Steve Bruce was not the right fit for the job at Newcastle and the decision to get rid of him had to be made, according to former club star Jose Enrique.
Bruce left the club by mutual consent on Wednesday morning a week after the £ 305million buyout by a Saudi group.
The only surprising thing was that the decision was not made sooner to leave him as they led Newcastle in their 3-2 loss to Tottenham on Sunday – their 1,000th game in management.
Enrique, speaking to talkSPORT.com in association with BeMyBet.com, said: “I am sad for him. He seems like a nice guy, from what I’ve heard about him from the players who have played under him, he’s a very nice guy.
“But it had to be done. In the way the change of ownership had to be done because Mike Ashley was not the right one for Newcastle and I think with Steve Bruce it’s the same.
“It’s gonna be like a stamp, where are they going to go now?” Will they choose someone like Steven Gerrard, Zinedine Zidane? My favorite would be Antonio Conte because of his experience winning trophies and winning Premier League trophies – I would choose him.
“If they go for someone like that it would mark every club in the Premier League. He would say ‘look, we came here to make Newcastle great.’ They deserve to sign someone like Conte.
“You know, in the January transfer window, they’re going to get big. The most important thing in my opinion is if they sign someone new like Conte – let him sign the players who can build the club around Conte. In Liverpool, they did it around Jurgen Klopp.
“I believe in the next three, four, five years we can talk about Newcastle competing where they deserve to be.”
Fans had been calling Bruce to leave for quite some time, even before Mike Ashley sold the club.
Former boss of Aston Villa, Hull, Birmingham, Sheffield Wednesday and now Newcastle have revealed he could end his managerial career.
In an interview with The Telegraph, he said, “I think this could be my last job,” Bruce said. “It’s not just about me; it has wreaked havoc on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore it.
“They were worried about me… especially my wife, Jan. What an amazing woman she is, amazing, she’s just a fantastic woman, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She dealt with the death of my parents, hers weren’t very well. And then she made me worry and what I’ve been through the last few years.
“I can’t take her for granted, she’s spent her whole life following me from football club to football club and if I had to tell her tomorrow, I was offered a job in China, or elsewhere, she would. would say, “Steve, is this good for you, do you want to do this?” and she would back me up again.
“I’m 60 years old and I don’t know if I want to make him relive this. We have a great life, so, yeah, it’ll probably be me as the manager – until I get a phone call from a president somewhere asking if I can give them a hand. Never say never, I learned that.
Fan criticism was constant during his time at Newcastle, having replaced popular figure Rafael Benitez.
Bruce admitted that he never felt like winning fans at the club.
He added: “By the time I got to Newcastle I thought I could handle whatever was thrown at me but it was very, very difficult. Never really be wanted, feel like people wanted me to fail, read people who constantly say that I would fail, that I was useless, a big waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept head of cabbage or what whether it be. And that was from day one.
“When we were doing correct results it was ‘yes but the style of football sucks’ or I was just ‘lucky.’ It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.
“The best part was being told we were a relegation team in all points except… it was all in the first season. We finished 13th. This [the criticism and abuse] got even worse in the second year. We finished 12th, 17 points ahead of the last three.
“I tried to take advantage of it and, you know, I did. I’ve always loved to fight, to prove people wrong, but that’s all it always seemed to be. A fight, a battle. It takes its toll because even when you win a game, you don’t feel like you’re winning the supporters. ”
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