The clues to the thinking at Newcastle United as head coach search nears conclusion

Newcastle United’s search for a new head coach is nearing its conclusion.

By Miles Starforth
Monday, 1st November 2021, 12:32 pm

The club has been searching for a managerial successor to Steve Bruce for the past two weeks.

And the recruitment process has been given added urgency by the club’s precarious Premier League position following the first 10 games.

Newcastle, winless so far this season, are 19th in the table with four points ahead of Saturday’s game against seventh-placed Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. The game is followed by a two-week international break.

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The team was beaten 3-0 by league leaders Chelsea at St James’s Park on Saturday in front of part-owner Amanda Staveley, who will make a recommendation to the Public Investment Fund, who own 80% of the club following last month’s £300million takeover.

Roberto Martinez, Unai Emery, Paulo Fonseca and Lucien Favre are among those who have been under consideration for the post.

Graeme Jones, previously assistant to Bruce, was initially told he would be in charge for two games, and the club’s caretaker head coach said after the Chelsea game that he did not yet know if he would get a third game at the helm.

“I really don’t know,” said Jones. “I’ve done the game, spoke to the players after the game, and came straight here to do the press conference. I haven’t spoke to the owners. I’m not trying to be evasive. I haven’t. We’ll see what they’ve got to say tonight or tomorrow.”

Amanda Staveley with her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi on Saturday.

Staveley has made no comment on the club’s search for a new head coach.

However, the club’s process-driven new owners are focused on getting to “the right decision in the right way”.

Crucially, they’re understood to be looking for an appointment that is right for the club in the short-term AND the long-term. This would seemingly rule out the shorter-term appointment of an experienced Premier League “firefighter”.

Jones, for his part, has been been given assurances about his future at United by Staveley, who has taken a 10% stake in the club through PCP Capital Partners.

Roberto Martinez.

"I’ve been assured of my future at the football club, so that won't change for me,” said the 51-year-old. “Whether I’m manager or assistant, I will be studying Brighton.”

Jones previously assisted Belgium manager Martinez, who is now the favourite for the job with bookmakers.

Martinez was in the country at the weekend to watch Wigan Athletic, his former club.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are also searching for a new head coach following the dismissal today of Nuno Espirito Santo.

Fabio Paratici, the club’s managing director of football, said: "I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed, and I regret that we have had to take this decision.

“Nuno’s a true gentleman, and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff, and wish them well for the future.”

Antonio Conte – who left Inter Milan in the summer – is tipped to succeed him at the club, which is eighth in the Premier League table. Conte previously led Chelsea to the Premier League title in the 2016/17 season.

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