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.
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.