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Clueless Chris Sutton talks about expectations of Newcastle United fans and treatment of Steve Bruce

3 weeks ago
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For pundits such as Chris Sutton and similar to regularly discuss Newcastle United, they need to possess one of these things, or both.

Be as thick as the proverbial Whale sandwich.

Be able to conveniently ignore all of the other widely available, much reported, information that gets in the way of their punditry.

Chris Sutton has been talking about the expectations of Newcastle fans and their (supposed) treatment of Steve Bruce.

Chris Sutton declaring: ‘I think there must be Newcastle fans out there who will be embarrassed with the way that they have treated Steve Bruce and the fact he is from the area.’

The first and most obvious point: ‘he is from the area’, what has that got to do with absolutely anything? For Newcastle fans that was as important as the fact Bruce once managed the Mackems. Nobody cared, we had/have far greater issues/problems than worrying about where a manager was or wasn’t born. No other club fanbase is patronised nearly so much as Newcastle’s is, with people who nothing about us imposing their own assumptions, as though they know anything.

When it comes to embarrassed about how Steve Bruce has been treated? We aren’t Arsenal, abusing managers at games just because we haven’t won a trophy in the past few weeks, or suffered the disaster of dropping to sixth and/or being in the Europa League final instead of competing in the Champions League.

Despite a shocking start to the season, with one win in the first eight games and terrible negative football with hardly any chances created, never mind goals scored, Steve Bruce got absolutely no stick from the fans at the matches.

Yes fans were gutted at his appointment because no other PL club would have appointed Steve Bruce, he has spent most of the last decade in the Championship.

Chris Sutton says Bruce has had a ‘terrific career in management’, what does that mean? Steve Bruce has never won a trophy and has the worst record of any manager to take charge of 300 PL matches. The likes of Sutton are disingenuous because they have one set of rules for Newcastle and a different one for other clubs, if Steve Bruce had been appointed at West Ham or Everton for instance, questions would have been asked.

However, the biggest thing that is ignored, deliberately or otherwise, is that Newcastle fans were gutted because Rafa had long-term plans to take the club forward and Mike Ashley refused, refused to allow proper investment in the training ground and Academy, and/or the freedom to choose which players to buy. Ashley asserting his failed model yet again, of a puppet head coach who takes the job accepting he has no say on important decisions, including transfers.

Chris Sutton claims the Newcastle fanbase were wanting Steve Bruce sacked after a few games. It simply isn’t true. Yes you can always find somebody to point to but the fact is the overwhelming majority of fans would just see it as pointless sacking Bruce, as the Ashley model would guarantee it wouldn’t be anybody more credible.

Like all the other lazy pundits Chris Sutton wants to make comparisons with the start of last season and Rafa’s time then.

At the start of last season, Rafa Benitez was having to rely up front on loan signing Kenedy who wasn’t interested, Joselu, £1.8m signing Perez and loan signing Rondon who due to Mike Ashley hadn’t arrived until the last minute and wasn’t fit, then got injured.

Compare that to now and Steve Bruce hs an (alleged) £80m attacking trio all bought in 2019.

This is not the same or a level playing field, who knows where we could have been now if in summer 2018, Rafa had been given £80m to spend on attacking players, instead of being forced to make a £20m+ profit on transfers in and out.

Chris Sutton asks: ‘what is the expectation from Newcastle supporters this season?’, questioning whether staying up is enough to satisfy them.

This is the greatest and most successful Mike Ashley PR con of all, getting the media to buy into believing that staying up equals success for Newcastle United.

Season after season Newcastle are amongst the top eight PL clubs when it comes to generating money, that (top eight) is where Newcastle’s natural place in the PL table should be seen to be.

As I said above, this isn’t just about Steve Bruce or this season, it is about long-term and the fact that under Mike Ashley there has already been two relegations in 10 PL seasons and a number of near misses.

If Chris Sutton is really interested, that is what our expectations are, to be better than fighting relegation every season.

Chris Sutton speaking to BBC Radio Five Live:

“He bore the brunt of a difficult situation and Newcastle has been toxic for a while.

“What managers don’t get now is time and Steve Bruce always needed time to implement his own style of play and I think there must be Newcastle fans out there who will be embarrassed with the way that they have treated Steve Bruce and the fact he is from the area.

“He has had a terrific career in management and you can’t judge him after two, three or four games, saying get somebody else in.

“Wasn’t this a Newcastle team who under Rafa didn’t win in their first 10 games?

“Yet Newcastle fans gave him the opportunity.

“It was always going to be easier to judge Steve Bruce after 15…18 games, that is more of a reasonable barometer.

“But not single figure games, come on – he deserves more respect than that.

“You can see there is an organisation about them and what I can’t work out is, what is the expectation from Newcastle supporters this season?

“What do they want?

“Is staying up sufficient?

“Probably not for Newcastle, they maybe want a little more than that…”

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