Newcastle slumped to a 13th place finish in the Premier League, losing four of the final six matches and collecting just two points. Once survival was assured, the Magpies all but switched off, and it means they will enter next term on a run of one win in their last nine matches.
It is hardly the way Steve Bruce would have liked to end the campaign, but after all, he had achieved the minimum requirement at St James’ Park, and he finished on the same points total, 44, as Rafael Benitez’s first Premier League season in the northeast.
However, Bruce may be getting sick of the constant comparisons with his predecessor along with the other turbulence which currently surrounds his boyhood club, namely the takeover. It has been revealed that deal is now stalled on who exactly will be in charge if the prospective bid is completed.
However, Daily Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards has theorised Bruce might not be at the helm if the manager starts questioning whether he wants to put himself through another season.
What did he say?
Speaking on the True Faith NUFC Podcast, Edwards said: “He knows what he wants to do this summer; he has got a chance to make this his team – let’s see what he does this summer, let’s see what the recruitment is like this summer.”
Edwards continued by suggesting if Bruce doesn’t get what he wants in the market, he may have to question his position, saying: “If he doesn’t get that, I think Steve Bruce would have to ask the question, ‘what is the point?’ That’s my gut feeling.
“All of the clubs down the bottom who are at Newcastle’s level, if they start spending more money than Newcastle and he looks at it, does he really want to put himself through another season?”
Cutting it fine
Currently, it appears that Mike Ashley will still be at the helm next season and he has begun preparations for the 2020/21 campaign. Bad news for both fans and Bruce is that it appears Ashley has slashed the summer budget to £35m plus player sales, which does not give the Magpies manager much to work with.
If Bruce is unable to mould Newcastle in his image this summer, then next term could be incredibly challenging for him. He completed the minimum expectation last season by ensuring survival, but Bruce and fans will be keen to see progress. If Newcastle continues to stagnate, having finished on either 44 or 45 points for the last three seasons, Bruce may have to question what he is doing, as Edwards suggested.