Probably not the best reading material for the #FOSB – Friends of Steve Bruce or the man himself but in quick order supporters as enclosed have delivered their verdict on the man who was always doomed to failure on account of the limitations he has demonstrated in over 20 years of cramping mediocrity and failure as a manager or Head-Coach. No amount of “dusting ourselves down”, “rolling our sleeves up” or other meaningless shibboleths can disguise the obvious fact that Steve Bruce is an absolute disaster for Newcastle United. To no-one’s surprise at all. 

Steve Bruce was never the right appointment for NUFC. He would never be the right appointment for any top level club. The writing was on the wall before Ashley’s 12th choice turned up at the training ground on his first day. 18 months of management has ended up at a point which every sane Mag said it would from the outset:

A club which is destined for relegation with no hope for standing still, never mind ‘progress’. Bruce is a complete chancer who is having his flaws laid bare in front of the football world, and even his most ardent media pals have decided to sing the tune which Newcastle fans have been singing for months now.

Sadly the one man who can make this change, probably didn’t even watch last nights cluster-fuck at Bramall Lane. Such is Ashley’s complete lack of interest and care for NUFC – I fear he will offer nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders at yet another defeat. Let’s not forget that Ashley has NEVER made the right decision at NUFC.

Desperate times. Sadly, I’m struggling to care much myself.

RICHARD SMITH

We’ve all been watching the Sheffield United winless run and the closer it got to our game, we all knew how it was going to play out. We have all watched as Bruce has stumbled cluelessly through the last 18 months. This was his defining moment. His “Derby County” moment for those who remember Allardyce taking on the then worst team in PL history. He should have known what was expected, but at 5pm today we all found out he didn’t have a fucking clue.

The worst team in the league by far. 2 points on the board in nearly half a season. Bruce sends out a team with one striker, a half fit winger, 5 defenders and a midfield with less mobility than a dead hedgehog.

His game was up right there. They didn’t even need to kick a ball. He’d failed his big moment.

The performance, as we all guessed, was horrendous beyond compare. Fans like myself who’ve followed the cause for close to 50 years have said it’s the worst we remember in the circumstances by quite some way.

When you think you are past caring and to then become engulfed by rage, you know how bad it was.

This hasn’t just built up over night. It’s been 18 months in the slow cooker. An unsustainable lucky streak that brought us many an undeserved point or 3 has been coming to an end for a while. Without that luck, Bruce looks exactly what we knew he was. A washed up has been with neither the ability or knowhow to manage in the top flight. A dinosaur who “doesn’t do tactics”

There’s no way back for him. He should never have been in the role in the first place. He got it due to the ineptitude of those running the club and hopefully that same ineptitude will not see him remain in the job. We have a tough run of games coming up and without change, we can only go one way. Down.

He won’t “do the right thing” as he is as morally bankrupt as he is tactically inept. His managerial CV will tell you that.

For the good of the club, in whatever guise that may be moving forward, sack him now, before it’s too late.

STEVE WALLWORK  

When Rafa finally got fed up of being pissed around by our grubby owner, he fell on his sword and something died inside of many NUFC supporters.

Who would want to work under the tat shop owner? We knew it’d be no one startling, but even then bringing in serial failure, Bruce felt like a sick joke.

18 months down the line, forget what the ‘experts’ say, we know the score. We’ve been here before; most recently under McLaren. Ashley waited too long to pull the trigger then. Will he honestly allow history to repeat itself again?

If ever you wanted to know how out of his depth Mr Bruce is, look no further than last night v Sheffield United. He set us up to defend. Again. Against a doomed side with two points to their name. He played two out of form midfielders in Sean Longstaff and Hendrick, whom had just completed a gruelling 120 minutes v Arsenal just 72 hours earlier.  Madness. You need the legs of the younger Longa and Almirón to turn defence into attack, but no thought was seemingly given to this side of the game.

