Jack Wilshere has revealed Steve Bruce tried to sign him at Aston Villa and defended the Newcastle boss as someone who “knows football”.
Bruce’s position as Newcastle manager appears to be hanging by a thread with conflicting reports as to whether he will be in charge of the squad against Tottenham on Sunday for his 1,000th game in management.
There are also allegations that new 10% co-owner Amanda Staveley is waiting for the green light to fire Bruce from the new majority ownership of the Saudi-run club.
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund’s purchase of the club would make Newcastle the richest football club in the world, but Bruce is not seen as the man to start the new era.
But even before the buyout, Bruce had fallen out of favor with supporters demanding his exit from the club, with 89% of the vote for his departure in a poll.
Former Arsenal, Bournemouth and West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere defended Bruce and revealed he was very impressed with the 60-year-old when they discussed a possible transfer to Villa Park in 2017.
“It’s tough,” Wilshere told talkSPORT. “I’ve never worked with him, I’ve played with players who have played for him and have nothing but good things to say about him.
“I actually spoke to him once one summer when he was at Villa, he wanted to take me there.
“It was when I got back from Bournemouth and I wasn’t in Arsenal and he wanted to take me there.
“He was brilliant, it was a ten minute phone call and I got out of the phone thinking ‘wow, this guy knows football’, he’s a football man.
“It’s tough work at Newcastle right now and I think he did a good job, he kept them going.”
Bruce has been at St James Park since 2019, starting on the back foot after replacing fan favorite Rafael Benitez in the dugout.
He has also done himself no favors after leading big rival Sunderland in the past, which has also displeased fans.
TalkSPORT host Darren Bent played for Bruce during his time at Stadium of Light and once again complimented the Englishman with whom he managed a 24-goal league season.
“Yeah, I had a great time with him, I had my best Premier League goal scoring season under him and he’s a good guy,” said Bent.
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