Tony Cascarino has told his old friend Steve Bruce to resign from his role as Newcastle United manager, saying he is doomed to fail at St James’ Park.
And Magpies legend Micky Quinn has backed former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe to come in and boost the Tyneside club.
More misery was piled on Bruce over the weekend as Newcastle were beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa at Villa Park.
The result saw Newcastle drop to 16th, seven points above the bottom three, with the freefalling side now ten games without a win in all competitions and having scored just one goal in their last eight fixtures.
Fans have lost their patience with Bruce and his negative tactics, with calls growing for the manager to be sacked.
But talkSPORT host Cascarino, who started his playing career alongside the former defender, believes Bruce should resign and leave the club with dignity, insisting uniting a fractured Newcastle is an ‘impossible’ task for any coach at the moment.
Speaking on the Weekend Sports Breakfast, Cascarino said: “It’s always very difficult when you know someone – I started football and I was with Brucie at Gillingham and I liked him; I liked him as a man and I loved him as a footballer, for his fearless attitude.
“I’d like him to resign… and I say that as a friend.
“I think you’re at the wrong football club. It’s the right football club for you, but it’s the wrong time.
“You’ve got an owner who is hated, you’re not going to be successful in any way, shape or form, the fans are against you, and I feel for him.
“I don’t think resigning would be a weakness, I would see it as a strength.
“No one is working at that football club. It’s not a coincidence that everybody before and afterwards is going to be finding the same issues, because the ownership of the club is in freefall, there is no direction from upstairs and there is so much uncertainty.
“I’m just thinking, ‘Steve, what do you gain, how can you ever win them over?’ I just don’t see a path for him to change this football club.
“The massive challenge at Newcastle is to unite everybody, but you cannot unite that club – it’s impossible.
“Because I know him and consider him a friend, if I saw him I’d tell him, ‘Steve, I’d love it if you’d walk away’, because he’s going to lose a lot.
“I don’t want to see him suffer and be suffocated by what’s happening. He’s trying to find something, but it’s not working.”
Newcastle legend Quinn agrees, saying Bruce should go after turning the Magpies into ‘relegation fodder’ this season.
And he believes ex-Bournemouth head coach Howe would be a great fit to save Newcastle this season and bring more positive football to St James’ Park.
“I think Casc is right, I think Brucie should resign,” the ‘so many goals’ hero told the talkSPORT Breakfast.
“Not only for all those factors, but I don’t think he’s up to the job, either.
“He’s been pretty rigid this season… you look at the stats – we haven’t won a game in ten, we’ve scored one goal in the last nine, we don’t look like scoring a goal or keeping a clean sheet.
“Then we’ve got new signings like Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson who you can just see starting to lose their confidence. It doesn’t look good.
“It’s nothing against Steve Bruce at all, I played against him and he’s a good lad and a good manager, at certain clubs, but he cannot get the best out of these players now.
“I think they’re relegation fodder at this moment in time.
“Rafa Benitez made Newcastle hard to beat and they’ve got to get back to that, but to win a football match you’ve got to score a goal!
“My choice, if Brucie goes, would be Eddie Howe for his style of football. He kept Bournemouth in the Premier League by playing decent football.
“He’d be my choice to come in. The football would be better and he knows what it takes to stay in that league, although he suffered relegation last season.”
Speaking on Friday’s Drivetime, Darren Bent has joined calls for the beleaguered Toon boss to resign amid growing scrutiny on his position.
“It can’t be healthy all this criticism coming from everywhere. Even ex-players of his that have played for him have turned on him a bit,” he said. “So for me I would just walk away.”
There is little doubt who Newcastle fans want to return to the dugout – Benitez.
The Spaniard is still adored by supporters despite leaving the club to move to China, and the Champions League-winning coach is now available after ending his spell at Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional.
But Cascarino can’t see the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Chelsea boss going back to St James’ Park, saying he burned his bridges with owner Mike Ashley.
He added: “Rafa made it quite clear and he gave a lot of info out to the media where he basically said a lot about what was going on with Mike Ashley at the club, and now Rafa is apparently the man to save the club?
“I can’t see how that adds up, it just doesn’t make sense. He had a real issue with what was happening upstairs, so why would he be the number one target?
“I don’t get it. I just don’t see a relationship there.”