Speaking during a guest appearance on talkSPORT, the Mail’s Craig Hope says he’s been told Mikel Arteta is in the running to replace Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.
Hope – a North-East reporter for the Daily Mail – also believes this appointment would “make a lot of sense”, with him expecting Newcastle’s next boss to be more of a ‘head coach’ than a manager.
Not only is Arteta one of the early favourites to replace Rafa according to the bookies, he’s someone who’s been tipped to try his hand in ‘management’ after being Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City for three years.
Here’s what Craig Hope had to say during his appearance on talkSPORT, claiming the 37-year-old Spaniard is being mentioned following Rafa’s exit:
“One name which has been put to me is that of Mikel Arteta.
“I think if they were going down a head coach route then I think that would make a lot of sense.
“He’s obviously shown ambition to give it a go on his own and he was very close to the Arsenal job last year. And there’s a Spanish link in that a fair few of the players are Spanish, notably Ayoze Perez.”
The Spanish link is a little tenuous for me, even if the likes of Perez, Fernandez, Almiron, Lejeune and Manquillo all speaking that language.
One thing that did occur to me, however, is the fact fellow north-east reporter Martin Hardy has stated that Lee Charnley will be looking at a ‘young promising continental manager’.
OK, Arteta is currently in England and hasn’t ‘managed’ in a senior role as of yet, but he could fit the bill.
That said, I would be extremely worried if any ‘head coach’ was given no say on transfers – something that was suggested several times yesterday.
Not only would this rule out moves for most self-respecting candidates who want, it would mean that Mike Ashley’s grip on the football side of matters would be ever-present once again.
One thing’s for sure – even if Arteta is a bright young coach who could do well in management, there’s only one Spaniard I’d like to see back at St James’ Park right now..