Former England international Stan Collymore has launched a blistering attack on Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley for appointing Steve Bruce as manager.
The former Sunderland boss was controversially appointed as Rafael Benitez’s successor this week, and Collymore was clearly underwhelmed by the decision to hand Bruce the reins at St James’ Park.
“Steve Bruce’s appointment by Newcastle United makes me angry on behalf of every young coach out there,” he wrote in his Daily Mirror column. “He’s not going to bring excitement or imagination, and he’s not going to bring fresh, young signings to Tyneside, so what the hell is he doing there?
“The only explanation I can come up with is that Ashley is determined to keep finding ways of flicking V-signs at the Toon Army. It’s almost like Ashley has looked at it and thought, ‘What appointment can we make to most upset our supporters?’ While Bruce will probably keep Newcastle up, it won’t be pretty.”
Collymore hits the nail on the head, here. Bruce is about as underwhelming an appointment as any Premier League team can make in 2019. It’s akin to when West Bromwich Albion appointed Alan Pardew a few years ago; it just stinks of a lack of ambition. As Collymore says, this is a slap in the face for young coaches working their way up the coaching ladder, hoping and praying for an opportunity like this. Before Bruce came into the picture Newcastle were being linked with young, ambitious coaches like Mikel Arteta at Manchester City and Steven Gerrard at Rangers. Even someone like Roberto Martinez with Belgium would have at least been an attack-minded appointment. But no, Ashley opted for the most pragmatic, experienced and defensive-minded coach he could find in Bruce. Collymore isn’t happy with it, the Newcastle supporters are certainly furious about it, and it leaves Bruce with a mountain to climb on Tyneside.