Alan Shearer led praise for Steve Bruce after he was sacked by Newcastle on Wednesday morning but fans are rejoicing at his exit as they eagerly await news of a new manager.
Bruce’s departure was widely expected after the club’s £305million takeover by a Saudi-led consortium nearly two weeks ago.
He leaves three days after his 1,000th game as a manager ended in a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham, during which disgruntled fans renewed calls for him to go.
Steve Bruce was finally sacked as Newcastle manager on Wednesday morning
The club’s new Saudi-led owners are now searching for their first managerial appointment
Bruce is set to pocket £8million in compensation as he departs his boyhood club and Graeme Jones is now in temporary charge while a new boss is recruited. His first game in charge will be a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
BBC pundit Shearer, who scored 206 goals in 405 games for Newcastle, immediately came out in defence of Bruce after news broke of his dismissal and thanked him for his commitment to the club.
He tweeted: ‘I know how tough it was for any manager at Newcastle for the last 14 years.
‘I also know how badly Steve & his family wanted it to work. In difficult circumstances for everybody, he kept #NUFC up for two seasons.
‘It’s a new era now, but thank you, Steve,for your effort & commitment’.
Gary Lineker, the Match of the Day host, said Bruce ‘did as well as realistically could be expected.’
He added: ‘Steve Bruce has handled a difficult situation with great dignity during this period.
‘Under trying circumstances and with generally poor recruitment by the club he did as well as realistically could be expected. Wish a very decent man all the very best.’
Shearer, who scored 206 Newcastle goals in 405 games, thanked Bruce for his ‘commitment’
But, despite now being manager-less, Newcastle fans are ecstatic that Bruce has been relieved of his duties and could not hide their delight on social media.
@mloughead tweeted: ‘About time. The most useless manager I’ve ever seen. Patronising, negative, blameless. Just f***ing hopeless. Good riddance’.
@21Milner agreed, posting: ‘We won’t miss your s*** tactics, s*** attitude, s*** work ethic and s*** results. Good f***ing riddance’.
Another fan gave a brutal assessment, posting: ‘Worst manger in this club’s history. What a great day’.
One simply wrote: ‘Thank the f***ing lord’ with several laughing happy face emojis.
Another ecstatic supported tweeted: ‘My club is backkkkkkk’ alongside an old video of a delighted Luis Enrique running onto the pitch to celebrate a goal.
One Manchester United supporter even urged the Magpies to hire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who finds himself under increasing pressure at Old Trafford after a slow start to the season.
@mxiine posted: ‘Come and get this tactical coach for your rebuild. Trust me’, alongside a picture of the Norwegian.
Another put forward Ronald Koeman, who is also under massive scrutiny at Barcelona, describing the Dutchman as a ‘tactical genius’.
New club director Amanda Staveley and her advisors have a shortlist within a longer list of names identified as Bruce’s potential replacement, but that appointment could take some time to finalise.
NEWCASTLE MANAGER ODDS
7/4 – Paulo Fonseca
4/1 – Lucien Favre
6/1 – Eddie Howe
16/1 – Steven Gerrard
16/1 – Frank Lampard
25/1 – Roberto Martinez
25/1 – Fabio Cannavaro
25/1 – Brendan Rodgers
25/1 – Unai Emery
33/1 Jose Mourinho
33/1 Andre Villas-Boas
33/1 – Antonio Conte
20-1 – Zinedine Zidane
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre is one of those under consideration, as well as Rangers boss Steven Gerrard. Brendan Rodgers was another name mentioned but the Leicester manager is holding out for the Manchester City job in 18 months’ time.
Favre, 63, has been out of work since leaving Dortmund last December and turned down an offer from Crystal Palace in June, but it is thought he is now ready to return to management.
A club statement released on social media on Wednesday morning read: ‘#NUFC can confirm that Steve Bruce has left his position as head coach by mutual consent. The club would like to place on record its gratitude to Steve for his contribution and wishes him well for the future.’
Bruce said in the same statement: ‘I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.
‘I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work. There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts.
‘This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be. I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.’