Steve Bruce has endured a tumultuous period as Newcastle United manager, and though it’s believed he never considered quitting the job, being relieved of his duties may come as a huge relief.
According to the Daily Mail, it’s expected that Bruce will be gone before the Magpies play Tottenham Hotspur in their next Premier League fixture, meaning that he will be sat, agonisingly, on 999 games as a manager.
So, what next for the man who has had to be the public face of the club whilst previous owner, Mike Ashley, has been conspicuous by his absence?
Given what little he had to work with in terms of finances and backing at Newcastle, it would be somewhat unfair to blame Bruce for all of their ills, however, he has found it difficult to motivate his group of players.
Kept in the job seemingly because Mike Ashley didn’t want to pay his severance, that will not be a problem for the new owners of the club, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.
Perhaps, once his removal from the St. James’ Park hot-seat is concerned, Bruce might well like to remain out of the spotlight for a period.
As The Guardian recalled earlier in the season, Bruce was very frustrated at the position he found himself in.
“We want to be up amongst the big boys competing at the other end of the table and, unfortunately, that’s not possible at this moment, is it?” he said to reporters.
“That’s the frustration. Do you not think I want better players? Do you not think I want a better squad and to have the ability to go out and compete at the top end of the transfer market?
“That’s not possible, so I have to accept it and get on with my job as best I can. In these difficult moments I hope my experience can steer us along the right path. The situation’s not great – I understand that – but that’s where we are.”
A football man through and through and one who has been managing for 23 years, a return to the game can’t be ruled out, though a top-level hire may be beyond him.