Former Blackburn striker and BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton got into a heated debate on BBC Radio 5 Live with a Newcastle fan who was raging with Steve Bruce.
Toon fan Peter called the show to vent his frustrations at Bruce following our dismal 2-0 defeat to Southampton on Friday night and Sutton, working alongside one of the manager’s ex players Robbie Savage, was having none of it.
The Newcastle supporter laid into Bruce for playing Allan Saint-Maximin down the middle, and also suggested he is doing an ‘inept’ job having been backed far more than predecessor Rafa Benitez.
Sutton and Savage defended the gaffer, as those in the media often do, and highlighted the positive results rather than the performances – with the win against Everton an example.
Here is a transcript of what was said in the exchange, we’ll let you make your own minds up!
Caller: “I expect Bruce not to play Allan Saint-Maximin as false no.10 – he’s a winger.“
Sutton: “Do you think Steve Bruce knows a little better than you though? Do you think he goes ‘I’ll play him as a number 10 this week because he won’t benefit the team.“
“You’re anti-Bruce. It sounds like you don’t want Newcastle to win. Caller: I love my team. I’m a season ticket holder. I love my club but what I don’t want is a manager who has never managed a club of our size before, he’s incapable of managing a team of our size.”
“What do you want? Do you actually think NUFC can finish in the top six? Or the top eight? Get real.“
Caller: “No – I want to see us play positive, exciting football. I’d love to finish in the top six but Steve Bruce will never achieve that.”
This is yet another short-sighted view from a pundit you’ expect better from – especially when Sutton was calling Steve Bruce’s approach at Wolves as “anti-football” a few weeks ago!
We don’t demand a team that finished in the top six – that’s ludicrous and way off, just like Lawro was – but we should be striving to achieve MUCH more than Steve Bruce seems to when he consider the players at his disposal!