5 Potential managers for Newcastle United in the post-Ashley era

Newcastle United are set for a new era under fresh ownership after 13 hapless years under Mike Ashley.

The prospective owners, comprised of Amands Stavely, the Reuben Brothers and the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, have lofty ambitions for the North-East club.

According to reports, they've set their sights on earning a European place in the coming seasons, a more ambitious aim than mid-table mediocrity or even relegation battles, something Newcastle supporters have grown accustomed to in recent years.

But these grand plans need a great footballing mind to lead. While Steve Bruce has done a decent job with the Magpies – they sit 13th in the league, eight points clear of relegation, and are in the FA Cup quarter-finals – Newcastle are reportedly scouting for a new boss to take over for next season.


Here, we look at five names who could take over from Bruce and be the new man in the hot seat at St. James' Park.

Mauricio Pochettino

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to be Newcastle United's next manager

P: 514, W: 235, D: 118, L: 161 | Win ratio: 45.7 per cent

The Argentine used an interpreter when first appointed by Southampton, now he's one of the most highly-respected managers in the game – despite his infamous lack of silverware – and his relationship with players is second to none.  

He transformed Southampton from a newly-promoted side into a Premier League force before leading Tottenham Hotspur to title charges and even a Champions League final last year.

Pochettino's man-management ability is reportedly amongst the best in the game. He helped turn numerous Spurs players into stars – almost overnight. Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Dele Alli are just three examples.

Sensationally sacked by Spurs in November and still a free agent, most expect Pochettino to join an elite side in the future – potentially Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. But the question remains as to whether Newcastle, with their newfound riches, would be considered one of them. 

According to reports, the 48-year-old tops the Magpies' list and his appointment would be a statement of intent from the new regime at Newcastle. Pochettinp has Premier League experience, has proven himself in regularly achieving Champions League qualification and even thriving in the competition, while his passion and charisma has already made him a popular choice with supporters. 

Rafa Benítez

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez watches his side in Championship action against Preston North End

P: 1,127, W: 560, D: 270, L: 297 | Win ratio: 49.7 per cent

Benítez represented hope during Ashley's reign, but would a return be a sensible option for a club looking to move on from its recent past? The former Real Madrid boss is hugely popular on Tyneside after helping Newcastle win promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 while leading them to two mid-table finishes in the league without much financial support.

It was that lack of support and vision from the unpopular Ashley which finally led Benítez to walk out last summer to move to China. The 60-year-old offers stability, ensuring his sides are hard to beat by congesting opposition on the pitch. This suffocating approach works wonders for underdogs. But some may feel, with this influx of money, Newcastle's focus should now be on netting a larger prize than Benítez.  

But they should remember the Madrid-born coach has the uncanny knack of keeping an ace up his sleeve, famously being able to turn around what seems unconquerable deficits in a flash. Newcastle's 3-2 win against Everton last season remains one of his greatest feats as Newcastle boss, while, of course, that famous Champions League final in Istanbul is still etched into the memory of Liverpool fans.

Among his achievements include, quite astonishingly, being the only manager to win the UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Today he presides over Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, where he has a 41.2 per win ratio since last summer.

Massimiliano Allegri

Former Juventus boss Max Allegri.

P: 672, W: 362, D: 156, L: 154 | Win ratio 53.87 per cent

The Italian has enjoyed a rich and successful managerial career in Serie A. That's putting it lightly.

Allegri landed his first ‘big' job in 2010, with Milan, where he won the league in his first season and the Supercoppa Italiana in his second. He left Milan in 2014 to join Juventus

There, he brought about unprecedented success. A 70.48 per cent win ratio – the highest in Italian history – reflected five consecutive Serie A titles from 2015 to 2019, four Coppa Italia wins in those seasons, with two Supercoppa Italiana wins. 

Top this with two Champions League finals and you have one of the most trophy-laden managers around.

The 52-year-old, who is currently out of work, has previously criticised Italian football, saying the game should be played in ‘art’ form. A versatile and dynamic coach, Allegri opposes the press and focuses more on ensuring his players keep their shape.

He is a contentious figure for some with former Juve player Mehdi Benatia even calling his former boss out to the press, citing ‘broken promises'.

But Allegri is one of the bookmakers' favourites for the Newcastle job. His glistening trophy cabinet surely an appealing prospect for a club which hasn't won a piece of silverware since 1955.

Lucien Favre

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre.

P: 705, W: 343, D: 161, L: 201 | Win ratio: 48.6 per cent

The Borussia Dortmund coach earned his reputation with Borussia Mönchengladbach. After saving them from relegation in 2010/2011, he lifted them to a Champions League spot the following season. 

Over the course of the next few years, Favre turned the Die Fohlen into regular contenders for a European spot. He had two years at Nice – leading them to third place in Ligue 1 which was their highest finish – before being appointed Dortmund coach in 2018.

In his first season, Favre enjoyed a 15-game unbeaten run, running Bayern Munich agonisingly close for the title, before lifting the DFL-Supercup last term.

A meticulous tactician, the Swiss implements attractive, attacking football – despite his teams yielding a low expected goals tally – but also ensures his sides are bolstered with a solid defence and high organisation across the pitch. 

With Newcastle looking to upgrade their academy should the takeover go through, Favre would be an ideal fit. Considered one of the best managers when it comes to developing young players, Marco Reus and Granit Xhaka are just two examples of starlets who flourished under his leadership. 

Julian Nagelsmann

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

P: 172, W: 76, D: 53, L: 43 | Win ratio: 44.19 per cent

An outside choice, Nagelsmann has a burgeoning reputation in world football despite being just 32.

He took Hoffenheim from relegation fodder to their first Champions League qualification after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga in 2016/17. The German coach moved to RB Leipzig last summer and the success has continued. Die Roten Bullen sit third and Nagelsmann has a 58.33 per cent win ratio.

Tactically, Nagelsmann is happy to allow the opposition to have the ball, while he is known to switch formation – between three or four at the back – relative to the strength of the side he's facing.

But what stands out is his blueprint for having his attackers make quick transitions while in the final third. He's a manager who looks to avoid benign sideways passes with only positive, progressive, and forward-thinking play encouraged.

Being only in his early 30s, the former Bundesliga centre-back would be a great fit for a club which is about to embark on a total overhaul of character and ambition, but more poignantly – and perhaps aptly – like Newcastle, Nagelsmann knows all too well about overcoming adversity, having his career ended by a knee injury at 20, he’s gone one to be more of the most sought-after names in football. He'd be a coup for Newcastle, but these are heady days on Tyneside.

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