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Opinion

Mike Ashley desperate gamble with Newcastle United to avoid admitting he was wrong

2 weeks ago
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Everyone has assumed Steve Bruce won’t quit because he wants the juicy pay-off.

Which he will justify privately by saying he’s doing it for the other two Steves who quite possibly might never work again at a high level, unless Bruce gets another job.

While this might be the case, I think there is a lot more to it than that. I think pride and stubbornness also come into it, as well as his reputation.

Steve Bruce doesn’t want to quit because he’s afraid Graeme Jones will step up, save us, take the praise, make him look even worse, prove beyond doubt all our criticisms were just and our predictions were right, and all his excuses and all his points were wrong.

He seems a man with a lot of pride in the fact he’s been around the block, a man who can’t take criticism (as shown with Ritchie and in his Stalinesque dealing with Craig Hope and other journalists).

Steve Bruce appears to me a bitter man who holds petty grudges (as shown with his ‘Mighty Rafa’ comments and his blaming of the players, fans, Rafa, lack of fans, etc).

He also seems very stubborn (as shown when he refused to play for Norwich so he could sign for Man Utd and walking out on so many of his previous clubs) and self-centred (quitting Wigan, Palace, and Sheff Wed within months for better jobs). Bruce’s big ego would have been hurt by an inexperienced Jones coming in above his head, especially when we credited Jones with our immediate wins (even though now it is accepted by all that 4-3-3 was Jones tactic as we said all along).

Steve Bruce would rather go down, then he can continue to fight his corner with his media pals and say no other manager could do better in the circumstances, thus deflecting the blame away from himself.

The kid, Jones, with no 1,000 games under his belt, no trophies with Man Utd, no long forgotten play-off wins, no 15 years old tenth place finish, could possibly disprove Bruce’s excuses and make it look like the real reason for our poor and shocking performances rest at Bruce’s door for his inept tactics, lazy training, and poor man-management.

Best the club he claims to love goes down to save his blushes and in his mind, save his reputation.

In this regard, Steve  Bruce is very similar to Mike Ashley, when he made a rare appearance to claim Bruce was ‘the one’ and Benitez was wrong not to rate Joelinton, who he was so confident that he was a world beater he claimed he was prepared to put £20m of his own money in.

Now Mike Ashley is sticking by his guns, in the hope that Bruce will come good, just to avoid admitting he was about as wrong as anybody could possibly ever be. Ashley too, it seems, would prefer to risk going down than admit 52,000 fans (he seems to hate) were right and he was wrong.

According to the Telegraph, Bruce thought long and hard about quitting, but then decided nobody else (Jones, Benitez, anybody) could do a better job.

The truth is, nobody could do a worse job.

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