Despite initial speculation, Steve Bruce took charge of his 1000th game in football management on Sunday afternoon, celebrating the landmark on a momentous day for his boyhood club Newcastle United.
The feel-good atmosphere carried through to the players who got off to an impressive early start following Callum Wilson’s diving header, but visitors Tottenham Hotspur spoiled the Geordie party by winning 3-2 at St. James’ Park. Football was secondary on the day after the match was delayed due to a medical emergency in the crowd, but the result will have done little to lift the dark cloud over Bruce’s head.
The signs are ominous for the 60-year-old, who it seems will not be given the trust and opportunity to spend from the limitless pockets of the club’s controversial new owners and invest in a team and club that was negligently neglected throughout the Mike Ashley era.
While some will argue that Bruce deserves an opportunity, a run of seven wins in 38 games certainly won’t help his cause, nor will some of the turgid football that has accompanied that string of results stemming from last season. Aside from Wilson, Joe Willock and Allan Saint-Maximin in particular, there has been little to excite Newcastle’s devoted fanbase.
Those are three names who should survive the anticipated early influx of new arrivals to the north east over the coming transfer windows, but Bruce is unlikely to be so lucky. His sacking was expected prior to the Spurs game, but the passing of his milestone match on Sunday may leave the board with a colder view of the situation.
Bookmakers are already offering odds on who the next Newcastle manager will be and there are a number of interesting candidates featured. If you are interested in betting on the next Newcastle boss, be sure to head over to Inkedin first. They will point you in the right direction of where is best to wager your money online, whether it be sportsbooks or the best slot sites the industry has to offer.
Continue on as we breakdown the current favourites to take the reigns at St. James’ Park if the inevitable takes place over the coming weeks.
Frank Lampard – 4/1
The current favourite to take over from Bruce is Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. Lampard has been out of a job since being relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge in January of this year and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who went on to win the Champions League in his first season with the club.
There is the feeling that Newcastle’s new owners will look to make a statement with their first managerial appointment and go for a candidate with a high profile – something Lampard fits as a player but not yet necessarily as a manager. He has had just two-and-a-half seasons in the dugout to this point, but has had some success having taken Derby County to the Championship Play-Off Final and guided Chelsea to a top-four finish and FA Cup Final through a transfer embargo.
The level Tuchel, a world-class manager, took Chelsea to after Lampard’s departure has made many downplay the Englishman’s attributes as a young coach and his achievements in the previous two seasons.
Paulo Fonseca – 6/1
Paulo Fonseca was reportedly within touching distance of becoming Tottenham Hotspur manager over the summer – in turn almost completing an inadvertent manager swap with Jose Mourinho – but concerns over his style of play led to them going in the direction of Nuno Espirito Santo. Fonseca’s teams play unashamedly on the front foot which is something many Newcastle fans would be excited at the prospect of seeing.
Branded as the entertainers during the mid-1990s for their reckless abandon and full-throttle attacking style of football, Newcastle became most supporters’ second favourite team in the Premier League for a number of years. The Portuguese manager enjoyed the most success of his career at Shakhtar Donetsk, where he won three consecutive Ukrainian Premier League titles.
Steven Gerrard – 8/1
Another high-profile name linked with the Newcastle post in recent weeks is Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Gerrard is currently in his fourth season in charge at Ibrox having denied Glasgow rivals Celtic the opportunity to win a famous ‘10 in a row’ following his team’s title victory in the 2022/21 season.
The former Liverpool and England midfielder has impressed many with the way he has turned around the fortunes of Rangers, not only closing the gap between the, and a dominant Celtic but also surpassing them as the current dominant side in Scottish football.
Gerrard’s team play with a high tempo and his stature as a player commands instant respect from his squad as well. At 41, he is one of Britain’s brightest young managers but there will undoubtedly be fears that he will have his eyes set on the Liverpool job, which is likely to be available come 2024 when Jurgen Klopp’s contract comes to an end.
Lucien Favre – 8/1
If Newcastle are looking for a manager to bridge the gap between them and teams competing for Europe, Lucien Favre could be the ideal appointment. The Swiss coach is currently searching for his next adventure after being sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December 2022, but has an excellent track record of overachieving with clubs that aren’t necessarily part of the established protocol in their respective leagues. Favre has taken both Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice into the Champions League and would now have far greater resources to work with at Newcastle than he has previously.
He too has been lauded in the past for his team’s attractive style of play and has a fine track record of developing and improving young players. Favre has been unable to crack the code of winning one of Europe’s top leagues but his proven ability to make the teams he manages a European contender could be perfect for what Newcastle are looking for, before then going to the next level with a stellar managerial appointment.