Now that Newcastle United have officially been taken over by a Saudi Arabian consortium, rumours of new players will be flying in and silly season looks to have already begun on social media with memes of Kylian Mbappé and Phillipe Coutinho photoshopped into the famous black and white stripes already emerging.
It is certainly an exciting time to be a Magpie. Following a rather underwhelming return to the top flight thus far, Newcastle have been mediocre to say the least, surviving by the skin of their teeth with very little investment in an ordinary squad. If it wasn’t for the individual brilliance of Joe Willock and Allan Saint-Maximin keeping the side afloat they would be frequently flirting with relegation.
Steve Bruce came in and steadied the ship but as soon as Mike Ashley left St James Park you felt he would be quick to follow, sacked almost immediately under the new owners.
With all the talks over big money moves inevitably came the discussion about who is in the dugout. At the end of the day, Bruce was never going to be trusted with bringing in those lucrative signings ad he simply pales in comparison to some of the managers available. He also has never dealt with elite players in a managerial career which has been spent predominantly in the lower mid-table.
There was always a sense of inevitability that he would be replaced sooner rather than later — regardless of the reassurances director Amanda Staveley has made about his future he lasted just one game under the new owners
Sites like Betdaq already had Bruce as the next manager to follow Xisco Muñoz at Watford and be sacked, and with that in mind, we thought it would be appropriate to run through some realistic, and light-hearted, options to see who could take over the mantle in the dugout at St James Park.
Fresh off the back of a Serie A title, Antonio Conte is a serial winner. Having taken Chelsea to the league in 2017, amassing one of the best points tallies in an individual season, the Italian would guarantee success but there are questions over his longevity. Conte tends to only stick around for a few years at a time and if the dressing room becomes toxic like it did in his final months at Stamford Bridge, then the project could dismantle before it ever really gets off its feet.
The most realistic option for long term progression, Newcastle only need to look at Manchester City’s takeover to see things don’t always happen overnight. Graham Potter is enjoying a great start to the new season with Brighton despite losing marquee players and while he has never been entrusted with big money to shell on players, his recruitment has certainly been savvy. Potter could steady the ship and serve as a paperweight to develop players and help the Magpies rise up the table until an elite coach becomes more feasible.
One of the candidates for the Tottenham Hotspur job over the summer, Paulo Fonseca was most recently in charge of Roma but was relived of his duties at the Stadio Olympico in favour of José Mourinho. Fonseca also won three domestic doubles in his three seasons as manager of Shakhtar Donetsk between 2016 and 2019 and while he hasn’t managed in England before he certainly has the credentials.
For what it’s worth, we don’t see this one happening but Newcastle fans can dare to dream and if a big side doesn’t come along and swoop Zinedine Zidane up soon, then surely the Frenchman’s head could be turned at the prospect of a project this exciting. Having won three Champions Leagues consecutively when in charge at Real Madrid as well as guiding Los Blancos to a league title in his penultimate season, Zidane has a proven track record of winning on the big stage and given the rumoured transfer war-chest he would have at his disposal to bring players in, the move would make sense on paper. However, we think he will wait for a call from a more established side, or even a third stint in Madrid if they continue to struggle.