Newcastle v Chelsea Match in Pictures
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Steve Bruce once incredibly dubbed his likely Newcastle successor Eddie Howe ‘the fella from Bournemouth’ who ‘got a team relegated’. Howe is widely expected to be the man to replace Bruce at St James’ Park following a lengthy recruitment process by the club’s oil-rich owners.
Former boss Bruce mutually agreed to depart Newcastle over a fortnight with the club’s new consortium keen for a fresh face in the dugout.
The veteran coach had become wildly unpopular with supporters and was viewed as a symbol of the controversial Mike Ashley era.
Now, comments made by Bruce could come back to haunt him. Back in January, there was intense speculation over his future with Newcastle flirting with potential relegation to the Championship.
Howe, who was out of work having left relegated Bournemouth in August 2020, was one of the names suggested as a successor. But Bruce lashed out at the links and felt disrespected.
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“It is absolutely the biggest pile of s**** I have ever heard,” Bruce said amid speculation that his job was insecure.
“Some of it needs to be more measured. I give respect. When I see polls, the next manager and the fella from Bournemouth (Howe), I find it disrespectful, I have to tell you.”
Aiming a tirade at the journalist in question, Bruce raged: “Your paper was gunning for a manager that got a team relegated last year.”
He added: “I have a constant dialogue with the CEO and that hasn’t changed since I walked through the door. Every day we want what is best for the club. Yes of course I make mistakes along the way.
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“We are only human, I’ve been in it and managed nearly 500 games in the Premier League and would like to think that deserves a little bit of respect.
“When you are on a bad run, of course, accept it. But some of the stuff has bordered on being outrageous.
“However, I am big enough to accept it and try to understand and work so we can get out of the bad run we’re in.”
Director Amanda Staveley, who helped broker the eye-watering £305million Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed takeover, has overseen a slightly chaotic hiring process.
Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca was the initial favourite. On Monday, ex-Arsenal head coach Unai Emery was apparently set to ditch Villarreal to move to Tyneside.
But Emery then released a statement on Wednesday confirming he will remain in Spain, which was apparently a shock to some at the Premier League club.
Newcastle now seem set on Howe, who has remained out of work in the 10 months since Bruce’s outburst.
Staveley has already made huge promises to supporters, telling them that whoever the new coach may be will be backed by the additions of ‘world-class’ signings.
“We are in the market to compete for world-class players,” she told journalists of Newcastle’s plans last month.
“We have great ambitions — I hope it’s going to be a game-changer for Newcastle United.
“But if you don’t put the infrastructure around that world-class player and you don’t have a team that can play with him, you’ll get nowhere.”
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