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Opinion

Steve Bruce seeing out season after Newcastle United takeover before handing over makes zero sense

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce has now past the 10 months in charge point.

Newcastle fans shocked, but not really surprised, to see Mike Ashley going back down the route of appointing a patsy.

Like Pardew, McClaren and Carver before him, plucked from the Championship, lottery winner Steve Bruce so desperate that he took the job on an understanding of having no say on any matters of importance apart from training and picking the team.

Thankfully, the appointment hasn’t proved a total disaster.

A combination of massive helpings of luck, Martin Dubravka, a squad better than given credit for, plus more money spent than any other season under Mike Ashley apart from Steve McClaren’s relegation season, combining to keep Newcastle out of the relegation zone with nine games left to play.

Now we have the Newcastle United takeover set to happen imminently, all being well, and what then happens next.

Many changes are anticipated but with regard to the position of manager / head coach, even those who are sure Steve Bruce will be replaced, are believing this will not happen until the current 2019/20 season has been played out.

I find this idea really bizarre.

To have the Newcastle United takeover and then Steve Bruce seeing out 2019/20 season before handing over to new manager, makes zero sense.

It is totally ignoring so many other factors.

I don’t think it will necessarily be the new Saudi PIF owners instantly announcing a replacement after takeover, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.

However, I certainly don’t think they will be intending to hang about with the recruitment / replacement issue.

So much of what they hope to do to change the club and make up for the wasted 13 years of Mike Ashley, will have the new manager at its centre. Whether it is creating a credible Academy set-up, a fit for purpose 21st century training complex, or transfers in and out, they need the new manager in place to help guide them ASAP.

This would have been the case anyway but with the virus situation, it has made it even more pressing.

As things stand, the Premier League summer transfer window is set to open on 10 June 2020 and close at 5pm on 1 September 2020. It may end up moving from those dates but the issues will still be pressing in terms of who the club will need to move on and who they will look to bring on with  a new era of ambition.

When you look at how the 2019/20 Premier League is likely to end and the 2020/21 start, the idea of a new manager not coming in until the end of this current season looks arguably even more ludicrous.

It was hoped that the 2019/2020 season games would restart on the weekend of Saturday 13 June but it is now looking more likely it will be a week or two later.

Whatever the case, we are looking for this current season to be completed in August all being well, at the earliest.

In Italy they are in a similar position to the UK in terms of where they are at with training and returning to playing and the authorities there have set a deadline of 20 August 2020 for the current Serie A season to end by at the very latest, then the 2020/21 season to kick off on 1 September 2020 or ASAP after.

Particularly with regard to European competitions, the Premier League will need to stay in sync as much as possible, so the start of September will almost certainly be the latest that the Premier League will be wanting to kick off next season.

Ligue 1 is scheduled to kick off 2020/21 on 21 August 2020 and with the Bundesliga scheduled to finish this current season by the end of June, they will be able to definitely start in August, all being well. Whilst La Liga have been given permission to start playing from 8 June, so they will also be on schedule, virus issues permitting.

So when it comes to Steve Bruce, even if you ignore the transfer market issues, obviously there is no way that the new Newcastle owners could allow him to complete the 2019/20 season sometime in August and then give Pochettino, Rafa or whoever only a couple of weeks to get the team ready for the following 2020/21 season.

Not a case of having to act in haste but certainly we can expect a new NUFC manager to be announced sooner rather than later after takeover.

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