Newcastle United F.C. still have Steve Bruce calling the shots on the sideline, but fans have had enough of his tactics.
The last couple of months have seen a rollercoaster of emotions among Newcastle United supporters. The failed takeover created a toxic environment against the Premier League, and pessimism continued to grow ahead of the new season.
However, Mike Ashley’s decision to spend some money and sign a few quality players generated light optimism that, at the very least, the Magpies would not be in a relegation battle.
So far this season, Newcastle United have claimed four points from their first three games, with the points coming against West Ham (W) and Tottenham (D), but fans are not impressed.
Sure, the Toon Army will gladly take the four points that are currently on the board, but the team’s performances have been difficult to watch.
Aside from the great shift that was put in on opening day with two goals and 15 shot attempts on the road, Newcastle United dropped the ball in a big way in their last three games. Brighton, a team that is expected to be in the relegation discussion this season, walked all over the Toon at St. James’ Park.
The following week, Newcastle United showed no urgency, and applied minimal pressure against a Tottenham side that was battling fatigue. If it was not for a lucky penalty that was awarded because of VAR, the Magpies would have gone 180 minutes without a shot on target.
Yesterday’s performance against League Two outfit Newport County in the Carabao Cup was the icing on the cake for #BruceOut to be trending on Twitter.
Newport County outplayed and outsmarted the Magpies in every possible category, but a late equalizer from Jonjo Shelvey sent the game to penalties and saw Newcastle United advance to the quarter-final.
So, yeah, season number two on Tyneside is off to a terrible start for Steve Bruce in terms of his relationship with the fans. It all started during Project Restart when the team began to lose focus and dropped far too many points.
Fans obviously want Bruce and the team to succeed, but since he was named head coach, luck has carried Newcastle United far more than appropriate tactics have. That being said, one name that has been going around Twitter over the past few days to replace Steve Bruce is Eddie Howe.
Howe spent the last eight years of his managerial career with Bournemouth, but left the club after the Cherries were relegated. Injuries and expiring player contracts played a key role in the club’s downfall, but Howe is still regarded as a talented, progressive manager.
He did guide Bournemouth out of the deep waters of League Two to the shore of the Premier League, and he kept the Cherries in the top flight for five consecutive seasons. In those five seasons, Howe earned 56 victories and 43 draws (211 points).
His attacking style of play, and his desire to take the game to superior opponents, especially at home, are key attributes that make him stand out. It is no surprise that fans want to see him on Tyneside, but how much longer will Mike Ashley stick with Steve Bruce? It remains to be seen.