Who could realistically replace Steve Bruce as the next Newcastle manager? The dust is starting to settle on the shock of the Newcastle takeover. Now, with Steve Bruce gone, attention has turned towards the identity of the new man in the hot seat.
Newcastle need to go slowly. Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane are not the level Newcastle should be looking at straight away. If things go right then it’s possible the big boys of management will become interested a few transfer windows down the line but not now when the job is too new, too risky and too unknown.
What Newcastle need is a manager who can come in, steady the ship and either leave in the summer after keeping the Magpies up or be of an ilk where the club can see a future with them both short and slightly longer term. It won’t be an easy appointment but it’s imperative the owners get it right. So who are the candidates to be the next Newcastle manager?
6 contentenders to be the next Newcastle manager
We kick off our managerial candidates with the man already at thehelm in the shape of Graeme Jones, Bruce’s assistant and the temporary caretaker. Newcastle fans would have welcomed that change from assistant coach to head under Mike Ashley but now? We’re not so sure. The Geordies won’t be convinced that Jones has what it takes to manage an ambitious Premier League team and certainly not one that needs to be steered clear of relegation trouble.
As an assistant he was held in high regard, having worked at several teams known for playing good football. Jones has only held one managerial position in his career and it ended in the mutual termination of his contract, with Luton heading for the drop in the Championship as he’d mustered a 29% win rate. Additionally the players seemingly aren’t responding to the coaches at the present. He is one of them and so is unlikely to become the next Newcastle manager on a permanent basis.
The former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk manager is reportedly the owners preferred choice and in talks about taking over the vacant position at St James Park. The Portuguese was close to taking over as Tottenham manager in the summer, alongside many, many others, but as with most of them the deal fell apart in the end.
He could be an interesting choice for the Magpies but, with no previous managerial experience in the Premier League, is he the right man to steer the club away from a very difficult looking relegation battle? If he does take over and manages it, it would certainly be interesting to see how he might steer the club up the league table next season after a couple of transfer windows which would surely result in some heavy spending.
Frank Lampard is another name that’s being thrown around as a possible next Newcastle manager and we think it’s potentially got legs. He looks to play football in the right way, knows the Premier League and would command respect from those players in the dressing room right now given most of them would have looked up to him back in his playing days. On top of all that, he’s also done a reasonable job in his last two posts.
With Derby, he failed to win promotion to the top flight, which doesn’t immediately look great. Now though, when you look at them you can see how well he done with a number of off field issues lurking away from the spotlight. Of course, he then landed the gig at Chelsea. His first year there was a roaring success as he navigated a transfer embargo, blooded youngsters and made the top four. It’s what happened next that is his one black mark; the Blues splashed the cash last summer bringing in some big name players – namely Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – but Lampard struggled to get a tune out of them.
The fact Thomas Tuchel then arrived and took them to Champions League glory further damages his reputation. Given Newcastle have buckets of cash to spend is Lampard the right man for the job?
Is Lucien Favre the first ‘sexy’ name we’ve mentioned? Quite possibly and there is no doubt the Newcastle fan base would love him up at St James’ Park given what he’s achieved in the game and how he sets his teams up. The 63-year-old former Swiss international has managed over 700 games in his homeland, France and Germany. His win ratio across that period is 49% with Favre’s last job – at Borussia Dortmund – 62%.
It’s not just winning games that Favre does though. He gets his teams playing front footed, attack minded football too. Generally speaking, he tends to nail the all important balance between defence and attack too with his tactical acumen up there with the best of them. His appointment is far from nailed on to be a success though. Could the current squad adapt to his methods? Would he hit the ground running in England? There is no doubting that Favre is a quality manager but taking the Newcastle job as your first job in English football would be a risk – for him and the club.
Our next Newcastle managerial candidate is another former England midfielder. Step forward Steven Gerrard. Gerrard, who played alongside the previously mentioned Lampard on the international scene, took a slightly different step into management. The Liverpool legend opted to take on a gargantuan club north of the English border in the shape of Rangers. This was a huge challenge with Celtic very much the dominant force; he smashed that challenge though and continues to do so.
He’s proven he can put winning football on the grass both in respect of one off games and across the course of a season. He has also proven that he can deal with the pressure of managing a demanding crowd because they don’t come much more vocal than the Gers fans. With his status as one of the best – and most passionate – players in Premier League history it’s understandable why the Geordies might like the idea of him.
Will he like it? Possibly not. He could come in, lose half a dozen games and be under severe scrutiny. A bad spell at Newcastle could kill his longer term aspirations of managing Liverpool as well.
Finally, we take a look at Eddie Howe as a possible next Newcastle manager. Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth, which means he’s much more easily approached than the likes of Gerrard. Most people that know football understand that Howe did a decent job at Bournemouth whist playing a nice brand of football. There are a few things that get banded around about him though that may be seen as red flags.
Firstly, Howe left Bournemouth with the club doomed to relegation. Secondly, he signed big money players like Jordan Ibe and Dominic Solanke with both failing miserably. The defence of the first point is obvious. Bournemouth had big injury problems and they were punching above their weight. Eventually a knockout blow was inevitable.
The signings of people like Ibe and Solanke might actually be a harder line to shake for owners like those at Newcastle. They’re going to invest money and they need it to hit the spot. What would Howe say? Well, maybe he’d point to other fairly big money arrivals like Tyrone Mings and Nathan Ake. You win some, you lose some, right?
You could earn up to £10 (or currency equivalent) in bonus funds by joining Colossus with our New Player Bonus. Click here to join the action.