Steve Bruce was a contentious announcement as the new manager at St James’ Park, but very few could argue against the job that the former central defender has done this season. Fans were immediately against Bruce following his period of Sunderland and were almost begging for his appointment to backfire. But, it didn’t work out quite that way.
There may be some sections of the Geordie faithful that have been won over by Bruce, but he will see be a divisive choice to lead the club into the 2020-21 season. But, why should he be given the chance to take this side forward?
Bruce Beginning To Build Exciting Team
Bruce arrived at the club having lost the Newcastle top scorer from the 2018-19 season as an agreement for the signing of Solomon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion couldn’t be reached. He was backed in the transfer market with the signing of Joelinton, but it has really been the signing of Allan Saint-Maximum that has caught the attention.
The Frenchman had been seen as a problem player throughout his career, but the nippy winger has certainly thrived under Bruce this campaign. As well as the Frenchman, Bruce is also beginning to get the best out of Miguel Almiron, who scored eight goals in all competitions last season. Newcastle did score less goals than they did in 2018-19 last season, but the players are in place to add a layer of excitement for fans next season.
Manager Taking Cup Competitions Seriously
One of the biggest things that can be aimed at managers before Bruce is their lack of interest in the domestic cup competitions. The Toon would be delighted with a cup success of any description, as it will be a clear indication that the club is going in the right direction. Bruce has taken the cup competitions more seriously than most this season, and fans should applaud that. Before this season, Newcastle hadn’t reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in 20 years, and they would have been considered huge outsiders to win the competitions with the top-rated bookmakers at Efirbet.
However, Bruce changed that as he led the club to within a whisker of the semi-finals. But for a huge miss from Dwight Gayle against Manchester City, the story could have been slightly different. Unlike Rafael Benitez, Bruce was actually vocal about wanting to bring a cup success to the club, which means if the board stick with him next season, he will continue to take the domestic competitions seriously.
St James’ Park Becoming A Fortress
Most of Newcastle’s problems in the 2019-20 season came on the road, as the Toon lost eleven games away from St James’ Park. However, in front of the home fans, Newcastle were a different team. The Toon enjoyed their best home record since returning to the Premier League. Bruce’s side were beaten only five times and recorded successes over Manchester United and Chelsea. Bruce’s football may not have been up to everybody’s expectations, but few could argue against the results that he was getting on the pitch.