Football managers will always find it tough to get the balance right between being a firm disciplinarian and actually giving the player’s the freedom to air their views and influence things.
Ideally you do want some input from your senior players and it can help you gauge the feeling of the squad, but it’s starting to look like Steve Bruce is losing control at Newcastle.
A report from HITC has claimed he was visited by Newcastle’s senior players after the loss to Brentford in December, and it’s been noted that he’s switched his formation to play three centre backs in every game since.
That might not be remarkable in itself, but they go on to suggest that Bruce actively dislikes this system and he’s been trying to move away from it, so they suggest he’s been directly pressured by the players to go back on his own decisions.
If that’s true then his position will quickly become untenable because he would’ve completed the transition from manager to puppet so there’s little point keeping him around.
A manager has to have the courage to make his own decision and actually manage the team – something it appears Bruce is incapable of just now.