Sometimes it’s hard to wonder exactly what lens certain pundits are looking at Newcastle United through.
Robbie Savage’s recent claim that Steve Bruce would have had done another ‘wonderful’ job should he manage to take the Toon to a mid-table finish is simply astounding.
Now, Bruce did a reasonably good job in difficult circumstances last season and should be respected for that. However, with the lowest expected points in the Premier League and some smash-and-grab wins, it’s fair to say the underlying numbers do point to at least some good luck in what ended up being a fairly comfortable finish.
The idea of such luck continuing is fanciful. There may be worse teams in the division but Bruce now has a strike force worth well over £100m if you include Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, so merely hoping there are worse teams who will face relegation seems like a huge waste of money, time and effort.
Has Steve Nickson done a good job?
What do these pundits think Newcastle want? It seems so much of their reaction and comments stems from the idea that fans think they should be pushing for league titles left, right and centre or ripping big teams apart when they come up to St. James’ Park.
Indeed, there appears to be a ‘be happy with your lot’ kind of attitude from pundits when analysing Newcastle (as Rio Ferdinand proved) just because of the protests against the current regime.
Bruce needs to develop this Newcastle side into something more than a counter-attacking one relying on luck to get by. Even if that doesn’t translate into a higher position when the season ends, it’d be a more promising sign that simply treading water. Should he do that, his legacy (if you can call it that) at the club would be a strong one and perhaps we’d look back at his tenure favourably.
However, until that happens, Savage is completely wrong.