Newcastle United’s new owners have already made a hash of their first task – dealing with the managerial situation as speculation grows over Steve Bruce’s future
Good old Newcastle United, the gift that keeps on giving.
Just over a week after the takeover euphoria and the delirious masses will descend on St James’ Park today… to cheer on a Steve Bruce team.
And to cheer on a club that, apparently, has ambitions to be amongst the elite but is currently run by a financier, a builder’s son with a stint at QPR on his CV, a keen club golfer and a remnant of the previous, discredited regime.
Amanda Staveley, Jamie Reuben, Yasir al-Rumayyan and Lee Charnley.
Hardly football administration royalty.
Would you trust this lot to hire a Premier League manager?
After the Saudi Arabian purchase, comparisons with Manchester City continue to be trotted out. But remember one thing.
From early doors, City had Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain in place, two characters who knew how to run a serious football club.
It will take time to recruit that sort of talent – as it did at City – but that is what
Newcastle need to do.
But considering the takeover has been in the pipeline for so long, why were these types of appointments not already sorted?
Bruce started one of Friday’s press conference answers by insisting he had kept his “dignity”, which, to an extent, he has.
He then went on to say he hoped journalists who wrote he would be sacked ahead of this afternoon’s game against Spurs would get “a slap”.
At best, let’s just call that old school. No one is more old school than Bruce.
He went on to suggest reporters should be feeling the “heat” for getting it wrong.
Only they have not got it wrong. Everyone, including the man himself, knows it is not a case of if he is getting sacked but when he is getting sacked.
So how he motivates the players is anyone’s guess.
For all the hype around the match against Spurs, Bruce will be fielding a team that knows the coach is not going to be around for much longer.
He will be talking to them but they won’t be listening.
That is human nature if you know your boss is seeing out his or her time.
Strip away the side shows and it will be a surprise if Newcastle United record their first Premier League win of the season this weekend.
As it is his 1,000th match as a manager, it will be a significant game for Bruce and a very amiable character deserves nothing but acclaim for reaching that milestone.
And when he spoke about being almost glad his parents were not around to see some of the social media abuse, it was heart-breaking.
He is a good man.
But the new administration had one big decision to make after taking over – and they have fudged it.
Wolves via Getty Images)
Bruce has not been sacked but nor has he been given an emphatic endorsement from the ownership.
Here is what Staveley said: “Steve… will take the team on Sunday. If we make any changes going forward, Steve will be the first to know.”
Some vote of confidence, that.
To be fair, it will take time for everything to settle down at St James’ Park.
It is, after all, a hugely significant change.
But as starts to a brave, new era go, this is hardly a flier.
Good old Newcastle United.