Why this former Liverpool star believes Steve Bruce is a 'scapegoat' for Newcastle United fans

John Barnes believes Steve Bruce is a scapegoat for Newcastle United fans after pointing the finger at owner Mike Ashley.

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Frustration is threatening to boil over on Tyneside after Steve Bruce failed to bolster his squad in the transfer market.

The club’s only summer arrival was Joe Willock from Arsenal, who excelled during his loan spell last season with eight goals in 14 games.

But while his arrival was welcomed, United’s starting XI from last term remains unchanged after a late loan move for Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury fell through.

On the pitch, Newcastle have endured a winless start to the Premier League season with one point from their opening three fixtures, while they also exited the Carabao Cup at the first round.

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Bruce’s side are once again in a battle to retain their top-flight status – and according to Barnes, that won’t change until Ashley sells up.

The former Liverpool midfielder also believes supporters’ discontent towards Bruce comes from the fact he was appointed by Ashley.

Barnes told BonusCodeBets.co.uk: “If you win football matches you survive. They haven’t started particularly well and the fans are on their back. If he (Bruce) doesn’t turn it around there’ll be calls for his head, as there always have been.

"But you know what football is like - you start to win matches and things can change.

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"Unfortunately, because of the Mike Ashley situation, Newcastle will always have that. I always say to Newcastle fans, if you want the team to stay in the division you’ve got to support the team.

"I don’t think it’s necessarily Steve Bruce, it’s the fact that he was appointed by Mike Ashley and he’s seen as a Mike Ashley man. Unfortunately for the fans, the next person is going to be a Mike Ashley man as well.

"It’s going to be a hard few months for Bruce. I think he’s a scapegoat at Newcastle because the fans don’t like Ashley. They’ll say it’s because of the football he’s playing or whatever.

"Until the ownership situation is resolved, Newcastle are always going to be a club in a bit of disarray from the fans’ perspective.”

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