So it looks like 1,000 and out for the Geordie loathed in his home town.
Despite an £8million pay-off, Steve Bruce will need a lengthy break to recover from this chastening 27-month spell at Newcastle.
Steve Bruce has been sacked as Newcastle manager following the £300million takeoverCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Having FINALLY been put out of his misery yesterday morning, Bruce didn’t rule out a return to the dug-out.
But aged 60 and set for life, does he really need the aggro anymore?
He said it was hard “to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage-head. And it was from day one.”
Given the relentless flak he received, it’s hard not to have sympathy for Bruce on a personal level.
On a professional level, however, you only had to watch his side on a regular basis to understand where that anger came from.
Following Sir Bobby Robson’s departure in 2004, the then-Birmingham City manager turned down his “dream job”.
Fifteen years later and his time had come, former owner Mike Ashley’s eighth choice to replace the idolised Rafa Benitez who walked after growing fed up with Ashley’s austerity.
The fans were underwhelmed and it was always going to be an uphill task.
Being an ex-Sunderland manager and not being Benitez, who had offered a glimmer of hope in a dark world, hardly helped.
But more than anything, fans saw a jobbing Championship manager at Sheffield Wednesday way past his best.
Even then, they asked, what was Bruce’s best?
Going on league performance, finishing 10th with Birmingham and Sunderland was as good as it got.
Steve Bruce’s “dream job” at Newcastle turned into a nightmareCredit: Reuters
Two promotions apiece with Brum and Hull are not to be scoffed at but, then aged 58, it was hard to imagine a less exciting appointment.
His record in all competitions at Newcastle was: P97 W28 L41
At 28.9 per cent, Bruce’s win-rate was lower than at any of his other 10 clubs.
Despite that, he – like every manager arriving to little fanfare – had a chance.
And having kept Newcastle in the Premier League for two seasons, Bruce can say he did his job.
Ashley used him as a human shield and only ever cared about survival, and if they had dropped to the Championship under Bruce, the £300m takeover may never have happened.
Steve Bruce received tremendous criticism by fans throughout his stintCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Scratch the surface just a little though and it’s not hard to see why the locals were up in arms.
A brilliant centre-back himself, how Bruce turned the seventh best defence in the league for two seasons under Benitez into the worst with near-enough the same personnel, is a mystery for the ages.
Or is it?
Shortly after joining Sunderland in 2011, he said: “I’m not really into tactics” – and boy did it show.
After 84 league games it was still impossible to know what Bruce was trying to achieve.
Whatever his preferred 11 was, nobody will ever know.
It’s hard to find a player who progressed under his management, while a number – especially in defence – regressed alarmingly.
Things really started to sour last December after Newcastle’s pitiful 1-0 defeat to Brentford’s reserves in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Beginning the harshest of winters, all hell broke loose three weeks later when they handed sorry Sheffield United their first win of the season.
A couple of days later, Bruce labelled his side “absolute s***e” before saying “the gloves are off” and that he was finally going to do it “my way”.
What they had been doing for the previous 17 months is anyone’s guess, but things hardly improved – by April they had won two in 19 and relegation loomed.
Joe Willock’s goals – and the returning Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson – led them to safety in the end, but the damage was done.
Steve Bruce managed to avoid relegation as Newcastle boss after replacing Rafa BenitezCredit: Getty Images – Getty
His press conferences became a source of weekly ridicule as supporters grew pig-sick of seeing Bruce pass off another defeat with “positives” nobody else had seen.
This season Newcastle have been a shambles from the off and remain winless after eight games.
The former Manchester United skipper will attract plenty of sympathy from his pals in the game.
Just don’t expect any from Newcastle.
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