Two defeats and a change in the backroom staff is unlikely to have any lasting impact on The Magpies' season. Right?
Rafael Benitez has lost two games in a row at Newcastle United for the first time since August and now he’s losing one of his coaches too.
Ian Cathro, one of the most highly rated young minds in the British game, is reportedly ready to make the, albeit short, trip north of the border to Scottish Premiership side Hearts, leaving The Magpies boss facing up to the prospect of losing another valued member of his backroom staff.
Fabio Pecchia, Benitez’s trusted number two since 2013, departed to take up the manager’s role at relegated Italian outfit Hellas Verona earlier in the year, much to the disappointment of the former Real Madrid boss. And now, 30-year-old Cathro is set to follow him out the door.
According to The Chronicle, Newcastle would not stand in the Scotsman’s way if he does indeed decide to make the step up from the backroom to the front line, with the former Valencia coach set to become the youngest ever manager in the top flight.
However, this does inevitably lead itself to a few questions. Namely, would Cathro (below, left) be replaced? And, if so, who by? Inevitably, one name that leaps off the page is Steven Gerrard, with the former Liverpool captain making no secret of his desire to begin his coaching career.
Benitez recently revealed that he would be happy to help his former star man through the formative steps of his coaching journey, but does that mean on a day-to-day basis in the North East? Newcastle fans want to know.
If we lose Ian Cathro to Hearts, would Gerrard be an option?— . (@BykerWall) November 30, 2016
If Cathro leaves, will Rafa replace him? Maybe Pako Ayestaran? Gerrard? #nufc— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) November 30, 2016
Cathro leaving by the looks of it. He was always going to be looked at by teams. Who comes in? #NUFC— Hello, I am Nicky (@ORANGEYPURPLE) November 30, 2016
Hard to judge a coach's work from the outside. Rafa lost Fabio Pecchia this summer & that hasn't derailed #nufc. Doubt Cathro exit would.— Harry De Cosemo (@harrydecosemo) November 30, 2016