Gough shared that he thought if Newcastle went for Bruce or a manager like him, then it could be the final straw for Magpies fans as they would want someone high-profile to succeed Benitez.
“If they go for a manager like Steve Bruce, and I have nothing against Steve Bruce, he’s a lovely man, lovely, lovely man,” said Gough on talkSPORT (16:13, Tuesday, July 9th).
“His son is great too, Alex, he has had a great career as a footballer, good career as a manager right? But I think if they go back to someone like Bruce now after having Rafa Benitez, oof, the final nail for Newcastle fans, I honestly believe that.
“They had to go as high profile as they can possibly go after Rafa.”
Gough is spot-on, even if it seems a little harsh on the current Sheffield Wednesday boss. Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool yet Bruce is so far below the Spaniard’s level that he has never even managed one game in that prestigious competition, let alone guided a side to victory in the tournament. While the Magpies don’t have Champions League ambitions just yet, going from Benitez to Bruce is like trading in a Ferrari for a Ford Focus. Bruce may be doing well at Sheffield Wednesday currently, he has averaged 1.61 points per game across his brief spell (Source: Transfermarkt), but managing in the Championship is a whole different ball game to managing in the Premier League. After all the last time the 58-year-old was in the Premier League as a manager, he oversaw Hull City getting relegated. Bruce may have guided Hull back to the Premier League straight away, but he opted to leave them after doing so, so you can only go on his latest spell in the top-flight.