Steve Bruce, proud Geordie, title-winning player, noted author, but progressive manager? Nope.
Bruce had previously performed better than expected (though, expectations from fans were low at best) but he’s done little to suggest he can evolve the team into one that can capture the imagination of Newcastle United’s fans as the team slip down the table.
We’ve highlighted five managers who could get the fans giddy again and named the one we think the club should appoint.
Who are the progressive managers?
First things first, we must establish what we mean by progressive. It stands to reason that if Bruce isn’t progressive then we’d need a manager with opposing characteristics. This means they should be a young coach whose team plays forward thinking football.
Now, this leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Does forward thinking mean a high-press? Does it entail quick passing? Does it even demand that teams take the game to the opposition?
We’re saying yes to all these things but are staying mindful of the fact that they can be interpreted in different ways. With this in mind, these are the five progressive managers we’re highlighting, alongside their current club and their age:
- Julian Nagelsmann: RB Leipzig (33)
- Marco Rose: Borussia Mönchengladbach (44)
- Marcelo Gallardo: River Plate (44)
- Roberto De Zerbi: Sassuolo (41)
- Ruben Amorim: Sporting CP (35)
Each of these managers meets the criteria we set out for being a progressive manager. The question, though, is which of these Newcastle Utd could realistically appoint.
We’ll level with you: Newcastle Utd should be one of the most attractive jobs in management. The club has an enormous stadium, devoted fan base and rich history. The problem is the current owner has been reluctant to invest in the squad.
This will inform the thinking of candidates when they come to decide if managing Newcastle Utd is the best career move for them. Unfortunately, it means some of the progressive managers you’d like to see appointed will be unrealistic.
We believe the following three of the five managers we consider candidates to be a genuinely progressive replacement for Bruce aren’t realistic candidates under the current owner:
- Julian Nagelsmann
- Marco Rose
- Marcelo Gallardo
This leaves Roberto De Zerbi and Ruben Amorim. While they’re both excellent candidates, one of the two feels like a better choice than the other. We explain who in the next section.
Who would be the best appointment?
Roberto De Zerbi is the person who would be a genuinely progressive replacement for Bruce. He’s young, improves players and gets his team to play great football.
Respected football sites such as The Athletic, ESPN and Total Football Analysis have written impressively about his coaching. Indeed, Total Football Analysis had this to say about him: “he aims to build a dominant team who display possession football and control the game mostly in the opposition half.”
De Zerbi has achieved success with limited investment, something that would be appealing to Mike Ashley and which suggests he could work with the financial constraints he’d find at St James’ Park. He also feels like an attainable target because, with all due respect, Newcastle Utd is a bigger and richer (in a few key ways) club than Sassuolo
He’s the man for Newcastle. The question is what the actual chances are of this happening?
Sports betting sites and online casinos (like Mr Green BetVictor or Betfair) are often the best place to check the odds for managerial appointments.
Sites such as these regularly publish their tips for managerial dismissals and appointments. Indeed, Betfair has a ‘Manager Special’ section and there’s a list of odds for the next Newcastle Utd manager. This is the top five picks (as of January 2021):
- Rafa Benitez: 7/2
- Eddie Howe: 9/2
- Steve Cooper: 15/2
- Jose Mourinho: 9/1
- Alan Shearer: 9/1
Betfair’s list has over 40 names and De Zerbi isn’t one of them — even Ant or Dec are at 250/1. On the face of it, it seems unlikely
This, however, isn’t to say De Zerbi won’t feature in the reckoning at leading online casinos and sports sites in the future. The reason for this is that the odds of these sites are constantly updated, as a team member from OnlineCasinos.co.uk explains:
“Online casinos and sports betting sites use complex algorithms to calculate the odds they offer, including the chances of a manager taking charge of a club.
“While we don’t know exactly how each casino and site arrives at its odds, one thing we can be certain of is that they’re forever updating them to ensure they reflect current circumstances as accurately as possible.
“So, just because you can’t find the betting option you’re looking for today it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find it tomorrow — life changes and so do betting odds.”