Sorry to mention the ‘T’ word, but if there is any chance of the longest takeover in history ever coming to fruition, he needs peddling now. They won’t be buying a Championship club. Our wonderful owner’s next actions may well give us a clue as to whether this is a possibility.

Over to you, Mike.

NICK CLARK  

At most clubs, last night’s spineless defeat to a previously winless side on the back of a run of no victories in seven games, including a pathetic cup exit to lower league opposition, would be enough to see a manager relieved of their duties.

The showing against Sheffield United yesterday evening was the ultimate low point in a season of low points. Having selected a defensive side against a team that hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the league previously, the first half played out how so many others have so far this term – a meek, passive Toon side sitting off their opponents, treating them with the type of respect you’d afford a top of the table side. No needless red cards or borderline VAR penalty calls can disguise what this game was – glaring evidence of a manager out of ideas and out of his depth.

This is Newcastle United though, and we are not ‘most clubs’. In all likelihood, Steve Bruce will receive a stay of execution, muddling his way through a few more fixtures and inflicting further damage on the team and club as we sleepwalk from one hopeless performance to the next. Our only hope is our absentee owner and his kangaroo court of advisers see the wood from the trees and realise that while there is currently a points buffer to the bottom three, on present form we are absolute certainties to be relegated in May.

They must heed the lessons from the delay in sacking Steve McClaren – inaction can be fatal. Having blind faith in the current manager will not see him turn around what many can see is a lost cause. This is a man with a track record of relegations – he should not be allowed to add one more to his CV. Time to go.  

CRAIG SHAW  @Shawzey15 

I’ve been asked to write about what I think should happen to Steve Bruce after that pathetic attempt of football management on Tuesday night.

I’m not sure I have the range of words to describe my distain for the man.

He has taken advantage of the club we all love for 5 days short of 18 months now. He has been stealing a wage, a wage made up from your money from the replica shirts bought as Christmas presents and season tickets bought for 19/20.

He has said on record that he will do what is best for Newcastle United. Now is the time to prove this. He must walk away.

He won’t though.

Mike Ashley incentivises all of his staff to maximise performance and I have no doubt that Bruce will be due a bonus to keep us in the division. He will not walk until it’s mathematically impossible for us to stay in the Premier League. His selfishness is to the detriment to the club he claims to love.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong. Time will tell.

The blame isn’t entirely with Bruce of course. Lee Charnley head hunted him, and was apparently his top target, and Mike Ashley is only interested in the points on the board. As it stands, we are on target for 40 points which will be enough to stay up.

I hope for our sake and for the sake of any potential takeover that Ashley or Bruce see the light.

I won’t hold my breath.

JOHN LIDDELL  – @Johnliddell1982  

Bruce what now?

So here we are, the time has come the day has finally arrived that good old “Brucey” has been well and truly exposed as the utter fraud that he is and his time as NUFC manager is surely up.

Most of us saw through this demonstrably average Joe’s shtick long ago but finally the rest of the football world may finally be waking up to the realisation that he’s just not a very good manager. A Mike Bassett fag packet manager in a world full of tacticians & I-pads most clubs wouldn’t of even interviewed this guy but mediocrity and Newcastle go hand and hand under the rule of Mike Ashley. So after 18 months of him undoing everything Rafa did it’s now time to say goodbye, not thanks just don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

With the takeover a distant dream world away and  the gap between us and the bottom 3 becoming smaller than our possession stats as the weeks roll on, we need to make a change now! The longer this football vandal sticks around the more damage he’ll do. Damage to this squad, to this club & damage to this community. Bruce has become as toxic to our fan base as a virus infecting each and every one of us with his utter bullshit, tactical unawareness and confrontational rhetoric.

