Darren Gough has defended Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce after the Magpies’ 5-0 defeat to Leicester City over the weekend, claiming that he can’t be blamed for everything that is wrong with the club.
The Toon Army find themselves in the bottom three with just one league win from seven so far this term, but Gough was eager to present a more sympathetic angle on the new boss’ fortunes.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “To blame him already, I think it’s harsh. I really do.
“For all the things that are still going on at Newcastle – again, someone else coming out and saying ‘I’m interested in buying the club’ – and he’s trying to deal with that. Fans not turning up to watch because they’re disappointed by what is happening to their great club.
“There’s so much going on, it can’t all be Steve Bruce’s fault.”
Gough is right in the sense that you can only blame Bruce for so much, but at the end of the day, when things on the pitch are as horrendous as they were on Sunday, the buck has to stop with the manager. Forgetting the ownership issues and continued fan unrest, the quality of performance every weekend is entirely his remit, and he has to be held accountable to some extent. Yes, things are pretty poor behind the scenes, but circumstance are not being helped by a side who have registered the fewest shots and the second least amount of passes in the Premier League so far this season, as per the league themselves. It’s still early, of course, and any number of things could change over the next few weeks, but unless Bruce pulls his finger out soon, his team could be in a whole world of trouble.