Letting Mike Ashley pull his strings is one concern Newcastle fans have constantly had about Steve Bruce since his appointment as head coach, fearing he will simply toe the club line for the derided owner.
But speaking to the Chronicle today, Bruce insisted he will be in charge of transfers and be his own man, despite the “nonsense” written about his position this week.
He claimed: “I don’t really want to go into specifics. There are have been a couple of things written, some of the comments. The big one is am I going to sit here and be a puppet? That won’t happen. I am in charge of transfers.
He also said the Newcastle United factor was the reason he was so “selfish” by resigning from his role at Sheffield Wednesday, when speaking about the prospect of legal action from his former club.
“A contract is a contract. It also applies when a manager resigns. I am disappointed as I thought it was in hand. It is the challenge of managing Newcastle United. That was the overriding factor for me to be as selfish as I was,” he said.
In the balance of fairness, he is saying all the right things, and as many people from within the game have said, he does come across as a genuinely decent guy.
But it is seems anyone coming in to work for this regime – that isn’t Rafa Benitez, at least – is already a public enemy of the fans, regardless of how he acts, or what he says.
Fans are dubious but should he be blamed?
While fans are right to be sceptical of a new manager, head coach, or whatever label you want to give him, it is worth remembering that he was way down on the list of potential appointments.
And it probably is his dream job, as he claims, despite the politically correct statements he had to make in his past role down the road.
But the reality is, he will find little sympathy from an already angry and disillusioned fan-base, and if results do not materialise early in his stint – despite the torrid set of fixtures in the first couple of months – he will come under unbearable pressure from fans.
Time will tell how it all pans out, but nice fella or not, it is going to be an incredibly more difficult task than he has ever had before.