Like the nation NUFC are in desperate need of a vaccine & that is a new manager! So our message to you Steve is simply this.. Leave now.. Protect league status.. Save NUFC

CHRIS CURRIE – @wig82 

We are the worst team in the league. I’ve no idea whether that is statistically accurate but we are. It was statistically accurate last season in all but points. We won games we shouldn’t have, we were lucky. Very lucky. Bruce continues to be very lucky. Not on the pitch, that has well and truly disappeared. But in the fact he is still the manager of Newcastle United. He was lucky to get the job in the first place.

A rank average Championship manager at best. We even paid compensation for him. Wow.

I still can’t believe that. We have regressed beyond recognition in 18 months (far less that than to be honest). Gone is the spirit that we used to see from the players. Gone is any positivity on the pitch – and off it too. It was never going to work, everyone knew it. It has to end now though.

I have no idea where our next points will come from and neither does the manager. Please leave Steve, before it’s too late.

TIM WOOD 

Time is up

About 18 months ago, Steve Bruce was given the task to succeed Rafa Benitez. An almost impossible task, not made easier given the fact Steve Bruce was an uninspiring appointment, from a fan’s point of view.

Bruce came in with an, at best, mediocre resumé from managing in the Premier League. Safe to say, most of us knew how this way going to turn out.

Promises of «front foot football”, and «having a real go in the cups” did not sound bad, but Bruce needed to put action behind these words. Even though the sceptics were not few, I doubt there was a single supporter that wanted him to fail.

There was an attempt at the cups his first season, up until there was a tough fixture that is. There were some glimpses of attempting to have a go at teams in the Premiership, but most of the first season was dire.

This season there should be no more excuses for Bruce. His grasp at this club is getting thinner and thinner. Halfway through the season the football is getting worse by every match. Lesser opponents look like world beaters, the football is negative and ultra defensive. This is getting embarrassing.

Steve Bruce has now become an expert at excuses and explanations. Which by every new bad result, get’s increasingly more annoying to listen to. Every single team in the Premier League is affected by Covid. Every team is affected by fixture congestion.

18 months on, Steve Bruce has Newcastle United playing ultra defensive away to the poorest side in the league. He has got the the team retaining possesion under 40% against almost every side. He has got Newcastle United at a much worse state than it was at his start. Not just results wise, but by regressing week by week.

No more time for excuses. Time is up for Steve Bruce.

Magnus Møller – @localhero85

 Time to give up on this 90s reboot!

Can’t shoot, won’t shoot! Can’t press, won’t press! Can’t plan, won’t plan!

Ainsley Harriott is trying to make a comeback, but for our manager this has to be the end of his run (I don’t think it will be until its too late, but hey prove me wrong Mike). Steve Bruce seems to think we are in games that we aren’t. He seems to see performances nobody else does and progress where nobody else can. 2008/9 was too chaotic to feel like this, but this feels like mid-Carver and end of McClaren.

I thought at points last season the players were pulling for him. Bruce’s argument with journalists and supporters were ignored by the national media as we stayed away from trouble last season and stagnated again in mid table. This season, with significant backing (for us) he has taken a team that could have tried to play forward, have a plan and be 10th/11th, looked against Sheffield United like they were the team with two points.

The defence isn’t getting better, its getting worse. Darlow has kept us in games and arguably been our best player this season, as Dubravka was last season despite some errors. The starting eleven seems to be based on a random selection of events, I am not sure what means that Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser play as wide attacking outlets. A team short on confidence, who were terrified of Carroll last season, play him. It has come to something akin to Pardew, when the fans can parrot the excuses before his press conference, and the pundits say he is doing great before kick off and then say how awful we were at full time.

Come on Mike, he is the weakest link … goodbye!

STEPHEN ORD 

I tried, I really did.  Surely a man who captained Cantona and Ince might have something about him, I thought?  But no, you’re just a chancer, a charlatan, a busted flush, the lead singer of a third-rate tribute act of a coaching staff.  The Rolling Steves.  Crowded Shithouse.  Up and down the A1, back and forth along the M62, in an official capacity and all wearing matching jackets, pointing at things randomly and spurting out Brexit-proof abstract nouns to keep the circus trundling along.

