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Opinion

Latest laughable Steve Bruce comments simply expose Mike Ashley

1 week ago
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It is the Mike Ashley model, find some not good enough character, so desperate for the job they will accept they have no authority and be willing away from the football to put out the PR bulls..t (Copyright Steve Bruce – see below).

Joe Kinnear, Steve McClaren, Alan Pardew, John Carver and now of course Steve Bruce.

Ahead of the game at West Ham, Steve Bruce decided to come out, or was primed by Ashley’s PR people to do, to tell us Newcastle United are not really that special any more.

In other words, Newcastle fans who still have expectations, or even hopes, are deluded.

He even invented a story, or had it prepared for him, of sitting on the toilet (apologies if you are eating your breakfast and having that mental image put in your head…) and being reminded that 23 years ago Newcastle had Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer playing up front.

Bruce declaring: ‘But that’s gone, in the past. We have to accept where we are today.’

None of us think we have an automatic right to be back in the magic of the Keegan days BUT there is an awful lot of room to play with in terms of being not as good as back in 1996/97 and the mess we see now in Ashley and Bruce’s 2019/20 circus.

Steve Bruce backs up this Newcastle are not special these days spiel, by pointing out two recent relegations and bottom half of the table being the norm.

Inadvertently he exposes Mike Ashley and his disgraceful running  of the football club.

Newcastle United are regulars in the 20 clubs in the world for annual revenue and have always been top eight in terms of generating money in the Premier League, so why shouldn’t the realistic aspiration be top eight as a minimum in terms of league position?

In 12 seasons so far of Mike Ashley, only once have NUFC managed top eight. That is a disgrace, topped off by the fact that you can then add two relegations in the last nine PL seasons to the statistics.

They are down solely to Mike Ashley and we should be thanking Steve Bruce (and Ashley’s PR people for briefing him) for the reminder of the owner’s shameless running of NUFC. The same if we are landed with a third relegation in 10 PL seasons this time.

In Ashley’s time at Newcastle, Everton have never finished lower than 11th, how would Steve Bruce explain that in terms of Newcastle’s supposed now rightful place fighting relegation every season?

Look at Leicester, great owners and you would never back them to go down these days.

Steve Bruce points out Newcastle were in the Championship in 2017, well Wolves were in the second tier in 2018 but then finished seventh in the Premier League last season.

You don’t need to go back to KK for great days watching Newcastle, only four years before Mike Ashley took over, NUFC got through their Champions League group stage.

In four of the six years before Ashley arrived, NUFC finished 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th in the Premier League.

Two years before MA bought the club, Newcastle got to an FA Cup semi-final, under Ashley we have never won an FA Cup forth round game.

Three years before Ashley came in, Newcastle reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup, now qualifying for Europe is seen as a nightmare by this NUFC owner.

Newcastle United shouldn’t automatically be expected to be fighting it out with Liverpool and Man City at the top but neither should there be any automatic assumption that fighting relegation is where this club is expected to be.

It shouldn’t be and it is only because of Mike Ashley…and the people around/under him, as Steve Bruce puts it: ‘That is what we are.’

As recently as last season, Rafa Benitez gave us a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the restrictions imposed by Mike Ashley, Newcastle ended the season with a 16 game run where they had the fifth best form of 27 points – only one less than fourth spot, with 26 goals – once again the fifth highest of any PL club. Mike Ashley deliberately tore apart those hopes by forcing the likes of Rafa Benitez and Rondon out of the club, to do things his way, the end up fighting relegation every season way.

The Mail relate what Steve Bruce said on Friday;

“I was sitting on the loo last week, turning over the newspaper, when I saw Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand and thought, ‘Wow! Wow!’.

“We had the best centre forward in England, probably the best centre forward that’s been English for a long, long time, and both your strikers play for England.

“But that’s gone, in the past.

“We have to accept where we are today.

“The club have been relegated twice in 10 years and it’s been in the bottom half of the division.

“We have to accept we are like 10, 11 teams in the bottom half of the Premier League. That is what we are.”

The Chronicle report Steve Bruce saying on Friday:

“Let’s not bulls..t each other here.

“You look at the bottom half of the Premier League and everybody is fighting it (relegation).

“If we’re fighting it so are the teams below us and the ones above us.

“Two or three points can change things but you could argue everybody from 10th down, we are all looking over our shoulders.

“We understand where we are at the minute and where we have to try to improve to get better.

“Let’s also not forget we are just two years out of the Championship too.”

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