Five replacements for under pressure Newcastle boss Alan Pardew
Newcastle United slipped into the Premier League basement following a poor performance away at Southampton, and are now 9/2 chances with Coral for the drop.
Travelling Toon Army members were vocal in their displeasure, calling on much-maligned Magpies owner Mike Ashley to sack manager Alan Pardew.
Only Everton have conceded more goals than Newcastle, and the 4-0 loss at St Mary’s meant they drew a blank for the third time in four league outings this season.
It’s fair to say, then, Pardew is under pressure and that got our Coral football experts thinking about who could be lined up to replace him in the St James’ Park hotseat. We came up with five options Ashley could turn to.
Here, the Magpies would find a manager with something to prove. The Toon Army may not take kindly to someone rejected by Manchester United, but Moyes can point to a proven track record of establishing a side in the top half and securing regular European football.
That latter commodity is something a knowledgeable Geordie crowd craves, as continental competition means they can attract a certain calibre of player.
Moyes’ backroom team, based on previous choices, would have a familiar flavour for Newcastle fans too. Steve Round has assisted him since 2008, but prior to that worked under Sam Allardyce during his stint on Tyneside.
Former Sunderland and current Hull City boss Bruce grew up in Newcastle and supported them as a boy. Ashley would be getting a proven Premier League manager, who has also coached Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic in the top flight.
It would be something of a sentimental appointment, though Bruce’s spell on Wearside could be cause for resentment from more extreme sections of the Toon Army. Stability is something so seldom savoured by the Magpies, but this one man who could give this to them.
Bruce has played three at the back with the Tigers to great effect since taking over on Humberside in 2012. Promotion in his first season followed by a run to the FA Cup final last term is the kind of success his fellow Geordies desire.
Given Newcastle’s current defensive frailties, the Pulis trademark of tough to beat and grinding out results would be welcome on Tyneside right now, at least in the short term.
When in charge of Crystal Palace last term, the former Stoke City boss took the Eagles up to the northeast and had his charges dig their heels in. Only the last kick of the game at St James’ snatched all three points for the home side.
Pulis has, however, never worked up north and his perceived reputation as a cautious coach could alienate Toon Army members who expect to see attacking football.
The second Scot to appear on our shortlist after Moyes, ex-West Bromwich Albion head coach Clarke was once assistant at Newcastle to Ruud Gullit and later caretaker when the Dutchman got his cards.
Linked with the vacancy at Leeds United, this Premier League position would be more alluring. Clarke was a victim of his own success at West Brom, but the Toon Army would take a repeat of that eighth place finish he recorded at The Hawthorns a couple of seasons back.
Having left Celtic over the summer in search of a new challenge, turning things around on Tyneside should certainly fit that brief for Lennon. Having dealt with one goldfish bowl both as player and manager of the Glasgow giants, he might actually be well-equipped to take on Newcastle.
January raids on the Bhoys would surely follow this proposed appointment. Lennon would be looking to land highly-rated Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk to help tighten things up at the back, and bring winger James Forrest south to add extra sparkle in attack.