The wolves are only at bay because they’re locked down.  Hands, face, waste of bastard space you are.  Tossing a pack of cards in the air on a Friday teatime and choosing whichever 11 happen to land face up, and not playing best of three even if one of the cards is Hendrick.  It’ll do.  It’ll always do.

All aboard, as the talking heads in the studio cover the tasteless cabbage in delicious warm gravy.  We’re certainly swimming in the brown stuff now alright. So please go.  Pretend to be a manager somewhere else.  Take the Steves with you.

There’s some shiny new kit in it for all of you and the municipal playhouses won’t stay closed forever.  Get Steven Taylor too.  All that chest-thumping, insecurity and cluelessness, he’s got what it takes and nobody needs to quit the band.  Leave us alone to work out how to occasionally play football in the opposition half.

Leave us alone to try and find a way to nullify Sheff U’s threat next time.  Leave us alone to plot a way to wreak vengeance on Brentford’s third team.  Just leave us.  We’ll manage.  You only ever pretended anyway.

YOUSEF HATEM 

Well, I for one have been calling for Bruce’s head since Leicester at home around Christmas 2019. For for too long Newcastle United have been sleep walking, whether it’s tactics, the players, the mismanagement of the club from above, the coaching staff.

The will by players to actually play football for the shirt has gone, this club is slipping slowly in to the relegation abyss, how long can Mike Ashley carry on supplying the same “British Managers club” managers (for anyone that listens to Athletico Mince) and expect different results. I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Ashley sacked Steve Bruce and replaced him with Tony Pulis, I really wouldn’t.

What we had in Rafa previously was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Newcastle fans to dream to buy in to the philosophy of a manager, the owner to buy in to it and actually stop stagnating what we were left with was a manager who relied on a philosophy of guy who he replaced with no idea on how to change it, now instead of supplying an identity to the squad we’re in a pirated version of Rafa’s tactics with no accountability and are slowly going in to Steve McClaren territory.

If you’ve ever watched the episode of the Simpsons where Homer boxes this is ultimate metaphor for Bruceball and his current tactics.

It’s time for Brucey to call his cards right and pack his bags and simply leave. Whether that’s by sacking or walking, I’ll even pay for the taxi fare. Just get him out before any more damage has been done to this club 

RICHARD WATSON

Bruce Out?

This morning thousands of Newcastle supporters will have joined in a chorus of “We told you so’ directed at both the club’s hierarchy and the Friends of Steve Bruce in the media (usually with the same agent as our current Head Coach). Anyone looking at his record over the past few years at the vlle and sunlun could see what would happen – an initial period where results aren’t too bad followed by a steady decline to the point where he needs to be dismissed to avoid incipient relegation. There’s also usually a rant from Bruce about ‘mass hysteria’ and ‘unreasonable expectations’ along the way as his inability to motivate, coach and organise players is exposed for the umpteenth time.

But will Ashley/Charnley react to what has been a precipitous drop off of results? So far Bruce is fulfilling his ‘remit’. The performances have been rank for a year now so that doesn’t bother them too much but a threat to their Premier League status might. However, they persevered with Kinnear, Pardew, Carver and McClaren even when it was obvious that the St James’ ship was sinking so I would guess that they will dither and delay for a little while yet. Unfortunately, that means we can expect to see more performances like we witnessed last night and a drop closer to the relegation zone. The only thing which might change this approach is the risk to Ashley’s potential £305m if there is a threat that putative takeover doesn’t take place following relegation. Financially (and that is all that matters to the current owner) that will hurt a lot more than the previous two relegations.

As ever it’s impossible to predict what Ashley will do, just as it has been since 2007. We know that Bruce’s performance wouldn’t be tolerated at any other Premier League club. But he wouldn’t be at any other Premier League club.

WALLACE WILSON