I can say with no hyperbole that I have been Steve Bruce’s biggest critic since he took up the post, regardless of the manager he was following, I was never going to be happy with his appointment.

Unfortunately, the horrific mentality of the club means he was (and is) the absolute perfect appointment for Newcastle United.

I have said on many occasions that he has the safest job in World football, and I say that genuinely. If Klopp went on a 7 or 8 game winless run would he be under pressure? Absolutely. Is Bruce? Absolutely not.

I think my main issue is that he’s a self-admitted journeyman of the managerial (or Head Coach) merry-go-round in English football and that in and of itself is a problem. He likes to remind anyone who is willing to listen that he’s been around the block a few times and he’s been doing this for 20 odd years. To him, (and the sycophants at Sky/BT/TalkSport) this is considered a quality, an attribute.

A journeyman boxer by very definition is someone that turns up, does the job with minimum effort and win lose or drawcollects their purse for the evening and goes home, onto the next one.

You can tell by his pre and post-match interviews that he’s doing exactly this. The generic soundbites that he gives the media are straight from the “90s Football Management for Dummies” handbook. If you look anywhere on social media,you will find a Brucey Quote Bingo board that is as funny as it is accurate.

A journey man has a miserable win loss record, and has absolutely no intention on trying to improve on their current abilities – what’s the point? They get paid either way, so why put the effort in? After 20 years as a manager (Head Coach) Bruce knows exactly what to do to just keep his head above water. Theirs no incentive to seek out the latest coaching techniques, to see what elite coaches do that he doesn’t, what can he improve on etc. His interview this week highlighted this when he claimed that “rotation” was a new word – an alien concept that has just started, as if he’s now using this state-of-the-art technique to show he’s a modern manager (Head Coach).

Another thing a journeyman must possess is a decent defence, the ability to deflect away incoming shots in order to hang in long enough so promoters keep giving them bookings. Bruce has this in abundance. His interviews are textbook deflection. In his very first press conference he said “I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea” – immediately taking the spotlight off himself and place it on the fans. Clever. He does this all the time but the subject has been covered ad nauseum. He’s a master at it.

Journeymen are often ‘Yes Men’ for their promoters, “I need you to give me 4 rounds” “Yes boss”. Sound familiar? This has been a theme throughout his time here. Before every game he ‘bigs up’ the opposition no matter who we are playing, so if we lose he’s covered himself “see – I told you they were good”. Or the classic “that’s the Premier League for you” as if its out of his hands and there’s literally nothing he can do about it, it just is what it is (we are where we are).

Bruce adamantly denied being a yes man/puppet in his first week in the job and claimed that he has control over transfer dealings and gave the OK to break the clubs’ transfer record on Joelinton. Crazy to think he must have been scouting him while he was still at Sheffield Wednesday. This narrative has been proven false by Bruce claiming the side are full of championship players – so no wonder we get beat all the time, to saying he’s happy with the squad 6 weeks later (when the window opened).

Unlike Bruce’s assessment of his players, however, the fans aren’t naïve and can see through all of this, and its only a matter of time before fans are back in the ground and his position will become untenable. And on he will go, gloves and gumshield packed, ready for his next payday.

But for now, Big Mike the promoter is more than happy with Bruce the journeyman, as he knows he is likely get his “4 rounds” (avoid relegation).

JOHN LIDDELL – @johnliddell1982