walk out the door after his contract expires.
It’s a baffling decision, really.
Regardless, Newcastle is a big club with a passionate fanbase, so the next question becomes, “Who replaces Rafa?”
The rumor mongers looked around, and figured one Scouser (whether born or adopted) is as good as another, so naturally tipped Steven Gerrard as the next manager for the Northeast English side. As is sometimes the case, it doesn’t appear that this particular rumor has a source, but rather seemed to materialize out of the ether.
At the moment, Gerrard is cutting his teeth in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, fresh off a decent if unspectacular second-place finish behind perennial favorites Celtic.
If there is anything behind these rumors, my advice to Stevie G would be to stay in Scotland and as far away from the Newcastle tire fire as possible. Not only is it a huge jump from the Scottish Premier League to the English Premier League, but it’s also a terrible situation. If Rafa couldn’t deal with the ownership, it’s hard to see Gerrard having more success.
Conversely, it would be very easy to see a situation in which Gerrard was given minimal financial support, leading to a disastrous season, and a significant hit to his managerial aspirations.