Paulo Fonseca remains the favourite for the vacant Newcastle manager job according to Sky Bet, though Lucien Favre and Roberto Martinez remain strong contenders.
Talks with Fonseca intensified last week as Amanda Staveley’s consortium initiated contact, though some allege there were talks even for a summer move if a resolution to the arbitration was found in July.
Nevertheless, the former AS Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk manager is 15/8 as of writing with Sky Bet, owing to a likelihood of 34.8% as things are.
As the consortium appear to have sought outside opinion on candidates such as Lucien Favre (who is 3/1: 25%) or Roberto Martinez who has found praise from inner-circles (9/1: 10%), odds on Fonseca taking the post have drifted.
At one point, Fonseca had odds as strong as 1/2, which equivalates to a 66% probability.
The manager search heads into its second week following the departure of Steve Bruce last Wednesday though it is uncertain what direction, as of yet, Newcastle’s new board wish to take.
Is the immediate priority a fire-fighter role as some pundits have claimed, such as appointing a Sam Allardyce-type figure (though his relegation with West Brom last season appears to have gone unnoticed, extinguishing such earlier praise with a more recent shortcoming)
Or can the consortium plan for the long-run and appoint a manager who fits the club’s future tactical vision: ‘Inside Borussia Dortmund’ in 2018 documents Dortmund’s 2018/19 season when the club finished 2nd in the Bundesliga – Favre’s prominence that season could only have been a good thing.
His players must run, they must be proactive and they must show the effort that they are capable of.
In Fonseca’s case, he spoke to the Daily Telegraph in September: “We have an obligation with supporters to create a spectacle, a good show. That is the obligation of the coach.
“I want to win every game but just winning is not enough for me. I have to be offensive and dominate the games and have an offensive midfield and show courage in the game. These are things which will die with me.”
But are Newcastle’s defensively-fragile players up for the task of opening up to benefit the noticeable attacking threat when they remain especially vulnerable at the back?
Newcastle have conceded the second most goals of any team in the top-flight this season, their 20 is only worsened by Norwich City’s 23.
To put things in perspective on the attacking front, Newcastle’s 11 goals scored betters Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur who position themselves 5th and 6th respectively.
Newcastle match, or have scored more goals, than 10 other teams. Half the league – for a team in 19th place after nine games, a noticeable trend is starting to appear: the defence is the worry.
Current interim manager, Graeme Jones, conceded that the big concern against Crystal Palace was to tighten up at the back: “From a defensive point of view we’ve tightened up.
“We’ve stopped the rot, which is important. It gives us a platform. I’ll look at the game, chop it up, and look at improvements for the next game.
The search for Steve Bruce’s replacement continues though an appointment is not expected this week as the consortium continue to interview potential candidates.