Most notable Newcastle United managers

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 15.5.2023.


For a club with such volatility, having spent 29 seasons of its history in the second tier of English football, while rarely being satisfied with its ownership in the past decades, Newcastle has managed to keep its status and renome. A lot of that has to due with the Newcastle United managers who kept the boat afloat regardless of the waters. Or provisions given.

Many things can be said of Newcastle United, especially in the Mike Ashley era, yet their treatment of managers has been reasonable for the most part. Most of them got at least 20 games to show their qualities, not including the caretakers.

Newcastle United has a strong record of resisting the trend of overlooking domestic managers. As seven out of last nine Newcastle managers were English. Only two of the last 25 weren't from the British isles - Rafa Benitez and Ruud Gullit.

Yes Eddie Howe is doing a great job at the moment, surpassing the suddenly high expectations. But who are the most notable Newcastle managers?

Top three Newcastle United managers

Of course, it's always hard making such a list because some managers had good or at least solid outcomes, yet they were in clash with the fans' view of the ownership. While others achieved nothing of silverware merit, yet were accepted by the St. James' Park faithful. However, there is no debate for the best and second-best managers in Newcastle's history.

Sir Bobby Robson

Solving the puzzle of who the best Newcastle United managers are can be done by talking a walk around the stadium ground. Who has their likeness immortalized in metal, reminding the onwalking fans of the greatest time in the club's history? Sir Bobby Robson is certainly one of them.

Coming in the fall of 1999, after the club changed five managers in two years, Bobby Robson reinvigorated the club. Newcastle was the last club he led, starting his career with Fulham in 1968. Leading Ipswich Town for the longest time - 709 games, Robson earned the right to be England's national team manager. Sir Bobby Robson moved abroad as well, leading PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona, and PSV again. Before landing in the north east of England, where he was from.

When he took over NUFC, they were the second from bottom, having won one point in six games. Yet in the first home game of his charge, the side won 8:0 against Sheffield Wednesday. He secured a top four finish in his third season, and the side finished fourth and fifth in the Premier League during his time.

He reinvigorated the main player and goalscorer Alan Shearer, while also helping the club reach the top four in the UEFA Cup in 2004. While Newcastle were the UEFA Intertoto Cup runners-up in 2001.

Sir Bobby Robson led the team for 255 games, winning 119 matches, drawing 64, and losing 72. For a win ratio of 46.67% across his 1,824 days in charge.

Kevin Keegan

Kevin keegan panini card (cropped).jpg
By Unknown author - Here, Public Domain, Link

Kevin Keegan was known as a masterful dribbler during his time. The stigma that the most technically gifted players rarely make managers still holds on to this day. Yet for Kevin Keegan it truly didn't make sense as NUFC was his first managerial stint. He was suntanning in Spain when he got the call to lead the side he represented as a player for two seasons.

This following Keegan era is the most fondly remembered one of the Toon army. Even though it started in the second division, deep down in it.

Keegan's charisma uplifted the whole club back in the early 1992 when he arrived. For the next season, the mania was in full force and the club started the 1992/1993 season with 11 straight wins. A young striker, later a Premier League legend, Andy Cole, scored 68 goals and made 23 assists in 84 games under Keegan!

Keegan led the team for 251 games, winning 54.98% of them - 138! While drawing 51 and losing 62.

Stan Seymour

Newcastle United won four Premier League titles, and five FA Cup titles. The majority of silverware was collected in a time when a comittee led the club, represented by Frank Watt who is credited as the manager from 1892 to 1929. Yet, the first actual manager who can be credited for major NUFC success is Mr. Newcastle himself - Stan Seymour.

Seymour arrived at the dawn of World War 2, first September in 1939 and stayed until 1958, although he did share his domion in the last decade. While of course, the club didn't compete officially during WWII. But the FA Titles in 1951 and 1952 stand on his salvo. Becoming the first man in English football history to win the tournament as a player and manager both.

As he stepped down as a manager and took the vice-chairman role, the 1955 FA Cup trophy is formally credited to Doug Livingstone, yet Seymour stepped into the role whenever he deemed necessary. That's why on the Newcastle United managers list we see overlap between him and other men like Livingstone.

It's listed that he led the team for 338 matches, winning 38.46% of them - 130. Losing four more and drawing 74.

Newcastle United managers - honourable standouts

Kenny Dalglish was the Premier League runner-up with Newcastle in the 1996/1997 campaign. Chris Hughton took the job three times, always as a caretaker. Although his last stint lasted for 64 games and he has the best winning ratio of 59.38%. Albeit split between the second and first tier in 2009 and 2010.

Rafa Benitez returned the club to the Premier League by winning the 2016/2017 Championship. He became a symbol of defiance to Mike Ashley.

Alan Pardew's fifth-placed finish in the 2011/2012 blew expectations out of the park so it won him a Manager of the Year award and an eight-year contract. Yet the fans never took a liking to him due to his leniency with the owner Mike Ashley.

Joe Harvey won the European Fairs Cup in 1969.



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