Steve Bruce claims Mike Ashley ‘wants the club to go forward’, praising his ‘positive’ appearance at the club’s training ground yesterday and insisting he wants much more than just finishing 17th next season.
He also claims the Newcastle United owner has been ‘straight as a die’ with him since his arrival, telling him there is ‘money to spend’.
After no communication all summer, his unwillingness to keep Rafa and Rondon, 12 years of neglect, two relegations and multiple lies – both to players, fans and managers – I’m not going to accept the idea that he wants ‘the best’ for the club and is suddenly a ‘straight up’ bloke.
Here’s what Bruce has had to say when speaking about Mike Ashley’s intentions following their meeting yesterday:
“Mike wants the club to go forward.
“If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have been here this morning.
“Of course he wants more than to finish 17th.
“You can’t say that anyone at Newcastle is just happy to be 17th.”
Naive comments from Bruce.
OK, he may feel optimistic now he’s got the job, met the boss and been backed with a big £40m buy, but he’s forgetting the 12 years and hellish summer we’ve had to endure up until this point.
Bruce then went on, saying Ashley was in a ‘very positive’ mood, insisting that there is ‘money to spend’ following their latest meeting:
“It’s the second time I’ve met Mike in a couple of weeks. I met him a week ago before I flew to the tour of China and the talks were really, really positive.
“He enjoyed watching training and the work we did.
“He was very positive about the start of the season.”
“He’s been straight down the line in the conversations I’ve had. “I’m not his bagman.”
“My ambition was to manage Newcastle and take it forward — and I think I’ve got the tools to take it forward. Joelinton is a statement from the club.
“I had the conversation and there was money to spend.
“It was all positive in that respect.
“There is proof already. He’s been straight as a die.”
Don’t get me wrong, Bruce is probably judging him on how he’s been so far, but it’s quite telling that he visits his new man at the training ground and meets our new £40m striker a week into his time on Tyneside. Where was this when Benitez was here – a manager streets ahead of Steve Bruce who was genuinely capable of taking the club forward.
Bruce then touched on the takeover front, stating Mike Ashley simply told him to ‘get on with it’ – suggesting, as we expected, that there is no deal in place:
“No, just get on with it.
“We didn’t talk about that at all.”
Bruce also stated that he asked for no assurances regarding his future (should a potential takeover happen), with him clearly feeling that no deal is remotely imminent based on Mike Ashley’s comments – or lack of them!
A three-year deal for Bruce coupled with these comments suggest we may be stuck with Mike for a little longer yet..