Tony Cascarino very different on Steve Bruce leaving Newcastle compared to Rafa Benitez
Tony Cascarino admits he is biased towards Steve Bruce.
The pair of them first met forty years ago, Tony Cascarino (later to become a bizarre NUFC cult hero – ask your Dad!) signing for Gillingham in 1981, where Steve Bruce had been for a couple of years already.
When it comes to Newcastle fans and the ridiculous wars of words they are forced into with journalists and ex-players and managers, this is what you are up against, Steve Bruce having decades old friendships that mean there is zero chance of these people giving an objective opinion on the issues at Newcastle United, especially when it comes to Bruce’s failings that should have meant he was nowhere near being offered the NUFC job in July 2019.
Tony Cascarino has actually now advised Steve Bruce to resign BUT not because he is clearly out of his depth in the job, instead Cascarino just puts all the blame on Mike Ashley and where Steve Bruce is concerned, it is just about looking out for him as a friend: ‘I don’t mean resigning is a weakness. I think in his case it would be a strength because no one is working at that football club. It is not a coincidence that everybody before and everybody afterwards is going to be finding the same issues, because the ownership of the football club is in freefall…I don’t want to see him [Steve Bruce] suffer and be suffocated by what’s happening.’
Hmmm, it is interesting to look back at what Tony Cascarino had to say (see below) back in August 2019, talking after his mate Steve Bruce had got the Newcastle job and lost his first couple of matches, with Rafa Benitez having been forced out less than two months earlier.
Funnily enough, back in August 2019, Tony Cascarino had a bit of a different view of Mike Ashley and his treatment of managers…Cascarino saying that it was actually Mike Ashley who had done Rafa Benitez a favour by giving him a three year contract after he (Ashley) had relegated Newcastle. Tony Cascarino going on to say that it was not Mike Ashley who was then unreasonable and had forced Rafa out, oh no, instead it was Rafa Benitez who had been unreasonable and was the one to blame for him (Rafa) leaving.
Tony Cascarino declaring about Rafa Benitez 17 months ago: ‘…he walked out on your football club. Anybody who thinks any different, he’s gone to China to manage. Mike Ashley said, and I believe him on this, that when they had negotiations before the season ended, that he knew he was going. His hands were tied around Rafa. Unless he was going to literally sign the club over to Rafa, he was going. Newcastle done Rafa a big favour, they gave him an opportunity to be a manager again in the Premier League.’
Mike Ashley had starved Rafa Benitez of funds and if the Spaniard was going to stay, he had to accept that Ashley would choose which players were signed, starting with £40m to be spent on Joelinton.
Yet it is / was Rafa who was unreasonable!
Ashley starving Benitez of financial backing and yet in Steve Bruce’s first 13 months, Mike Ashley suddenly allowed a net spend of over £100m, though between them (Ashley and Bruce) it is looking like the vast majority of that £100m+ has been wasted…
Tony Cascarino speaking to Talksport – 24 January 2021:
“I first started football, I was with Brucey at Gillingham and I liked him, I liked him as a man, loved him as a footballer because of his fearless attitude.
“I’d like him to resign.
“And I say that as a friend: ‘You [Steve Bruce] are at the wrong football club’….’It is the right football club for you but it is the wrong time.’
“You have an owner who is hated, you are not going to be successful in any shape or form, the fans are against you and I feel for him.
“And I don’t mean resigning is a weakness. I think in his case it would be a strength because no one is working at that football club.
“It is not a coincidence that everybody before and everybody afterwards is going to be finding the same issues, because the ownership of the football club is in freefall.
“There is no direction from upstairs.
“You know, from the players they brought in to what is happening on a day to day basis, the uncertainty at the football club, I’m thinking: ‘Steve, what do you gain, how can you ever win them over?’
“I don’t see, I don’t see a direction or path for him to change this football club.
“I think it needs to get so bad that the club has to be sold and there is an element of new direction and you know, you create a new enthusiasm.
“You cannot unite that football club, that is impossible at the moment.
“Because I know him and consider him a friend that I don’t see, if I saw him I’d say: ‘Steve, I’d love you to walk away, because you’re going to lose a lot.’
“I have got a bias towards him because I know him, but I don’t want to see him suffer and be suffocated by what’s happening.
“Steve’s big and bold enough to say himself that he has made mistakes…but he’s trying to find something and it’s not working.”
Tony Cascarino speaking to Talksport – 18 August 2019:
“We are not saying Mike Ashley is right, that is not the point.
“Steve Bruce has also made mistakes in the first couple of games.
“I just remind Newcastle fans, that Rafa’s rovers, OK, last year, didn’t win a game to November 3rd. So they had a dreadful start last season. Now Newcastle fans have to support the club.
“Yes Mike Ashley is not the owner you desire. That will change. I’m pretty sure there will be a buyer for Newcastle, it is how long it takes.
“And Stevie Bruce admitted today that he has made mistakes already. If he doesn’t get them right he won’t be Newcastle Manager.
“This is nothing anti-Rafa, he has been and still is a very good manager.
“No they didn’t (play the prettiest football under Rafa Benitez) and he found a way of winning games and he had the support of the fans, total backing….But he walked out on your football club.
“Anybody who thinks any different, he’s gone to China to manage.
“Mike Ashley said, and I believe him on this, that when they had negotiations before the season ended, that he knew he was going. His hands were tied around Rafa. Unless he was going to literally sign the club over to Rafa, he was going.
“Newcastle done Rafa a big favour, they gave him an opportunity to be a manager again in the Premier League.
“And OK, we know his CV, it is brilliant. He has won things…he has won Champions League, he has won Spanish La Liga, challenged for the title in England coming second.
“Look, lets remember, he is a very good manager, but Newcastle gave him that opportunity to show what he can do.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to cont[email protected]