Steve Bruce leaves Newcastle: best and the worst results of his era - in pictures

Magpies manager departed on Wednesday after turbulent spell in charge of Premier League club

Newcastle United parted with manager Steve Bruce on Wednesday as the Premier League club made their first big change under their new Saudi-backed owners.

The consortium — that includes the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund) as majority partner alongside British-based Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley — decided to move quickly and Bruce's time in charge came to an end soon after the 3-2 defeat at home to Tottenham.

Bruce was appointed in the summer of 2019, replacing Rafa Benitez as manager after the Spaniard left the club blaming broken promises and lack of ambition of the then owner Mike Ashley for his exit.

Benitez was hugely popular with Newcastle fans, which only increased the pressure on Tyneside-born Bruce, who had turned down the job earlier in his managerial career and had also been in charge of local rivals Sunderland between 2009-11.

Benitez, a La Liga and Champions League winning manager, had left and a man whose coaching CV highlights were securing three promotions to England’s top-flight, plus an FA Cup runner’s up medal, taken over.

“I’ve heard it said that I’m a puppet but I’m not Mike Ashley’s bagman or anything else. I’m my own man. All I ask is to be given a chance,” said Bruce after his appointment.

Results in his first season were mixed — the Magpies did reach their first FA Cup quarter-final since 2006 while also struggling badly for goals throughout the campaign — but Bruce secured the sole priority of any Newcastle manager during the Ashley era: Premier League survival.

Newcastle-Tottenham player ratings

Newcastle finished 13th, matching the previous season's effort achieved by Benitez, but supporters remained unhappy at what they perceived as Bruce's negative tactics and lack of attacking flair — bar their enigmatic Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin.

The arrival of striker Callum Wilson during the summer gave Newcastle a much-needed boost up front but the campaign became another survival slog. One disastrous mid-season run saw Bruce's side win twice in 19 games and a third relegation under Ashley's ownership seemed on the cards.

But, inspired by the goals of on-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock, Newcastle finished the season well — winning five and drawing two of their final nine matches. The team would finish a respectable 12th.

With Willock's permanent move the only transfer arrival during the summer — much to fans' frustration with even Bruce expressing rare public disappointment — the team has struggled again this term and sit second bottom without a win from eight games.

In the above gallery, we take a look at the best and worst results of Bruce's time in charge.

The Bruce era

2019/20 season

Premier League: 13th

Top goalscorer: Miguel Almiron — eight

League Cup: Second round — Newcastle 1 Leicester City 1. Leicester won 4-2 on penalties

FA Cup: Quarter-finals — Newcastle 0 Manchester City 2

2020/21 season

Premier League: 12th

Top goalscorer: Callum Wilson — 12

League Cup: Quarter-finals — Brentford 1 Newcastle 0

FA Cup: Third round — Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0

2021/22 season (Bruce leaves by mutual consent on October 20, 2021)

Premier League (eight games) 19th

Top goalscorer Callum Wilson — three

League Cup Second round — Newcastle 0 Burnley 0. Burnley won 4-3 on penalties

Updated: October 20th 2021, 10:33 AM
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