Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Who is leading the chase to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 20 Oct 2021

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While Newcastle might have got a new era underway on Sunday afternoon, the Magpies quickly came crashing back down to earth after an action-packed 3-2 defeat against Tottenham at St. James’ Park.

Firmly in the midst of a Premier League crisis on the pitch, the news that almost everyone had been expecting was finally announced on Wednesday morning.

After months of speculation, Newcastle announced that Steve Bruce has been given the sack and Graeme Jones will take temporary charge of the top-flight strugglers.

Having to watch as the likes of Graham Potter and Brendan Rodgers made it clear that they were not interested in the new vacancy in the north east, we have taken a look at the three leading contenders to replace Bruce.

Eddie Howe – 3/1 with 888sport

While Newcastle might have been linked with the likes of Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho when their Saudi-led takeover was completed last week, reports over the past couple of days have suggested that there is a new front runner.

With the Magpies’ new hierarchy making it clear that they are keen on appointing a manager who is currently out of work, The Mirror reported on Monday that Eddie Howe has opened talks with the north east outfit.

Heavily linked with a move to Scottish giants Celtic earlier in the year, Howe has been on an extended break after leaving Bournemouth by mutual consent in August last year, following their relegation from the Premier League.

While the 43-year-old might have been at the helm when the Cherries lost their top-flight status, the one-time Burnley boss gained a host of plaudits from across England as he guided Bournemouth all the way from the fourth-tier.

Known for his attacking style of play, something that Bruce struggled to bring to St. James’ Park during his tenure, Howe has also spent time working with the likes of Matt Ritchie, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson.

Lucien Favre – 6/1 with Betfair

With it almost looking certain back in June that Lucien Favre was on his way to Crystal Palace to replace Roy Hodgson, many at Selhurst Park were left stunned when the 63-year-old pulled a late U-turn.

Nevertheless, only four months later, the former Borussia Dortmund boss is now heavily linked with a move to the north east and is billed as one of the standout picks to replace Bruce sooner rather than later.

While it might be well documented that Favre has a frosty relationship with Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin, The Northern Echo are reporting that the Swiss manager has contacted Newcastle via an intermediary to confirm his interest.

Much like Howe at Bournemouth, Favre also gained a reputation from across Europe for his attacking philosophy and remains a popular figure after his roles at the likes of Borussia Mönchengladbach, Nice and Dortmund.

Out of a job since leaving the German giants 10 months ago, Favre left BVB as the club’s joint highest-performing Bundesliga manager, recording an average of 2.09 points per game, the same as Thomas Tuchel and significantly higher than Jürgen Klopp (1.91).

Paulo Fonseca – 7/1 with Unibet

Much like Farve and his near move to Crystal Palace over the summer, Paulo Fonseca is another European boss who appeared to be en route to his own Premier League club.

However, while the former Roma boss might have agreed on a two-year deal with Tottenham as the man to replace Jose Mourinho on a permanent basis, the deal quickly collapsed and the 48-year-old remains without a new challenge.

A manager who was reportedly in demand earlier in the year after links with both Everton and Palace, ESPN reported on Tuesday that Fonseca is now high on the new owners’ shortlist.

Considered to be one of the most attractive managers who currently find themselves out of work, Fonseca also has a proven track record of success, winning the league and cup double three years in a row with Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk.

Appearing only hours away from joining Tottenham over the summer, there is no doubt that many Newcastle fans would be excited by the idea of Fonseca leading their new era at St. James’ Park.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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