Richard Keys has decided that now, after Steve Bruce has managed 3 wins in 22, is the time to once again defend Bruce against those awful fans and players.
Not only does he tell Bruce to ‘get out of there’ – as if we’re the problem, not him – the disgraced former Sky Sports host also backs Graeme Souness’ claim that hot seat at St James’ Park is an “impossible job”…
Here’s what he’s had to say in his latest blog post:
“A final word for Steve Bruce. What a terrific win at Burnley. Newcastle aren’t safe yet, but I’m sure they’ll be ok.
“Mike Ashley isn’t anybody’s favourite on Tyneside but he struck a blow for those in charge of clubs when he publicly backed his man recently.
“Those Newcastle players downed tools v Brighton. Ashley was having none of it. ‘Bruce stays’ he told them. The message was simple – ‘if you want to play Championship football next season – fine, but it’ll be with Bruce’. A draw v Spurs and Sunday’s win followed.
“Further message to Bruce – get them safe Steve and then get out of there. It really is as Graeme Souness described it – ‘the impossible job’.”
First off, let’s have a look at the term “terrific win” because that match, especially the first half, was hardly “terrific”.
Yes, we’ve come away with a valuable win and we’re all delighted, but it was a match where we really had to rely on the raw ability of Martin Dubravka and Allan Saint-Maximin.
Right from the outset it was clear that the game plan wasn’t right. Burnley are team known to want to cross the ball into the box and we just let them do that. They didn’t tactically manufacture ways to get the ball into the box, we let them do it. It’s a good win in the context of our season but it isn’t “terrific”.
The next thing he bangs on about just makes no sense in general, because what does Mike Ashley’s popularity “on Tyneside” have anything to do with other clubs?
For one, Ashley hardly “publicly backed his man” because I do not recall a single word coming out of the club regarding Bruce. All we saw was leaked information from new outlets.
Secondly, how does backing one of the worst ever Premier League managers affect any other club except positively? Bruce’s record is awful and opposite managers know how to beat him.
Also, can you really claim that acknowledging the hate of players towards a manager and doubling down on that is something that will work properly?
Players will know that if we were to be relegated then they could push to leave. The likes of Dubravka, Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Wilson won’t stick around in the Championship let alone under Steve Bruce.
The idea that this fabricated “simple message” could really hold any water with the significant players in the squad is ridiculous. Credit where it’s due, we have managed four points out of six after the international break but that’s all. We’ve had two matches. Just two matches.
I will turn around and give credit to Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley when Newcastle go forward and beat West Ham, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Fulham whilst also putting in impressive performances against Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City but I know that the likeliness of this is virtually zilch.
I am not going to change my opinion on Steve Bruce’s management after two matches that are ok results wise.
Lastly, let’s have a look at this ridiculous way that Keys has suggested Bruce “get out of there.”
I agree in one sense, Bruce should get out here because he’s a bad manager and he’s bringing our club down but I don’t agree with the way Keys is framing this.
Mike Ashley is 100% a negative for this club and he made it an “impossible job” for the likes of Rafa Benitez but for Bruce, who has been backed by Ashley to a ridiculous degree, the blame for this season’s performances land squarely on his shoulders.
Fans haven’t been present, players have played better and Ashley has, as presented by Keys, fully backed his manager. Try as he might, Steve Bruce has no real excuse for this season’s form and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.