Steve Bruce has repeatedly said that he wanted to be judged by results as Newcastle manager. He has admitted that he knows he is not Rafa Benitez, and how hard it will be to replace the very popular Spaniard on Tyneside. However, he has implored the fans to judge him by the results on the pitch.
This past performance at Norwich, while only being the second game of the season, was so poor that Bruce’s already short leash has been tightened even more. The chaotic final thirty minutes of the opener to Arsenal had already set off a mini-storm amongst some supporters.
However, there were positives to take from Arsenal. Even the most cynical among us could point to the first twenty-five minutes against the Gunners and see there was something there.
There was nothing positive about Norwich. It was a display that Steve Bruce could ill-afford, even this early in the season.
Bruce was an underwhelming choice and his appointment has been met with a lot of disdain from many fans. However, Bruce came to the club in mid-July and made some positive strides. Most of all was keeping players like Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff, and Martin Dubravka at the club.
The players did their part as well as they praised their new manager’s impact, and everyone was in tandem about moving forward. Then came Lee Charnley’s digs at Rafa Benitez on the morning of the Arsenal game. That stirred the dust that had settled for some fans.
Steve Bruce– must make the most of his dream job
The Arsenal performance was what is was. A decent display though with some pitfalls, especially with the Jetro Willems introduction which saw a week of questions about Bruce’s abilities as a manager resurface after decent enough pre-season performances.
Then again, Lee Charnley stirred the dust with more veiled digs at the former manager. This has kept many Newcastle supporters wound up and ready to spring at the slightest provocation.
Well, the performance at Norwich was not a slight provocation. It was a full-on bludgeoning to Newcastle supporters and what little faith many had in Steve Bruce. He got it all wrong at Carrow Road. The performance of the players did absolutely nothing to give their manager any sort of reprieve.
For the first time in many years, we saw a team whose heads dropped at the first sign of adversity. It was all too familiar to what we see in the pre-Rafa days.
The Daily Star is reporting that Steve Bruce has been left shocked and hurt by the criticism he has received from some Newcastle supporters.
It is far too early to fairly judge Steve Bruce on the two results of this season. However, he is not being judged solely on that. He was an underwhelming choice, to begin with and it is up to him to prove he was the man for the job. At Arsenal, there were some signs, but all of that was demolished by the eldritch scene at Norwich.
Steve Bruce must ignore the critics and somehow conjure every inch of ability he has to get this club out of trouble. We are only two games in, but it already has the familiar feel of 2008/09 and 2015/16. While a lot of that is just the creeping pessimism that is burrowed in the gut of all Newcastle fans, it’s still worrisome. He has to accept the criticism, no matter how overblown or unfair, and get on with the job.
It is up to Steve Bruce to prove that he can take this club forward. That begins at Tottenham. While we feel for him, this is the job he has signed up for. It certainly is not a rose garden at the moment. However, if the times were rosy and pleasant, he likely would not have been given this opportunity.