One man who must have been happier than usual at around 7:30pm on Monday was surely Steve Bruce.
Newcastle United were ball number 28 for the FA Cup 3rd round draw and as their number was picked from the pot it handed Steve Bruce’s side a favourable tie against lower league opposition, with a trip to either Rochdale or Boston United awaiting.
It has been no secret that Bruce’s appointment back in July was met with volumes of groans from the Toon faithful, and behind the resilient thick skin he has worn since taking the job he supported as a boy will be a man who is bound to be hurt by the criticism of his credentials.
A lot of that hostility has been down to his involvement with previous employers and arch-rivals Sunderland, and make no mistake, Newcastle did go from Champions League to Championship with the departure of Rafa Benitez and the arrival of Steve Bruce. Yet the FA Cup presents Bruce with the perfect opportunity to finally get the Newcastle supporters onboard.
A trip to either League One’s Rochdale United or National League North’s Boston United hands the Magpies manager a welcoming building block to kickstart a potential cup run.
The Toon are without any domestic success since winning the competition in 1955 and it has been over 20 years since the last time the club made the final, tasting defeat in the 1999 loss to Manchester United. The club, the fans and the area are dying for success and if Bruce is truly a Geordie at heart then he will surely know how much a trophy would mean for any Newcastle fan.
We have a chance too. Bruce tasted cup success 3 times as a player and managed to guide a poor Hull City side to the final in 2014, cruelly losing 3-2 to Arsenal despite having an early 2-goal advantage.
The pragmatic approach of this current Newcastle side is perfectly set up for a knockout competition, and the team is more than capable of matching any Premier League outfit on a one-off day as we have shown in the league this season against Spurs, Man United and Man City.
You have the perfect opportunity to become adored by the Newcastle faithful Steve Bruce, something you have been craving for since your arrival at the club.
Please at least try and take it.