Who is Graeme Jones and what his imminent appointment could mean for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has confirmed Graeme Jones is set to join his backroom staff – but who is he?
“I think the official view is that we’ve been given permission to speak to Graeme,” Bruce said. “Hopefully, we’ll get things sorted in the next 24 hours.
“With what’s gone on in the last few weeks (with Covid-19), we’ve been a bit short. That’s when it was brought to prominence. A fresh voice, a fresh idea, is never a bad thing.
Here, we profile Jones’ career so far, why he’s joining Newcastle and what it could mean for Bruce:
Where was Jones born?
Jones, 50, was born in Gateshead before joining Millwall's academy as a youngster.
He was released by the East London club and went on to have a successful playing career in the lower leagues, in particular with Doncaster Rovers and Wigan Athletic.
The former striker retired in 2006 having also played for North Shields, Bridlington Town, St Johnstone, Southend United, Boston United, Bury, Clyde and Hamilton Academical.
Which clubs has Jones coached at?
Jones became good friends with Roberto Martinez from the pair’s time as players at Wigan, and it was the Spaniard who handed him his first coaching role.
Jones worked as Martinez’s assistant at Swansea City, Wigan and Everton before advancing to international level with Belgium.
During his time with the Red Devils, Jones twice came up against England at the 2018 World Cup in the group stage and third-place play-off.
In the same summer, Jones left the national set-up and joined West Bromwich Albion as Darren Moore’s assistant following their relegation to the Championship.
Jones’ first coaching role without Martinez lasted just seven months when Moore was sacked at the Hawthorns.
How has he fared in management?
Having previously been eyed by Swansea and Burnley, Jones accepted his first managerial role at Championship newcomers Luton Town in May 2019.
However, Jones struggled to turn the Hatters into anything other than relegation candidates.
When football was suspended due to Covid-19, Jones left his position by mutual consent with the club 23rd in the table.
Jones wasn’t out of work for long and soon joined Bournemouth as first-team coach under Jason Tindall following Eddie Howe’s resignation.
Why does he want to join Newcastle?
Bruce revealed: "There’s nothing quite like a new face. He (Jones) is a Newcastle fan, and I think that’s what tipped him our way. He wants to come and work at his hometown club.”
What does his arrival mean?
On current viewing, Jones will simply assist Bruce alongside Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Steve Harper and Ben Dawson in a bid to turn around United’s horrific run of form.
Bruce and co are currently 10 games without a win and haven’t scored in their previous eight matches.
What it means longer-term, is unclear.
Newcastle fans want Bruce to go and the news of Jones’ imminent arrival suggests the 60-year-old is in no immediate danger of losing his job.
If results continue to go the way they are, then you’d expect something to give. That said, this is Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United.