The summer has not been too kind off the field to Newcastle United, with further ownership troubles, players departing and arriving as well as the departure of manager Rafa Benitez and arrival of new boss Steve Bruce. However, it is now time for forwarding thinking, and one for worrying about the product that is on the football field and, in terms of that, Bruce could be the right man for the job.
Whether you like or dislike the appointment of Steve Bruce, with everything going off around the club right now, an experienced head is needed. Someone that has done well in the past; someone that can not only focus on the task in hand but motivate the players to do the same, and Bruce is exactly that type of boss. He isn’t the best manager in the world and isn’t the big name that many would have preferred but the current situation suits him and his style.
The 58-year-old left Sheffield Wednesday days before being announced as the Newcastle manager, signalling his intentions that he wanted the job. He did very well at Sheffield Wednesday when you look at how he turned the club around during his stay and, with him in charge, there is no doubt they would have been playoff contenders this season. He didn’t do much in terms of adding to the Wednesday squad he inherited but he had the players playing for each other and the fans, something he needs to do with The Magpies.
A fast start is required this season, and although Arsenal and Tottenham form part of the fixture list for the first month of the season, games against Norwich and Watford give Newcastle the chance to get points on the board. With troubles off the field set to continue, the players will need to focus on what is happening on the field, and winning games is the best way to do that. This will also capture the fans too, they want to go and support the players and, although they may not agree with dealings off the field, having a winning team on the field certainly makes things easier.
Those looking to bet on the Premier League with Newcastle in mind can do so in a couple of different ways this coming season. Relegation should not be spoken about and would be a disaster for the club but some people think Newcastle may get dragged into it. The Magpies are 4/11 to avoid the drop this season and, for those with bigger ambition, they are priced up at 4/1 to finish in the top half of the table.
They may seem quite a way off right now but that was exactly the same feeling that Sheffield Wednesday fans had last season before Steve Bruce took over. He may not be the big name people craved, but he is one that can steady a ship and get players playing for each other, something Newcastle United need right now.