Richard Keys believes there’s trouble in paradise for Steve Bruce, feeling his refusal to answer questions from the written press is a telling sign he’s feeling the pressure.
That said, the disgraced former Sky Sports presenter claims he ‘retains the support’ of Mike Ashley – insisting the NUFC owner ‘likes him’ and prefers the way he ‘gets on with his job’, opposed to ‘constantly causing waves’ like Rafa Benitez did. That’s the difference between a yes man and a top manager who strives for more, Richard!
On the subject of Benitez, Keys then explains why a surprise return to St James’ Park shouldn’t be ruled out…even under Mike Ashley’s ownership.
Guillem Balague, a friend of Rafa’s, stated over the weekend that the Spaniard would NOT return unless you know who sold up, but Keys believes this should be taken with a pinch of salt because A) Balague was wrong in the past about Benitez’s move to Chelsea and B) Ashley would take him back if it made business sense.
Here’s what the beIN Sports host has had to say about all of the above during his latest post on his blog:
‘There’s obviously trouble at The Toon as well – but when hasn’t there been?
‘Another tell-tale sign is when a manager starts biting back at the press. Lampard did recently. Bruce has as well.
‘The big difference is that Bruce retains the support of the owner at Newcastle. Mike Ashley likes him – and he likes the way that Bruce gets on with the job without constantly causing waves – as Benitez did.
‘But that’s not to say that Bruce is solid. I can’t imagine any way that Ashley would invite Benitez back – but he’s a businessman.
‘Remember, he brought Keegan back. He gave Shearer a go – and he didn’t want to make either appointment, but he knew both would play well with Geordies. If he thought it was good for business to take Benitez back I suspect he would.
‘Guillem Balague says Benitez wouldn’t fancy either Newcastle or Celtic. He’s his mate. But Balague went after me when I announced that Benitez was going to Chelsea. He was caught out and didn’t know. He frantically tweeted denials but was wrong.
‘On that basis – don’t rule either out!’
As ever with Keys, he’s pretty sure of himself in everything he says, but a lot of what he says doesn’t really add up.
For one, he reckons Bruce is in trouble, yet says he retains Ashley’s full backing moments later. Which one is it, Richard?
Also, it’s all good and well him saying Mike Ashley may change his tune on Benitez and offer him a return if Bruce can’t stop the rot, but that doesn’t mean Rafa would take the job!
The only way Rafa Benitez returns under his ownership is if he knows a Saudi takeover is back on the cards and finally a matter of if, not when – and that’s just wishful thinking.
Not only that, it’s more proof that Rafa STILL lives rent free in Richard Keys’ head, with him somehow managing to bring Benitez into the conversation despite insisting Bruce’s job is safe.
Let’s see what the next 24 hours brings. After all, Ashley could yet panic if Leeds beat us tonight like they did in that 5-2 mauling at Elland Road last month!
About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.