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Shock Horror! Phil Neville says his friend Steve Bruce is fantastic and then makes the rest up

4 years ago

I know there is some pretty stick competition but it is really scraping the barrel when Phil Neville turns up as a pundit on Match of The Day.

I know they are not billed as the ‘A Team’ (Shearer, Wright) and it was Sunday night and MOTD 2 but…seeing Phil Neville and Danny Murphy when I flicked on last night, can it get any more desperate?

Surely there must be more credible people who the BBC can bring in, or is it just the case that like the match commentators we grew up with watching football, it is a job for life?

The most ridiculous question that is ever asked of pundits these days about Newcastle United, is whether Steve Bruce deserves a chance when / if new owners come in.

It is pointless because of the unwritten rule, football people are never going to go against one of their own in this kind of situation. Certainly this is 100% the case when it is old school English / British former players talking about another old school English / British former player who is now a manager (head coach in Bruce’s case).

So asking any question you are always going to get the same answer, they are not going to break ranks and rubbish another member of the old mates club. If it was Steve McClaren, JFK, Alan Pardew, or even John Carver, the pundits wouldn’t be saying new owners should get rid and bring in another manager.

That is reality.

So how much even more pointless is it, when Phil Neville is asked about Steve Bruce, one of his best mates…?

You might as well be asking Brucey’s wife whether her husband deserves a pay rise.

Phil Neville even admits the point last night really, that it is a waste of time asking him anything about Steve Bruce: ‘Look, I know him and I love him…but he is a fantastic manager.’

I’m sorry but I must have missed Phil Neville campaigning for his old mate Steve Bruce to get the Man Utd job on the four occasions (so far) they have tried in recent years to find a credible follow up to Ferguson. Likewise, I haven’t heard Phil Neville saying Steve Bruce should have got the Everton job instead of Ancelotti. Why should Newcastle fans not be allowed to dream beyond such a limited manager who has shown nothing in over two decades to suggest he can bring success to any club?

It is funny how the likes of Phil Neville are always short on detail when making grand claims such as: ‘Stick with Steve Bruce. He is a fantastic manager who deserves a shot.’

What exactly has Bruce ever done in his managerial career that makes anybody shout ‘fantastic’, he is just one of that Allardyce, McClaren, Pardew etc grouping who always get talked up by their media and pundit mates as having these hidden qualities that will suddenly present themselves if they get the chance at an ambitious club…

Phil Neville just started making it up as he went along last night…

Claiming Newcastle’s ‘style of football is better’ than it was under Rafa Benitez. It is not.

Claiming Newcastle’s football is ‘more attacking’ under Steve Bruce. It is not, all the metrics say otherwise.

Claiming Newcastle ‘play better football’ with Steve Bruce. No they don’t.

Claiming Steve Bruce is ‘bringing in better players’. Well if we are going to judge Bruce on the players signed, of the four permanent deals, Allan Saint-Maximin is full of promise and now adding an end product BUT no rational person would say spending almost £50m plus wages on Joelinton, Krafth and Carroll has been anything but shocking.

It is embarrassing that they keep asking pundits this same Steve Bruce question because they are ALWAYS going to get the same answer.

Just as if you ask 99% of fans you will get a repetitive reply, except with supporters it will be that with new ambitious owners it would be ridiculous not to bring in somebody with a managerial CV that would suggest they could bring a similar (or better!) level of success to Newcastle United.

As you can see below, right from the start of the season after Newcastle lost to Arsenal on the opening day, you have had Phil Neville in batting for his good mate.

Steve Bruce has done an ok job with the help of a lot of luck, should be thanked for that and then given his pay-off once new owners take control.

Phil Neville on Match of The Day 2 asked about speculation that a new manager will be appointed if / when Newcastle get new owners:

“I think it has been annoying and disrespectful to the job Steve Bruce has done [at Newcastle United].

“Rafa Benitez was the messiah up there…but I think Steve Bruce has done equally, if not better, than Rafa Benitez.

“A consortium coming in [to Newcastle] with big money?

“Stick with Steve Bruce.

“He is a fantastic manager who deserves a shot.

“He is a home town boy and he knows the club, he has got an affinity with it.

“It annoys me when they say bring these big name managers in – Benitez, Pochettino…

“No, stick with Steve Bruce.

“They play better football now than they did under Rafa Benitez.

“The style of football is better, it is more attacking

“He is bringing in better players.

“Look, I know him and I love him…but he is a fantastic manager.”

Phil Neville speaking on MOTD 2 – 11 August 2019:

“It is a better squad (at Newcastle now).

“I never thought Rafa Benitez was going to stay.

“I thought that he was very clever in the way that he let his contract run out.

“He played a really good game with the fans. 

“The thing for me, is that I don’t think these fans will ever be happy until Mike Ashley leaves this club…and you know what.

“Mike Ashley is not going to just give this club away.

“He is a really good, successful businessman.

“He has spent some money this summer and I definitely think that they have the right man to keep Newcastle in the league.

“Like last year with Rafa, keeping Newcastle in the Premier League should still be the aim at this moment in time, then they start building the blocks slowly.

“They will only stay in the Premier League if everybody is pulling in the same direction, like they were under Rafa.

“They have got to do the same for Steve Bruce.”


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