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The FACTS tell us Rafa Benitez is a Champions League manager and Steve Bruce is a Championship one

2 years ago

Steve Bruce wasn’t done any favours by Mike Ashley on Friday night.

The embarrassing rant from the Newcastle United owner, a clear PR statement (of intent) that The Mail was happy to publish as an ‘interview’ with Ashley, including comments on his new head coach/patsy.

The timing of it was self-apparent to anybody with half a brain, clearly designed to try and deflect attention away from what had been a truly disastrous day for Sports Direct.

Mike Ashley on Steve Bruce – From his PR statement released through The Mail on Friday:

“Someone with a lot of passion for the club counts a lot in my book.

“For me, Steve is an amazing choice because, England aside, there is no other job for him. This is his dream.

“What I want the fans to understand is that, in him, they have someone who absolutely cares. He’s not worried about his expenses, all that cr.p. He wants to talk about Newcastle. I get excited by that.

“I expected the negative reaction to Rafa leaving, I thought it would be very bad.

“But I was shocked by the reaction to Steve. He doesn’t deserve it. He’s one of their own.

“I don’t think the fans quite realise what they’ve got because I’m hoping he’s the one.

“There’s been some hurtful stuff, that he was our 11th choice…actually, we had a shortlist of three and Steve was one of them. His only worry was how soon he could start. I’m not a football expert, I don’t get involved, I’ve got a car but I’m not the driver.

“And now I’ve got a manager saying, “Let me get on with it. Just let me get on with it – I won’t let you down”. I’m thinking, “I’m definitely having that”. He gets it. He comes in: “The cups? Yeah, we go for them”.

I think that as Newcastle fans we very much realise what we have got.

We have got somebody who has a far worse record in management than Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren.

There is no other job for Steve Bruce apart from England? Really?? So Manchester United wouldn’t be of interest???

Newcastle United is clearly a dream for Bruce because this summer, there certainly wouldn’t have been any other Premier League offering him a job.

None of us blame him for taking it, apart from those who do believe he is 100% a Newcastle fan and shouldn’t be willing to work for Mike Ashley. Rather than somebody who left Tyneside for work 40 years ago and ended up far more of a Man Utd fan due to how his career panned out. As evidenced when he was almost in tears when being a supposed ‘torn between the two clubs’ Sky Sports pundit when Newcastle United hammered Man U 5-0 in 1997.

What on earth does ‘he’s one of their own’ even mean, talk about serving it up to the London media and other enemies of the Newcastle fanbase, as though we are so insular we demand Geordies at the club no matter what the reality actually is.

Mike Ashley says about Steve Bruce…’What I want the fans to understand is that, in him, they have someone who absolutely cares.’

We had one of those, he was called Rafa Benitez.

He is a top class manager and he cared both because he has such high professional standards AND because he so quickly forged such a close bond with the fans.

Despite already relegated, Newcastle fans sold out the Spurs game to convince Rafa to stay, then averaged over 51,000 in the second tier because he cared enough to stay, believing in the fans AND that this club could be something special once again if given the chance.

Rafa Benitez was treated abysmally by Mike Ashley, not backed and undermined again and again. He could have walked away any time these past three years but chose to stay. It is laughable to think that the £6m compensation clause kept him at the club, when a club is prepared to pay him £12m a season then £6m compensation is nothing, likewise if say Rafa had been prepared to break his contract and go to West Ham, £6m is nothing when you consider they gave Manuel Pellegrini £100m to spend in his first season.

The bottom line is that the FACTS tell us, Rafa Benitez is a Champions League manager and Steve Bruce is a Championship one.

If you don’t believe me then just look at the last six clubs each managed before coming to Newcastle and how those clubs got on last season…

Rafa Benitez

Valencia – 4th in La Liga

Liverpool – 2nd in Premier League and won Champions League

Inter Milan – 4th in Serie A

Chelsea – 3rd in PL and won Europa League

Napoli – 2nd in Serie A

Real Madrid – 3rd in La Liga

Steve Bruce

Birmingham – 17th in Championship

Wigan – 18th in Championship

Sunderland – 5th in League One

Hull – 13th in Championship

Aston Villa – 5th in Championship

Sheffield Wednesday – 12th in Championship

Rafa Benitez has won the Champions League (and got to another final, as well as winning numerous other things), all of his last six club before NUFC are in this season’s Champions League.

Steve Bruce has never managed a club in the Champions League, he has never won anything as a manager and no club he has ever managed, has ever even competed in the Champions League.

I’m not sure what to feel about Steve Bruce.

Probably a bit like when John Carver got the job and undoubtedly would have got it permanently if not nearly relegating NUFC from an all but impossible position in 2015.

I think I feel a bit sorry for Bruce, an offer impossible to turn down but a bit like a moth to the flame, we can all see it is doomed from the very start.

Steve Bruce will know deep down that he is not up to the job but like John Carver and the rest of us, will kid himself that he can be an excellent Newcastle United manager.

The FACTS say that won’t be the case based on any of our track records (Bruce, Carver and the fans) as managers, plus under Mike Ashley it absolutely guarantees he has no chance.


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