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If Steve Bruce comes out with much more of this we are going to have problems

2 years ago

Steve Bruce needs to take a reality check.

Fair to say Newcastle fans were stunned when he was given the job, though not necessarily surprised.

Mike Ashley had in desperation agreed to Rafa Benitez coming in three years ago to repair the damage his (Ashley’s) ridiculous running of the club had caused, to get Newcastle back into the Premier League and stay there.

However, once the NUFC owner had forced Rafa out, we knew Mike Ashley was reverting back to his favoured model.

A model that would see somebody appointed that no other Premier League club would be giving the job to, somebody who knew they were so lucky to get it and desperate to be employed, they would agree to whatever conditions that would apply.

So as well as having no say on transfers, a big part of Steve Bruce’s job, just like Pardew, Carver and McClaren before him, is to act as chief cheerleader for the club’s owner.

We get that Steve Bruce is like a great big puppy suddenly allowed off a lead for the first time, bouncing around with his tongue lolling, unable to believe his luck.

However, if he doesn’t tone it down, he is going to be very quickly seen as on a par with Alan Pardew, when it comes to saying things that bear no relation to reality.

He’s already came out with some classics but Friday morning has seen a new low…

Steve Bruce talking to BBC Newcastle:

“Five players have walked through the door in three weeks.

“I said to Lee Charnley I think I’ve spent more money in the last three weeks than I have in 20 years!

“Fair play to the club in identifying targets and great business we’ve done.”

Well yes, Newcastle have spent a net £25.7m (source Sporting Intelligence), a (gross) total of £57.4m paid out, which is indeed far better than the £20m profit Rafa was forced to make on deals in and out last summer, Mike Ashley only allowing £22.5m to be spent on buying players (£4m Dubravka, £3m Schar, £9.5m Muto and £6m Fernanadez).

However, Steve Bruce is playing  laughably fast and loose with the truth: ‘I’ve spent more money in the last three weeks than I have in 20 years!’

We’ll ignore the fact that he is pretending he has any say on who Newcastle buy, it is the claims of this spending waterfall of cash that he is talking of.

Fully 10 years ago, Steve Bruce spent £41.5m in summer 2009 (stats via Transfermarkt), when at Sunderland! Coincidentally, this was also the window when Mike Ashley sold loads of players and didn’t allow Chris Hughton to buy a single player, the then caretaker NUFC boss expected to replace the sold players with free transfers and loans, which he did brilliantly!

In that summer 2009 window, Steve Bruce bought two players for more than £10m each, Michael Turner and Darren Bent. On taking Newcastle back into the Premier League in 2017, Rafa had to wait until the very last day of his fourth PL transfer window before he was allowed a PL signing costing over £10m.

I would suggest that when you take into account the transfer fee inflation there has been in football, that £41.5m which Steve Bruce spent 10 years ago, is equal to far in excess of £100m, never mind the £57.4m Mike Ashley has allowed to be spent this summer, whilst recouping £30m+ from the sales of Joselu and Perez.

In his 30 months at Sunderland alone (never mind the rest of his 20 years in management!), Steve Bruce spent £93m (as per Transfermarkt once again).

There is nothing  wrong with being positive and indeed Steve Bruce has to be positive in the position he now finds himself BUT keep some kind of grip on reality.


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