Closer look at Lucien Favre amid links with Newcastle United after Steve Bruce's exit

By Ed Mackey

Lucien Favre is one of the names said to be in contention to take charge at Newcastle United after Steve Bruce's exit was confirmed.

Favre is currently second favourite behind Paulo Fonseca.

Favre comes highly recommended after successful spells with every team he has managed in his native country as well as in both Germany and France.

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His eagerness to play offensive football on the front foot will come as music to the ears of the Newcastle fans who will hardly remember the last time they had a proactive manager.

Another hallmark of his coaching is his excellent development of young players as seen with Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland among others.

Lucien Favre’s career so far

Following a playing career that was cut short by a horrendous knee injury, the 24-time international went straight into coaching after retiring.

Record-breaking exploits with several lower-league teams in Switzerland earned him the top job at FC Zürich where he won two league titles and the Swiss Cup in just four years.

A job in one of Europe’s major leagues beckoned as Favre was appointed manager of Hertha BSC in 2007. In his second season with the German side, he led them to a place in the UEFA Cup after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga.

However, following the departure of some of Hertha’s best players and a downturn in form, Favre was sacked just a few weeks into the season.

Nearly 18 months later, he returned to management with Borussia Mönchengladbach, who were seven points adrift of safety, and he worked his magic once again.

After keeping them in the German top flight, Favre led them to two top-four finishes in three seasons, something their supporters would not have believed when he took over at the club.

Once again, a slow start to a campaign was the undoing of the now-63-year-old as he resigned following five consecutive losses at the beginning of the 2015/16 season.

In May 2016, he was back in football management as he took over the reins at OGC Nice.

Favre’s greatest achievement with the French club was guiding them to third in Ligue 1 which guaranteed their first Champions League/European Cup campaign since the 1950s.

However, one story from his time in France may worry Newcastle supporters as he had a very public falling out with Allan Saint-Maximin.

According to GFFN, the behaviour of the winger forced Favre to storm out of a training session and demand that the Frenchman be sold which led to the 24-year-old joining the Magpies in 2019.

Following a rather successful spell at Nice, Favre returned to Germany with Borussia Dortmund. In both of his full seasons, he secured second-place finishes behind the ever-dominant Bayern Munich.

In the first of those campaigns, his side were only two points short of the European giants as they went toe-to-toe for the Bundesliga title.

Since being sacked by BVB in December of last year, he opted for another short break and decided, after agreeing a contract with Crystal Palace in the summer, that he wanted to extend it slightly.

However, he is now said to be ready to jump back into management and considering his track record of transforming struggling sides, there is no better place to start than Newcastle.

What has been said about Lucien Favre

Following success at every club he has managed so far, there are plenty of people who have been keen to heap praise on the work Favre has done.

One of the names that particularly stands out is former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli who has quite the reputation for falling out with managers.

However, whilst working under Favre at Nice, the Italian enjoyed the two most productive goalscoring seasons of his career. When asked about his former boss, he said: “He made me much better, especially tactically. Before, I worked on instinct.

“I discovered a great coach. He is very good tactically, but also in the way he manages the locker room.”

His work developing young players at Mönchengladbach also didn’t go unnoticed and a few of his players there have had nothing but good things to say about him since their respective departures.

Dortmund legend Marco Reus worked with Favre at two different clubs and spoke of his admiration for the manager.

“I’ve had quite a few club coaches”, he said. “And among them he is probably the best I’ve ever had.”

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen re-affirmed those claims, he stated: “I know Favre quite well, he gave me my first chance and is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had!”

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