Gary McAllister: Maybe The Inevitable Isn't So Inevitable After All

Richard Heathcote

Remember when Gary McAllister's appointment as Red Bulls' manager was a "matter of when, not if?"

Remember when it was a foregone conclusion that Gary McAllister was going to be the Red Bulls next head coach?

It was essentially a lock when the Red Bulls started clearing house -- first in the front office, then in the locker room -- that McAllister's arrival in New York was a "matter of when, not if."

Well, in case you haven't yet realized, McAllister's selection couldn't be nearly as cut-and-dry as first thought or else he would've been named head coach already in a four paragraph press release, a la Andy Roxburgh.

That's probably because, according to a Ives Galarcep during a live chat this afternoon, McAllister's appointment is causing "some internal struggle" over "whether (McAllister) is the right way to go."

The Scot, who's main qualification for being coach aside from iffy stints at Coventry City and Leeds United, appears to be Red Bull's Director of Global Soccer Gerard Houllier's former player and assistant.

If the Red Bulls are going to apply the logic behind with their recent acquisitions of MLS talent to the vacant managerial position, two candidates are staring them right in the face: Former New England Revolution boss Steve Nicol and former MetroBulls goalkeeper Tony Meola.

Nicol, who appeared on the Red Bulls website praising Roxburgh after his appointment as sporting director, crossed paths with Roxburgh when Roxburgh was Scottish national team coach and was just three years removed from Liverpool before Houllier took over as head coach at Anfield. He's been out of work since he and the Revs parted ways after the 2011 season. He was reportedly upset with not getting the Colorado Rapids job last winter.

Meola is interested in a coaching position as well, though he didn't make it clear to Soccer By Ives if he's exclusively interested in the open managerial position. He did say he's not interested in the now-open goalkeeping coach position. Meola said he's already had one meeting with the team and will have another. Interim Head Coach Mike Petke is still in the team's long term plans, too, according to Ives, but he might not be a head coaching candidate.

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