The Sheffield Wednesday boss has been heavily linked with the vacant job at St. James’ Park in recent days, as reported by the BBC, but the veteran journalist is not convinced that he is the right choice.
Writing for the Chronicle, he said: “Let me say straight away that I believe the appointment of Steve Bruce is a massively ill-advised one.
“Yes, even though I consider him a personal friend since the days when I first got to know him as a young player making his way in the Football League after graduating from Wallsend Boys Club.
“Brucie is a warm, infectious personality, a fine man manager who can win over players, but he is totally wrong for Newcastle right now.
“Why? Because it’s hard enough for anyone to replace Rafa [Benitez] – Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger would find it difficult in the extreme despite their soaring reputations – but for Bruce it will be virtually impossible.”
Gibson isn’t pulling any punches here, and you can’t help feeling that he might be on the money with his appraisal the situation at St. James’ Park. Newcastle is a poisoned chalice, and far greater managers than Bruce would struggle to wrestle the club into some kind of passable state at the moment. That’s not necessarily a reflection on Bruce himself, who is a fine manager in his own right, and who has averaged around 1.6 points per game in his last two jobs [Transfermarkt], but Newcastle need a hero who is going to take them by the scruff of the neck and shake them into shape. Is Bruce, a lifelong Geordie who will surely be wary of upsetting the apple cart too much, the right candidate to do that? You would be amazed if the answer is yes.