Today marks a week since the Newcastle United takeover at last came to pass, yet Steve Bruce is still here.
Many Newcastle fans hoped / expected that one of the first acts of the new owners would be to sack the Head Coach.
However, that hasn’t proved to be the case.
Monday saw Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi visit the training ground, where they were introduced to the players and watched a bit of the squad training, before then spending around an hour talking to Steve Bruce.
The overwhelming consensus of the media reacting to that meeting, was to report that whilst the meeting had lasted a relatively long time, Steve Bruce was still expected to be sacked very soon afterwards. Journalists saying that the new owners were keen to do things properly and had been picking the Head Coach’s brain regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the squad, plus any other useful information he could give to help them move forward.
Amanda Staveley and the rest of the consortium said to be keen to be showing respect to everybody, including Steve Bruce, before sacking him / them (Lee Charnley etc)!
We are now three days on though from that training ground meeting and still no word.
Today now appears to be D-Day for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United, at least when it comes to the very short-term.
The players have trained the last three days but Thursday there is a day off, before returning on Friday to continue preparations for Sunday’s match. Tomorrow will also see the media stuff / press conference take place ahead of this Tottenham match.
So unless we get that official announcement today (Thursday 14 October), we can surely take it that Steve Bruce will still be in charge on Sunday.
Nobody pretends any of this is easy, with the takeover happening so quickly it means the new owners are obviously playing catch up in terms of a whole range of issues after having been handed the keys to St James Park, BUT if Steve Bruce is still at NUFC once we get to Friday, it is going to affect the whole dynamic for sure.
Everybody was obviously hoping that this Spurs game would be the chance for a 100% positive mood and atmosphere in the build up to the match and especially the key 90+ minutes on the pitch of course. New owners, a packed St James Park of fans, as well as whoever was in the dugout (new manager, or more realistically at such short notice, Graeme Jones and possibly say Ben Dawson and / or Steve Harper in this immediate short-term.
Steve Bruce brings complications if he is still here.
There can still be a massively overall mood of positivity and hope of the right outcome (three points!), however, Bruce’s ongoing presence produces a risk factor that I think is far better off avoided.
For starters, the press conference etc could end up a real car crash and see the media have a field day, the questions that would be asked and the answers Steve Bruce would give. I can’t see anything positive coming out of that. If / when he is sacked then obviously his media mates are going to go ridiculous on it but I think we can all rise above that, having got used to the nonsense from them these past 27 months.
The most important thing is that we (new owners, fans etc) are all unified and a completely positive mood going into this game), which I don’t think can possibly be 100% if Steve Bruce is still in the dugout. Imagine Newcastle go a goal down on Sunday and Steve Bruce is there on the touchline, I’m not saying that it would mean the crowd turning on the team / new owners but it would be…awkward, I just think that if instead it is Graeme Jones temporarily stepping up / in then it guarantees one of those occasions where throughout the entire match the whole of St James Park (excluding the away fans) will be totally up for it, no matter what happens during the game.
Then if Newcastle did win the game despite his presence (Bruce will most definitely be trying to take all the credit), can you imagine then when they do sack Steve Bruce, how the media will go way beyond ridiculous.
No damage done so far for me BUT today has to be the day Steve Bruce exits St James Park.
All normal people (not Bruce’s mates!) in the media and whoever else, will see that the new owners have done the right thing. Instead of sacking Steve Bruce last Friday as some sort of cheap fan pleaser, they have came in and be seen to give the decision time, before then sacking him after a week, having met him and spoken amicably etc etc.
Then we all (excluding Steve Bruce and Steve Agnew Stephen Clemence) move on together to Friday’s media stuff and the match itself on Sunday, all pushing in the same direction.
Thursday 7am and I have already started checking my phone for news of his departure…