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With the new regime in full force now at Newcastle, it was only a matter of time before Steve Bruce was given his marching orders. With 28 wins from 97, it will be crucial for Newcastle’s new owners to regain a feel-good factor around St James Park in the dug-out. Looking over a few names for the vacancy, it will be intriguing to watch what avenue the new owners go down for their first big managerial appointment to see in their new era.
The first name is the bookies’ favourite for the Newcastle vacancy, the exciting figure of Paolo Fonseca. Fonseca, to me, would be a fresh and bold appointment for The Magpies – a complete anthesis of the dire mood that has engulfed St James Park over the last few seasons.
It’s no surprise that Fonseca is linked with every big vacancy under the sun, his quality as a manager speaks for itself. Playing an exciting brand of football for Roma – nearly 200 goals flooding in during his 102 game spell with the club – this appointment would get fans out of their seats and behind their team as entertainers. Drawing direct comparisons to Atalanta, the likes of Saint-Maximin would benefit greatly from a manager who harnesses his attacking qualities to the max.
Fonseca has also proven himself in various different countries, success in Italy came after a trophy-laden spell in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk. Winning the double in each season with the Ukrainian club, Fonseca became a serial winner in Donetsk. Moreover, his Shakhtar side reached the Champions League last 16 and battled well against clubs far superior to them.
Nearly joining Tottenham before fellow compatriot Nuno became Spurs boss, appointing Fonseca would tick all the boxes for Newcastle. An exciting and physical brand of football would win back fans who saw abject displays under Steve Bruce, enjoying match-days instead of a looming pessimism hanging over them. Portuguese managers have often succeeded in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho an obvious example. There’s a reason he’s 1/2 odds with most bookmakers, it would be a worthwhile appointment.
In a similar mould to the Portuguese manager before him, Favre would be another interesting pick. The Swiss boss was a rumour for the Crystal Palace vacancy before Patrick Vieira was appointed, a breakdown in talks occurring before he was unveiled at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace’s loss could well be another team’s gain, Newcastle gaining the upper-hand over their Premier League competitors. Lucien Favre has gained a reputation for breathing life back into sides struggling, teams who have tasted little to no success for far too long. At Borussia Mönchengladbach, Favre resurrected a struggling side from relegation candidates time after time into a club destined for the upper reaches of the Bundesliga. Nurturing the likes of Marc Andre-Stegen and Granit Xhaka to big moves, Favre is a good fit for a Newcastle side struggling for some time now.
This theme of galvanising stuttering sides followed Favre to France, clinching a Champions League spot for an unfavored OGC Nice side. His time at Borussia Dortmund proves to be the only blemish on his managerial resume, failing to live up to his previous hype with the German giants. An outside of the box appointment if secured, the Swiss manager would be in his comfort zone rebuilding Newcastle and reinstating a feeling of pride to Tyneside. The Newcastle owners need to go bold, and Favre fits the bill.
In my honest opinion, Frank Lampard being announced as the first manager of this Newcastle regime would scream a far too safe appointment. In both Favre and Fonseca, you have managers with a glowing record – minus Favre’s stint at Dortmund to an extent – but both will want to come to the Premier League and prove themselves even more on new foreign shores. In Frank Lampard, you have a manager who did his best with Chelsea but came up short. His only success remains with Derby County, getting them to a playoff final against Aston Villa. I think Newcastle have to set their sights higher, Frank Lampard feels too safe and familiar.
The upside to Lampard’s appointment would be his name alone, Frank Lampard is a well known figure and face. To sell Newcastle as this new and exciting venture, the owners might well see Lampard as the perfect stop-gap appointment. There’s no guarantee that both Fonseca and Favre will jump at the opportunity to move to Tyneside, both managers clearly in high demand as they’re always floating about when a sacking is announced. Lampard would have a point to prove, so he would be more than open to being their first manager after Steve Bruce’s exit.
With Eddie Howe, Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard other rumoured names, a whole myriad of managers seem to be in the pipeline at St James Park. With Graeme Jones taking Newcastle’s next match, this rumour mill will only increase with more and more potential managers.
In Paolo Fonseca, the new Newcastle owners have a chance to go for somebody who is used to winning and playing attractive football. Moreover, a signal of intent would be seen with Fonseca rejecting Spurs prior. In my opinion, he’s the one they should target as the first boss of this new money rich era.