Steve Bruce, according to so many expert pundits who know better than us loyal fans, is doing a solid job in that we’re 8 points clear of the drop zone and in the League Cup Quarter Finals.
He still has Mike Ashley’s full backing according to a recent report from The Telegraph, but Mike’s stance will be tested if the man he brought in to replace Rafa Benitez doesn’t get us back on track between now and Boxing Day.
Take a look at our fixtures between now and then…
- Crystal Palace (a)
- Aston Villa (a)
- West Brom (h)
- Leeds (a)
- Fulham (h)
- Brentford (a) *QF of the League Cup!
If that’s not a season defining line-up of fixtures then I don’t know what is!
Even with our boring safety first, get a throw-in next to the opponent’s box and play it back to Darlow negative footy, I think there’s a lot of games there that we could and perhaps should win.
Ashley will be thinking that there’s no need to panic, with the 8-point gap and good fixtures boding well, yet we come into this crucial period in pretty awful shape if our last two dismal displays are anything to go by.
If we fail to come through this period with a pocketful of points and get knocked out of the League Cup, the pressure on his head will be huge and we’ll find ourselves in a relegation scrap.
However, if we come out of it with let’s stay 10+ points and pass it with flying colours then whilst Mr Bruce still may not win the loyal fans over, but he’ll certainly dilute those arguments saying he needs to go.
The recent Telegraph article and common press consensus is that Bruce has Ashley’s full backing and that the willing to sell Owner doesn’t want to rock the already unsteady boat. But that could change if we’re in free-fall heading into 2021.
It did with McClaren and surely Ashley won’t want to leave it too late this time, as if there is still a chance of a takeover then the Saudis may walk away if we look like going down to the Championship. Even if that does mean a takeover may be easier!
It’s also worth noting that the generous run of fixtures between now and Boxing Day are followed by Man City, Liverpool & Leicester! So, it’s imperative he finds a way to use the players he has to respond and get more points on the board over the next month.
Otherwise if we don’t then what chance have, we got in those following three fixtures and where would that see us heading? Almost too scary a scenario to think about!