When Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi were spotted at the club’s training ground on Monday, many expected their ‘face-to-face talks’ with Steve Bruce to end in him being given the sack.
Just about every media outlet and local journalist had been reporting that it’s a matter of time until he’s relieved of his duties, with many stating that the new owners don’t want Sunday to be soured by his presence in the dugout.
All the signs pointed to Graeme Jones being the caretaker manager for this weekend’s clash with Spurs at St James’ Park, yet there’s now genuine fears Bruce will still be here if he’s not gone TODAY.
It’s been confirmed that he and the players are off today, giving our new owners the perfect chance to pull the trigger before the squad train on Friday and Saturday.
After all, he can’t be taking tomorrow’s penultimate training session and on press conference duties if he’s not going to be about for Sunday’s game? That’s the prevailing opinion on social media and I’d tend to agree.
So, what are we waiting for? Well, The Times revealed yesterday that Amanda Staveley and fellow UK-based board members (Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben) must be given the green light from PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan to sack Steve Bruce.
It seems there’s been delays on this front – which may explain the constant calls for ‘patience’ in their first full week as owners of Newcastle United – but time is running out if we’re to start this new era on Tyneside without you know who on the sidelines.
Today feels like decision day if he’s to go, so we’ll have to hope Staveley receives that all important call from Saudi, giving them to go ahead to sack Steve Bruce.
Luke Edwards (The Telegraph) reported last night that the uncertainty surrounding Bruce’s immediate future has left his coaching staff unsettled, also claiming that some players are ‘lacking in focus’ as they don’t yet know who will be managing the team ahead of such an important game this weekend.
Personally, I believe it benefits no one to have Bruce still in charge this weekend. Taking time to line up his long-term replacement is totally understandable, but why the long wait to sack a man who is incredibly unpopular inside St James’ Park and likely to sober up a few fans ready to celebrate the first game of this exciting new era on Sunday.
Not only that, it feels like we have a capable caretaker manager in Graeme Jones.
He won’t be the answer for any more than a couple of weeks, but with zero wins in seven games this season under the current head coach, he can’t do any worse and could have the freedom to put over a few fresh ideas.
If Steve Bruce doesn’t go today, you can almost guarantee he’ll survive for his 1000th game this Sunday.
Sadly, there’s no time for sentiment when we’re 19th in the league, without a win all season and hugely reluctant to start this new era with Mike Ashley’s sub-standard appointment still on the scene.