Steve Bruce’s tenure as Newcastle United manager has been something of an enigma so far.
For all of the disappointment – and there’s been a lot of it this season – there has been the odd flash of brilliance, or at least something close to it.
The embattled wins over Manchester United and Tottenham showed that there’s something at the core of this squad that could one day germinate into a genuinely useful Premier League side.
For the most part, however, we haven’t seen that level of performance, and while you can discuss and debate the quality of the players all you like, but there comes a point when you have to ask if the right man is at the helm.
Managers must be held to accountability, or they risk running clubs into the ground without fear of any reprisal.
But Newcastle legend, and current club ambassador, Bob Moncur has a slightly different point of view.
Speaking to the Chronicle, he has suggested that Bruce must be left to his own devices.
He said: “You have to be brave as a manager and you have to be shrewd.
“Steve has those qualities and it is why he has survived in the game so long.
“To take the job on is brave, now let him get on with it.”
Now, fair enough, Bruce probably is brave and shrewd, but those two qualities alone do not qualify him for the top job at a club as big as Newcastle United.
There are best part of 50,000 Toon fans who watch their side every fortnight who’d probably have the courage to try and stop the rot in Tyneside, but none of them will get anywhere near the dugout, and rightly so.
Bruce should be given time, yes, but this manner of thinking sets a worrying precedent, and will lead to a zombified club sleepwalking towards relegation if it is allowed to continue even when times get tough.