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This is what normally happens when a manager is sacked but when Steve Bruce left Newcastle…

1 month ago

What happens when a Premier League manager is sacked?

Go on, it’s not a trick question.

When a Premier League manager leaves, what do people, particularly in the media, usually do?

I’m only asking because I’m confused, which isn’t exactly a new thing, having supported Newcastle United all my life, including these particularly mind-bending 14 or 15 years under an owner who has run the club like no other Premier League owner has ever done.

So, Steve Bruce was sacked yesterday and what happened?

Well, it was like nothing else I have ever seen, especially how the media reacted and covered it.

The answer to my not a trick question above, was that when a Premier League manager is sacked, the job of the media is always to look at what has happened leading up to the sacking and decide, did he deserve to go?

So, for example, you had Xisco Munoz, the first Premier League casualty of the 2021/22 season.

A quick look showed that he got Watford promoted last season, then despite relying mainly on loans, frees and budget transfers in the summer, after seven games Xisco Munoz had the Hornets on seven points in mid-table. Considering they had been big relegation favourites at the start of the season, this made the sacking especially strange. Certainly results didn’t justify the dismissal for neutrals but Watford do this kind of thing, so in a way no surprise.

So, how have neutrals (and the media) judged Newcastle United sacking Steve Bruce in terms of whether results, statistics, performances, direction of travel etc justified or not his departure?

Very difficult (impossible!) to say because unless it has been very well hidden away, nobody in the media or indeed neutrals have shown any interest in these confounded statistics and facts!

All very bizarre that they have all ‘forgot’ to look at these kind of relevant facts but just to help out, these are what media and neutrals should have been considering as to whether Steve Bruce was fairly sacked, or not:

No wins in opening nine games of 2021/22, despite generous looking set of opening fixtures, three draws and six defeats.

Second bottom of the Premier League with only three points from a possible 24 and also out of the League Cup after losing at home to Burnley (the only game they have won so far this season against PL opposition.

In eight PL games already 19 goals conceded, three more than the next highest conceded by a PL team this season.

Going back a bit further, Steve Bruce’s last 38 games had produced an 18% win ratio, with seven wins from 38 games, whilst losing 21 of them for a 55% losing ration these past ten months.

These last ten months have also seen Newcastle concede more goals than any other PL club, 65 in 35 games.

Whilst the last year has seen Steve Bruce’s NUFC accumulate less points than any other PL club, only 41 points in 42 PL matches.

(These stats above have come about despite (Source – Sky Sports) Steve Bruce having the eighth biggest net spend in the Premier League on transfers in his time at Newcastle United. Mike Ashley stating that £160m had been spent on transfers during Bruce’s 27 months as head coach.)

It is quite incredible, a real anomaly, as to why the media have completely forgotten to analyse what has happened in the past 10 months or so leading up to the sacking of Steve Bruce.

It is almost as if the media cover Newcastle United in a totally different way to any other Premier League club…

So if they haven’t been talking about boring old stuff like results, statistics and performances, what on earth have neutrals and media been talking about since Steve Bruce was let go yesterday?

Rather strangely, it is the Newcastle United fans who have been the subject of much scrutiny, rather than the spotlight pointing at those absolutely abysmal Steve Bruce FACTS over the course of these past 10 months.

Steve Bruce and his close journalist friend Luke Edwards concocted a plan to put out an interview (see below) at the exact same time as the club’s announcement saying Bruce had gone.

A very obvious plan to try and deflect attention away from the job Bruce had actually done.

Bizarrely, this cunning plan has worked extraordinarily well, even better than the shameless journalist and former NUFC head coach could ever have imagined.

It is almost as if the media and neutrals are actually enjoying the chance to turn the heat / blame on Newcastle fans for the dismal mess that Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce have left behind.

In the deflection interview, Steve Bruce basically claims he has been subjected to the worst abuse any manager has ever experienced, or at least that is how it appears to come across.

Apparently far worse than Rafa got from Chelsea fans, Wenger from Arsenal supporters, Hodgson with Liverpool fans, Solskjaer and every other Old Trafford manager since Fergie from Man Utd fans…and so on.

Inside St James Park it is only very recent games where Steve Bruce has even been booed by the fans, never mind abused. No demonstrations, no stands filled with banners demanding he goes. Bruce even regularly saying himself that he’d always had a good reaction when meeting fans when out and about on Tyneside. The reality appearing to be that when talking about abuse, all that Steve Bruce can point to is the usual kind of idiots on social media, often anonymous, who sadly subject everybody to unacceptable abuse, sometimes even players who have the odd bad game.

Quite crazy though that so much of the media and neutrals, with Edwards and Bruce stoking the fire, then repeatedly accuse the Newcastle United fanbase as a whole, of being guilty of extreme unacceptable behaviour.

In all press conferences ahead of the weekend, every Premier League manager is getting asked what they think about this abuse Steve Bruce has had. As though it is fact that this has happened from the NUFC fanbase as a whole, rather than simply Twitter trolls that go after everyone.

In reality, Steve Bruce wants to believe that fans pointing to his abysmal record (see stats / facts above) at Newcastle and saying he had to be sacked, equals abuse.

No wonder he has this distorted sense of reality and fairness when the media overwhelmingly have failed to treat him like any other Premier League manager and continue to do so. Refusing to hold him to account for what has been a really bad job he has done at Newcastle United and now walks away from a total mess with a reported £8m compensation having to be paid by the new owners.

Sky Sports are orchestrating this pile on from other Premier League managers on Newcastle United fans and on Thursday have already got quotes from the likes of Dean Smith, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Claudio Ranieri, Mikel Arteta, Sean Dyche and Graham Potter.

Steve Bruce talking to The Telegraph – Wednesday 20 October 2021:

Fat waste of space:

“By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough. To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one.

“When we were doing ok results wise, it was ‘yeah but the style of football is rubbish’ or I was just ‘lucky.’ It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.

“The best one was to be told we were a relegation team in all but points…this was all in the first season. We finished 13th. It [the criticism and abuse] got even worse in the second year. We finished 12th, 17 points clear of the bottom three.

“I tried to enjoy it and, you know, I did. I’ve always enjoyed the fight, proving people wrong, but that’s all it ever seemed to be. A fight, a battle. It does take its toll because even when you win a game, you don’t feel like you are winning over the supporters.”

Nothing to spend:

“The only task I was given was to keep the club up. There wasn’t the money to overhaul the squad. Covid drained the club of money, there was virtually nothing to spend this summer, but I wouldn’t walk away from it.

“People told me to quit and if it hadn’t been Newcastle… I refused to give up. I just felt who could come in who was going to be better equipped to keep them up again than me?”

Really happy for the Newcastle United fans:

“I’m really happy for the fans, the city, everyone associated with this great club.

“This takeover had to happen for the club to improve. It had to happen for Newcastle to have a chance to be the club we all think it should be.

“I did my best, I will leave it to other people to judge whether I did ok or not. I wish the new owners, the players, and fans nothing but the best. I’m excited about the club’s future. That is the most important thing.”


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