Speaking ahead of our upcoming clash at the King Power Stadium, Brendan Rodgers’ assessment of Steve Bruce has to be seen to be believed.
The Leicester boss believes Bruce has proven what an “excellent manager” he is this season – quite a statement when we’re sat in 17th – also claiming that he’s done an “outstanding” job considering the lack of money he’s been given to spend…
Bruce, who has us sitting just one place above the dreaded drop zone, has become an increasingly unpopular figure on Tyneside for leading the club to another underwhelming season under Mike Ashley’s ownership – although you wouldn’t think so based on Rodgers’ glowing reference.
Most Toon supporters believe Bruce would no longer be in a job if fans weren’t kept away from St James’ Park this campaign, with the inevitable torrent of abuse that would have come his way being avoided.
Rodgers, however, thinks otherwise, and had this to say to the press ahead of Friday night’s game:
“I think Steve has done an outstanding job.
“He’s limited in terms of the budget he has to spend on players but he has had to go in and organise.
“Newcastle is an incredible club, the fanbase, the expectation there.
“He has organised them really well. You can see the football idea.
“I think he’s done an outstanding job and he’s shown he’s an excellent manager.”
Rodgers is well qualified to talk about “excellent” Premier League managers, given he has consistently had Leicester punching above their weight and challenging for the top four, but surely even he knows he is talking out of his rear end here?
Finishing 17th is not an accomplishment at our club – or at least it shouldn’t be. Also, I’m not sure about being able to see the ‘football idea’ behind our play under Bruce or us being “organised really well”, with our defensive numbers absolutely plummeting since he took the job.
Performances this season have been diabolical in the main and, while some blame needs to be levelled at the players as well, the manager must take ultimate responsibility.
Yes, injuries have been a nightmare at times and COVID didn’t help, but results against Sheffield United, Brentford, and Brighton (both home and away) to name a few were clearly down to mismanagement and tactical naivety than anything else.
Having Steve Bruce as manager of a Premier League club is the exact opposite of ambition. I know it, you know it, and Rodgers deep down should know that too.
He was actually the man I wanted to replace Rafa in the event of him leaving while he was still at the club, but he was still fresh into his role at The Foxes when the Spaniard left for China in 2019.
A progressive, positive-thinking coach in the mould of Rodgers is exactly what we need to take this club forward, not an old pterodactyl who doesn’t really do tactics.