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Report: Steve Bruce Looks To Improve Staff in Order to Secure Safety

Steve Bruce turns to a former Roberto Martinez assistant and current assistant at Bournemouth to help fix Newcastle’s attacking woes

AFC Bournemouth Training Session
Graeme Jones (Left) speaking with his current boss Jason Tindall (right)
Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Craig Hope of the Daily Mail has made the claim that Steve Bruce is looking to hire another assistant to his staff in order to help Newcastle get out of their current slump. Newcastle are winless in their last nine matches and there has been a lack of tactical identity when the team plays.

Bruce is looking to bring in current Bournemouth assistant and former Belgian National Team assistant Graeme Jones to provide a fresh perspective on his coaching staff. Jones would join a staff full of Steves with Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew, Steve Harper, Stephen Clemence, and Ben Dawson.

Jones brings the experience of working under attack-minded managers like Roberto Martinez and Bournemouth’s manager Jason Tindall. Jones spent the majority of his coaching career as an assistant for Martinez starting when Martinez was managing Swansea, and all the way until Jones left Martinez’s Belgian National Team staff to join Darren Moore’s West Brom Staff. After Moore’s staff was let go at West Brom, Jones Managed recently promoted Championship side Luton Town for the 2019 campaign. The two parties mutually parted ways during the COVID-19 pause in football last April while Luton Town was battling relegation sitting in 23rd. Jones joined Tindall’s Bournemouth staff when he was appointed as manager following Eddie Howe’s departure. Bournemouth is currently battling for promotion under Tindall, just 2 points off of 3rd place at the time of this article being written.

Jones alongside Roberto Martinez and fellow assistant at the time, Thierry Henry ahead of Belgium’s 2018 World Cup Semi-final match
Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Jones hopefully will bring a fresh perspective regarding tactics to the club. Martinez is an attack-minded manager who has often found creative ways to play players in positions that would allow them to succeed. His teams are known for their attacking prowess, and having someone who studied under Martinez for so long would do wonders for a staff led by a manager who “does not believe in tactics.”

In that same light, Tindall is a manager who also has played some attacking football at Bournemouth after taking over for Eddie Howe. Tindall was a long time Howe assistant who stepped into the managerial role when Howe left. For the players not much changed. Bournemouth has continued to be an attack-minded team that is well organized and capable of adapting their system to fit the opposition. What did change was that Tindall began to experiment with a back 3, and has now made it possible for Bournemouth to roll out a back 3 or 4 with the same high press and attacking prowess we saw from the team in years past.

Regardless, Jones brings some semblance of tactical awareness to a staff struggling to pick up results. Since this seems to be Bruce’s idea, hopefully, Bruce listens to all that Jones can offer. There is no guarantee that Jones drastically changes the form of Newcastle, but he literally cannot do worse than the current staff. If Jones brings some form of an attacking system to the team, that alone is going to be good enough for fans who are tired of seeing a team that looks completely lost on the pitch.

Hope later on reports that Bournemouth have not been approached officially regarding Graeme jones leaving their staff, but they would not stand in his way if he wanted to leave. Jones is reportedly hesitant to join Bruce’s staff if he is going to get fired if Bruce is let go.

This move signifies faith from Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley that Bruce can avoid relegation. If this move is followed by some signings to close out the window, it is going to be really difficult for Steve Bruce to not get fired if results continue to go against Newcastle.