Steve Bruce names just one Newcastle player in the best XI he's managed
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Steve Bruce names just one Newcastle player in the best XI he's managed

Ex-Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has named his best ever XI of players he’s managed – and it’s not littered with former Magpies.

The current West Brom boss has sat down for an interview with the Telegraph, discussing his career at length. That includes that fateful spell at St James’ Park where apparently he did really well…

The bitterness from Bruce hasn’t subsided, reminding everyone of how badly he was treated and why the views of Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola mattered so much.

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But the supporters know exactly what happened. We saw the rotten football and the downbeat atmosphere. We saw players regress due to a lack of proper coaching. And we saw our team collapse after half an hour due to a lack of fitness.

All that has changed since Eddie Howe replaced him. We’v seen renaissances from multiple Bruce signings, while our energy to press is incredible. Sure, Howe has benefitted from the takeover, but he’s justified the adulation from fans.

In contrast, Bruce just inspired apathy and detest at a time when people weren’t allowed to leave their houses…

But one player did impress under Brucey, and he’s the only player to be named in his best ever XI of players he’s managed.

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Saint-Maximin named in Bruce’s best XI

Unsurprisingly, the player in question is Allan Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman joined Newcastle shortly after Bruce’s appointment, and went on to become his talisman.

During Bruce’s tenure, the plan literally was to sit back and get the ball to Maxi in the hope he would create something. A lot of the time he did, which is a testament to the winger’s ability.

When you look back at Bruce’s time on Tyneside, the two highlights are him keeping us in the Premier League and the form of Saint-Maximin. In a bleak team, he was the only joy to watch.

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The 25-year-old had a great relationship with Bruce, who appeared to indulge him. It clearly worked, and Saint-Maximin paid an emotional tribute to him after his Newcastle exit was confirmed.

Bruce’s whole team reads as follows: Chris Kirkland; Wes Brown, Harry Maguire, John Terry, Andy Robertson; Antonio Valencia, Lee Cattermole, Wilson Palacios, Jack Grealish; Allan Saint-Maximin, Christophe Duggary.

He’s also named seven substitutes, none of which played for him at Newcastle.

It’s probably not a surprise to see him ignore the other players he managed on Tyneside. It sums up his time at St James’ Park.