Robbie Savage implied Steve Bruce made the right decision when choosing to become Newcastle United manager.
Savage revealed how he felt about Bruce’s Toon Army after Daily Mirror journalist John Cross shared he thought Bruce had picked up a poison chalice when agreeing to succeed Rafa Benitez at St James before proceeding to explain how he thought Newcastle were sleepwalking towards relegation.
“Well, I tell you what, heart ruled his head on this one,” said Cross on BBC Radio 5 Live, as seen in a clip on the station’s Twitter account.
“And y’know, he has taken on a poison chalice as it’s a club in a mess, it’s a club sleepwalking towards relegation I think at the moment under Mike Ashley’s regime, yes they spent a bit in the summer, but not nearly enough.
“They’ve been slowly declining for quite some time and I just think it doesn’t get any easier for Bruce either, they’re at Spurs on Sunday and that’s a hell of a task.
“But it was the manner of their defeat that really concerned me last weekend, the players appeared to not respond to the manager, play for the manager, that worries me.
“You’ve got to get some sort of response at White Hart on Lane at Sunday, I’m really worried for Newcastle as in my mind they’re by far and away the outstanding candidates for relegation.”
Savage responded to suggest that Bruce’s heart didn’t rule his head when it came to Newcastle as he claimed it was a good job for him as all he has to to do is keep the Magpies up.
“I know you said heart ruled his heart but when I was at Birmingham, Crossy,” replied Savage.
“Steve Bruce was linked with Newcastle then and he stayed with Birmingham, so I cannot blame him for one minute that when the Newcastle job came up for Steve Bruce that he took it.
“It’s a Premier League job and let’s be fair, the expectations of Newcastle fans are different from a lot of people if Newcastle stay up then people will say Bruce has done a good job, so it’s a good job for him in that sense.
“So would you rather be managing Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship or Newcastle in the Premier League?”
Savage jumped to Bruce’s defence and did an okay job for the most part. After all the pundit is right to claim that most managers would rather be managing Newcastle in the Premier League than Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship, and he’s right to suggest that a lot of people will say the 58-year-old has done a good job if he steers the club clear of relegation this season. However, Savage takes a bizarre dig at Newcastle fans by implying they have grander ambitions then watching their club avoid relegation and he seems to underestimate how difficult it may be for the Magpies to avoid finishing in the bottom three. Why shouldn’t Newcastle supporters want their club to achieve more than Premier League safety? Benitez guided the Magpies to a 13th-placed finish last season and a 10th-placed finish in the campaign before, so shouldn’t the Magpies realistically be looking to progress not to decline? If the Magpies had conducted themselves better in the last few transfer windows, relegation wouldn’t even be considered a possibility, surely? Newcastle have got off to a disappointing start this season, losing 1-0 to Arsenal before slumping to a 3-1 defeat courtesy of Norwich City, and it’s hard to not worry that it’s all leading to another relegation.