Football Features

Next Newcastle United manager: Paulo Fonseca emerges as favourite to succeed Steve Bruce

By Chris Smith

Published: 12:50, 20 October 2021

It has not taken long for Newcastle’s new owners to make their first big decision, relieving Steve Bruce of his managerial duties.

It appeared a foregone conclusion that Bruce would be given the boot at some point, and that seeming inevitability has now come to fruition.

Talk now, will naturally turn to which manager Newcastle’s monied owners will employ to succeed Bruce, but who are the favourites for the now vacant position?

All odds in this article are provided by Sky Bet and are correct at the time of being published (12:50, 20/10/21). 18+ only. BeGambleAware.

Paulo Fonseca – 1/4

A failed move to Tottenham over the summer has kept former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca on the market and the Portuguese tactician is now favourite among bookies to take the reins on Tyneside. A meticulous, progressive coach, there is a level of intrigue to Fonseca that should chime well with the new ambition of the club. Bruce’s initial appointment was largely seen as a damp squib when announced, but talk of Fonseca already has got tails wagging in the North East.

Lucien Favre – 5/1

Another overseas name likely to peak the interest of more than a few Geordies. Lucien Favre also looked set to relocate to the Premier League in the summer, with Crystal Palace credited with a huge interest in Dortmund’s ousted coach, but a move failed to transpire, and just like Fonseca, he remains out of work.

The Swiss coach produced wonders at Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice before earning a career-defining move to the Ruhr Valley in 2018. Favre was hailed at BVB for his policy on youth development and transfer acumen, but the results were not always forthcoming and he was sacked last season as a result.

Eddie Howe – 8/1

Eddie Howe | Bournemouth | Premier League

When Eddie Howe left Bournemouth in August 2020, most expected him to be picked up pretty quickly but, thus far, he’s remained without a job. Currently the third-favourite to take over from Bruce, Howe is credited with a much more attractive style of play and did brilliantly to take the Cherries all the way up to the Premier League, keeping them there for a number of years. Concerns remain around his defensive capabilities, but Howe would definitely get the best out of the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, who is at his best when playing in a forward-thinking, counter-attacking side.

What’s more, Howe has already worked with and got the best from the likes of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie during their days together at Bournemouth. The former two, in particular, could seriously supercharge Newcastle’s attack at least in the short term, if only they had a manager familiar with them and able to set up to their strengths.

Frank Lampard – 10/1

There is no question that Frank Lampard will be itching to sink his teeth into a new project and dispel the reputation he garnered towards the latter stages of his Chelsea tenure. No doubt seeing the success of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge will be fuelling his desire and motivation to get back into the technical area.

A position at Newcastle may prove favourable for Lampard. It’s a new project where he will receive financial backing to draft in his own players, plus patience will likely be a more resourceful commodity than Cobham, where Roman Abramovich gets through more managers than Brian Clough got through one-liners.

Steven Gerrard – 16/1

Steven Gerrard has flown up the betting markets for the Newcastle job. But given his success north of the border with Rangers and previous links to Premier League jobs, it’s honestly more surprising he wasn’t up there in the first place.

Gerrard has already shown his fondness for attacking football and an ability to cultivate young talent. What’s more, Ryan Kent has been one of his biggest stars in Glasgow, suggesting he could get the very best out of Allan Saint-Maximin at St James’ Park. The French winger is comfortably Newcastle’s most exciting player, but it can often feel like he’s dragging a boulder up a hill in black and white. Kent himself would likely relish the chance to move south of the border with his manager, as would a proven goalscorer like Alfredo Morelos.


Antonio Conte – 28/1

For new owners, the first hire can often be the most important. It’s hard to think of a bigger statement Amanda Staveley and Co. could make than signing the currently-unattached Antonio Conte. The Italian finally overhauled Juventus’ nine-year spell of dominance (that he started) last season, leading Inter to the Serie A title, while he’s also tasted Premier League and FA Cup success with Chelsea.

Alongside his impressive silverware collection, Conte is a tactical innovator and his 3-5-2 system could make the best use of Newcastle’s collection of decent centre-backs. And his name alone stands a good chance of attracting some star talent to St. James’ Park.

Roberto Martinez – 28/1

Roberto Martinez | Euro 2020

Roberto Martinez is arguably the most complicated of the favourites. On the one hand, he did brilliantly to keep Wigan in the Premier League as long as he did, not to mention winning the FA Cup. Then there was Everton. The Spaniard led the Toffees to a club-record 72 Premier League points and a fifth-place finish in 2013/14, but could only manage consecutive 11th-place finishes thereafter, becoming extremely unpopular due to some uninspiring possession football and horrendous defending. That said, alongside his FA Cup win with the Latics, Martinez did lead the Toffees to FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals in his final season in charge and clearly knows his way around knockout tournaments. The desire for silverware is strong in the North East, so this could be a better match than first meets the eye.

Of course, Martinez has also regained some respect with the Belgian national team, leading them to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. But international football is a totally different animal to the demands he’d face in front of over 50,000 Newcastle fans.

Stepping it up to the Premier League will be a totally different challenge, but you can’t accuse him of lacking experience there as a player, can you…

Top 10 favourites to become Newcastle United manager:

  1. Paulo Fonseca – 1/4
  2. Lucien Favre5/1
  3. Eddie Howe – 8/1
  4. Frank Lampard10/1
  5. Steven Gerrard – 16/1
  6. Graeme Jones – 22/1
  7. Jose Mourinho – 25/1
  8. Unai Emery – 25/1
  9. Brendan Rodgers – 25/1
  10. Graham Potter – 28/1


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