Newcastle have sacked manager Steve Bruce after a shocking start to the season but Gary Lineker has questioned the decision, insisting he’d done “as well as realistically could be expected”
Match of the Day hosts and England legend Gary Lineker has given his verdict on Steve Bruce’s Newcastle departure – and fans won’t enjoy reading it.
After hearing the news, Lineker tweeted: “Steve Bruce has handled a difficult situation with great dignity during this period.
“Under trying circumstances and with generally poor recruitment by the club he did as well as realistically could be expected. Wish a very decent man all the very best.”
Bruce was widely expected to be given the boot after a Saudi-backed consortium completed a £305million takeover of the club earlier this month.
The ex-Sunderland boss remained in charge for one game following the takeover – his 1,000th in management – and suffered a 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham.
Most Newcastle fans have wanted Bruce to be relieved of his duties for some time, with the team winning just seven of their last 38 games in all competitions.
The Toon’s lacklustre form suggests they were heading for relegation under their now former manager, debunking Lineker’s “as well as realistically expected” theory.
And many Newcastle supporters on social media were perplexed with the presenter’s opinion, with one replying: “Come on Gary, you know that isn’t true.
“Sure, he’s a good bloke, but he would have been sacked by any other club ages ago on results alone. It wouldn’t have been acceptable.”
While another tweeted: “He’s spent the last couple of seasons picking fights with journalists, treating them with a complete disregard and belittling our fan base.
“He should have been nowhere near out club to begin with.”
And one fan wrote: “Nonsense. We’ve had the eighth highest net spend in the Premier League since he took over.
“The club bought him Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Joe Willock and Ryan Fraser and didn’t sell any of our best players while he was in charge.”
Former Luton Town boss Graeme Jones has been appointed interim manager for the team’s upcoming game against Crystal Palace.
Bruce said on leaving: “I am grateful to everyone connected with Newcastle United for the opportunity to manage this unique football club.
“I would like to thank my coaching team, the players and the support staff in particular for all their hard work.
“There have been highs and lows, but they have given everything even in difficult moments and should be proud of their efforts.
“This is a club with incredible support, and I hope the new owners can take it forward to where we all want it to be.
“I wish everyone the very best of luck for the rest of this season and beyond.”
Should Newcastle have sacked Steve Bruce? Let us know in the comments below
Former cruiserweight boxing champ and Everton fan Tony Bellow has also questioned Newcastle’s decision to sack Bruce with the team in such a perilous position.
He tweeted: “Feel for Steve Bruce there! Newcastle have been basically left to rot and he’s done a decent job.
“This next move for Newcastle is big and dangerous! Make no mistake they’re a huge club, but right now they’re in a relegation fight that they need to escape from.”