Former defender Warren Barton has urged our prospective new owners to ditch Bruce, resist Rafa and bring in Pochettino should the take over be finalised – also backing them to make a move for Chelsea winger Willian.
Barton enjoyed a seven-year stint on Tyneside, and was a key figure in the ‘Entertainers’ era, so knows exactly what is required to do well in a black-and-white shirt.
A lot of speculation has arisen as to who should steer our club into its next new and exciting chapter, and Barton believes Pochettino is the man for the job.
Here’s what he’s had to say on talkSPORT this week:
“With all due respect to Steve, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him, he’s not one of the top-level coaches around the world,”
“He’s always done reasonably well in the Premier League and Championship, but if you want someone to take you to that next level, I think Pochettino would tick all the boxes.
“He’s ambitious, he’s great with young players, he understands the Premier League… and I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder now to come back and prove people wrong.
“I think he is ready-made for the club, and his hunger to be successful will go right the way through the club and the fans.”
Barton then stressed the need for an ‘academy reboot’, but also revealed a player he’d like to see us sign should Saudi owners arrive.
As he states below, he feels the arrival of Willian – who could leave Chelsea on a free this summer – would be a high quality, low-cost deal that could give us some valuable experience:
“The academy needs looking after and a reboot, and going forward now looking at players like Willian who is up for a free transfer.
“They are the type of players that you need, to bed them in and mix experienced and younger players – a nd Pochettino is great at doing that.
“He would be an ideal choice going forward.”
While Pochettino is free and would bring an attractive style of football, the elephant in the room is that he hasn’t actually won anything as a manager – not that this should cloud the judgement of Newcastle fans!
He built Southampton and Spurs into excellent, predominantly English-based sides, with a relatively modest transfer budget, and could be seen as an option to help build a side steadily over the next couple of years.
That said, Rafa Benitez would certainly develop a much sterner side, and one that could even put the building blocks in place for a manager like Pochettino to come in further down the line?
Think Mancini before Pep Guardiola? To even be having this conversation is exciting times for us Newcastle fans!