With Rafa Benitez officially leaving Newcastle on Sunday, all attention has turned to who will be brought in to replace him, and it is fair to say some of the names linked have not gone down well with fans.

Two of those mentioned were the underwhelming and former Sunderland managers, David Moyes by the Metro and Steve Bruce in the Telegraph.

Surely they have just been suggested to wind the Newcastle fans up?

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As bad as some of Mike Ashley’s PR stunts have been – renaming the stadium after his store and employing his pals Joe Kinnear and Dennis Wise, to name but two – they would pale into insignificance compared to hiring Moyes or Bruce.

It would be an unmitigated disaster waiting to happen, and would cause meltdown among the Geordie faithful.

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The only way that Ashley could have any chance of bringing the fans back on board, would be to appoint someone of similar standing to Benitez, and someone who could bring the fans together, and unite them behind his vision – in the same way Rafa did.

If the high street mogul thinks that either Moyes or Bruce could do that, then he knows and cares even less about the football club and its fans than he was perceived to.

Mike Ashley would show his contempt for Newcastle fans Bruce or Moyes gets the job

There would be a total revolt, and if he thought derision of him, and protests against him, were bad before, he would be in for a huge shock.

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There are only two explanations that I could think of for appointing either of them:

Firstly, that he is wanting someone on a short-term basis until he sells the club – which would be fine for out of work Moyes, but unlikely for Bruce who is employed at Sheffield Wednesday;

Secondly, that he is doing it to literally spite the fans, and prove that it does not matter what they say or do, he will do things his way regardless.

Let’s just hope that the names are being mischievously bandied about by someone with a warped sense of humour in a newsroom somewhere outside the North East.

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