• Callum Pattison

Newcastle United: Realistic manager targets

Steve Bruce has been in charge at Newcastle for nearly 2 seasons. His management skills and lack of ability to take Newcastle United forward over the course of the season has led to fans to turn their backs on him.

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Many believe that Bruce should have been sacked by now however, it is looking increasingly that he will still be head coach for the rest of the season at the very least. After the embarrassing 3-0 defeat away at Brighton, owner Mike Ashley said that he will continue to back Steve Bruce going forwards.

When this season is concluded, whether Newcastle is a Premier League or Championship club, the fans will continue to demand that Steve Bruce is relieved of his duties. With the proposed takeover also looking like nothing more than a pipe dream, it would be incredibly difficult to lure a world class manager to the club.

With that in consideration, which possible candidates are there right now that realistically could be the next man to become Newcastle United manager?

1. Graeme Jones

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This is the obvious one and probably the most likely - he would be the cheapest option too which is perfect for Mike Ashley. Jones joined Newcastle in January 2021 to be a part of the coaching staff. He has experience coaching and managing at clubs such as Swansea City, Wigan Athletic, Everton, West Brom, Luton and Bournemouth. He also has international experience as assistant coach with the Belgium National team from 2016-2018.

Appointing Graeme Jones as first team manager would definitely be the safe option however, it could also end up being a smart one too. His passion and enthusiasm for the game shines brightly when you see how animated he gets on the touchline. Maybe that is exactly what Newcastle need.

2. Eddie Howe

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Eddie Howe would be a realistic target for Newcastle and certainly has the pedigree to manage in the Premier League or, get a team promoted from the Championship if it were to come to that.

Howe spent nearly a decade managing at Bournemouth. He got them promoted from League 2 to League 1 with a transfer embargo at the time. He spent a couple of years away at Burnley and then returned to Bournemouth in 2012. He was successful again as he managed to take Bournemouth all the way to the Premier League on a minimal budget and kept them there for 5 years.

Howe would certainly be a step up from Steve Bruce and remains as one of the favourites for the job once Steve Bruce leaves.

3. Chris Wilder

After leaving Sheffield United by mutual consent earlier this month, Chris Wilder's name seems to be popping up more and more when it comes to discussing Newcastle United's next manager.

Wilder is a gritty manager with a top-class work ethic. It could be argued that he greatly overachieved at Sheffield United as he took them from League 1 to the Premier League. With the players he had at his disposal and the lack of money to spend, Wilder did a fantastic job with The Blades. If he is looking to get straight back into management, Newcastle could be an ideal location.

4. Roberto Martinez

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Roberto Martinez would be a wildcard-shout for sure. However, there are certain aspects regarding Martinez that would make a move to Newcastle actually make sense.

Firstly, as previously mentioned, Graeme Jones is currently on the coaching team at Newcastle. Jones worked as the assistant to Martinez from 2007 to 2018 so there could definitely be the possibility there for Martinez and Jones to once again link up.

Furthermore, Roberto Martinez is currently the manager for the Belgian National team - he has been there since 2016. At 47-years old, Martinez may be thinking about wanting to manage again at club level. Managing in the UK could be a likely destination for him as he spent nearly a decade at clubs such as Swansea, Wigan and Everton.

Image credit: Sky Sports

It remains to be seen what will actually happen in regards to the managerial situation at Newcastle United. The Saudi-led takeover deal looks to be over so names such as Pochettino, Nagelsmann and Allegri can be completely ruled out.

When Steve Bruce was appointed in 2019, he signed a 3-year contract. It would not be a surprise he was still in charge come the beginning of next season as well. After all, it has been reported that Bruce would be entitled to more than £4 million in compensation if he were to be sacked as Newcastle United head coach.

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