Newcastle United are amping up the search for Steve Bruce’s replacement, who took charge of the team in last Sunday’s defeat against Tottenham Hotspur (3-2). The Times reports that Unai Emery, Roberto Martinez, and Steven Gerrard currently head the shortlist for the role.
Both Spaniards have prior experience managing in the Premier League. Martinez was in charge of Wigan Athletic, whom he helped maintain their league status for four years and win an FA Cup.
He joined Everton immediately after Wigan’s relegation in summer 2013 and was in charge of the club for three years, leading the Toffees to a fifth-placed finish in 2013/14. He was appointed as the head coach of the Belgium National Team upon his release from the Merseyside club.
Emery managed Arsenal between May 2018 and November 2019. In his first season at the club, the former PSG boss led the Gunners to the UEFA Europa League final, which they lost to Chelsea. He was relieved from his duties midway through the 19/20 season after a string of subpar results. In July 2020, he took over at Villarreal and guided them to the Europa League trophy.
Gerrard is the least experienced. However, the Liverpool legend led the Scottish side Rangers to the league title last season, ahead of fierce rivals Celtic.
Despite the speculation surrounding his future, Bruce retained his position for the 1000th game in his managerial career last weekend against Tottenham Hotspur. Newcastle, backed by an elated home crowd and new super-rich owners, took the lead in the second minute through Callum Wilson, only to lose the game 3-2 as Spurs rallied back. The defeat left the Magpies 19th and in the relegation zone – just a solitary point above basement side Norwich City.
Meanwhile, news about Bruce’s impending departure continues to pour in this week. Former Manchester United and England centre-back is expected to be replaced in the near future, with several difficult games on the horizon.
The Magpies play Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Brighton, Brentford, and Arsenal in their next five matches.