Jamie Carragher feels the soon-to-be owners of Newcastle United have a massive managerial decision to make as soon as they walk through the door at St James’ Park.
Here’s what he’s had to say – feeling their first decision could be their biggest should a £300m takeover be announced:
“I think the big thing for Newcastle is that the supporters had a manager they adored in Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley lost him.
“They brought in Steve Bruce who I think has done a brilliant job, but he’s still not universally loved up there for whatever reason.
“I think the interesting thing is will that be one of the first decisions?
“We talk about buying and selling players, the most important person at a football club is the manager.
“I would love Steve Bruce to get the opportunity to show what he can do in terms of the transfer market. But I think that will be the biggest decision the new owners have to make.
“Do they stick with Steve Bruce or go for Rafa Benitez or try to get a big name manager?
“I think that is more important in the supporters’ eyes than the players who are coming in.
“They don’t want to be getting to Christmas next season and be thinking they have kept the wrong man. Or they make that first big decision, and they get that wrong as that wouldn’t be a great start to their tenure at the club.
“That’s the big decision they have to make right now.”
Along with inevitable questions regarding where this would leave Steve Bruce, the Sky Sports pundit says what everybody else has been thinking – would a Saudi-backed takeover see the return of Rafa Benitez?
A final option could be a ‘big name manager’ of their own choosing, with some Toon fans already in dreamland throwing names like Pochettino and Allegri around.
These comments come on a day when Bruce’s son Alex has thrown a thinly veiled acknowledgement of support behind his father, claiming fans shouldn’t get too carried away as we’ve been here before.
It would certainly be the elephant in the room on day one of the Saudi revolution, and Bruce himself probably knows that most fans will be wanting a manager of high pedigree on the touchline when the football kicks off again.
It would be unfair on Bruce, who has surprised everybody by not only managing to keep us in the Premier League as things stand, but take us to an FA Cup quarter final.
Yes, the football has been naff and we’ve rode our luck, but I think most of us thought we were dead and buried when he was appointed last summer.
After all, if Bruce hadn’t managed to get us into a healthy position in the league, there certainly wouldn’t be a takeover about to happen right now..