The story of how England head coach Gareth Southgate played key role in Newcastle United's Graeme Jones appointment

Newcastle United received two glowing, international class endorsements in their due diligence as part of the process to appoint Graeme Jones.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 5:26 pm

Jones was this afternoon confirmed to be part of the England Euro 2020 coaching setup by head coach Gareth Southgate. That comes just four months after the former Luton Town boss was brought back to the Premier League as Steve Bruce’s No.2.

And the Gazette has learned the United hierarchy received two impressive references from current international bosses.

One was Roberto Martinez, which was to be expected, while England head coach Gareth Southgate also endorsed the appointment of Jones.

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England's manager Gareth Southgate (L) greets Belgium's coach Roberto Martinez before the UEFA Nations League group A2 football match between England and Belgium at Wembley stadium in north London on October 11, 2020. (Photo by Ian Walton / POOL / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by IAN WALTON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Jones played with Martinez at Wigan Athletic, and was then plucked from a job with Hamilton to work with the Spaniard again at Swansea City.

The Geordie was then taken everywhere Martinez went, working as his assistant from south Wales to Wigan, on to Everton and then the World Cup semi-finals with Belgium.

The link with Southgate is much less obvious, but the ex-Middlesbrough manager is understood to be a huge fan of Jones – and had things worked out differently, may well have found himself side-by-side with the now Newcastle tactician in the Wembley dugout.

Southgate and Jones have not yet worked together but did complete their UEFA Pro License course together.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Graeme Jones, Coach of Newcastle United gives their team instructions during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St. James Park on February 02, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

And when England under-21 boss Southgate offered Jones the opportunity to become his No.2, but that advance was knocked back due to 50-year-old’s role alongside Martinez, and Thierry Henry, with the Red Devils.

In January, United paid Bournemouth around £250,000 to land Gateshead-born Jones.

And while Bruce proved less than emphatic in his praise since Jones in the opening weeks, the head coach was involved in conversations throughout the appointment process, along with managing director Lee Charnley.

Today, Three Lions’ boss Southgate confirmed Jones is to join his coaching staff following the departure of striker coach Allan Russell.

On his appointment, Southgate said: “We won’t have a like for like replacement in that specific area of work, I’m disappointed for Allan and for us that situation has occurred.

"We’re really pleased to be able to bring Graeme Jones in who is obviously working with Newcastle at the moment.

"I’ve known Graeme quite a while – he’s got fantastic experiences of tournament football of course with Belgium and Roberto Martinez.

"He’s got great experiences as an assistant manager and manager, so I’m really pleased that with Steve Holland and Graeme, Martyn Margetson – who has been to semi-finals with us and Wales – and with Chris Powell that we’ve got a really strong coaching team.

"We’re really looking forward to that challenge.”

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