Only Steve Bruce can solve Newcastle’s potential long-running wait for a first win of the season, despite former United boss Sam Allardyce calling for patience from the St James’ Park faithful, as told to talkSPORT.
The Toon fanbase were far from pleased when Bruce was appointed as Rafa Benitez’s successor, and starting the season as appallingly as we have – with a calamitous defeat to Arsenal followed swiftly by a horror show of questionable defending against recently-promoted Norwich City – has done little to support the former Sheffield Wednesday manager’s case for the job.
Yet, one-game England head coach Allardyce has urged for patience from the fanbase, as even Benitez could not prevent the club from being relegated after taking charge with two months of the season still to play.
But Allardyce should know better than most that the curtain must fall on Tyneside if results are not there, having recorded the second-lowest win percentage of his managerial career while in charge of the Magpies between May 2007 and January 2008.
Suggesting Bruce should receive the same support as shown to Benitez is also a naïve view to take, as respect is earned, not given, and the Champions League-winning Spaniard – now in charge of Dalian Yifang – earnt his by dropping down to the Championship with us when a move away would have been the easier call.
Bruce’s questionable tactics have also made his position in the St James’ Park hot-seat uncomfortable, and only changing his ways will affect what is happening on the pitch – not what is being sung, or rather not, in the stands.
“[Benitez] played a very, very good PR game shifting it all onto Mike Ashley,” Allardyce said. “That’s what the Newcastle fans took up: Rafa got no stick but Mike Ashley took it all.
“And now, just two games in, Steve Bruce is getting it as much as Mike, and that’s quite sad for somebody who is a Newcastle supporter and has had his dream move to Newcastle United.
“I think the supporters need to give him a bit more time. At the end of the day, it’s a really difficult job; you have to remember Rafa couldn’t save Newcastle.
“He got them relegated and every manager that’s been relegated at Newcastle since I left has always bounced back the next season and got into the Premier League.”