Alan Shearer: Why Steve Bruce failed at Newcastle

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Alan Shearer: Why Steve Bruce failed at Newcastle
Photo: @NUFC

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer believes Steve Bruce had a tough job on Tyneside because he was replacing the uber-popular fans' hero Rafa Benítez.

Bruce has left Newcastle by mutual consent just 13 days after the Saudi Arabia-backed £300 million takeover of the club was completed.

The Magpies have made a winless start to the Premier League season and sit second from bottom after three draws from their opening eight games.

Bruce had a 27.4 percent win percentage from 84 league games at St James' Park, but the 60-year-old was under the cosh from the moment he was appointed.

Replacing Benítez, who walked away in 2019 after becoming fed up of working under previous Toon owner Mike Ashley, was a tough gig.

Bruce and Benítez had a similar impact in terms of finishing position in the league and often style of football, but the supporters rallied behind the Spaniard in a way they never did for the former Manchester United skipper.

Speaking on Gary Neville's The Overlap, Shearer believes this is largely down to the contrasting way the pair talked about Ashley's ownership, with Benítez often publicly expressing his differences with former Newcastle supremo.

It was almost an impossible job for Steve to come in and follow Rafa [Benítez], because of what Rafa meant to the people here and how he communicated what he wanted.

He was very clever Rafa in what he did here. He did a good job, but he was also very clever in what he did about talking about the owner.

What Rafa was brilliant at was getting the fans onside by dropping little hints in the media about what is going on inside the football club, what he wanted to do but couldn't do.

Steve didn't do as well in that in getting his point across. He probably couldn't because he was the owner's appointment, he appreciated that and had to keep him onside by not saying anything against him.

I understand that, but I also know the problems he had in wanting to bring players in and not being able to do that.

Meanwhile, Eddie Howe was appointed as Newcastle's new manager on Monday, ending the month-long search for a manager who will be tasked with transforming the club's fortunes.

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