Villarreal manager Unai Emery dealt Newcastle a major blow on Wednesday as he publicly ruled out a move to St. James’ Park.
The Magpies were reportedly confident of securing a deal for the ex-Arsenal man to be their new head coach, with the Spaniard now set to remain with the La Liga side.
Football Insider are now reporting that Eddie Howe is in talks to become Steve Bruce’s replacement, having been out of management since leaving Bournemouth at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
PIF should abandon their pursuit of Howe and return to a manager who was linked with the vacant position last month – Steven Gerrard – as their Emery alternative.
The Rangers head coach was reportedly interested in the job and The Times ran an article naming him alongside Emery, and Roberto Martinez, as being in the Saudi Arabian consortium’s three-man shortlist.
When asked about the speculation, he refused to comment but did state that the takeover by PIF is interesting and that he would be keeping an eye on the situation. He said:
“I wouldn’t like people to be speculating about my job so I certainly won’t be getting involved in speculation towards his.
“I think it is interesting what is happening at Newcastle, if anyone deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans so I am sure the excitement levels are very high down on the Toon.
“And obviously everyone connected with the game is looking in with interest to see how that develops but from a personal point of view I don’t really get involved in speculation and I wish Steve Bruce all the best.”
This suggests that there could be an interest from Gerrard’s side to get something done if Newcastle came in with an official swoop for him. He refused to rule out the possibility and did explain his interest, which indicates that there could be room for the Magpies to make their move.
We published an article explaining why fans would be disappointed with Howe becoming the new manager at St. James’ Park and that plays into why PIF should go for Gerrard. Howe’s last season in management ended with Bournemouth being relegated from the Premier League and that could bring bad habits and memories to Tyneside if he joins them in the midst of a battle against relegation this season.
Gerrard, meanwhile, is a manager on the up who is used to success. He has an incredible 71.55% win percentage in the Scottish Premiership with Rangers, winning 83 of 116 games, and led them to an unbeaten season as they won the title last term.
This shows that he knows how to build a winning side and is able to instil a winning mentality into his players, which could be vital as the Magpies attempt to avoid heading down to the Championship. The best way to climb the table is by winning matches and Gerrard has proven, albeit in different circumstances at Rangers, that he knows how to do that.
Therefore, PIF must attempt to snap him up from the Scottish giants instead of continuing to pursue a deal for Howe in the coming days. His winning mindset and experience could be key for Newcastle and give them the mental boost that they need at this moment in time.