Poor squad, in the drop zone, with Top Four scrutiny Toon job is a hospital pass

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So how do you want to manage the richest football club on earth?

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If this sounds like a dream job then let’s put it another way: With the Champions League level in check, how do you want to manage a relegation-level team in the relegation zone?

Is there a manager out there who really wants a job at Newcastle?credit: getty

That’s the paradox about the vacancy left after Steve Bruce’s departure from Newcastle – a unique challenge in unique circumstances, the right job at the wrong time.


The January transfer window will be crucial for Newcastle’s Saudi owners.

But at a club in flux, and with new owners in danger of swimming naively in football’s piranha pools, can Newcastle’s next manager be assured that the hierarchy will immediately get his recruiting right?

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Bruce has denied Newcastle victory after eight Premier League matches. There are 12 games to go before the window opens – including clashes with all four Champions League clubs.

Outside the bottom three in January, or very close to that safety line, and attracting new players will be easy.

But the new year leaves many points to go and new recruits will face the real prospect of a season in the championship – and best-case scenario two-and-a-half years before Champions League football.

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Take, for example, Jesse Lingard. An England international with little chance of regular football at Manchester United.

Lingard, 28, wants a new challenge. Like any other player, he also wants a salary increase. But does he want that kind of long haul at Newcastle?

Players with real Champions League ambitions are likely to dread an odds-again relegation battle.

And would elite Premier League clubs be willing to do business with a club that represents a clear long-term threat? There will be no comfortable loan.

No fringe players going to Newcastle will be cheap. And the charge would be even less likely to sell to rivals.

Georgie may be crazy about his club but just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean he’s not after you.

Everyone else wants Newcastle to go down now, because they are angry and afraid of their newfound wealth.

Even with all the dirty oil money in Saudi Arabia, it’s no easy task

Players from overseas without Premier League experience usually take time to settle. And Newcastle may not have the time.

Even with all the dirty oil money in Saudi Arabia, this is no easy task.

Newcastle will spend heavily in January, but unless those next dozen games kick off in a big way, they’ll punt on the Mavericks, the rookie or players who aren’t significant upgrades.

This current squad is probably stronger than Norwich and Watford, and is heavily dependent on Callum Wilson and Alan Saint-Maximin.

Leads are definitely too good to go down. Burnley is Burnley and will live forever. Southampton and Crystal Palace, widely touted as pre-season relegation candidates, are showing real promise.

And so many good managers, including one or two currently out of work, have distanced themselves from Newcastle.

Paulo Fonseca – sacked by Roma to make way for Jose Mourinho – is in pole position to replace Bruce, after fielding ineligible players twice.

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Paulo Fonseca is the favorite to take charge at St James's Park

Paulo Fonseca is the favorite to take charge at St James’s Parkcredit: getty

Other contenders include exiled Eddie Howe with Bournemouth and former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre, who may be of two minds anyway.

And that’s because Newcastle is a dream job for a manager in the aftermath, or the aftermath of this one.

Now, for elite managers, managing the richest club on earth feels like near a hospital.

Steve Bruce fires parting shot at Newcastle fans for calling him a ‘useless, fat, cleverly inept cabbage head’

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