Graeme Jones is finally back at Newcastle United.
The coach had a summer to remember, joining Gareth Southgate’s England setup at Euro 2020. Sadly for Jones and the rest of the Three Lions squad, England were beaten on penalties in the final.
It was a testament to Jones’ ability that he was called up, showing what a talented coach we have in our ranks.
Sadly, because of his England exploits, his return to Newcastle this summer has been delayed.
But Jones returned on Friday night for the Magpies’ 2-0 friendly win over Burton. Goals came from Jacob Murphy and Joelinton, with the Toon Army most certainly enjoying Burton away.
Newcastle are yet to make a signing ahead of the new Premier League season. The squad is actually worse off than it was during the previous campaign. Joe Willock’s gone back to Arsenal, while Andy Carroll has been released.
They’ve even been a coach light, but that is no longer the case with Jones back on duty.
The return of Graeme Jones should raise spirits at Newcastle
In an interview with the Athletic, Callum Wilson has praised the arrival of Jones earlier in the year.
“I think Graeme Jones coming in as a coach (in January), definitely complemented the manager because he’s a little bit more tactically aware and up to date, whereas the manager has his different strengths and attributes,” he said.
Some supporters have seen this as a dig at Steve Bruce, but it is probably more praise of Jones.
Yes, Jones is more tactically aware. But there’s a difference between being a coach and being a manager.
But the return of the 51-year-old is going to give us a huge boost going into the new season.
We kick off in less than two weeks against West Ham.
So far it’s been about fitness, but attentions will start to turn to that opening game.
That’s where Jones will come into his own, with his tactical intricacies hopefully giving us an edge.
We may not have signed any players yet, and that is a big worry, but the return of Jones will be a boost to the players, and Bruce.
He proved to be a difference maker last season, and hopefully he can have the same impact this time out.