Prior to the suspension of the Premier League, Newcastle were largely surpassing many pre-season expectations as they sat 13th in the table, eight points ahead of 18th-placed Bournemouth. While his first few months at the club didn’t see him become an immediate fan favorite, few can dismiss the job that Steve Bruce has done. So, should he be given a chance under the Magpies’ pending new ownership group?
His Work Deserves Credit, Not the Sack
Upon his appointment back in the summer of 2019, few Magpies’ supporters were excited by the prospect of their club being managed by the former Manchester United defender. Furthermore, it didn’t help the 59-year-old manager that he was coming to the club that he supports to replace Rafa Benitez, a Champions League-winning manager who reportedly left the North East club because of a lack of trust.
Although Newcastle may not have pulled up any trees this season, Bruce has, thus far, been successful in keeping the club in England’s top-flight, which is ultimately what he was tasked with doing by Mike Ashley. Moreover, Bruce has also been instrumental in delivering some memorable results at St. James’ Park this season, most noticeably their 1-0 victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United back in October, in addition to a 2-2 draw against Manchester City. Such results allowed the Magpies to look forward as opposed to over their shoulders, with football bets from Space Casino no longer having Newcastle down as relegation favorites before the season was suspended.
Fundamentally, if Bruce’s time at Newcastle is analyzed purely on results as opposed to performances, then there can be very little doubt that he deserves to be kept on by the club’s pending Saudi ownership group.
The Need for an Element of Stability
For many years, there has been unquestionable instability at Newcastle, which has mainly stemmed from Ashley’s desire to sell the North East team. Since 2010, the Magpies have had five different managers at the helm as they have continuously sought to reestablish themselves as a Premier League side. Although the periods of Benitez’s and Pardew’s reigns will be fondly remembered by many of the Newcastle faithful, there is still a feeling that the club has more to offer regarding on-field competitiveness.
If Manchester City’s rise to the top of the English game is anything to go on, then Newcastle’s surge to the top six positions won’t happen immediately, instead, it will require well-thought-out planning and recruitment over a period of several years. With the club seemingly on the brink of such a significant transition, retaining Bruce would allow for stability to be ensured from a playing perspective.
Although the Magpies appear clear of the drop zone, allowing Bruce to continue the work that he has started wouldn't necessarily be a negative. Moreover, it’s worth remembering that many of Newcastle’s recent signings are still adapting to the Premier League, including their record signing, Joelinton.
Getting the Most out of his Squad
As mentioned above, Newcastle United were tipped by many to be relegated from the Premier League come the conclusion of the Premier League. However, thanks to their 59-year-old manager, the Magpies have been able to develop a comfortable gap from the drop zone. The core of Newcastle’s squad remains similar to that which got them promoted from the Championship in 2017, showcasing that Bruce has been able to get the most out of his players in taking a big step towards achieving his, and the club’s, objectives.