THE MTAG WRITERS PICK THE NEXT NEWCASTLE MANAGER
THE WRITER’S ROOM | 9th October 2021
With all due respect to Steve Bruce, without paraphrasing the current Newcastle boss, he has basically admitted that he is a dead man walking. And with that put to one side, the Magpies’ takeover brings a huge number of expectations and to mee those expectations, a top-tier coach to walk into the doors as the centerpiece of football’s most exciting project goes without saying.
The MTAG writers are here to make things simpler for the higher-ups at the club and make a case for 6 managers and why they should be in contention for the Newcastle job.
Samridh Sinha: Frank Lampard
After being sacked from his dream job midway through last season, being a part of this revolutionized Newcastle United could just be the perfect job for the legendary number no. 8. A young, talented manager who will undertake a long-term project and is reputed in the world of football as much anyone is perhaps all the boxes checked for the Magpies.
While Frank Lampard may not have the credentials of his peers, he has witnessed Roman Abramovich’s dominance of own club first-hand in 2003 and knows the ins and out of how to take over after a takeover.
For Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, this would be an opportunity of a lifetime. Clean slates with blank cheques don’t come very often.
Whether the Toon Army actually take the risk on Lampard is a question that only time has the answer to, but considering the Premier League is at the peak of its cutthroat competitiveness, opting for someone who has seen it all would not be too outrageous a pick.
Arnav Khanna: Steven Gerrard
The heir to Jurgen Klopp’s throne, there isn’t a better name out there if Newcastle want to prime themselves up for the big trophies. Took over Rangers in 2018 and delivered their first title in ten years with an invincible season in 2020, Stevie G knows a thing or two about disrupting the power structure.
Playing an attacking, possession-based brand of football with industrial midfielders and tricky wingers, his football pleases the eye both on the pitch on and the spreadsheets.
He won’t need a squad of superstars either, just give him the right profiles and his system would do the rest – a key managerial trait for a club trying to start afresh.
This is the perfect opportunity for Gerrard to come back home and chase that elusive league winner’s medal again.
Kabir Ali: Antonio Conte
While the other names on the list may be smarter and safer choices, securing Antonio Conte’s services would send out the strongest message from the Toon’s new ownership and make big waves.
The Italian boss has an undeniable track record of success which is all the more impressive, considering the scale of the challenges he’s faced.
Whether it be achieving instant success with a mediocre post-Calciopoli Juventus, lifting the Italian national side following the 2014 World Cup debacle, schooling the Premier League and breaking records with Chelsea following their worst season in the Roman Abramovich era, or coming full circle and ending the Juve dynasty he himself kickstarted with Inter, Conte is the man for a tough job.
The Newcastle gig is exactly that. With a blank slate and the right backing, something he’s not always had, Conte could catapult the Magpies to where they want to be, snapping at the heels of the English elite within two to three years, the standard amount of time the volatile Italian usually spends in a job.
The only black mark on his otherwise elite CV is his record in European competition, but that is a matter for the distant future.
Few can match his pedigree in domestic competition, and that’s where Newcastle’s quest for domination begins.
Srinivas Sadhanand: Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag’s CV has more variety than a buffet, which makes him suitable for pretty much any managerial job the game has to offer. No, really.
If a club wants to unearth its own gems from the academy, the Dutchman was the head honcho of FC Twente’s U-17s for a year and the U-20s for two.
And if a club at the bottom is daydreaming about heading to the top, ten Hag’s template of taking then-minnows Go Ahead Eagles, from 11th place to 5th place in the Eredivisie in the space of one season and European football in the space of two can turn dreams into reality.
Or if a club wants to sustain its supremacy, the 51-year old’s done the double twice in 3 seasons and spearheaded Ajax’s cinematic run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018.
What’s funny is that Newcastle United need their next appointment to tick all these boxes, at some point in their tenure. Not only has the Ajax boss been there and done that but he is also someone who offers stability and elevation in equal measure.
And if that’s not enough, ten Hag promises to instill the great Johan Cruyff’s principles at the forefront of any club’s footballing identity.
The days of Shearer and Ferdinand could finally be back, but this time, in a 3-3-1-3 in possession and you love to see it.
Harshavardhan Ghadge: Graham Potter
Newcastle United certainly won’t be building a super team straight off the bat- let’s get that out of the way. Sensible scouting and recruitment as a part of a long-term project must be the agenda. The Manchester City way.
Graham Potter has worked wonders at Brighton with limited talent and next to no resources. He has managed to turn a hoof-ball driven side into a possession-based attacking unit and given a reminder of some of the big 6 on how to play the beautiful game.
Now sit down and imagine what the Englishman could do at a club with resources. And resources that are as unlimited as can be.
Newcastle United were once a dominant force in English football, with their title-winning stories etched in footballing folklore, it is about time they claimed back their place amongst England’s elite
The North remembers.
Amogh Panse: Ralf Rangnick
Apologies to my fellow writers’ opinions but Ralf Rangnick should be the only name on Newcastle’s list. I mean, wouldn’t you want the godfather of Gegenpressing to make St. James’ Park a fortress again?
With the money coming in hot from the PIF, the 63-year-old brings more value than any ordinary manager, considering the added experience of being a Director of Football at RB Salzburg and Leipzig, with Bundesliga experience galore.
If the Mapgies want to launch some sort of dominance into hyper-speed with electric football, gaining exorbitant market value and building the foundation for a superb youth system that developed the likes of Erling Haaland, they need to wreck it like Ralf.
Bonus points if you got the movie reference.
German football isn’t what it is today without the teachings of “The Professor”, the man who put RB Leipzig on the map since the club’s inception 12 years ago, by educating scouts and analysts to gather detailed data from his eccentric training sessions for the squad.
This sort of dedication goes a long way in shaping a new frontier and considering Newcastle United wants to turn a new leaf, there’s not a more flexible, multifaceted appointment around.