'The toughest and most toxic situation' – Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer gives brutal assessment of task awaiting ex-Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce
Following Steve Bruce's switch from Sheffield Wednesday to Newcastle United on Wednesday, former Magpies star Alan Shearer has revealed that he strongly warned the veteran coach not to accept the job offer.
The 58-year-old was confirmed as Newcastle's new manager on Wednesday morning, with the north east side announcing that Bruce would be signing for his boyhood club on a four-year deal.
Writing his column in the Sun, Shearer revealed he had attempted to talk Bruce out of accepting the job offer, and said: “My advice to him that night was simple: “No, no, no, don’t take it. I said: 'Why are you going to be any different to Keegan or Benitez? If you take it, you must be mad, because you know how it works there.'”
The ex-England striker continued: “He is a good friend of mine. He was not Newcastle’s first choice to replace Rafa. He might not even have been their second, third or fourth pick.
“It looks more like he could have been the last man standing — and Newcastle just knew he would probably take the job because he has always wanted it.”
Bruce caused outrage among Owls fans with his decision to leave the club just a matter of weeks before the start of the new season, leaving Wednesday with limited time to recover before the Championship campaign begins in early August.
Continuing his bleak assessment of the task facing the former Hull City boss on Tyneside, Shearer said: “He knows what is going on and what has gone on in the past. He knows how fed-up the fan-base is. He knows how the football club is run, it is not a secret any more.
“This is without a doubt the toughest and most toxic situation Steve has ever walked into. No job is impossible but this one is very, very difficult for so many different reasons. On the playing side, he is inheriting a squad that is wafer-thin.”
He concluded: “I like him a lot, and I actually admire him for having the balls to take the job on. But I just really hope that he doesn’t live to regret it like I fear he will.”
Newcastle begin their Premier League campaign on August 11th, with a tricky home encounter against Unai Emery's Arsenal.