A post I put few weeks back asked Toon fans on Twitter to name the man they want to replace Steve Bruce, should our unpopular manager leave the club this summer.
Eddie Howe, who I listed as a “no-brainer” appointment in the original post, remained a popular choice among the fanbase despite reported interest from Scottish giants Celtic.
Others were quick to point out that suspecting who our next manager could be is premature talk as the next man in the NUFC hot seat hinges on whether our fairytale takeover gets the go ahead.
However, I think there is one man who could be one to watch and a clever and realistic appointment whoever has the keys to St James’ Park later this summer – and that man is Roberto Martinez.
The current Belgium boss has his side ranked number one in the world by FIFA and as one of the favourites for Euro 2021 with the bookmakers.
He achieved the impossible with Wigan in 2013 when he led them to an unimaginable FA Cup triumph over behemoths Man City in one of the most memorable finals in recent years.
This success earned him a move to Everton, where he initially impressed by finishing 5th in 2013/14, before a downturn in form saw him dip his toe into international football.
It’s also worth noting that our current assistant coach Graeme Jones is a close companion to Martinez, having worked with the Spaniard at Swansea, Wigan, Everton and Belgium, so the transition should work smoother than some would think.
Not only that, it was reported prior to his arrival that Jones asked for assurances over his job should Bruce, Clemence and Agnew be given the chop – a situation that would be resolved seamlessly should Martinez arrive.
Martinez’s style has always been to adopt an attacking approach; to play a possession-based game and get his sides on the front foot, a philosophy that could get the best out of offensive players such as Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Ryan Fraser and, who knows, even £40m flop Joelinton.
He is an obvious upgrade from Bruce, just think, could you imagine our current gaffer being offered the Belgium job and being asked to coach Kevin De Bruyne? Or guiding an Everton side less talented than their current crop to 5th?
Martinez is expected to leave his post after this summer’s tournament and reports suggest he would be keen on a return to the Premier League.
With or without a takeover this summer, I think we should make him our manager.