So Newcastle United have finally gone and done it
Newcastle United have finally got around to replacing Rafa Benitez as Newcastle United manager.
Let’s give Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley a round of applause, after all, it has only taken just over three weeks since that earth shattering statement that the Spaniard wouldn’t be staying at St James’ Park, was issued by the club.
In Steve Bruce we have the ultimate journeyman manager, a manager who did the dirty on his previous club Sheffield Wednesday, a club who did everything they could to help and accommodate him, when he was having a tough time in his personal life.
He could have had an easy time of it by staying put, instead he has jumped ship into a cauldron of hate at this club. The fanbase at Newcastle United hate the owner, they hate his business model for the club and they hate the lies and PR that emit from it. Any fan willing to sign up to this charade is utterly mad.
But let’s not gloss over the fact that I think I can safely say an overwhelming percentage severely dislike the appointment of Steve Bruce the manager (ED: Head Coach!). If he’s misjudged this point then more fool him, he’ll learn soon enough.
He may trot out the ‘Born and bred in the north east’ line but that doesn’t wash. It shouldn’t be held up as a ‘free pass’ to getting the Newcastle United manager’s job.
From a personal point of view, the comparing of Steve Bruce with Rafa Benitez is useless and a waste of time. One is a winner and one is a loser, one is progressive and the other archaic, despite being the same age. One has a CV of top clubs, the other one top clubs avoid.
It doesn’t bother me that Bruce used to manage that lot down the road, his Manchester United connections don’t concern either. The crux of the matter is what he has achieved in the game as manager. The glaring two words that appear on his CV are ‘Championship’ and ‘Relegation’, be it managing in the second tier, fighting relegation or actually being relegated.
His roll of honours as a player is impressive, those while a manager far from. He has actually won nothing since going into management. Even when he got clubs promoted it wasn’t as champions. His highest honour is an FA Cup runners up medal with Hull City in 2014. Cue slow hand clapping all round. For all the criticism (quite rightly) levelled at former manager Alan Pardew, his CV is better than that of Steve Bruce, at least he finished 5th and by hook or by crook had the club in Europe.
We’ve regressed to a type of manager that we all feared we would appoint. For any speculation linking us with the likes of Mark Hughes, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis would fill any Newcastle fan with dread, I’d personally see them all as a step up from what we’ve been saddled with.
Thoughts now turn to which reinforcements will come in to augment what is looking alarmingly like a Championship squad of players that could quite feasibly be playing Championship football this time next year.
Already In from the cold have come the likes of Jack Colback and Achraf Lazaar, two players blatantly not fancied by the previous manager and these two will be seen by Bruce as obvious choices – we’ve lost Ayoze Perez but we’ve gained a Colback back, we need a left back and so we have Lazaar. There’s more than one way to get around spending money.
I’ve already speculated that we could be seeing the likes of Andy Carroll and Lee Cattermole coming through the door this summer as they are easy targets, not in the age range the club likes to adhere to, but they ARE free. The title given to Bruce is telling. That title of ‘Head Coach’ roughly translates to a mission statement meaning ‘You’ll get what you’re given and be grateful’.
Dress it up how you like but it’s a staggering come down even by our standards that we’ve gone from Rafa Benitez and the positivity of the last day of last season when beating Fulham 4-0, to the appointment of Steve Bruce, while coming as close as 21 days until the end of a transfer window with NOBODY signed and our two top scorers from last season (and Joselu) all leaving the club. What’s the betting that the Ayoze Perez money goes on ALL this summer’s recruitment?
People (including myself) have repeatedly said that Mike Ashley will always be happy to finish 17th and keep the club (and his business empire) on the Premier League gravy train year in year out. In the past, this has been proved to be the case.
This morning, club employee Shola Ameobi even came out and stated on SkySports that this must be the aim for the coming season. Unbelievable…but it’s happening before our very eyes.
Then again, if the plan was to prepare for the Championship in 2020/21, Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley have followed the exact blueprint on how I would have gone about it…
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