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Who is New Newcastle United Assistant, Graeme Jones?

Posted on February 2nd, 2021 | No Comments |

Graeme Jones
Jones: Former right hand man to Roberto Martinez
Despite a good performance against Everton, it has been a poor winter for Newcastle United. It seems the club’s solution is not signing new players in the January transfer window though, but by adding to Steve Bruce’s backroom staff.

Gateshead-born Graeme Jones has joined the Magpies as assistant boss. A forward on the pitch, he began his playing career with non-league North Shields. However, he is best known for firing Wigan Athletic to the fourth-tier title (today known as EFL League Two) in the 1996-97 season.

Jones had spells north of the border in Scottish football later on with St Johnstone, Clyde, and Hamilton Academical, where he was forced into retirement by injury in March 2006. He also played for Bridlington Town, Doncaster Rovers, Southend United, Boston United, and Bury.

That on-field career, mainly in the lower leagues and non-league, doesn’t hold a candle to what Bruce achieved after retiring from playing. Newcastle’s manager won the old Second Division and EFL Cup at Norwich City before going on to even greater things at the start of the Premier League era with Manchester United as their captain.

Roberto Martinez must have seen something in his old Wigan teammate, though, as – when he was named Swansea City boss in February 2007 – he brought Jones onto the staff. In their first full season in charge, they guided the Swans to the League One title.

Jones followed Martinez back to Wigan where they masterminded a miraculous run to and win in the 2013 FA Cup final, upsetting Manchester City at Wembley, though days later, the Latics were relegated from the Premier League.

Their stock undiminished by that, Everton appointed Martinez as the successor to David Moyes, so Jones was once again on the move. Unable to replicate a fifth-place finish in their first Premier League season at Goodison Park, the pair got the sack from the Toffees in May 2016.

Martinez and Jones then joined the Belgium national team. After more than a decade at the Spaniard’s side, he decided to break-up their partnership at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Jones became assistant to old Doncaster teammate Darren Moore at West Bromwich Albion. When that ended after less than a year, he tried his hand at being a manager himself without success at Luton Town.

After starting this season as assistant to Jason Tindall at Bournemouth, Jones has finally got the opportunity to return to his roots. “I am proud to be here at the team I supported as a boy,” he said. “All of my life, during my playing and coaching career, it’s always been the first result I’d look for after my own.”

But, as Jones knows very well, there is more to being assistant manager than looking at football scores and fixtures, as well as backing up Bruce in the dressing room. He will need to scout the opposition, which these days involves live streaming the action from home; take training sessions, and have input into team tactics.

Jones’s worth to Newcastle depends on whether his methods and approach can reinvigorate the players following a dismal midwinter run. After spending £35,000,000 on first-team signings over the summer, it is no surprise to see Magpies owner Mike Ashley opting for a fresh face on the coaching staff. Jones will hope his involvement can relieve the pressure on beleaguered boss Bruce.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 56 articles on this blog.

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