One thing I’m fed up of under the Mike Ashley era is being told we must settle for mediocrity.
We don’t demand top four, trophies or a team that wins every week, but we certainly want more than Robbie Savage is suggesting, with him believing Steve Bruce will have done “wonderfully” to get this group of players finishing where we did last season in mid-table.
Considering we’ve only added to what we had last season, signing a proven striker, a quality winger and a £15m left-back, I’m struggling to accept that another 13th place finish would be so ‘wonderful’.
Speaking to the Premier League’s weekend preview, here’s what Savage had to say:
“I know, playing for Steve Bruce at Birmingham, he always said, ‘You’re only as good as your strikers and your attacking options’.
“We had [Christophe] Dugarry, Mikael Forssell, [Emile] Heskey,
“We built our team around those players because when you’re that kind of team, mid-table for Birmingham would be amazing.
If Newcastle can finish mid-table again, I think Steve Bruce will have done wonderfully.”
Comments like this are expected based on the sort of narrative Steve Bruce’s approach has helped create – he lowers expectations wherever possible – but I’m sick of settling for mediocrity when we have a team with much more about it than our performances suggest.
We have spent £100m on our front four, finally have a proven goalscorer and £20m striker, we have bundles of pace in attack in ASM, Almiron and Fraser, a top class goalkeeper, a £15m left-back who almost joined Liverpool and a host of solid centre-backs.
This isn’t some Championship squad – yet Steve Bruce will be absolutely lauded if he repeats last season’s achievement?
Keeping a team in the top flight may be a wonderful achievement for Steve Bruce as he’s sadly out of his depth at this level, but that doesn’t make it something this talented squad should be told to celebrate.