Having been snubbed by Patrick Viera, Roberto Martinez, Steven Gerrard, Mikel Arteta and Sam “kin Allardyce, Mike Ashley really is on the point of appointing Steve Bruce as manager of Newcastle United FC. It is an appointment to rank alongside Dennis Wise, Tony Jimenez, Joe Kinnear, Alan Pardew and Steve McClaren for head-banging stupidity courtesy of  a man who is as much an oaf as a knave – Mike Ashley. Bruce will fail at Newcastle United and he will fail fast.

He’ll fail because he isn’t  a very good manager. His methods are old fashioned and out of date. His teams have no identity and that’s why he has left clubs as a failure at Sunderland, Hull and Aston Villa. The widespread despair at his appointment isn’t because he once managed Sunderland. That’s not relevant. The history of Newcastle United has plenty of examples of former Sunderland players pulling on a Black & White shirt and being taken to the hearts of supporters – we can go back to Stan Anderson, Jeff Clarke, Paul Bracewell and the best of the lot Barry Venison. The current squad has several ex-Sunderland players in it and no-one has any issues about that. Its all about ability.

Its also true that the place of birth on his birth certificate or where he grew up and what football club he says he supported as a boy is utterly irrelevant. Much the same could be said for John Carver, whose Geordie credentials are impeccable. Shame about his football manager ones though.

We’re told all that needs to be agreed are the terms of the compensation to be paid to Sheffield Wednesday for the services of Steve Bruce. I can’t believe I’ve just typed that last sentence. The sensible money is on United paying The Owls less than one millions for him. Some speculate the compensation could be in the region of five millions but that would really be through the looking glass stuff. Even for Newcastle United.

There are numerous newslines reporting Bruce will be announced tomorrow (12/Jul/19). Whether there will be a press conference to accompany it like normal clubs is open to debate. Bruce is hoping to get a visa in time to travel to China to join the “squad” on their pre-season tour.

It has been widely reported United will invest the same amount of money in players under Bruce than was promised to Rafa. Believe that when you see it.

But that then begs some questions and namely, who has scouted these players we’re supposedly about to sign? Who has agreed those deals? Who has analysed their performance? Steve Nicksen and Lee Charnley on Football Manager? Newcastle United is a club which doesn’t have any technical director or anyone with sufficient experience to providing strategic input into how the club develops as a sporting entity. All of that expertise and potentuial left Newcastle United on 30/Jun/19. What input will Steve Bruce have had in the recruitment of players or will he simply fill the role of club patsy as Alan Pardew did so irritatingly for so long?

We can expect the next few days to be nauseating. Bruce will play up his Geordie background. We can expect all kinds of references to his childhood and all manner of faux-sentimental bull-shit that will make anyone with even half a functioning brain gag. Don’t be surprised to hear Fog On The Tyne playing in lilting tones at the background to his first press conference.

Not that Bruce doesn’t have any friends in the NE because he certainly does. At Sunderland, Bruce assiduously cultivated the press-pack and he still has huge credit in the bank with them so you can expect them to be going easy on a permanent managerial appointment as bad as any I can recall in the modern era. Bruce will be calling some favours in and he’ll no doubt be turning the bon-homie on full force. That might help him all the way up the Arsenal game when he walks down the tunnel to be greeted by …… well, we’ll see.

Clearly, this appointment would tend to indicate a potential takeover of Newcastle United is dead in the water and the nightmare scenario of no Rafa, Mike Ashley and a dud manager is very real.

So, what will the target be for our third season back in the PL after Rafa’s inspired promotion? Another battle for survival? Bailing out of the cups at the earliest opportunity?

Why do we bother?