Of all the names understood to be on Cardiff City’s radar, Michael Beale is certainly one of the most intriguing.
A coach with an impressive CV, Beale has worked with some of the game’s biggest names, and has even plied his trade on the other side of the world in a bid to feed his enthusiasm for development.
He’s since been credited as being the real brains behind the recent revival of Rangers, who have once again risen to the top of Scottish football under boss Steven Gerrard.
But when it comes to being a manager in his own right, Beale is still something of an unknown quantity.
It’s for that reason that Cardiff’s interest is so interesting.
Indeed, despite Beale’s impressive track record as a coach, there are inevitably going to be questions over his suitability for the role among some corners of the board, and indeed the fanbase, particularly with City currently facing up to the possibility of a relegation battle.
Nevertheless, there are some high-profile figures in the game that believe Beale is destined for the very top.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher is just one of several admirers to have taken note of the 41-year-old’s abilities, after watching Beale’s work with Liverpool’s under-18 side shortly before his move to Glasgow.
He told Open Goal: “He was at the academy, you knew straight away he was a top coach. He was really good, he came from Chelsea and went to Brazil as well so he’s got a great background.
“He wasn’t coaching with Stevie at the academy, but when Stevie got the Rangers job he knew ‘Okay, I need someone extra’. They weren’t a team at the academy in the sense of he was the coach and Stevie was the manager.
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“Stevie was doing the coaching and learning and he knew he needed him.”
Gerrard himself has never shied away from heaping praise on his current number two, and has even admitted that Beale’s coaching prowess on the training ground is streets ahead of his own.
Speaking on the Robbie Fowler podcast, Gerrard said recently: “What I’ll never do is try to do someone else’s job when they are better than me at doing it.
“For example, I’d worked on (identifying) a coaching team behind the scenes when I was manager of the Liverpool U18 and U19 teams. People wouldn’t believe how closely I was watching people to take with me when the opportunity eventually came.
“I haven’t had the luxury of retiring early from the game or not being a player, in terms of having that pitch time to really become a coach for the past 20 years like a Brendan Rodgers, a Mourinho or a Michael Beale.
“It would take me 15/20 years to become as good as Michael Beale as an on-pitch coach, delivering sessions on a daily basis, so I let Mick be Mick Beale because he’s the expert.”
Beale himself has said that he’s in no rush to dip his toe into full blown management, but should such high praise keeping rolling in, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before someone comes calling.
Whether Cardiff will be the ones to give him that shot remains to be seen.
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