You have to feel for Steve Bruce. Pilloried from the moment he took the reins at Newcastle – the club he supported as a boy – and given the boot the moment the austerity era ends.
Many Magpies won't be sad to see the back of him, however, and there is excitement around St. James’ Park again. New, ambitious (albeit shady) owners promise a brighter future. Here are the men tipped to lead the club there...
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Newcastle next manager odds: Paulo Fonseca (6/4 with Betfair)
A surprise frontrunner, Portuguese 48-year-old Fonseca has been in management since 2007, with a career that his taken him around his native land, as well as stints in Ukraine and Italy.
Over three years at Shakhtar Donetsk, he won three league and cup doubles, while he also lifted the Portuguese Cup during his one season at Braga.
He then spent two years at Roma, guiding them to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season, and was linked with the vacant Tottenham job this summer after leaving his role in Rome.
Eddie Howe (4/1)
Former Cherries boss Howe has been out of work since departing the freshly relegated side in 2020 and is keen to return to the Premier League. His sides are known for playing an attractive brand of football and the Toon job would reunite him with the star striker from his Bournemouth days, Callum Wilson. Would the new owners see this as a sexy enough appointment, though?
Lucien Favre (4/1)
Former Dortmund gaffer Favre was heavily linked with the vacant Crystal Palace post over the summer, only to withdraw his interest before Patrick Vieira was given the job. Favre had seemed a decent fit for the Eagles; he is an experienced, thoughtful and disciplined manager – in a similar mould to outgoing Palace boss Roy Hodgson – while offering fans a slightly more front-footed playing style.
Favre is a keen advocate of giving young players a chance, and was a key reason behind the development of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham in Germany. Both were given opportunities to shine by the Swiss and he could be an excellent fit for a Newcastle given club their youth set up.
Frank Lampard (11/1)
The former Blues boss is keen for a return to a top flight dugout but has limited experience at the top level (84 games, zero trophies) and might not be considered a safe enough pair of hands for an costly rebuild. On the other hand, he’s out of work, available immediately and still has a big name feel to him given his playing glories. He may be better off taking a step down to the Championship and proving his pedigree, but is he willing to do that?
Steven Gerrard (14/1)
The former Liverpool skipper has worked wonders north of the border, leading Rangers to their first title in a decade and ousting Celtic as the SPL’s team to beat. He’s keen to return to English football when the right job comes along and the Newcastle rebuild will represent an intriguing proposition for an ambitious coach. He’s shown he can improve an underdog, but is he ready for a job of this magnitude?
Roberto Martinez (25/1)
The man with the best agent in football (Wigan to Belgium, seriously?!) has been linked with a Premier League return on several occasions, not least the vacant Spurs job over the summer. He too plays attractive football but has a reputation for presiding over leaky backlines. The Spaniard is being touted as a potential replacement for Ronald Koeman at Barcelona and may want to hold out for that instead.
Unai Emery (20/1)
Turns out managing Arsenal is harder than it looks, if Mikel Arteta's spell is anything to go by. The butt of jokes during his time in England, his post-Gunners career has been pretty good so far: he lifted the Europa League with Villarreal last season after dumping his former club out in the semis, and beat Manchester United in the final.
His two-year stint with PSG means he's used to managing nouveau-riche sides, too.
Joe Mourinho (30/1)
Mourinho recently 'admitted' (read: 'knowingly told the press') that he had an "emotional connection" with Newcastle, due to his time working for Bobby Robson at Porto and Barcelona in the 1990s.
However, it's early days in his role at Roma, making this move a little less likely.
Antonio Conte (33/1)
The fiery Italian has been out of work since ditching Inter in June, having just led the Nerazzurri to their first Scudetto in a decade. Conte is demanding, respected and a master tactician; his signature 3-4-3 formation flummoxed opposition managers during his Premier League-winning stint at Chelsea. He’s not what you’d describe as a penny pincher, but Newcastle might be about to let go of the purse strings.
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