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Opinion

Steve Bruce new verdict on what’s happened under ‘The fella from Bournemouth who got a team relegated’

10 months ago
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Steve Bruce has been discussing what has happened at St James’ Park since he left.

To the horror of Newcastle United fans, the consortium’s first act as owners wasn’t to sack the NUFC Head Coach.

A ridiculous media campaign was whipped up to bully the new Newcastle United owners into allowing Steve Bruce a ‘sentimental’ 1,000th game in football management, after they bought the club from Mike Ashley on 7 October 2021.

That ended in yet another predictable feeble defeat, where despite Newcastle taking the lead after only two minutes, the chaotic and negative Steve Bruce tactics and formation helped ensure no NUFC player managed an effort on target following that opening goal. Tottenham absolutely dominating and winning 3-2 at St James’ Park, the away side should have won by more goals and the scoreline getting a very distorted view thanks to a bizarre Spurs own goal late on.

With his 1,000th ‘sentimental’ match in football management thankfully out of the way, the new Newcastle United owners belatedly sacked Steve Bruce, to the audible relief of the NUFC fanbase.

Graeme Jones did a decent job as caretaker boss to steady the ship, his three games seeing two hard fought away draws at Brighton and Palace, plus a defeat to then league leaders Chelsea.

Eddie Howe was then appointed as the permanent Steve Bruce replacement after the draw at Brighton and the rest, as they say, is history.

The final 35 Premier League games in charge of Newcastle United, saw Steve Bruce win only 20% of them (seven of thirty five), no wins at all in his very final eight that started the 2021/22 season.

This has flipped completely the other way under the excellent Eddie Howe, losing only 22% (14 of 61) of PL matches with Newcastle, since taking the job in November 2021. Indeed, after his opening seven games where he had to get the team properly fit as a very basic starting point, Eddie Howe has then only lost 18% (10 of 54) of Newcastle’s Premier League games.

Steve Bruce once embarrassingly referred to Eddie Howe as ‘The fella from Bournemouth who got a team relegated’… when in reality Howe did a staggering job with the Cherries, taking them from the brink of dropping into non-league. Before then getting them promoted through all the divisions and keeping the minnows in the Premier League, against all the odds, for five seasons before they were very unlucky to be relegated on the final day of the 2019/20 season. Following which Eddie Howe resigned and took a year out to travel around and visit other clubs, in the UK and overseas, to speak and learn from other managers before taking another job.

Thankfully, Eddie Howe came along and saved us from ‘The fella from Corbridge, who was most definitely getting a team relegated…’

That fella from Corbridge has now been talking about what has happened at Newcastle United since his departure.

Steve Bruce talking about Newcastle United under Eddie Howe and the club’s new hierarchy to the official Manchester United podcast:

“I always knew that it was going to would be difficult [as Newcastle United manager] but I was determined to take the chance.

“I knew all along it was going to be difficult and it certainly was.

“When I see where the club [Newcastle United] is now and the quality of players who are playing…

“Where they have done remarkably well, is that they have put people in place to run the club and bought well.

“It has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months.

“I am pleased.

“I genuinely am pleased…

“Because the city [of Newcastle] needs that.

“As a club it probably needs that.

“But it was a difficult time [when I was manager].

“That is for sure.”

The recruitment has of course been excellent under Eddie Howe and others at Newcastle United, BUT it is of course the staggering improvement in pretty much every player the new NUFC Head Coach inherited, compared to how they had ended up under Steve Bruce, that has been the stand out difference.

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