EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles involved in bust-up with Magpies team-mate Isaac Hayden following Spurs defeat as Steve Bruce’s reign descends into anarchy and players want Saudi-led owners to change manager to stop the rot
- Newcastle lost 3-2 against Tottenham at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon
- Jamaal Lascelles and Isaac Hayden were involved in a furious row after the game
- Staff had to jump in when as went head-to-head and shoves were exchanged
- It was a day supposed to celebrate the club’s new Saudi Arabia-led ownership
- But sources revealed how in-fighting and resentment to Steve Bruce intensified
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles and team-mate Isaac Hayden had to be pulled apart by staff as anarchy descended following their defeat by Spurs.
The pair were involved in a furious row in the wake of Sunday’s 3-2 loss at St James’ Park and staff were forced to jump in when they went head-to-head and shoves were exchanged in the tunnel area.
Sportsmail also understands that some players later voiced their unhappiness with Steve Bruce’s tactics in the dressing-room.
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles was involved in bust-up with team-mate Isaac Hayden (R)
On a day that was supposed to celebrate the club’s new Saudi-led ownership, sources have described how in-fighting and player resentment towards Bruce intensified.
We understand a significant number of the squad want the owners to intervene and change manager before Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace. Sources close to the dressing-room cannot believe the situation is being allowed to fester.
We are told sacking Bruce remains the priority of Amanda Staveley and the board, but that the right processes must be followed and sign-off is needed by the majority shareholder, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
However, there are some around the consortium who are frustrated that action was not taken to remove Bruce last week – as was the plan – and so avoid the scenes which unfolded on Sunday.
Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi were warned another poor performance risked supporters turning on Bruce, and that proved the case during a toxic second half.
Staff were forced to jump in when both stars went head-to-head and shoves were exchanged
They were sat with new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the directors’ box and it was not lost on the owners when fans repeatedly called for the head coach to go.
The search for Bruce’s replacement is continuing and Sportsmail reported last week how former Arsenal boss Unai Emery and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez were on the list of targets.
We understand Emery has a release clause at Villarreal in the region of £7million, while it would cost less than £2m to release Martinez.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca are also being considered, while a new name put to us last night was Rudi Garcia, 57, who won the French double with Lille in 2011 and is out of work after leaving Lyon this summer.
The consortium want to hire a good coach who can improve players on the training ground, given the immediate need to work with a team who are winless and second bottom in the Premier League.
Under-pressure manager Steve Bruce’s reign at St James’ Park is descending into anarchy
Meanwhile, one of the doctors who helped save the life of a supporter who suffered a cardiac arrest during Sunday’s game has spoken about the incident, which led to play being suspended when fans alerted the players to the medical emergency.
Dr Tom Prichard told the BBC: ‘There was an elderly gentleman laid out on the seats in cardiac arrest and CPR ongoing. Luckily, St John’s got the pads on quickly. Another friend (fellow medic Matthew Anderson) who sits next to me came over as well and we gave the guy a shock through the defibrillator.
‘He was quite fortunate as well because very quickly, an intensive care doctor and a cardiologist arrived and we were able to bring him back again. I had no idea what was going on behind me, I had no idea the match had been stopped.
‘This wasn’t just me, I had a friend helping out and the other two doctors. St. John’s were brilliant and the club doctor came over. But when I was walking back and fans were chanting ‘hero’ at me, that was one of the best moments of my life.’
Meanwhile, Newcastle released a statement last night confirming the club was aware of an alleged racist gesture made by a fan towards Tottenham’s supporters. A club investigation is under way and Northumbria Police have been made aware.