• Conor Donoghue


Featured Image Credit - The Athletic

The curtain descended on the events at Old Trafford last Saturday to jubilation and ecstasy of Manchester United's greatest hero, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo scored a brace on his second debut to cap off a brilliant day for the Manchester United fans to steal the headlines.

Fans and pundits celebrated in the spectacle that is Ronaldo. It was going swimmingly for one Manchester legend, but this could not be said for the other United legend on the opposition side.

Steve Bruce has become a much-maligned figure at Newcastle due to his pragmatism and lack of invention when it comes to Newcastle United.

A typically farcical end to the transfer window meant that Newcastle was the only Premier League club not to add to their ranks with many signings. You could argue Joe Willock is a good signing, but he was there last year.

We have been here before with Newcastle. The problems and issues at the club are nothing new to the Geordie faithful, who follow the club up and down the land no matter the issues going on at the club.

A swift exit from the Carabao Cup, a place in the bottom three, and no win in four make way for familiar scenes on Tyneside. I was there in 2014 when Pardewout.com was being handed out on cards, so this is nothing new.

Like his predecessors before him, Rafa Benitez, Steve Mclaren, Joe Carver, Alan Pardew, Steve Bruce has felt the effects of Mike Ashley's penny pinching; there have been 14 years of this.

The club only managed to bring in Joe Willock from Arsenal for £26.46m. The previous year it was Jamal Lewis and Callum Wilson.

This year a failed pursuit of Hamza Choudhury and Boubacar Kamara fell apart due to Covid and Newcastle being Newcastle in the market.

The club lies in footballing purgatory under Bruce, they are neither good enough to go up the league, but they are not as bad as the other teams around them like Norwich.

Bruce gave a spikey answer after Newcastle's 4-1 defeat against Manchester United.

Fans asked reporters via social media to ask Bruce if he had been on holiday during the international break.

When the question was put to Bruce by ChronicleLive, he responded: "Wow... Go on . . . Do you think I really have to answer that to you?

"That's what the fans are asking are they? We have trained all week, and we were in every day. The preparation was meticulous. Let me tell you. There is nothing more in preparation...

"What was I supposed to do? We had six of them away.

"The preparation was fine, and we have been all week.

"You could see the game plan was what we worked on.

"To have to answer questions like that is typical to the question I would get off you - and your newspaper. If I am brutally honest.

That's why they are the way they are, the way you are and your negativity and your newspaper."

Bruce was also asked about supporters who unfurled a banner asking the head coach to leave as Newcastle sunk into the relegation zone.

He said: "What can I say to that? I'm delighted? I can't comment on that sorry."

It has become too easy for Newcastle fans to blame Bruce. Anyone that has come before has had two hands tied behind their back due to the ineptitude of the Newcastle boardroom.

Newcastle United are a club that has the same type of issues as Arsenal, a club with owners not willing to invest time to progress the club forward.

The only difference between the two is Arsenal spend money, but poorly as a result.

It is far too easy to blame Steve Bruce when Newcastle have never shown any ambition since the days of Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan.

A club of that size cannot stay in the footballing wilderness as long as it should. It's criminal in a footballing sense.

Newcastle can only come out of this footballing nightmare if the club is sold to someone with enough financial capital to take the club forward.

You can dislike Steve Bruce all you like, but if you continue to neglect the footballing side, the football people can't do what they're best at.

It's like if you buy a car with no steering wheel and continue and refuse to invest, the vehicle isn't going to move anywhere; then its driver Steve Bruce is useless.