Newcastle United have appointed Steve Bruce as their head coach on a three-year contract after the former Sunderland manager resigned as Sheffield Wednesday boss on Monday following talks with the Magpies at the weekend.
But if early indications are to go by the 58-year-old’s appointment is far from popular with Toon fans despite Bruce having been born near Newcastle and growing up a Magpies fan as a boy.
“It’s possibly the most underwhelming thing to happen in my lifetime following Newcastle United,” explains Andrew Bolland from the True Faith podcast.
“Newcastle like to use the phrase, ‘business as usual,’ and going back to Steve Bruce is kind of business as usual for Newcastle United. His record recently isn’t great and his record over the course of his career isn’t brilliant. I think it’s a case of, who wants to come and manage Newcastle United?
“Steve hasn’t managed in the top flight for four or five years and this is his opportunity to get back into the big time, It might be his home town club that doesn’t really carry a lot of water with Newcastle fans.
“Going from the loved and adored Rafa to Steve Bruce is a huge downgrade and signals the last straw for many fans as Benitez had the universal respect of players and people within the game.
“His CV demanded respect whereas Bruce has reached one cup final in his 20-year managerial career and never won anything. The absolute best-case scenario would be finishing around 14th place.”
“The new appointment is typical for a club with no ambition beyond survival as we know what Steve Bruce can do in the Premier League. He has often battled relegation and at times unsuccessfully, so many fans believe the club have appointed a manager solely to stay in place should the club be relegated.”
— True Faith – Newcastle United Fanzine&Podcast (@tfNUFC) July 17, 2019
Bruce has been appointed on a three-year contract after Newcastle agreed compensation with his former club Wednesday, where he was appointed on a rolling one-year contract in January and his previous jobs include spells at Hull, Sunderland, Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
The club have been without a manager since Rafael Benitez left when his contract expired in June, saying Newcastle United; “did not share his vision,” before being appointed manager of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang little more than a week after his departure.
The Magpies are the 10th club Bruce has managed in his career and this is his 11th post, having led Wigan Athletic twice, and his Sheffield Wednesday side lost only three times in 18 matches after taking charge on February 1st, resulting in a 12th-place finish in the Championship.
Bruce told Newcastle’s website: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United. This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.
“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”
However, Bruce’s words have done little to fill supporters with optimism ahead of the new campaign, but as the name of the podcast suggests, Andrew is willing to stick by his side as another new era at St James’ Park begins.
“My head at the minute is trying to remain calm as the most important thing is that the team stays in the Premier League, he reveals.
“Is he the man capable of doing it? Well, only time will tell. I kind of agree with most of the skeptics out there that he isn’t but you’ve got to give everyone the benefit of the doubt… it’s a fresh start for everyone but it’s looking grim.”
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