Paul Merson has named Steven Gerrard as a manager Mike Ashley could and should be “knocking the door down” to appoint this summer.
Liverpool legend Gerrard has impressed in his time at Rangers, leading them to their first Scottish league title in 10 years and becoming a huge hit with the SPL giants.
That said, Merson’s comments seem optimistic and unrealistic at best. After all, Bruce’s job could well be safe if we stay up – not to mention the fact Gerrard’s ambitions will be much higher than a club who happily accept survival each season.
Here is what Merson told Sky Sports, claiming both ourselves and Crystal Palace could be eyeing for England legend who could be looking to take his ‘next step’ in management:
“After a brilliant season at Rangers, I just can’t see how clubs won’t be coming after Steven Gerrard.
“I look at teams like Crystal Palace, who are staying up, and Newcastle, if they stay up, and others, will they be knocking the door down for Gerrard?
“It’s a different job at clubs like that. Rangers usually win around 75 percent of their games and I know it is more than that this season, but at clubs in the lower half of the Premier League, you may only be winning 50 percent of games.
“Then you’ve got to change, you’ve got to change your way. You are not just putting a team out every week, sitting there and enjoying it. I had it for a little while at Walsall during a run of winning six on the trot.
“You literally just sat there after three games and thought we won’t lose. I used to just pick the team, sit there and enjoy it. That was just the way it was and it’s been like that for Gerrard at Rangers this season.
“But, if he goes somewhere else – and he will have to if he wants to test himself in the best league in the world in the Premier League, even though Rangers are a great club – it’s how he then copes with that.
“He will be managing a team potentially that’s got to find a way to get to 40 points and he’s a winner. That’s where it is going to be hard for him because at the smaller clubs there are games where they don’t expect to win, and they don’t win.
“If you are a winner like Gerrard is and you go to an environment where it’s just to get to 40 points, and that’s a success, that’s going to be hard. Will that rock Gerrard’s boat? He won’t want to be taking a team to Manchester City and sitting with 10 men behind the ball. That will hurt him.
“His next step will probably be that, and that will be a big challenge for him, unless, say in a year or two, he gets the Liverpool job.”
Gerrard remains my dream choice for the Toon job, and has been ever since I joined the #BruceOut brigade following our turgid defeat to Sheffield United.
He is a young, hungry manager who would bring passion, enthusiasm and a will to win that was pretty much unrivalled in his playing days. He also speaks well and would strike a big chord with the fans for the level of honesty he shows in his interviews.
However, he appears committed to the task at Rangers and he is likely being primed for the Liverpool job when Jurgen Klopp calls time on his stint at Anfield.
There is also the obstacle that Mike Ashley brings any manager that is thinking of taking the Newcastle job. Gerrard would be unlikely to play the “yes man” role and could clash with our hierarchy in the way his former manager Rafa Benitez did.
A dream appointment, yes, but one that I can’t see happening at NUFC anytime soon.