He might not like it but the Newcastle United takeover is now very much the only show in town / toon and the Head Coach will have to get used to it.
Since Premier League restart, at every pre and post-match press conference, Steve Bruce has been asked about the Newcastle United takeover and his own position at the club.
On Sunday he’d had enough.
Following the 2-2 draw with West Ham, yet again Steve Bruce asked what he knows about the progress, or lack of it, of Newcastle United takeover and his own position:
“Unfortunately, I seem to be answering in every interview and you again have brought it up.
“To be perfectly honest, I’m bored and fed up with it.
“So can we move on?
“I’m fed up of answering the question, to be brutally honest.”
Sorry Steve but this is how it is going to be.
If the NUFC Head Coach thinks it has been bad so far, just watch what will come his way in the coming days, weeks, potentially months.
The Newcastle United takeover talk may have felt intense BUT it has been significantly diluted by the return of football after a four month break, FA Cup dreams, minor remaining relegation worries and even talk of Europe after the win at Bournemouth.
However, that has all gone now. The 2-2 West Ham draw, injury and fitness worries stacking up (Hayden and Sean Longstaff now out for the season, ASM to be rested against Man City on Wednesday), plus City and Liverpool amongst the matches still to be played, means that Newcastle fans and journalists know there is precious little to play for in these last five matches. So what to talk about…?
Bottom line is that we are now less than three weeks away from the end of NUFC’s 2019/20 season and then a summer transfer window that will run through August, September and into October, with the Premier League kicking off the 2020/21 season in the middle of that. Probably only around six weeks in between seasons ending and starting.
Steve Bruce surely should have realised what he was letting himself in for when he signed on for Mike Ashley…
An owner who has relied on a model of refusing to communicate with the media and fans, treating them with contempt, refusing even to let his puppets such as Lee Charnley to speak to anybody, except on very very rare occasions and always then when there is an agenda behind it, a message Mike Ashley wants to get out there.
Otherwise, it is simply a case of whoever is NUFC manager, or head coach, being expected to stand out there and take it. To deflect all questions and / or criticism of the club and Mike Ashley.
At normal clubs the owner, or in most cases the top professionals they employ to run their clubs, will come out and take most of the responsibility off the shoulders of their manager, when it comes to dealing with non-football / playing issues.
Not at Newcastle United though.
Worth reminding ourselves of this.
Quotes with Lee Charnley’s name next to them in the opening day Newcastle v Arsenal match programme in August 2019…
“We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused. We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.
“Whilst I have stated above that I felt our approach during the summer was necessary, I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward.
“There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively.
“That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past.
“We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”
Mike Ashley and his minions claiming they were now accepting the duty they had to communicate with media and fans. An absolute sham as it was simply dressing up the attack on Rafa Benitez, claiming he was only interested in money.
Just look at Ashley and NUFC’s shameful conduct throughout this virus crisis, a total absence of Lee Charnley or anybody else at the club keeping media and fans updated, no decisions explained or justified.
We are told Mike Ashley is continuing his exile in America and Lee Charnley appears to be in hiding under his office desk counting paperclips as usual.
So for Steve Bruce the message is, as always with NUFC under Ashley, ‘you’re on your own’ and had better get used to it.
We know that there can’t be a blow by blow account of what is or isn’t happening with the Newcastle United takeover BUT there is an awful lot the club could still be doing to take the pressure / issue away from Steve Bruce, by making public statements that don’t interfere with the confidential nature of the process. After all, the PL CEO Richard Masters has commented a number of times generally on the NUFC takeover without going into detail.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 2 West Ham 2 – Sunday 5 July 2.15 pm
Almiron 17, Shelvey 67
Antonio 4, Soucek 65
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Possession was West Ham 47% (42%) Newcastle 53% (58%)
Total shots were West Ham 17 (9) Newcastle 11 (6)
Shots on target were West Ham 7 (4) Newcastle 4 (3)
Corners were West Ham 4 (1) Newcastle 6 (4)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Dubravka, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Manquillo, Shelvey, Hayden (Bentaleb 43), Almiron, Joelinton (Carroll 81), Gayle (Ritchie 70), Saint-Maximin (Lazaro 69)
Darlow, Schär, Yedlin, Rose, M. Longstaff
(Steve Bruce names 3 Newcastle United players after West Ham game who will miss Manchester City – Read HERE)
(David Moyes not a happy man after final whistle at St James Park – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 West Ham 2 – Match ratings and comments – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 West Ham 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s draw – Read HERE)
(Newcastle 2 West Ham 2 – Watch official match highlights HERE including all 4 goals)