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Newcastle United- The Hunt For a New Manager

In an unsurprising turn of events, Saudi-backed Newcastle United have parted ways with manager Steve Bruce following a disappointing start to their Premier League campaign. Per Sky Sports, the Newcastle board confirmed that Steve Bruce will be leaving his post as they seek new management in their new era.

The board, and quite vocally, the fans didn’t feel that Steve Bruce was the man to take the club forward long term and that to progress, they would have to go on without the Geordie.

Rumors are afloat as to who will take the helm in an exciting, albeit tumultuous time at the Tyneside club. Although the club will have a huge influx of financial support, it is unclear exactly how much the Saudi-backed team will be given in their first transfer window in a few months.

Below, I take a look at some of the potential managers to occupy the hot seat at the (newly) world’s richest club.

Steven Gerrard

One of Europe’s most exciting young managers, Steven Gerrard revolutionised his managing style from Liverpool’s youth system, on his way to winning the Scottish league and breaking Celtic’s dominance. He has also faired well in Europe with the Glasgow based outfit and no doubt will be interested in managing back in his home nation.

Gerrard is a proven winner that knows how to handle pressure, set up a team that plays tactically sound attacking football, and become a fan favourite (as I’m sure most Scousers will tell you). His ability to withstand the immense pressure and his portfolio of transforming Ranger’s fortunes counts largely in his favour, and it’s likely he’s under close watch by Europe’s top clubs.

Potential heir to Steve Bruce at Newcastle United, Steven Gerrard.
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 15: Rangers Manager Steven Gerrard is seen kissing the trophy during the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen on May 15, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Paulo Fonseca

The former ex-Roma man was extremely close to being handed the Spurs job in the summer, but things didn’t quite work out. as things stand, however, Fonseca is one of the leading front runners for the Newcastle job.

Fonseca plays an exciting brand of attacking football and will bring the most out of the young attacking players at the club- evident with his time at FC Shakhtar Donetsk. He is renowned for playing high pressing football and favours a 4-2-3-1 system, emulating a lot of Klopp’s style of play.

The Magpies will want a young manager not only to bring winning form back to the club with longevity, but also to help push the youth system to a higher level. A youth system that, although has been fruitless in recent years, has so much untapped potential in a catchment area with little competition.

Rafael Benitez

Rafa had a successful 3 years at the club in 2016 and was a fan favorite. The former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Napoli manager is still one of the world’s great managers and no doubt would’ve still been at the helm had Mike Ashley supported him financially.

Unfortunately, Rafa is currently stable at Everton, in a city that he loves, and will be committed to his role for the time being. Everton fans won’t be too concerned at the moment, but Rafa will surely be in the conversation following his success and healthy relationship with the board and fans.

He has never been a manager that was backed financially, yet he has always faired well against financial giants and might be intrigued at the prospects of being able to spend freely in the transfer market.

The Spaniard employs a compact side that is capable of withstanding pressure but also hitting with pace, in an attacking and organised fashion. Fans would welcome him back to the club with open arms.

Antonio Conte

One of the best managers that are currently available, Antonio Conte is a proven winner. Both in Italy and England, and is an exciting prospect for Newcastle fans. His pragmatic, no-nonsense approach might be just what they need to stay up and fight to climb the table in the Premier League.

Conte is also rumored to have an eye on the Old Trafford job should Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s time run out at the Manchester club. However, for now, he is a free man and could be interested in the project of rebuilding a club as big and rich as Newcastle United.

MILAN, ITALY – MAY 23: Coach Antonio Conte of FC Internazionale during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 23, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors (Photo by Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images)

Lucien Favre

Favre is and extremely gifted and attacking manager that employs both exciting and free-flowing football. He impressed Dortmund and the Swiss national team and would be a great asset to the new Newcastle setup.

Favre is well respected at BVB where he helped to bring back exciting football with an emphasis on quick passing. He helped revolutionise the game of Marco Reus and is an excellent man-manager as displayed during his time in Nice with the temperamental Mario Balotelli.

He is one of the favourites along with the aforementioned Paulo Fonseca.

Eddie Howe

Once was favoured to be the next England manager, Eddie Howe is no doubt one of the most tactically gifted English managers around. Howe was impressed when he took Bournemouth from the depths of League One to the Premier League after spending most of his career with the Cherries.

The Buckinghamshire-born boy was wanted by Scottish giants Celtic, but negotiations broke off. Clearly, Howe is still favoured amongst Europe’s elite and would surely jump at the opportunity of managing in the Premier League once again.

His Bournemouth side played expansively, attacking football often producing excellent results at big teams and his tactical awareness has been highly appreciated and complimented by the likes of Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is another one of the best younger available managers, however, his recent spell at Chelsea might not excite Newcastle fans as much.

He still needs to gain some experience and they won’t want him to use their club as a stepping stone, despite the exciting influx of cash.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea looks on ahead of the Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 28, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Roberto Mancini

Former premier league winner, and current Italian boss, the Euro champions might not be too pleased if Mancini is tempted from national duty. An exciting project back in the premier league is something that could excite Mancini, and he’s proven to handle big-name players and high-pressure situations.

Roberto Martinez

Despite being the head coach of the world’s number 1 team, Belgium’s golden generation has failed to win in major tournaments and Martinez has stated his desire to return to club management.

A once-respected premier league manager, Martinez no doubt comes in with experience and tactical know-how to survive in the Premier League where Newcastle currently find themselves second bottom.

Zinedine Zidane

Simply the best manager that’s currently available, Zizou would be a dream appointment. Should Newcastle be able to tempt the former Real Madrid manager, it would no doubt be a huge statement of intent for the club.

Zidane proved his capabilities by winning La Liga and the Champions League, both on multiple occasions, and has shown that his aura also carries, especially dealing with star players.

Is this beyond the Geordie’s grasp?

GRANADA, SPAIN – MAY 13: Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid looks on following the La Liga Santander match between Granada CF and Real Madrid at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on May 13, 2021 in Granada, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Moving forward, Newcastle fans will be happy that, for now at least, they’re moving in a positive direction. Steve Bruce will feel wronged following disappointing criticism from the fans, often unnecessary.

The self-proclaimed (albeit begrudgingly) “tactically inept cabbage-head” has taken the brunt of the anger and frustration from the fans quite unfairly, due to the incompetence of former owner Mike Ashley. He has reported that he has received massive scrutiny and hate from the fans and might not return to management following the abuse.

A legend of the English game in his playing days and a pragmatic veteran in his managing career, should this be his last job, we wish Steve Bruce all the best in his future.

What do you think about the way Newcastle fans treated Steve Bruce? Who do you think will manage Newcastle United next? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to follow @FootballOTH for updates, news, and the latest world football scores. Follow me on Twitter @zaheeradam or follow my Facebook Page @ZaheerAdamOTH for exclusive interaction, articles, and the latest news on World Football.

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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