Steve Bruce makes new outrageous claim about Eddie Howe
We all knew that this would be coming from Steve Bruce, just a case of how long after the end of the season it would be.
As it happens, you could just about still here the final whistle at Turf Moor.
It being announced that Steve Bruce had now done an interview with FourFourTwo, talking about himself, Eddie Howe and Newcastle United.
It was just a case of how he would do it.
Just how Steve Bruce would try and distance himself / abdicate all responsibility from the mess he left behind at St James Park, whilst also doing his best to try and claim Eddie Howe actually hadn’t done that great a job in repairing the shambles he inherited from Bruce.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Steve Bruce:
“I was under no illusions whatsoever when I arrived at Newcastle.
“I was becoming part of an unpopular regime and knew I’d be associated with Mike Ashley from day one.
“And I was replacing Rafael Benitez, who was loved by the fans.
“Eddie’s had a lot more money to spend than I ever did, but he’s brought in some good players and improved the team.
“I’m very happy to acknowledge that, because Newcastle, and the fans, deserve the success.
“I worked there when everyone was talking about a potential takeover.
“The club needed new owners to come in to re-energise it, and I always knew that, if it came during my watch, I probably wouldn’t be hanging around for too long.
“I just hope that, a few years down the line, some of those supporters who never wanted me will look back at my time in charge and say ‘under the circumstances, Brucey didn’t do too bad a job after all’.”
So Steve Bruce wants us to believe that it was all about money, that ‘Eddie’s had a lot more money to spend than I ever did’ and this explains everything…
It is quite outrageous what Brucey is claiming, about as believable as anything that comes out of the mouth of Boris Johnson.
As you may have heard, Newcastle United made an absolutely disastrous start to the 2021/22 Premier League season under Bruce.
When we got to the end of the summer 2021 transfer window, the end of August seeing Newcastle having lost three games, drawing one and no wins, rumours were circulating in the media claiming Steve Bruce was making it known he wasn’t happy with the level of support he’d received in the transfer market under Mike Ashley.
Whether or not Bruce had actually been briefing journalists that he believed this to be the case, who knows?
However, regardless of that, it led to Mike Ashley releasing a statement via Newcastle United, very strongly refuting those claims…
Statement from Mike Ashley (no name at all put on the statement but only a fool would claim this wasn’t Ashley putting the message out) released via the official Newcastle United website 3 September 2021:
‘Newcastle United would like to provide supporters with an update in relation to the approach taken to the summer 2021 transfer window.
Our commitment to being run in a sustainable manner, which secures the financial viability of the club, is a longstanding one. This does not come at the expense of being ambitious…
Since summer 2019, the club has made nine permanent signings and taken five players on loan. Our net spend over this period is c£120m* (£160m spent on players and £40m received from sales). We have delivered on our commitment to spending what we have, and indeed because of our business this summer, have spent more to secure our primary target. To suggest otherwise is misleading and claims that money has been taken out of the club are wholly untrue.’
What we do know is that over the course of three years, Rafa Benitez was repeatedly denied any kind of proper support in the transfer market by Mike Ashley, that over the course of those three years it ended up he’d been allowed zero net spend on signings by Ashley.
However, as Mike Ashley said in his statement via NUFC, this was absolutely not the case with Mike Ashley. In less than 26 months from July 2019 to the end of August 2021, Steve Bruce backed with a £160m spend on players, a net spend of £120m that Rafa Benitez could only have dreamed of from Ashley.
So far, under Eddie Howe there has been £85m in definite fees for players bought in (Wood £25m, Guimaraes £35m, Trippier £12m, Burn £13m), with then potential further add-ons agreed depending on hitting targets.
For Steve Bruce to somehow claim that Eddie Howe has had a ‘lot more money’ than he did is laughable.
Plus, as that Mike Ashley statement states, as well as the money Steve Bruce was allowed to buy players with, he was also allowed to bring in higher wage Premier League players who became free agents, such as Fraser, Hendrick and Carroll. In addition, loan deals with Rose, Willock, Bentaleb, Willems and Lazaro coming in.
Of course, it isn’t all about how much you spend…
Joelinton a prime example, doing so poorly under Steve Bruce and despite having him as one of his players for over two years, the Brazilian actually getting worse under Bruce, indeed the ex-head coach ending up regularly leaving the club’s £40m record signing out of the team in the later stages of his (Bruce’s time) at the club. Then Eddie Howe comes in, gets Joelinton and the rest of the squad properly fit, gives him proper training and focus and defined role in the team, suddenly we have a potential world beater!
The thing is, this has been the case with pretty much every player, looking far better quality under Eddie Howe, including of course the massive improvement in players such as Krafth and Fraser, who Bruce also got in.
In the second half of the season, Eddie Howe picked up 38 points in 19 games at an average of 2.00 points per game, the third best form behind Man City and Liverpool over half a season. With obviously help from the January transfer window.
Steve Bruce wants people to believe that if he’d stayed on at Newcastle United and got that same cash to spend, then he would have done the same as Eddie Howe. Hands up if you believe that…
The fact is that Steve Bruce spent far more money than that and by the time he was belatedly sacked, had left behind a situation that had relegation written all over it for sure. Only for Eddie Howe to come along and perform near miracles to repair the Ashley and Bruce damage, with the assistance / backing of the new owners.
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