It may be only two days into a new season, but this feeling isn’t a new one, it’s one we’ve felt for most of last season, a dire campaign that we were lucky to survive from. Not to play into the hands of the man himself, and be categorised as “Hysterical” I can’t see this getting any better, and for me, and many more I’m sure, time is well and truly up for this football fossil. Quite simply put, it’s time for Bruce out!

As Alex and the team pointed out with their astute matchday analysis, nothing has changed since the dire away games last season, and when you look at the lack of personnel added (Joe Willock aside) it’s not hard to see why. Let’s suppose he loses against Burnley and goes out of a cup, our only real chance of actually winning anything. Then followed it up with another defeat at home against Southampton, we simply have to act and get rid of this fraud, before it’s too late.

So assuming we did, who’s available to come in and improve this situation, fix this mess? Let’s have a look at some of the key candidates.

Eddie Howe: 6/1 

A name that was massively linked to us last campaign during Bruce’s infamous 10% win ratio spell. Eddie looked destined for Celtic, but reports the Glasgow giant wouldn’t give him the level of control he craved may make a move to Ashley’s Newcastle untenable for the 43 year old former cherries boss.

Pros:

Eddie is a bright, and well educated modern day manager, a man who’s well clued up on today’s tactics and formations, which puts him light years ahead of Bruce. He’s also got a lot of Premier League experience, and knows a lot of our current squad already, so would fit like a glove. He’d bring balance, and some attacking intent to St James park and in my opinion would vastly improve this squad. He’s also used to working with a small budget which suits our regime well.

Cons:

He took Bournemouth down in his final months in an otherwise successful job, a fact that pulled his win ratio down to still a decent 40%, double that of Bruce’s. He perhaps may see the North East as a touch too far North for him, and may hold out for say the Palace job of Viera wobbles.

Would he come?: 

In my opinion I’d say yes. Newcastle United would be Eddie’s biggest job yet, and give him a platform to get back to the levels he was at when being touted as a possible England manager. With the infamous takeover still in the background, it could act as a deterrent for the likes of Howe, but he knows if he turned it round & won fans over, he’d have every chance of being kept in the job.

Chris Wilder: 2/1

A relatively unglamorous choice by many, the former Blades manager has been outbid work since being remarkably let go by his hometown club, a side he took from languishing in the lower leagues, right in to the big time, so the decision to get rid of him was a strange one indeed.

Pros:

Again Chris has Premier league experience, and unlike some if the other names in this list, has a good balance of playing disciplined football, where you need to grind results out, as well as take the handbrake off and play with a bit of style too. Straight talking, doesn’t shirk a question, and makes sure the players know what to expect from him. All of these attributes would go down a storm with the Toon Army, a club he’s also waxed lyrical about, and seems to get. Something else that endears him to the Mags.

Cons:

As I said, not the most glamorous of names, and a section of supporters would need serious convincing, a bit like our current manager. Chris also went down with his beloved Blades in his final days as manager, and not only that but they were awful. Their only win came against? You guessed it! Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United.

Would he come?: 

In a heartbeat! I think Wilder would see it as a challenge, and the fact he’d have no money to spend wouldn’t concern him. He’d get to work getting the lads playing for the shirt, leaving it all on the pitch, and tighten up a loose defence that leaking goals Kirk a siv. I think he’d give us a nasty streak too, something we lack badly, and are often bullied out of games for.

Frank Lampard: 17/2 

Another manager I find strange is currently jobless, Frank is a bright, young, articulate man, and as it seems a bloody decent football manager too. Yes he was sacked by Chelsea, but just look at the list of managers they’ve done that too? Ancelotti, Benitez, Mourhino, to name but 3. I think we can cut him some slack eh? Frank’s departure at Chelsea for me was a bit premature, with an impressive 52% win ratio, most of that coming during a transfer embargo.

Pros:

Frank’s a great student of the game, having played under some of the greatest managers the league’s ever seen, he looks very much like he’s learned a lot from them. He plays a brand of attacking, fast paced football that would appear manor from heaven following 2 years of Bruceball. One of  Frank’s greatest strengths is his ability to work with younger players, and improve them. Imagine what he could do for the likes of the Longstaffs & Willock? He’s also worked for a basket case club in Derby County, so may not be too put off by the shambles here. Pulling power in the transfer market too, given his global adoration as one of the best to have played the game.

Cons:

Again as a London boy, would he want to come up to the North East? Or wait for a club in the capital to become available? There’s also been some talk he may get involved with the England coaching set up, in s bid to groom him as Southgate’s replacement, do Frank may choose to go down that route, and stay away from club football at all. He may also not fancy working for Mike Ashley, especially as his next move is a big one for him, to help get his promising managerial career back on track.

Graeme Jones: 6/5

It’s not surprising that Graeme is the odds-on favourite for the post if or hopefully when Bruce is shown the door. Few could deny that we improved our style of play following his arrival last season, and along with Willock, Jones was a huge reason we stayed up.

Pros:

Obviously the biggest one is that he’s here already, and with that knows the players, the club, and is more than aware of what working for these idiots is like. With more influence on the sides tactics we may see more of the good as opposed to the bad from this group of players of Jones was to be to the man. You don’t get drafted in by England, and get to the finals of a major tournament if you don’t know what you’re doing, right?

Cons:

He’s already here! So, technically he’s part of the coaching team getting it wrong, right? So, what would making him head coach do differently? It’s all questions that we’d only get the answer to when it happens. I may be wrong, but Jones is giving me the Steve McClaren vibes, in terms of a great coach, but not so good of a manager, I’d love to be proven wrong, and if he does get the job, then here’s hoping he does better than the Baron of Bacon.

Notable mentions:

Roberto Martinez: 10/1

Worked with Jones before, maybe fancies another crack at Premier League? Would be a huge improvement. Hard to convince him, I fear.

Mark Hughes: 7/1 

A textbook Ashley appointment, nobody else is interested, so he’d probably give him a 5 year deal. Another fossil, would be a disastrous appointment, and could send those fans just about ready to throw the towel in packing.

Providing Bruce is about to get his P45 in the next few weeks, who out of that list is your preferred choice, and who do you think is a realistic option?

Chris Currie – @wig82