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Opinion

Is this another well crafted insult from interim Newcastle manager for Steve Bruce?

3 weeks ago
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Whilst nobody pretends that there aren’t serious challenges ahead, for Newcastle United fans it has been such a relief to not have to endure Steve Bruce any longer.

A long, long 27 months of seeing and hearing him, more than enough for Newcastle supporters.

However, when it came to the reality of the situation for players and other club staff, maybe they didn’t actually see quite as much of Steve Bruce as would / should have been expected…

Graeme Jones speaking ahead of the Chelsea match – Friday 29 October 2021:

“They have responded well to being in [at the training ground] for five days [ahead of the Chelsea match].

“So long as you don’t kill people physically, the work has to be measured, the more time you spend on the training ground it is simple maths. You have got a better chance to perform.”

It was Danny Rose of course who in his loan spell on Tyneside, laid bare just how little time Steve Bruce spent at the training ground, saying that he had never seen at any of his previous clubs, nor heard from friends at other clubs, so many days off for both the then NUFC Head Coach and the players.

Many Newcastle fans took Graeme Jones’ comments as at least in some part directly, or indirectly, aimed towards Steve Bruce. Jones stating that it was ‘simple maths’ you gave your team a better chance of succeeding if spending more time working in advance.

The fact that Newcastle players training for five days made headlines, said it all, such a rarity having had Steve Bruce in charge for more than two years. The fans’ disbelief at Bruce’s antics reaching its very height when after starting the season with three defeats and a draw, only two weeks into the new campaign Steve Bruce went on holiday to Portugal instead of spending the time preparing the team for their game at Old Trafford. With only a handful of fringe players on international duty, none of who were first eleven choices, Steve Bruce could have worked with all the eleven players he chose for the game at Man Utd. Ahead of the 4-1 hammering though, it was only part of the second week of the international fortnight when Steve Bruce and the NUFC squad worked to prepare for the match. It was widely reported that only four days training had taken place after the holiday in Portugal.

Fast forward to the present day and ahead of the match at Brighton, I can’t help but think that Graeme Jones once again had Steve Bruce in mind, even if only subconsciously, as he also discussed the seemingly imminent appointment of Eddie Howe.

The interim Newcastle United manager commenting on the soon to be permanent one…’If it is Eddie Howe, I know he lives for the game and it is his whole life. If you think you can come to Newcastle United and do it part-time, you are mistaken. It requires every ounce you’ve got.’

Certainly, the two best Newcastle United managers most of us have experienced, would definitely match that description. Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson living and breathing Newcastle United whilst they were here. Rafa Benitez if given time and support may possibly have also reached their NUFC standings, Rafa another who was / is notorious for being a workaholic.

Whilst Steve Bruce is thankfully now out of the picture, Eddie Howe is set to get his chance.

No guarantees of course that success will eventually follow BUT great to hear Graeme Jones’ view on Eddie Howe and the same story from so many others who have knowledge of the former Bournemouth manager’s work ethic.

At least as fans we know that somebody will once again be coming in as permanent manager who will give it everything he has got. That is all we can ask for and expect from the new man in the dugout.

Graeme Jones speaking ahead of the match at Brighton – Friday 5 November 2021:

“Eddie Howe has managed 550 games, 200 in the Premier League, he is 43 years old and has a wealth of experience.

“If it is Eddie Howe, I know he lives for the game and it is his whole life.

“If you think you can come to Newcastle United and do it part-time, you are mistaken.

“It requires every ounce you’ve got.

“Eddie’s intense and has exceptional Premier League experience, he is more than capable.

“It [if Eddie Howe is watching from the stands at Brighton] could give the players a lift, they will want to impress the new man – that is human nature, I don’t think it could harm the situation.”

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