Newcastle United had an opportunity to go ten points clear of 18th-placed Fulham yesterday, but the team collapsed to Arsenal at the Emirates, 0-3. The fans have had enough of Steve Bruce as the Magpies extended their winless streak to nine games, and many among the Toon Army are convinced that Bruce has lost the dressing room.
His experimental tactics have opened the door to shocking inconsistency. Aside from Karl Darlow in goal and Callum Wilson up top, no player between those lines understands their role, and the constant lineup rotation is not helping either. It is plain and simple for all to see that Bruce has no idea what his strongest lineup and formation are.
Even the statistics are screaming for Bruce to get the pink slip at St. James’ Park. The fact that Newcastle United have gone on four streaks of five or more games without a win in his 18 months in charge is a red flag that shows how dependent he is on luck.
As was published a few days ago, I stand by my prediction that Bruce will be sacked on January 31st, but he might be gone sooner if Aston Villa and Leeds United run wild on the Toon just as Arsenal did with ease. That being said, the front office need to start opening their eyes and begin their search for a new manager. However, they should avoid the two names listed below.
Simply having Premier League experience does not mean a candidate is the right man for the job at Newcastle United…
The two managers Newcastle United should avoid once they decide it is time to move on from Bruce and his old school brand of football are Mark Hughes and Marco Silva. Neither manager should come close to touching this club.
In my opinion, Mark Hughes is in the same category as Steve Bruce when it comes to managerial quality. Yes, Hughes has enjoyed more stability in the Premier League, he has scouted some talented players, and had the luxury of coaching some top names, but his record as a manager is far from impressive.
He enjoyed a decent spell in his 187 games in charge of Blackburn, which also involved some European action, but he only averaged 1.64 points per game while in charge of a talented Manchester City side. He was able to maintain Stoke City’s Premier League status for multiple seasons, but what hurt him with the Potters was constantly changing formations.
That was a problem for him at Southampton as well, and it is a problem Newcastle United are currently struggling with now under Bruce. Hughes has several years of Premier League experience under his belt, but none of it is worth much praise.
Marco Silva was seen as an intriguing manager when he decided to make the leap from Olympiacos to the Premier League, but it did not take long to realize that he was a bust. Hull City were relegated under his watch, his tenure at Watford was short-lived, and his record at Everton is a key reason why he is still unemployed.
Silva’s preferred formation, 4-2-3-1, is one that would benefit Newcastle United, but he has a history of losing the dressing room in a short period of time. When taking a close look at his time at Hull City, Watford and Everton, his defensive record raises some red flags as he conceded 36 goals in 18 games at Hull City, 44 goals in 24 games at Watford, and conceded 73 goals in 53 games at Everton.
What is more concerning is that he was a manager of streaks at Watford and Everton. As soon as he would go on to claim back-to-back victories, he would also be left frustrated with a winless streak of three or four games, and the process would repeat. That is the last thing Newcastle United need right now.