When Newcastle United was desperate to sign Steve McClaren from Derby County, the club had full confidence that he was the man to keep Newcastle United “competitive” in the Premier League. He stuck around a lot longer than he should have, and for that reason the club was relegated after signing now club legend Rafa Benitez.
Steve Bruce isn’t even that guy. He wasn’t even the second or third guy. He was the eleventh! Dude couldn’t even crack a top ten that consisted of Sam Allardyce (trash manager). And anything coming with the title of Head Coach and not manager is already a recipe for disaster. Clubs in the Premier League do not survive with a Head Coach. They survive with managers. Bruce will clearly have no say in who comes in or out of the club, and will be forced to deal with a toxic upper management that will hurt any potential that he has as a coach for the club.
Sure, he has a talented squad to deal with, and is even rumored (shameless plug) to have Joelinton set to join the club this summer. This would make it a quality squad by some standards. Despite the loss of Ayoze Perez earlier this season, the club may not be done making signings. Bruce could very well be set up for “success” by today’s measures in the Premier League (survival).
But it won’t matter. The reason isn’t just because Bruce is a sub-par manager, and he is. It’s because the club obviously did not prefer to have to sign him. He was a last ditch effort to bring in someone to act as a manager. The club will not have his back come crunch time. They didn’t back Rafa, and they certainly will not be making any effort to protect Steve Bruce’s ass. An initial string of bad results and he’s gone.
Could the club make a strong push early on in the season? Absolutely. But only if Bruce can capture the hearts and minds of the dressing room. The club remains demoralized with the departure of Rafa Benitez, and it won’t be easy to get the club back on track.
My prediction is simple. Newcastle will lose ten straight to start the season, and by the January transfer window, Bruce will have been terminated.