If he has any integrity, Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce should quit.
The Toon boss is far from popular at St James’ Park, and witnessed fans turning on him on Saturday during the 2-2 draw with Southampton.
That appalling performance should have inspired Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley to make some first-team signings, but that hasn’t happened.
Despite multiple targets, Newcastle’s only arrival was a 19-year-old striker whose is almost identical to the lead character from ‘Goal!’.
Expectations were low at the start of the day, but things improved when reports emerged that Hamza Choudhury was set to become our second signing of the summer.
There was a breakthrough, and it looked like the Leicester midfielder was on the way to St James’ Park on loan.
Then the deal was off…then potentially on again…then off again. The 11pm deadline hit, with no sight of Choudhury in a black and white shirt.
Plenty of other names were linked on the day, but no one else arrived. Boubacar Kamara turned us down, while rumours of Cameron Carter-Vickers failed to materialise.
After signing Joe Willock, Bruce praised the hierarchy for going above and beyond to complete the deal. But what will he have to say after the latest transfer debacle? A transfer debacle which will make a poisonous atmosphere inside St James’ Park all the more toxic…
What is keeping Steve Bruce at Newcastle?
Other than the pay cheque and managing in the Premier League, why should Bruce remain at St James’ Park?
Last season he should have been sacked after the Brighton defeat, but things improved and Newcastle finished strongly.
If anything, too strong. Perhaps it made Ashley believe that the squad was already good enough.
Bruce is not popular among fans. His style of play, tactics, reputation and general demeanour in the press fail to endear himself to the Toon Army.
After 26 minutes on Saturday, fans were chanting ‘we want Brucey out’. Those chants aren’t going to go away. They will resurface after a stray pass, a failed attack, a wave of pressure from the opposition. When Newcastle face Leeds on September 17th, you can guarantee those chants will be heard once more.
While he’s never truly had the backing of the fans, Bruce has always had the board.
Ashley has backed Bruce at times, and refused to pull the trigger during tough spells of form. Despite pressure from fans, Ashley has stood by his manager.
But that changed this summer. Ashley hasn’t backed Bruce. His squad has actually gotten worse, with Andy Carroll departing.
Bruce has been let down by the owner, at a time when he desperately needed a helping hand.
Regardless of your feelings towards the manager, it’s easy to have some sympathy for him after deadline day.
The Telegraph claimed in May that Bruce may leave if he isn’t backed. He hasn’t been backed, so why should he stay?
No matter what he does, fans will always be against the 60-year-old.
Yes, this is probably the only job Bruce will get in the Premier League. But he could easily attract a Championship club with his CV.
Where is the joy in managing Newcastle? He isn’t getting the resources to do anything memorable. He’s just a placeholder, keeping the club ticking over until Ashley sells. When that happens, we do not know.
Bruce isn’t popular, but fans would not begrudge him if he decided to walk away. His job is already tough, now he’s being expected to deliver survival once again with a weaker squad. Why should he take the fall?
While Bruce isn’t innocent, the major reason for Newcastle’s struggles is one man and one man only – Mike Ashley.
Steve Bruce has been let down. He should quit as Newcastle manager, and leave Ashley to pick up the pieces.