The Geordie-born former Sunderland boss was appointed as Rafael Benitez’s successor this summer to widespread outcry, but victory over Manchester United last time out saw them rise out of the relegation zone.
Still, the Mail aren’t impressed: “Had it not been for Sunday’s vital victory over United, Steve Bruce could have easily had a much harsher rating. Bruce’s dream job is quickly turning into a bit of nightmare, but at least the silver lining of three points will keep them afloat for the time being.
“Bruce will also be cursing the gods that he hasn’t been given a proper chance to get some momentum going with the interruption of the international break followed by a trip to freescoring Chelsea. It looks like the Magpies are in for another long, tough season.”
It’s not been a vintage start to the season by any means for Newcastle, has it? They’ve not been awful in comparison to how they started last time out under Benitez, but it’s hardly been huge progression with Bruce in charge. As the Mail’s report says, the victory over Man United was a blessing for Bruce, because his side had been hammered by Leicester City in the game before and were languishing in the bottom three. The fact that there’s been no perceptible improvement in the team’s style of play has been a negative for Bruce, because he clearly wanted to come in and move away from Benitez’s pragmatic tactical approach. His goal was to make the Magpies more swashbuckling and entertaining, and in that he has very much failed. As the last line says, it’s going to be another very torturous season for the Newcastle supporters. If the team can stay in the top flight for another year then it’s probably job done for Bruce, for whatever that’s worth.