Steve Bruce's time at Newcastle United is up as new era starts in defeat
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Change is coming at Newcastle United following a £300million takeover over of the club – but, for now, the playing and coaching staff is unchanged.
And a new era at the club kicked off this afternoon with an all-too-familiar defeat.
Tottenham Hotspur won 3-2 in front of the club’s new owners, and the defeat again exposed the defensive frailties which have seen the team conceded an extraordinary 19 goals in eight games.
Somehow, this group of players – who face a tough run of games in December – must get some results ahead of January’s transfer window.
The visiting fans chanted “you’re getting sacked in the morning” at Steve Bruce – and the club’s head coach knows they might not be far wrong. Bruce had hit back at journalists after keeping his job for his game, his 1,000thin management, but his time at the club is seemingly up.
The game had kicked off amid a cacophony at St James’s Park – and a breakthrough wasn’t long in coming.
Javier Manquillo crossed in from the right, and Wilson, back from injury, put United ahead with a diving header. The strike lifted the roof at the stadium, which has been largely moribund this season.
However, the takeover has breathed new life into a club which was seemingly in a hopeless position before the international break. The new owners have brought hope to Newcastle, a club which hasn’t won a major trophy since 1969.
Trophies, though, are still a long, long way off, and the priority, yet again, is Premier League survival following a dismal start to the season.
Amanda Staveley celebrated Wilson’s goal with non-executive chairman Yassir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, who own 80% of the club.
Their joy was shortlived. Tottenham equalised in the 17th minute through Tanguy Ndombele, who beat Karl Darlow with a right-footed shot.
Things got worse in the 22nd minute, when a Harry Kane strike, initially disallowed for offside, was allowed to stand after a VAR check. The striker – who flicked the ball past Darlow – had timed his run to perfection.
Allan Saint-Maxmin couldn’t get on the end of a ball from Wilson at the other end of the pitch.
The game was then stopped due to a medical emergency in the East Stand. Club doctor Paul Catterson went to aid the supporter with a defibrillator after Eric Dier ran to the home bench and called for help.
Both sets of players went to the dressing rooms while the fan was treated. The supporter left the stadium on a stretcher after being stabilised amid applauses from both sets of fans.
The incident quickly put a game which had been built up for more than a week into perspective.
Son Heung-Min made it 3-1 following the restart, and that strike all but ended hopes of a comeback after the break.
United never looked like getting back into the game, and fit-again Jonjo Shelvey was sent on in the 60th minute.
The final few minutes were punctuated with “we want Brucie out chants” from frustrated fans, and Shelvey was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Dier scored a late own goal.