It never rains but it pours at Newcastle United, and the club can’t say they weren’t warned months ago that exactly the scenario that they’re currently experiencing would eventually come to pass.
An abject performance away at West Ham set the tone for 2020/21, and in truth, nothing has really improved.
Covid-19 saw their training ground closed for a period, causing some disruption, but that can’t be used as an excuse.
Nor should the will-they, won’t they takeover by Saudi investors be either, particularly as that saga came to a close before the current campaign began in earnest.
The fact remains that under Steve Bruce’s tutelage, the Magpies have been nowhere near good enough.
According to The Sun, who note player bust-ups with Bruce including a recent heated exchange with Matt Ritchie, a lucrative contract may be the reason why the manager is being kept in his job.
Were Mike Ashley to relieve Bruce of his duties, it’s believed the manager would take home a cool £4m in severance pay.
Three points above the bottom three and with a game in hand, it would appear that Ashley is putting his faith in his manager to keep the team up, with a view to perhaps looking at the situation at season’s end.
In the meantime, Bruce has to somehow steady a rapidly sinking ship.