Newcastle United’s search for a new manager continues this week following the departure of Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard’s reign at St James’ Park came to an end when his contract at the club ran out last week and a new deal could not be agreed with under-fire owner Mike Ashley.
It was reported that the 59 year-old told Newcastle’s hierarchy that he would be leaving the club at the end of his contract (June 30th) in a meeting at the clubs Benton training ground back in May, but the slow process to find a successor has left Newcastle fans worried about the coming season.
With the Magpies first pre-season friendly vs Wolves in the Aisa Trophy just eight days away, the club are in need to act quickly if they want to give the new boss a chance to get to know his players and make any additions to the side before the transfer window closes and Premier League campaign kicks off next month.
Steve Bruce has emerged as the new favourite to become the next manager after his odds were slashed this afternoon. The boyhood Newcastle fan and former Sunderland boss (a mixture that doesn’t go down well in the North East) is currently the manager of Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. Now priced at 3/1 with Sky Bet, 13/8 with Betfair and 15/8 with Paddy Power, the 58 year-old is the bookmakers new favourite.
Roberto Martinez is the next name on the bookmakers list for the job, priced at 9/2 with Sky Bet. The Former Swansea, Wigan and Everton boss is currently in charge of the Belgian national side. Having been sacked by the Toffees in 2016, he lead the Red Devils to the World Cup semi-finals last year, knocking out Brazil in the quarter-finals before falling to France. The 45-year-old has never hidden his intention to return to Premier League management, with the Belgium FA reportedly understood to ‘fear the worst’ should Newcastle make an official approach despite Martinez saying he would stay until the end of Euro 2020.
Bruce and Martinez lead from the way ahead of former Arsenal midfielder and current Manchester City Assistant Manager Mikel Arteta, who is priced at 10/2 with Sky Bet. Pep Guardiola’s number two is reportedly keen to take over at Newcastle and a move to St James’ Park would give the Spaniard his first opportunity at being number one.
The odds for former Liverpool midfielder and current Ranagers boss, Steven Gerrard have shortened in recent days following reports linking him with the job. While there has been no official approach by the Magpies for Gerrard, he reportedly is among the names currently being look at by the hierarchy at Newcastle. Priced at 20/1, he is still some way behind Bruce, Martinez and Arteta.
John Terry, Jose Mourinho, Chris Wilder, Sean Dyche, David Moyes and Laurent Blanc also feature high up in the betting list whilst Neil Redfearn and Ben Dawson who are currently overseeing first-team training are both are priced at 25/1 and 50/1 respectively to be the next permanent manager.
When thinking about who fits for Newcastle United, we’ve got to take into consideration owner Mike Ashley and the type of person that he will want. After 3 years of trying to meet the demands of Rafa Benitez over transfers, training ground improvements and ultimately the ambition of the club, Mike will want someone who will just do as they’re told. What is being looked for to replace Benitez is a ‘yes man’ and that is why I think that Steve Bruce priced at 3/1 looks good.