Lee Ryder reckons that Newcastle United officials behind the scenes know ‘deep down’ that their poor performances under Steve Bruce ‘can’t go on much longer’.
As the Premier League season pauses for the second international break, Newcastle find themselves second from bottom in the table.
They have failed to win any of their first seven matches, with only their three draws keeping them above Norwich City.
What’s more, the stats suggest that Newcastle fully deserve to be in the relegation zone. When you go by expected goals for and against, they should be 18th (via Understat).
Despite these struggles, the club has firmly backed the manager. The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards reported at the end of last month that ‘his job is not under threat and is unlikely to be any time soon’.
By contrast, a Chronicle Live survey in September found that a whopping 95 per cent of Newcastle fans are in favour of a managerial change.
In a fan Q & A for The Chronicle, Ryder was asked whether Bruce was ‘refusing to resign’ because he fears he won’t get another chance at the top level, or whether it was down to finances.
He acknowledged that it could be Bruce’s ‘last job’ in the Premier League, but stressed that compensation is a ‘big factor’.
If he’s sacked, he’s entitled to a ‘seven-figure pay-out’, but he waives that right if he resigns.
However, Ryder adds: “I think deep down they know this can’t go on for much longer unless the team REALLY (his emphasis) pick up after the break.”
Are Newcastle’s fixtures conducive to an upturn in form? Not particularly. Tottenham Hotspur are next up, and then they travel to an impressive Crystal Palace led by Patrick Vieira.
After that, it’s title contenders Chelsea and early high-flyers Brighton and Brentford.
If Ryder is right about the true feelings of the decision-makers behind closed doors, then, perhaps the clock is ticking for Bruce.
In other news, could this be a potential replacement for Bruce?
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