The latest pundit to put their head up above the parapet and seemingly have a go at the NUFC fans and defend Steve Bruce is Jamie Redknapp.
Now, I confess that I have little love for any pundit, aside from Roy Keane who at least says it like he sees it, but Redknapp really is becoming one of the worst when it comes to his clueless takes on Newcastle United.
A list that includes almost anyone you can name but definitely the ring leaders are Savage, Sutton, Lawrenson and now Redknapp.
Here’s what he’s had to say in his lazy Bruce-Benitez comparison:
“This has been a by-product of under Rafa Benitez.
“It was exactly the same.
“Newcastle fans say, ‘It was better under Rafa’ – it wasn’t.
“I watched a lot of football at Newcastle when Rafa was the manager and it wasn’t enjoyable.”
When Rafa was Manager we weren’t “The Keegan Entertainers.” At times we did defend deep and look to hit on the break, but was that a by-product of what he had available. At least he made us hard to beat, solid defensively and had a clear plan counter attacking plan and long-term project – something Bruce’s ‘work in progress’ has never offered.
When Benitez brought in Rondon and Almiron and teamed them with Perez we looked an attractive team and one capable of scoring goals or at the very least creating chances. The problem was almost as soon as he established that it was gone.
He didn’t want Joelinton but we signed him anyway and this season Bruce added Fraser and Wilson. Personally, I think that if Rafa had stayed and got the money that Bruce has had then we would have been more entertaining and we would have made progress. After all, one got us 10th with an attack featuring Joselu, Kenedy and Atsu, while the other has us in another relegation battle despite having over £100m spent on his front four!
The fact we are playing worse football than we did under Rafa and with better attacking options is criminal. Plus, Sean Longstaff and Almiron looked real players under Rafa and even Ritchie was more forward thinking and recreating himself at left wing-back. Under Bruce these three in particular have all but disappeared as effective players.
Whatever you think of the football under Rafa’s watch, it was better. It was better organised and had a tactical purpose. We saw a group of players that were always in it together and always played for the manager. More so they played for the shirt. Maybe not entertaining, but there was a plan, a purpose and a team pulling in the right direction and looking proud to wear the shirt.
We had hope, we had Rafa, we could see if he got the backing, we could move forward. We had a Manager that despite being Spanish learned what the team meant to the City and the Fans and strove to give us the best he could with what he had.
Under Bruce this has all evaporated and more. We’re rudderless and sinking fast and after the work and commitment the team put in under Rafa that’s sad to see that we’re going backwards at an alarming rate.
My message to Redknapp – try speaking to some actual Newcastle fans who’ve been able to see through every press conference or team performance why Bruce and Benitez are polar opposites in so many ways – even if the football on display has rarely been easy on the eye under either.
We were better under Rafa, we did enjoy it more and we could see it getting better. Now? Well disaster is just around the corner and no matter how much pundits defend Bruce surely; they can see that.