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Let’s Give Steve Bruce Some Credit – He Deserves it


Steve Bruce was not in our top ten of the managers we wanted to replace Rafa Benitez with.

That’s when the world-class manager left the club in June for his next job managing Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang.

It was poor management from owner Mike Ashley to bank it all on Rafa staying, and that was probably also a PR move by the owner.

But what’s new?

We have to admit we thought Rafa would wait until the very end to try to squeeze everything he could out of the owner – and then sign the deal at Newcastle – but it didn’t happen that way.

Fans were shocked when he left.

I was personally stunned!

And it was once a joke that Steve Bruce would come in to replace Rafa – but in fact, that’s what happened.

Bruce had a terrible situation to take over – due to the ridiculously lousy management from the hierarchy.

But he made a decent start with the Newcastle players in China, and after a dodgy first 7 games of the season (5 points), we hit form after the Leicester City 5-0 trouncing.

Steve Bruce – very decent start to the season

And we have taken 10 points from the last 5 games and 15 points from our first 12 games, and we are equal on points with 10th placed Burnley.

That’s the best we’ve done at the start of a season since the 2014-2015 season.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
8Sheffield United16-322
9Crystal Palace16-422
10Newcastle16-622
11Arsenal15-219
12Brighton16-419
13Burnley16-818

There is a new (if subdued) optimism around Newcastle even though woeful owner Mike Ashley is still in place.

If Steve Bruce can get the fans behind him like Rafa did so famously  – forget about the owner – then we could even shock ourselves and do well this season.

We have some excellent players at the club, and the manager seems to have brought them together after the Geordie manager took some unfair criticism early in the season.

But that’s what it’s like being Newcastle manager.

So it would be really something if Steve Bruce can have Newcastle finish higher than 10th place for only the second time in Mike Ashley’s disastrous reign as the owner of Newcastle.

We are hoping for that – and more good things for Newcastle in the future.

I mean, let’s put it this way – if we beat Aston Villa a week on Monday and have 3 wins in a row (as we famously did last November), I’ll have to (very) quickly reach for those blood pressure pills – it would just be too much!

So there – that’s a positive review of Steve Bruce’s first three months as Newcastle manager.

Comments welcome.


26 comments so far

  • martoon

    Nov 16, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    Comment #1

    As long as he is doing OK then I think there will be grudging acceptance of Bruce although I doubt we’ll ever hear the crowd singing his name! However if we start to struggle then the crowd will quickly turn on him and not be as patient as they were with Rafa.

    10
  • DAVE..TOON..9

    Nov 16, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #2

    We are doing much better than I expected under Bruce !!! At least we are trying to win games and not look for a point like Rafa did!! Long way to go but with players lik ASM and Miggy we have a good chance of staying up !!!!

    10
  • Oldgit1

    Nov 16, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #3

    There will be certain posters on here that won’t and I mean won’t give Bruce any praise, it’s not in their DNA and will continue to harp on about Rafa.

    I made my stand on him and was disagreed with. I hope he achieves success, just to ram it down their throats. His treatment on this blog by some posters is disgusting, something he does not deserve, there wasn’t a long list of people willing to take over at this toxic club. Will wait and see where we end up at the end of the season.

    19
  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2019 at 3:57 PM

    Comment #4

    martoon,
    We sung Pardew’s name for a spell 😮

    0
  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #5

    If he brings us success then I’ll gladly admit I was wrong and accept his being here, however once he falls further victim to Ashley’s policies and tells us we can’t compete…….

    7
  • swemag

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #6

    Pardew did quite good one season, as he usually does with all his clubs to then go into a rot that cannot be turned around.

    But, do remember that we got compensation money for him leaving us. Surely one of the all time great deals Toon has done.

    3
  • Ron Knee

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #7

    “…there wasn’t a long list of people willing to take over at this toxic club.”

    So we should be grateful he came here?

    10
  • toon22

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:04 PM

    Comment #8

    Jail

    Didnt he say just that with that odd story when he was on the bog ?
    Thinking about how we used to be a good club, but we wont ever be that again ?

    6
  • Jib

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #9
  • Jib

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #10

    Ron Knee
    So we should be grateful he came here?

    Looking at the PL table it would appear so

    4
  • Ron Knee

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #11

    Yes, Jib, for a mediocre manager he’s doing OK – so far.

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #12

    Martoon

    ‘Over the last couple of seasons I’ve noticed Ed’s tone changing towards the hierarchy – it was quite respectful but now “The Newcastle incompetents – Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley” says it all.

