Steve Bruce is expected to lose his job as Newcastle United manager prior to Sunday’s match against Tottenham, reports Sky Sports, as the $400 million takeover of the club will be accompanied by quick and high-profile changes.
The Magpies sit 19th on the Premier League table and do not have a win yet, with Bruce ironically sitting on 999 games as a manager.
Sky says that Bruce will be paid nearly $10 million if he’s fired by Newcastle, and that he’ll get that money soon with assistant Graeme Jones “likely” to be asked to take charge of the team on Sunday.
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Jones was hired to help Bruce in January as the Magpies were deep into what would become a nine-match winless run. It came as no surprise to many Bruce skeptics that Newcastle’s tactics improved as the Magpies won as often as they lost the rest of the way.
Bruce has become a target for criticism at St. James’ Park due to his rolling contract and willingness to support owner Mike Ashley’s much-maligned transfer policy.
His 1.17 points-per-match as Newcastle boss is his second-worst total from any of his six managerial stints to go at least one full season. Coincidentally, his 1.16 average at Sunderland was the worst. Not surprisingly, his stints that include time in the PL are (mostly) lower on the list.
Steve Bruce’s points-per-match as manager
Aston Villa, 2016-18 –> 1.60
Hull City, 2012-16 –> 1.47
Birmingham City, 2001-07 –> 1.38
Wigan Athletic, 2007-09 –> 1.23
Newcastle United, 2019-present –> 1.17
Sunderland, 2009-11 –> 1.16
Newcastle has been linked with a number of sporting directors including Ralf Rangnick and Antero Henrique, with Antonio Conte already being rumored as a possible manager (though the Italian generally takes charge for shorter periods of time with clubs already suited to win).
Plus the Magpies need to win soon, having tossed away a decent-enough run of fixtures and looking at a much more difficult run toward Jan. 1.