Rafa Benitez is synonymous with miracles when it comes to Geordies. With the squads he was given, one could not fault him for finishing in the bottom half of the table but instead, he finished in 10th and 13th place, respectively, in the Premier League with little to no backing from his boss. The biggest and most important signing of his tenure was the signing of Miguel Almiron, which Mike Ashley had hoped would be the impetus to get Rafa to sign a new contract.
That wasn’t the case. The club is now under the energetic, but questionable, leadership of Steve Bruce; a far cry from the manager that is Rafael Benitez. But here’s the kicker. Steve Bruce is getting almost the same amount of assistance from Mike Ashley as Steve McClaren. This is a completely different tune from the Newcastle owner than Rafa got in all his three years at Newcastle United.
Of course, it comes down to who Rafa wanted to spend the money on, and it’s an understandable impasse that they came to. Neither was willing to concede on their points, and Bruce finds himself in an unenviable position. But he’s certainly getting a lot of help, which means there should be no reason to be fighting relegation.
Steve Bruce is being set up for success, even if it isn’t in the best way possible. The talents that are said to be coming into the club would give him a quality squad that should instantly guarantee safety within the Premier League.
But it also means that we will get a full look at what Steve Bruce can actually do as a “manager”of a Premier League club. Signing Joelinton for a club record fee to have play alongside Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, and Isaac Hayden isn’t a lineup to scoff at given the club’s solid defense.
Steve Bruce has already had a better transfer window in terms of spending in less than a month at the helm than Rafa has had in three years. Not only should he be grateful.
He should be prepared to win.