Is Steve Bruce the next manager to be sacked after terrible start with Newcastle?

It’s been an awful start to the Premier League campaign for Newcastle United and surely manager Steve Bruce’s job is now on the line, after losing 5-0 to Leicester he is the 2nd favourite manager to be sacked in the Premier League.

With respect it was a real surprise, at least from the outside, that Bruce got the Newcastle job in the first place, he had failed at so many other clubs with poor win rates. It didn’t make sense to get him. But then again club owner Mike Ashley had other ideas. His former coach Rafa Benitez had given Ashley such a hard time, demanding players and more money be spent it did feel as if Ashley just wanted to get rid of him and bring in someone that would understand his philosophy better- enter Bruce.

Of course on the face of it Bruce’s appointment made some sense. Here was a man almost reaching his 60s who had plenty of experience as a Premier League manager and on top of that Newcastle is his club that he has supported since being a small kid when he used to sneak into games for free. In that Bruce has reached his pinnacle job and come full circle in his career, Ashley gave him that opportunity. Nostalgia aside though and Bruce seems like he is the wrong man to take the Magpies forward.

Bruce has won just 1 game all season as manager and even that came as a major shock as it was away to Tottenham in a match that ended 1-0 but showed that Newcastle under Bruce may at least have a good defensive set up for the future. Also it was a game where Joelinton scored in, the £40m Brazilian that most seem to agree was over valued. If Joelinton could score more goals and make more of an impact it would lessen the pressure on Bruce.

As it stands Newcastle are not bottom of the league but they are going that way and in the midst of it all the bookmakers who are hardly any mugs have made the Magpies massive odds on favourites to be relegated.

Newcastle’s fixture list hardly gets any easier for them too as in October alone they will have to face the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, Wolves are also on the schedule and it is realistic to think that the club could up getting no points from those games.

At the same time Ashley has big  decisions to make as it is obvious that he gets along with Bruce and just wants a manager who will not disturb him and get on with the job. However Ashley’s hands may be tied, and Bruce’s days could be up in a few weeks if he isn’t able to change the current situation around.

The body language of his players say it all and Bruce has a major uphill struggle on his hands not be sacked from his beloved club.

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Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is right to turn down approach from Newcastle

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Steven Gerrard has turned down the chance to manage Newcastle United and it seems the ex Liverpool legend has made the right choice.

Gerrard is new to the managership game and has chosen Rangers to make his debut in the dug out. Gerrard did well and finished 2nd in the league only to Celtic and only by 9 points. That means that Rangers will be playing in the Europa League next season and he should be happy with his first season.

Rangers are trying to win their first league championship since 2011 after a troubled decade which has seen them relegated due to internal problems. Surely the challenge then for Gerrard would be to see Rangers as champions, and leaving after just one season would make little sense.

This would be underlined when it comes to Newcastle as Gerrard has seen his former Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez not treated so well at the Magpies by owner Mike Ashley, so why would Gerrard leave a stable job like Rangers to manage Newcastle who could well be a likely candidate to struggle next season and could be relegated. With Rangers there are goals to be won and one of those is finally displacing Celtic and bringing the league back to Ibrox after 9 years.

Gerrard is also showing total respect to Rangers as he has already been involved in pre season and this week Rangers will be taking on St Josephs in the Europa League qualifying. Rangers are expected to win the game against the minnows from Gibraltar but this is over 2 legs.

One could take a leaf out of Gerrard’s book though. It is still puzzling that Brendan Rodgers left Celtic in March, two months before the end of the Scottish season to take charge of Premier League team Leicester City, why not wait until the end of the season, after all that is what it is about respect.

Anyhow Gerrard has decided to stay and done the right thing, and there would have been no guarantee anyway that he would have gotten along with Mike Ashley- few seem to do.

Gerrard’s long term plan looks evident enough and that is to put Rangers back on the map to winning trophies and then one day return to the Premier League and manage his beloved Liverpool. Well if Frank Lampard can do it for Chelsea why not Gerrard for Liverpool, it will take longer to achieve but that will be his ultimate goal no doubt.

Rafa Benitez and Newcastle finally part ways, what next?

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In the end it was no surprise that Newcastle would let Rafa Benitez leave the club. It was a relationship that painfully never worked and it still seems a rather odd choice and turn of events that Benitez went to the Magpies in the first place.

Benitez’s 3 year reign ended this past weekend after he was critical of the board and was quoted as saying that he didn’t see a way forward for the club- he is right.

The Spaniard has been incredibly loyal to Newcastle, what other manager who has just come from Real Madrid takes over a team in the English Championship? After getting the Magpies promoted he simply wasn’t given the budget for Premier League football. At the same time he was able to keep the club up, but they still finished in the bottom half the table this season.

Benitez and club owner Mike Ashley just never got along and it usually came down to a power struggle about money. Benitez wanted experienced quality players whilst Ashley was happy to spend little but bring in youth so they could be sold for much higher rates, the exact strategy it seems that Monaco have adopted over the last few years.

Tick tock and with Benitez’s contract running out day by day, he refused to sign a one year extension and his reign is over. He was more or less loved by the fans and at the end of the day only wanted a transfer budget befitting a team that are trying to finish in the top half of the Premier League. Ashley just wanted a team that would survive in the Premier League. He still has that but for how much longer? And the rift between Ashley and the fans seems to have grown much wider.

So who is the favourite to take over at St. James’ Park? That name is Mikel Arteta currently the number 2 at Manchester City. Other names that have been mentioned are Claudio Ranieri, Gary Monk, David Moyes and Jose Mourinho. Perhaps Mourinho’s name doesn’t look right in that list but Mourinho is actually the second favourite to take the job given that Ashley may finally sell it to middle eastern billionaires, if that happens then even more change will happen for the Magpies.

As for Benitez he may just take a year off before looking at his options again, there is little doubt that he will be back with a major team again and perhaps will want to prove Newcastle wrong for letting him go.

 

Sacking Rafael Benitez is not an option at Newcastle

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Until now, any talk of Rafael Benitez’s departure from Newcastle United has been spoken about from his point of view. It is nothing new; speculation over his future as manager on Tyneside is almost as old as his reign itself, but over the weekend, all the rumours and reports took a new twist.

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Ashley needs to make changes, or Newcastle are in trouble

ashleyBack in 2007, Newcastle United were about to embark on a journey of change. Long-standing owners Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall agreed to sell their respective stakes in the Magpies to Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, in a move which many fans saw as a positive one at the time. Ashley brought with him a vast fortune which could rival some of the richest clubs in Europe – maybe there was hope for the Toon Army that they could be seeing their heroes battling for honours near the top of the Premier League after all? That hope was offered yet more fuel when Ashley dispensed of the services of Sam Allardyce – who had been largely unpopular with the faithful on Tyneside – and replaced him with club legend Kevin Keegan, who had helmed their previous closest run for the title in the late 1990s.

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Newcastle’s issues laid bare in front of Mike Ashley at Crystal Palace

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Well, Mike Ashley certainly knows how to pick his moments. For the first time since Newcastle United lifted the Championship title against Barnsley in May 2016, the owner attended a football match, at Crystal Palac on Saturday. It was important for the Magpies to stop the rot after three successive defeats, and they did that in unspectacular fashion. Rafael Benitez, as conservative as ever, was happy enough to take the 0-0 draw from Selhurst Park.

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