    It doesn’t matter once a shill always a shill in a certain someones eyes. 🙂

    4
  • Jib

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #13

    If he’s that mediocre
    Then he’s doing better than just OK

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #14

    Oldgit1

    I’ll hold my hand up there, I said i’d give him 7.5 games and after that starting suggesting that the players were not backing him.

    He does seem to have the players support though and has turned it around a tad. Fair play to him for now, if he keeps the relative success going, let’s wait and see!

    1
  • Ron Knee

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #15

    Were you trained by the Jesuits, Jib?

    2
  • Jib

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #16

    nope

    0
  • droppy in Wallsend

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #17

    Great article Ed.

    I for one didn’t want Bruce and was genuinely furious that Rafa left, but I am pleasantly surprised by the start to the season.

    Fair enough we rarely got absolutely ripped apart under Rafa, but we also ground out results without ever entertaining. If the forwards can score some goals we could be a fun watch again.

    Right I shall return to my self imposed silence again as I see the resident squabblers are still unable to behave like grown ups and more eccentric posters have changed slightly but remain to test the patience of many a Saint.

    19
  • Ben Afri

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #18

    He’s definitely done much better than I expected. But I think what most of us are feeling is that even if he does okay, Ashley has no incentive to invest or leave.

    9
  • DaveD1000

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #19

    Nice to see Ed writing …hope you are doing well bud.
    didn’t want Bruce didn’t want AC. Bruce has them taking shots at will but GD is still looking a bit Pardew. Some of the Rafa matches were dire to watch.

    2
  • Mindshaft

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #20

    There were a smattering of fans sang pards name for a few games then it stopped and was soon replaced with pardew out – can’t see anyone singing for Bruce any time soon – even at away games we barely see Newcastle when they are attacking the away fans end as they barely have the ball – I’m hoping this will change at villa as I missed the West ham game (

    1
  • Mindshaft

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #21

    We’re 13th in the table , that would suggest mediocre manager or players …or both ( probably )

    0
  • Hannibal

    Nov 16, 2019 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #23

    He’s simply doing better than expected but I’m not sure I would give the credit to him yet.

    If we still had Rafa I don’t think there would be too much difference with the players available.

    The biggest difference is I would trust Rafa more on match days to get the job done, Bruce needs to earn that trust by making the right calls at the right time. Pushing the owner, starting surtain players, improving players, looking to improve the infrastructure and adjusting the tactics when things aren’t working.

    I’d trust Rafa to do this, I have not got that trust in Bruce yet. But I think he’s done okay but on allot of those key measures only time will tell.

    We have a decent team but can he slowly over the course of the season make us better or is this our level and there is no more as he doesn’t have the ability to push the players.

    We will see

    3
  • stripes1009

    Nov 16, 2019 at 8:59 PM

    Comment #24

    Steve Bruce is probably blessed with the most talented squad he’s ever managed.
    Steve was a great player. He played at the highest level and as a leader, he must have learned so much from Sir Alex.
    He’s been shrewd enough to alter our system to suit the players we have and l hope he proves all the doubters wrong. He’s a proud Geordie and wants to see the team he supported do very well. He’s not here for the money…..he wants HIS team to do well.
    Fingers crossed for you Steve……good luck.

    9
  • Unused Substitute

    Nov 17, 2019 at 1:42 AM

    Comment #25

    Rafa built up a team by “grinding out.” Bruce is dealing with a team that was by and large in shape and PR working full blast for him. He is also riding on £80M “investment” (although a large proportion of that was just to lure the deluded) and Rafa had to endure money vanishing from transfer kitty.

    Despite trying to lure fans in by throwing money at questionable players, seeking sympathy by playing a victim card, continual vilification of Rafa, and a so called display of fluent football (failing to acknowledge the luckwe are riding on) attendance is still in 40k’s. There’s a lot of disillusioned fans out there like me, still unconvinced that we are going places.

    5
  • Malta Mag

    Nov 18, 2019 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #26

    You don’t need to remind most of us Ed as we were quite happy to give him a chance as well as wishing him well? Unfortunately some got sucked into the negativity like lemmings and instead of realizing he just might be a good fit after all, slagged him off at every opportunity. I would be the happiest man alive if Steve Bruce, a Geordie and Newcastle fan was to be the first manager for over 60 years to win a domestic honor.

    1

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