Steve Bruce has probably done better than most Newcastle fans expected, but it’s still not really clear if he’s managed to win over the supporters after his unpopular appointment.
From the outside looking in it’s always felt like he wouldn’t be there for multiple seasons because it would all go wrong at some point, so it’s concerning to hear reports that he’s starting to lose the dressing room.
There’s no doubt that Allan Saint-Maximin is one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League and he’s starting to add consistency to his game, so he’s a player that Newcastle need to play well if they want to push on to the next level.
The reality looks like it could be a straight choice between Bruce and the Frenchman for the club, with a report suggesting that Saint-Maximin has returned to France and he’s not training with the team just now:
Lascelles and ASM have fallen out with Bruce.
— NUFC Gallowgate (@NUFCgallowgate) December 21, 2020
Newcastle have total control over the situation after it was confirmed that he signed a new deal which ties him to the club until 2026, but if he’s unhappy and wants to force an exit then they might not have a choice.
You have to think that Newcastle could easily find another very average manager while signing a genuine game-changer is much less likely, so Bruce might need to fix this quickly if he wants to stick around for the long term.
A further report has since emerged which suggests Lascelles and Saint-Maximin have had to return home due to Covid-19 issues rather than a supposed bust up:
— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) December 21, 2020
Obviously we have to hope that the players recover quickly and it must be a worrying time for them, but it’s certainly preferable news for the club when compared to a bust-up.