Poor old Steve Bruce will reportedly be ousted from his role as Newcastle manager before Sunday's home clash with Tottenham Hotspur – and long before any of the new Saudi cash is spent on world class talent.
The man who will likely be trusted to pick the team against Spurs is Graeme Jones, who should be announced as the club's new caretaker boss in the coming days. Media reports suggest Jones may even have the chance to prove why he deserves the role full time. But who is Graeme Jones and why is he the right man for the Newcastle job?
Who is Graeme Jones?
Jones has been coaching since 2007, when he hung up his boots at the end of a pretty average playing career – he represented teams such as Doncaster, Wigan, St. Johnstone and Southend – and joined the staff at Roberto Martinez's Swansea.
He then moved to Wigan with Martinez in 2009 and spent four years with the Latics. During that time, he was linked with the vacant manager's job at former club Swansea – following Brendan Rodger's move to Liverpool – and Burnley, after Eddie Howe left for Bournemouth. Neither deal materialised.
Martinez then took Jones with him to Everton and then Belgium, before Jones quit to become Darren Moore's assistant at West Brom in 2018. After Moore and his staff were sacked in March 2019, Jones took his first senior management role at Championship outfit Luton Town in July of that year. He made a number of signings but left the post by the following April, with the Hatters sitting 23rd in the table when the season was curtailed by the global pandemic.
He has since worked as an assistant manager at Bournemouth, under Jason Tindall, and Newcastle, under Steve Bruce. He also worked as part of England's coaching staff at Euro 2020, where he advised Gareth Southgate on tactics.
Why are Newcastle considering him?
Given the list of names linked with the Toon hotseat, it may come as a surprise that Jones is being considered for the full time job as well as the caretaker role. But he very highly regarded by the club, and particularly by Amanda Staveley, who helped facilitate the Saudi deal to buy Newcastle.
He is considered an excellent tactician, with a deep understanding of the game. Callum Wilson has even described the Gateshead-born coach as more tactically aware than Steve Bruce – a damning indictment of the outgoing Magpies gaffer.
Above all, however, Jones is seen as a dependable pair of hands, who understands how to get the most out of players and someone who will play the team to its strengths.
If he achieves those things, he might just be trusted with a massive transfer budget come January.
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get three issues delivered for just £3. The offer ends October 17, 2021.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.